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A Bitter Pill to Swallow
Written by: Gerry McDonnell (1-September-2006)

I'm not a happy man. As a rule, my wife and I are usually easy going, or to be more truthful, she is easy and I am going. But for some weird reason, after just two weeks of quality football, the Premiership has been put aside to make way for the International, like Cinderella being dropped in favour of her ugly sister. (And the other one married me.) I have not been this upset since the wife first told me she was pregnant, (It was my fault, of course, I hoped her looks would provide sufficient contraception; damn those pillow cases.) Thankfully, I have now calmed down enough to point the way to a few cracking weekend bets.

Before we begin to give you additional information on this topic, take a moment to think about how much you already know.

After an unproductive World Cup, its time to start a new dawn for the English tough. I would like to propose my best requests to the man who was without a shadow of a doubt, the most outstanding contender to replace Sven Goran Eriksson; best of luck at the Villa, Martin O'Neill. Incredible as it may appear, O'Neill was overlooked as the FA first went after Big Phil Scolari, before opting for first choice Steve "I once bought Michael Ricketts" McClaren.

Let's be frank, Macca is no Brian Clough, his record at Middlesbrough was laughable. The Boro board backed him a lot financially, yet McClaren could only end up in the top half of the Premiership once. Still, there is no point in crying over spilled milk (only a significant hammering of lager justifies tears), even Macca can command England to a comfortable win over Andorra. The English are unbackable at 1.02, wagering on a 4-0 score line at 7.50 can confirm a profitable alternative.

McClaren’s first job as England manager was to close the door on David Beckham, the best crosser of a ball in all of world football. The situation would be funny if it weren’t so serious. There is no Becks, there is no Rooney, the first goal scorer betting revolves around Peter Crouch and Frank ‘one goal every thirty shots’ Lampard. May God help us all. Lampard is the lesser of two evils at 6.00.

I am a big fan of John Terry and can honestly say that I would never, under any circumstances, kick him out of a nightclub. The new England captain is available at 5.50 bet odds to score with a header; that is definitely worth a second look.

Scotland host the Faroe Islands in their opening qualifier and I am preparing for a bad day. It is absolute carnage in my house when the Jocks play, the wife becomes all patriotic and out come the haggis, the bagpipes and the syringe. Scotland were kept to a 2-2 draw by the Faroe Islands four years ago, and I think there is a good chance of a shock here; I think Scotland can steal it at 1.13.

Chris Boyd scores tons of goals at a domestic level, but I could probably score 30 a season in the Scottish Premiership. I am tipping Boyd to score the opener for our skirt-wearing neighbours at 3/1 thanks to a complex new system I have been developing: if a team has just one decent player, pick him.

Tomas Rosicky could use an easy game to guarantee a win after a depressing start to the season with Arsenal. Luckily for Tomas, the Czech’s are hosting Wales. There have been a few tears shed in Robbie Savage’s caravan ever since John Toshack was chosen as Welsh manager, there should be a few more when the Czechs grab an easy three points at 1.40.

I am a big fan of Bjork, the Icelandic nutcase once beat up a journalist for saying, “Welcome to Bangkok,” firm but fair. Iceland have been made 3.25 odds for their trip to Northern Ireland, so be like Bjork and get stuck in. There is only one tip for first goalscorer betting, and that is Gudjohnsen, so Eidur put a bet on it at 7.00.

The Republic of Ireland are in the same Euro 2008 qualifying group as Germany and the Czech Republic, but they have kindly agreed to fulfil their fixtures anyway. The Irish go to Stuttgart to start their campaign, the Germans can walk it at 1.44 odds.

Stan Staunton was stopped at gunpoint recently, police are looking for a complete madman, and Niall Quinn has not been ruled out. Another lanky forward looks the bet to open the scoring, so take a Klose look at Miroslav at 5.00.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy has been left out of the Dutch lineup for the journey to Luxembourg. The horse-faced goal machine was apparently devastated by Marco Van Basten’s decision, but he has since been stabilized. Only the rich can wager on the Dutch at 1.02 odds, my prediction is a correct score perm of 3-0 / 4-0 will need to suffice for the rest of us at 3.40.

There is a real treat in store for football fans on Sunday, when Brazil take on Argentina at the Emirates. From the look of the teams, both managers are taking this friendly very seriously; Carlos Tevez, Lionel Messi, and Juan Riquelme face off against Ronaldinho, Robinho and Kaka. Ronaldo ‘too fat to have two names’ has not made the team which gives the Brazilians a glimmer of hope, but I will be on the Argies at 2.75 odds.

The acca of the week: The accumulator this week is so nailed on, a team of demolition experts would struggle to remove it. Iceland, Scotland, France, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy are the sides, the payout is a nice 10/1 odds.

The lay man: England are a great lay at 7.00 to win Euro 2008, but if you want your money tied up for that many years you should get married. On the weekend games, Northern Ireland should certainly be layed on the betting exchanges at 2.30.

Professional odds compiler Gerry McDonnell regularly offers his unique predictions on EPL Premiership soccer betting. Place your bets at Gerry's sportsbook Super Soccer



















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