as great as we are, we tipsters gotta eat too

Saturday, August 16, 2008


<1.65> <3.30> <4.55>

the battle of the shitkickers. its bolton wanderers vs bolton wannabes. both teams punt it long, kick the shit out of their opponents, and generally bore the shit out of any idiot who actually bothered to watch this game. however, i see bolton winning this game, as ricardo fuller is out injured, meaning that stoke's chances of actually scoring a goal (that's scoring, as in a proper shot, not bundling the ball over the line after a corner kick where the centreback flattens the goalie and the ball takes 47 deflections) is now ZERO. dave kitson is pretty good, but does he strike you as the type who scores on his debut? bolton on the other hand, have signed johan elmander, and fabrice muamba, two very good signings, in my opinion. dan shittu is likely to be useful too, and really, i don't see stoke getting a point in this.

Eddy's prediction: $5 on bolton @ 1.65 = $8.25


<3.35> <3.30> <1.90>

Arca and Riggott are out, Pogatetz is slightly doubtful, meaning Rhys Williams may deputise at right back following the departure of Luke Young. Spurs will feature their new signings Bentley and Modric, and with Darren Bent + Berbatov (who might not start.. hmm) in attack, it promises to be devastating. Bent has been scoring for free and Spurs have been generally great in their pre-season friendlies, so I'll expect them to carry their form into this match and defeat a lacklustre Middlesbrough. King and Woodgate will start in defence, and Heurelho Gomes should prove to be more reliable than Paul Robinson, so go for Spurs.

Roland's prediction: $5 on Spurs @ 1.90 = $9.50

I've gotta agree with roland. i think spurs should be able to win this one, as middlesbrough are trusting their youngsters a touch too much in my opinion. middlesbrough's attack is good though, with players like afonso alves, stewart downing and jeremie aliadiere definitely possessing the quality to tear spurs apart. boro have lost luke young though, which means their defence could be a little creaky, which is bad news when you play a team like spurs.

Eddy's prediction: $5 on spurs @ 1.90 = $9.50


<1.80> <3.25> <3.75>

Bouma is out, Cuellar is doubtful. In comes Shorey, who is proven in the EPL, as well as Curtis Davies to partner Laursen. Man City have striking problems with Jo at the Olympics, Vassell out for 10 weeks, Benjani mysteriously injured, and a semi unfit Bojinov, leaving Felipe Caicedo (who has been REALLY shite) as the only fully fit striker. I'm very confident of Laursen dealing with the killer balls of Martin Petrov, as well as Reo-Coker snuffing out Elano. With Dunne out for City, expect Villa (or rather Carew) to wreck havoc in the City defence.

Roland's prediction: $5 on Villa @ 1.80 = $9


<5.30> <3.40> <1.55>

Well well, Liverpool let me down the last time I bet on them, but I'm going to risk it again. Gerrard is back in the squad, so odds of 1.55 to beat Sunderland is amazingly decent. I dare to place this bet because Kenwyne Jones is out for Sunderland, and Liverpool have a full strength squad available for this game. They are a "big club" and cannot afford to lose this one, can they?

Roland's prediction: $5 on Liverpool @ 1.55 = $7.75


<1.88> <3.20> <3.50>

Pienaar, Cahill, Hibbert, Vaughan, van der Meyde are all injured, Anichebe is in Beijing. Blackburn don't have many injury problems with Santa Cruz just picking up a knock, but I think he'll be fit to play. I think the loss of Bentley will really take its toll in this game and I doubt Blackburn will be able to create much against a solid Everton backline. Paul Robinson will probably debut and score an own goal so go for an Everton win.

Roland's prediction: $5 on Everton @ 1.88 = $9.40

i agree that everton should win this one. blackburn tended to rely on bentley for their spark for much of last season, and with roque santa cruz the target of much transfer talk, this hasn't been the best pre-season for paul ince and his boys. the signing of robbie fowler also goes to show how naive and inexperienced paul ince is. i fancy blackburn to be flirting with relegation this season, and everton should really be beating blackburn, especially at home.

Eddy's prediction: $5 on everton @ 1.88 = $9.40


<2.47> <3.05> <2.52>

I see odds of 2.52 for Fulham to beat Hull as incredible odds, given that Hull have a shite team and Fulham are at nearly full strength, with the exception of Andy Johnson being out injured. However, never underestimate the start-of-the-season-craziness where we might see Hull go crazy all out. Go for Fulham +1.5 @ 1.11 if you want to play it safe and earn a measly 10 cents, but I think it'll be a Fulham win in the end.

