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Ex-panda bull

Filed: Thursday, 14th December 2006
By: Gerry McDonnell

I feel a genuine affinity with Alan Pardew; as I too have been unjustly dismissed from the workplace. My only Ďcrimeí was being young and in love. Admittedly, it was wrong of us to consummate our relationship during working hours; but I remain convinced that the zookeeper overreacted.

Eggert Magnusson may well rue the decision to harpoon the former Hammer-head. Alan Curbishley is undoubtedly a competent replacement, but like Frank Lampard, heíll take a while to find his feet. The ĎEgg maní has handed Man U three points at a cracking 1/2.

Rio Ferdinand is unable to look back on his time at Upton Park with any real fondness; he has the memory span of a dead goldfish. Rio and Vidic look rock solid at the back, a United clean sheet appeals at 11/10.

Chelsea will have to beat Everton to keep pace with the leaders, and Iím absolutely convinced that they will. Iím all over the 4/7 like John Terry on a referee.

Letís hope that Drogba keeps the theatrics to a minimum. (Diving is only ever acceptable after several lagers.) Didi looks the most likely first scorer at 9/2.

Roman Abramovic has placed £500m in a trust fund to secure Chelseaís future. Ashley Cole was expecting £505m; heís so upset about the situation heís in talks with his publisher. Iím grabbing 5/2 about Chelsea winning 1-0 or 2-0.

Sol Campbell represented Arsenal on 197 occasions and he can justifiably feel proud that he avoided a breakdown in the majority of those matches. Sol returns with a Pompey team who have conceded 25 goals on their last 7 trips to Highbury; youíll be mad if you miss the Gunners at 4/9.

The influx of foreign owners in the Premiership may appear a cause for concern, but like the Ďback-pass ruleí or giving women Ďthe voteí, thereís nothing to fear in practice. Liverpool are quite rightly licking their lips at the thought of a cool Sheikh; Iím excited about 4/6 for a Pool win at the Valley.

Newcastle are suffering with injuries. Owen, Ameobi, Parker, Duff, Bramble, Moore, Bernard, Harper, Carr, Emre, Solano and Sibierski are either ruled out or doubtful; and in a stunning development, Kieron Dyer may also miss the game through injury. Watford can snatch a draw at St Jamesí Park at 13/5.

Apart from the top four places, the Premiership is completely wide open this season. The result of Reading v Blackburn could be absolutely anything; except for a draw or an away win. The Royals are smoking at 6/5.

Neil Warnock has been remarkably restrained on the touchline this season; iíve a feeling that heís about to explode like Robbie Savage when the average price of a caravan rose dramatically in the late 90s. Wigan look a great bet at 10/11 to light the spark.

El Hadji Diouf is suspended for the trip to Aston Villa; allowing him to spend some quality time at home with his wife. All the stats point to a draw like itís a ginger boy in a ballet class. Get involved at 11/5.

Man City are unbeaten at home and Tottenham are yet to win away; the 6/4 about a home win looks a trifle too big. I expect City to come out all guns blazing from the start. In Manchester, thatís not a metaphor.

My computer is a lot like the wife, if the information is punched in correctly, positive results are guaranteed. My spreadsheet plays a sound if the odds offered by a bookmaker are greater than the actual probability of success; when I placed 5/4 next to Fulham, it whipped out a guitar.

Liverpool, Reading, Wigan, Chelsea and Fulham are the sure-fire selections for the weekend accer. The payout of 21/1 is so sweet; it reminds me of my first love. Iíll never forget you Ling-Ling.

Weekend Betting

West Ham v Man Utd
Sunday 17th December 16:00

West Ham 13/2; Draw 10/3; Man Utd 1/2

Get on: Man Utd

Match Special: Saha to score two or more goals 5/1

Charlton v Liverpool
Saturday 16th December 12:45

Charlton 5/1; Draw 14/5; Liverpool 4/6

Get on: Liverpool

Match Special: Liverpool to score four or more goals 6/1

Arsenal v Portsmouth
Saturday 16th December 15:00

Arsenal 4/9; Draw 10/3; Portsmouth 15/2

Get on: Arsenal

Match Special: Gilberto to score at any time 4/1

Newcastle v Watford
Saturday 16th December 15:00

Newcastle 8/11; Draw 13/5; Watford 9/2

Get on: Draw

Match Special: No goalscorer in the match 10/1

Reading v Blackburn
Saturday 16th December 15:00

Reading 6/5; Draw 23/10; Blackburn 13/5

Get on: Reading

Match Special: Doyle to score the first goal 5/1

Wigan v Sheff Utd
Saturday 16th December 15:00

Wigan 10/11; Draw 12/5; Sheff Utd 7/2

Get on: Wigan

Match Special: Camara to score two or more goals 11/2

Aston Villa v Bolton
Saturday 16th December 17:15

Aston Villa 11/8; Draw 11/5; Bolton 11/5

Get on: Draw

Match Special: Petrov to score in a 1-1 draw 25/1

Everton v Chelsea
Sunday 17th December 13:45

Everton 11/2; Draw 14/5; Chelsea 4/7

Get on: Chelsea

Match Special: Chelsea to keep a clean sheet 11/10

Man City v Tottenham
Sunday 17th December 15:00

Man City 6/4; Draw 23/10; Tottenham 9/5

Get on: Man City

Match Special: Richards to score with a header 9/1

Fulham v Middlesbrough
Monday 18th December 20:00

Fulham 5/4; Draw 9/4; Middlesbrough 5/2

Get on: Fulham

Match Special: Fulham to score three or more goals 4/1

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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