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Premier League Weekend Preview
Written by: Gerry McDonnell (16-September-2006)

Here’s one of my tips: to be a success in life, you need to be a positive thinker. Every evening I say to myself, “You are Gerry McDonnel, and you can accomplish anything.” It is equally important to stay level-headed though, so I always add: “Yes, but you are still a tool.”

Wayne Rooney also has self-belief in abundance, but he is struggling to keep his feet firmly on the ground. Fortunately, he cannot see the problem. The dark side of Rooney has led to simultaneous banning instructions from both domestic and international football, his return to Premiership football coincides with the visit of old rivals Arsenal, talk about a recipe for disaster. A Rooney yellow card at 2.75 odds is a tasty investment, a Rooney red should be grabbed at 13.00.

It was reported that Wayne Rooney had kept himself in shape during his obligatory sabbatical, regrettably, that shape was a circle. Wayne’s lack of sharpness on Wednesday night was obvious; it looks like the only real exercise he had undertaken during his layoff was when he turfed Blackburn’s Michael Gray for suggesting a threesome with Coleen, an offer which apparently infuriated him as no money was set to change hands. Arsenal are a great bet at 3.25 to leave Old Trafford with a point.

I am a huge fan of Cesc Fabregas. The young boy is still a teenager, yet he has shone in a World Cup, dazzled in a Champions League final, and perhaps most remarkably of all, he has thrown pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson. It would be absolutely Fabregas if Cesc bags the opener at 21.00.

Chelsea and Liverpool have gone to battle more often than George Bush in recent years. The stats are quite misleading though, the wife is backing Liverpool because Chelsea have only won two of their last eight meetings, but on the other hand, Jose has a 100% record in Premiership football against his arch nemesis. For me, the other hand is usually preferable to the wife; I am tipping the Champions at 1.83.

There is probably more chance of Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler singing ‘We are family’ with the Neville brothers than there is of Jose Mourinho shaking hands with Rafael Benitez once the game is over. The hostility between the coaches could well be matched on the field of play, a red card is an appealing tip at 3.75.

Jose has criticised the media for giving Frank Lampard a raw deal after a series of weak performances. One theory is that Frank might have something on his mind; my guess would be ‘dinner’. Lampard is as short as 6.50 odds to score the opener, the way he is playing, I would rather be a layer than a player.

You have to like Portsmouth to take three points at Charlton. Pompey have yet to concede a goal this term while Charlton’s defence has been breached every 45 minutes, an average that would make my wife’s eyes water. (She is a big Charlton fan.) Portsmouth can keep up their inspiring start to the season; I’ll tip them at 3.00.

Middlesbrough have made an outstanding loan signing in Jonathan Woodgate, if anyone knows about the virtues needed to be a top class centre-back it is Gareth Southgate, he played with Ugo Ehiogu for many years. Bolton v Middlesbrough bears all the hallmarks of a tense match; three of the last four encounters have been drawn, another deadlocked game appeals at 3.25.

Bobby Zamora could lecture Michael Gray a thing or two when it comes to scoring; the underrated striker has found the net in every game. It could go either way when the Hammers entertain Newcastle, it could either be a close home win or West Ham could absolutely murder them. Take 2.10 about a walk in the park for the Hammers.

Everton are the weekend betting tip at home to Wigan. Australian Tim Cahill is in criminally fine form, AJ is desperate to get on the scoresheet and Phil Neville excels in doing the ugly things. The 1.73 odds are tastier than a banana wielding Maria Sharapova.

Aston Villa are the next top bet on the coupon at 2.63 to see off a middling Watford team at the Vicarage. It is often said that nobody goes down in September, and after two weeks of concrete research, I can verify that this is the case. Watford could prove to be the exception.

A new lightweight Mido can be the Spur for Tottenham when they take on Fulham at White Hart Lane. The Egyptian announced that he lost 22 pounds of ugly fat; Coleen McLoughlin could use his phone number. The club playing at home has won this match on the last five occasions; back Tottenham at 1.67 odds to make that six out of six.

When Blackburn host Manchester City, a black-eyed Michael Gray and a purple-forearmed Ben Thatcher will be watching as Barton and Mills duke it out with Savage and Neill. I tip Blackburn to win the match at 2.10, but I will not be watching as I oppose gratuitous violence. Call me an out of touch Guardian-reading pacifist, but I will do just about anything for a little piece.

The accumulator of the week:

The acca this week is so irrefutable, that even an Ashley Cole autobiography would resist casting doubt upon its authenticity. Everton, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Blackburn and West Ham are the football tips, the payout is a weekend changing 34.00.

Weekend Betting:

Charlton v Portsmouth		
Saturday 16th September	12.45	

Charlton		2.50
Draw			3.25
Portsmouth		3.00

Bet on: Portsmouth

Match Special:
Benjani to score the only goal of the match	46.00

Bolton v Middlesbrough		
Saturday 16th September	15.00

Bolton			2.05
Draw			3.25
Middlesbrough	3.75

Bet on: Draw

Match Special:
No goalscorer in the game	9.50

Everton v Wigan			
Saturday 16th September	15.00

Everton		1.73
Draw			3.50
Wigan			5.00

Bet on: Everton

Match Special: 
Everton to score a penalty kick	7.00

Sheff Utd v Reading			
Saturday 16th September	15.00	

Sheff Utd		2.38
Draw			3.25
Reading		3.10

Bet on: Reading

Match Special:
Sidwell to score at any time	5.50

Watford v Aston Villa		
Saturday 16th September	17.15	

Watford		2.75
Draw			3.25
Aston Villa		2.63

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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