Roland's prediction: $5 on Fulham @ 2.52 = $12.60

hmm, roland may be wrong here. hull city are not exactly THAT shite. marlon king was an accomplished finisher, and if given the right chances here, he might cause some trouble for mark schwarzer, who's not the best goalkeeper in the world. besides, geovanni is likely to be given a free role in this hull side, and his performance here will be critical to their performance. another new signing, george boateng, should be able to put the shackles on jimmy bullard, who is fulham's only threat, considering that andrew johnson and diomansy kamara are injured. i don't see fulham winning this one, especially with the game being at the kc stadium. remember, fulham are not good travellers, their end-of-season form last season was spurred only be the threat of relegation.

Eddy's prediction: $5 on draw @ 3.05 = $15.25

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Pre-Season EPL Post!

Okay, I'm feeling a little bored right now, so I'm just going to post my thoughts on how the EPL will shape out last season.

The Top 4
It's all about who has weakened less, not who has strengthened. Arsenal have lost Hleb and Flamini - both crucial in their lineup last season. They have also lost Gilberto Silva, a good backup in the midfield. Replacing them are Aaron Ramsey and Samir Nasri, you get the idea. United were close to losing Ronaldo, Chelsea were close to losing both Drogba and Lampard. How next season's top 4 shapes up will be mostly dependant on how Drogba/Lampard/Ronaldo, after not securing their intended move, perform for their team. Liverpool look to have strengthened the most by securing Robbie Keane, but they were lucky to draw against Standard Liege yesterday and I wonder if Benitez's other signings, Degen Ngog and Dossena, will be enough to overcome a 10+ point deficit last season. They still have not improved on their biggest weakness - the left midfield. I think that United will retain the title because I'm a fan, but don't count out Chelsea as they have signed Deco and Bosingwa. Arsenal to finish 4th as they have young and promising youngsters, but not the cutting edge quality that a Championship winning team needs.

The Top Half
Last season, Everton, Aston Villa, Blackburn, Portsmouth Manchester City, Westham made up the rest of the top 10.

Everton haven't been great in the transfer market and have lost Andy Johnson. With Anichebe at the Olympics, it's all up to Yakubu to do the scoring as Tim Cahill is out too. They've had a bad run in their friendlies and I think they won't do too well at the start, but they still have enough quality for 7th or 8th. A secret weapon could be Joleon Lescott, who terrorizes defences with his hideous looks and scored like 10 goals. But I wouldn't count on him to repeat that feat.

Aston Villa have gotten good replacements for Mellberg and Carson and the injured Bouma in Cuellar and Friedel + Brad Guzan + Shorey. Sidwell will provide some good midfield cover and with Barry confirmed staying, and seeing him play his heart out for them, I think they should be able to secure a 6th spot finish.

For Blackburn, I forsee them dropping into the bottom half with the loss of David Bentley, their creative outlet whose great partnership with Roque Santa Cruz led a mediocre side to 7th place. Pedersen cannot fill Bentley's shoes as he's been off form for the entire last season, and Paul Ince is an unknown when it comes to the Premiership.

Portsmouth have signed Crouch and I think the Crouch/Defoe partnership should blossom and reward them with goals. I'll expect them to maintain their position as they've lost Muntari and Mendes, and their midfield looks short on quality cover. A few unfortunate injuries and Redknapp's shrewdness won't be able to save them.

City have had striking woes, and with Jo at the Olympics, they won't solve them any time soon. Bojinov had shown some glimpses of talent but he is still far from match fitness. With the 10 week injury to Vassell, and the Thaksin saga unsettling the club, Mark Hughes has an uphill task and I think he'll be lucky to keep them in the top 10.

West Ham are another club who will remain in their mid table position. Their signing of Valon Behrami, an extremely explosive and versatile winger, will definitely add more squad depth to their permanently injury ravaged squad. If they can get their players out of the treatment room, then they might have some room for improvement.

The Bottom Half
It was Spurs, Newcastle, Boro, Wigan, Sunderland, Bolton, Fulham who survived last season.

