Luck is an alien concept. At a recent fancy dress party to celebrate my father in law’s exit from the closet, the wife turned all ‘Paul Gascoigne’ on me. One minute, I was politely chatting to Britney Spears, the next thing I knew, the wife was repeatedly pommeling me with an oversized clown’s shoe. There’s nothing amusing about domestic violence.
Physical altercations have no place in the home and equally no place on the touchline. Only an Arsenal victory over Liverpool can save Rafa Benitez from an Arsene attack; the Gunners are a superb bet at 11/10 to knock out the Reds.
Peter Crouch is an optimist, he believes that Liverpool can still win the Toto Sgp title. He probably also believes in the tooth fairy, or to use her Latin name, ‘Jermainus Defoe’. It’s over five years since the Scousers last won away at Arsenal, sink your teeth into a 2-0 win for the Gunners at 9/1.
Thierry Henry has asked the Arsenal fans not to leave before the final whistle. I’m not sure how it works in France, but most Englishmen struggle to last 90 minutes. Henry has scored five goals in his last two home appearances against the Pool, he can keep the fans satisfied by banging in the opener at 9/2.
If West Ham beat Middlesbrough, Alan Pardew has promised a more subdued celebration; possibly two jigs and a conga. The Hammers looks a fair investment at 5/2 to waltz away from the Riverside with three points.
Newcastle are in crisis and the Toon army are revolting. Nobody wants to kick a man when he’s down (although I can’t speak for Arsene Wenger) but the appointment of Roeder was flawed from the very beginning. Man City can stick the boot in at 11/10.
It was always going to be an uphill task for Watford to avoid defeat at Stamford Bridge, but without Marlon King, it’s like climbing Mount Everest with Frank Lampard in your rucksack. Chelsea will win, but there’s no value to be found at a top priced 1/6.
Ashley ‘I ain’t working for no £55,000 a week’ Cole believes that referees are ‘robbing’ Chelsea. His autobiography retails at £18.99; he definitely knows his subject matter. You can nick a few quid off the bookies by covering a 2-0/3-0/4-0 win for the champions at a much friendlier 6/4.
Aston Villa have only taken one point out of a possible fifteen at Goodison Park in recent seasons, but that was under David O’Leary, when they rolled over more than Andy Johnson. It’s a different ball game under Martin O’Neill; the draw looks a great shout at 9/4.
I’m certainly not an economist, but I believe that the divide between the north and the south has dramatically diminished. A West Ham fan could only spare 2p to throw at Robin Van Persie last week, yet an Everton supporter was more than happy to clobber Claus Jensen with an inflation busting 50p piece. Backing ‘no goalscorer’ at Goodison Park can increase the wealth at 8/1.
Kanu believes that praying to a higher power has been a contributory factor towards Portsmouth’s superb start to the season. Unfortunately, my own attempt at prayer proved much less successful; she came home. Fulham have never won at Fratton Park in the Premiership; back Pompey at a tambourine shaking 5/6.
Sheffield United v Bolton looks a tough match to call. The Blades destroyed Newcastle at St James’ last week, but Bolton are a far tougher cookie. I’m edging towards Bolton at 6/4, but only because Diouf is in excellent striking form.
Henri Camara must have a bad back, he’s been carrying Emile Heskey for three months. Camara netted a hat-trick as Wigan destroyed Charlton 3-0 at the JJB last season, he’ll lead a vastly improved Wigan to another three points at 10/11.
Tottenham completed a double over Reading the last time they were in the same league, although the more cynical amongst you may question the relevance of form from the 1930’s. Spurs can land a royal knockout at 13/10.
A defeat at the hands of Southend was not the anniversary present Sir Alex was hoping for; he had his fingers crossed for nose make-up. United will get back on track at Blackburn; they’re a confident call at 8/13.
Rio Ferdinand was sent off in this fixture last season, or as he would put it, he got ‘murked’. Like Rio, I know all the cool slang. Saha’s ‘the blaze’, Scholes is ‘sick’ and Rooney is ‘well phat’. I’m backing Ronaldo at 15/2 to net the opener, it’s totally emu.
This week’s accer is so solid; Paul Gascoigne, Arsene Wenger and El Hadji Diouf have all embraced pacifism as a direct result. Arsenal, Wigan, Portsmouth and an Everton draw are the four beefcakes; the payout is a burly 21/1.