Spurs have definitely strengthened with a lot of quality signings - Luka Modric, Giovanni Dos Santos, David Bentley, Heurelho Gomes and potentially Arshavin. They look very well equipped in the midfield department, but should Berbatov leave for Man Utd they will be short in the striking department. Bent isn't a shitkicker but to rely on him to score 30+ goals for them to truly compete with the top 4 isn't an easy task, but with Juande Ramos around don't bet against Spurs getting 5th.

Newcastle look to have some debt issues but have signed Coloccini, who will definitely help out in their leaky defence, as well as Jonas Gutierrez who is a decent pacy winger who can help them get goals. I don't see them improving much, they will linger as a mid table team.

On to Boro, Didier Digard? Marvin Emnes? WTF? No replacement for Schwarzer? Ross Turnbull in goal? Boro will probably win like half their games against the big teams, but lose the rest and escape relegation by the skin of their teeth.

Wigan will probably fall into 13th-16th place again as they have a brilliant Steve Bruce managing them, as well as exciting youngsters like Palacios and Valencia going forward. Kapo, De Ridder and Cattermole will give the midfield some depth and not make them rely on Koumas, who is slower than my grandmother, and Michael Brown, who plays "Kick The Leg" instead of football. Their back 4 still looks short on cover and I think that might be their weakness next season.

Roy Keane has been active in the transfer "from spurs" market, signing Chimbonda, Malbranque and Tainio. They have Premiership pedigree and will help strengthen a Sunderland side which, in their first season, signed Championship quality players and still stayed up. Diouf will add some flair to their attack and could prove to be an excellent second striker behind Kenwyne Jones (who is unfortunately injured ATM). It should not be too hard for Sunderland to survive comfortably, probably in the 13th-15th position.

Bolton are a team that I truly hate to the core, and they have undergone a complete overhaul. The key man is Johan Elmander, who I think might be able to save them from relegation. I hope not though, and I wish that they go down.

Last on the list is Fulham, and they actually play much better football than Bolton do. With Andy Johnson leading the attack, and Schwarzer to replace Kasey Keller who left, as well as the tactical mastery of Roy Hodgson (well, he DID manage Inter, Switzerland and Finland..), I think they can survive. It all depends on whether Johnson can keep fit, as they will sorely miss Brian Mcbride.

The Promotees
I'm banking on West Brom to stay up, solely based on the fact that in the history of the Premiership, only in 1 instance has the 3 promoted teams been relegated in the following season. So the stats speak for itself. West Brom are the best out of the 3, as they play decent attacking football. The loss of Kevin Phillips to Birmingham won't hit them hard as they have gotten Ishmael Miller, Roman Bednar and Luke Moore. They WILL miss Zoltan Gera who went off to Fulham, but with Carson in goal, I think they can survive and finish probably 16th.

Stoke are a very physical and direct team. They are like Sam Allardyce's Bolton. They will go down. Dave Kitson will not score the 20+ goals that they will need for them to stay up. Thomas Sorensen will not keep out the 90 goals that they will concede.

Hull City probably had 0.1% chance of staying up. With the lack of strikers at Man Utd and Fergie's reluctance to let Fraizer Campbell stay for another season, they have 0.01% chance of staying up, as it was Campbell's 15 goals in 30+ appearances that led them to that playoff spot. Dean Windass is turning 70 soon and the signings of Geovanni, Bernard Mendy and George Boateng do not look convincing enough. It's a fairytale come true, but one that will probably end come next May.


well, i'm WAAAYYY too lazy to post something of that length. what i'm gonna do is predict the winner, the relegated teams, and the over/underachievers.

Winner: Liverpool
Few teams actually manage winning the EPL 3 times in a row, and i do not think the current United team are good enough. ronaldo might be distracted, gary neville is back (great news for rival fans), they haven't signed anyone, and in case you were about to say berbatov, i feel berbatov is nowhere near the right signing for utd, and should they get him, i'm pretty sure they will find it hard to accomodate him should everyone be fit. vidic and ferdinand are one injury away from becoming vidic and brown or ferdinand and brown, and one further injury away from being o'shea and brown, which erm sux. manu have been very lucky with injuries the past two seasons, and i see that luck running out. CHELSEA, have been tipped to win it, but i feel they have too many midfielders for their own good, and i don't think scolari is the right man to manage them. he adds practicality to flair sides (eg brazil and portugal), but with a practical side, he might not know how to manage them. ARSENAL, much as i love them, look really inexperienced and understaffed, especially in centre-midfield. LIVERPOOL are being written off by everyone, and i think this will help them as teams might underestimate them. everyone seems to forget that they had agger out for the whole of last season, while they have a worldclass midfield of alonso, gerrard and mascherano. the likes of babel and torres will leave defenders quaking in their boots, while carragher, skrtel and agger will be solid as ever. should dossena and degen prove to be fullbacks in the class of sagna, the rest of the league should really watch out. and let's not forget robbie keane. his energy and creativity will help to lessen some of the load on stevie g. besides, they haven't won the league in so long, i think they're due it.

Relegated teams: Stoke, West Brom, Hull
Stoke play like Bolton, and look where Bolton got last season. bolton has superior quality and just escaped relegation, so a team playing similarly with shittier players will go down, surely.
West Brom like to play an open attacking game. End of story. Enough said. I'm sorry, boys, you're going down if you play good quality football with a bunch of shitkickers. besides, scott carson being there will not make that big a difference. teams like watford and charlton have gone down with keepers like carson and foster.
Hull have tried their best to strengthen, but i don't think they have done enough in the transfer market, and i think they will enjoy their ride.

Over-achievers: West Ham, Arsenal
West Ham have a good squad, plus Dean Ashton ended last season playing quite well. i expect him to explode this season, along with bellamy when he comes back from injury. the signing of valon behrami looks to be shrewd, considering how his pace and trickery should be adequate to dispose of most of the leftbacks in the league.
Arsenal have been tipped to be overtaken by spurs in the top 4 after a spending spree at white hart lane, but i think arsenal will overachieve, by actually finishing in the top 2 this season. arsenal have missed the likes of van persie, rosicky, and eduardo, and if all 3 are fit by october, i think arsenal have a realistic shot at the title.

Under-achievers: Blackburn, Chelsea
Blackburn will probably finish near the relegation zone this season. an over-reliance on david bentley was obvious last season, and now that he's gone, they are really gonna struggle. ryan nelsen isn't getting any younger, and roque santa cruz is an unhappy man. paul ince is a useless manager, looking at his signings so far. they'll really struggle this term.
Chelsea being tipped as champions, will probably end up behind Arsenal and Liverpool. I just have this feeling something will go wrong. they have a very good team on paper, though, so i might be completely wrong. however, i feel scolari will screw it up for them, get sacked midway through the season, and then be replaced by some complete useless bugger.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


<7.35> <3.95> <1.35>

Liverpool don't have many injury concerns, with Steven Gerrard topping the list but he's probably going to play anyway, having travelled to Belgium and trained with the team. The only absentee is Finnan. I won't claim to know much about Standard Liege but with a full strength Liverpool squad, FURTHERMORE in a Champions League match, it would be dumb to bet against them. I'm also taking Robbie Keane as first scorer because I think he'll be keen to impress on his debut. But I can't find that bet on SGPools so :)

Roland's prediction: $5 on Liverpool @ 1.35 = $6.75


<6.70> <3.75> <1.40>

Arsenal have Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure, Abou Diaby, Senderos, Samir Nasri, Eduardo and Rosicky out. However, they still have quality in their young guns who have performed superbly in the pre-season friendlies, like Aaron Ramsey and Denilson and Walcott. Oh and Robin van Persie isn't injured for once, which will lessen the impact of the injuries. Honestly, the only reason why an Arsenal win is @ 1.40 is because of the injuries that they've sustained, and it can be argued that the replacements available are more than enough quality to see off FC Twente.

Roland's prediction: $5 on Arsenal @ 1.40 = $7

i disagree. arsenal have too many players out for them to be considered a real force, imo. and that's coming from an arsenal fan. i think the +1.5 handicap for twente looks good, especially considering the fact that they are at home. arsenal's inexperience will count against them.

Eddy's prediction: $5 on fc twente @ 1.55 = $7.75


<1.60> <3.45> <4.65>

Australia have been useless. They just love to defend and do not go forward with ambition. Which is why Ivory Coast should beat them senseless with their attacking pedigree. Don't expect a high scoring match as Australia seem to have this stubborn resistance that kept a very talented Argentina out for 70+ minutes until Ezequiel Lavezzi got the winning goal.

Roland's prediction: $5 on Ivory Coast @ 1.60 = $8

i don't necessarily agree that australia love to defend, it's just that their team are defensive because of the obvious lack of quality. with players like jade north being one of your best defenders, you know you're in for a rough time. ivory coast, love to attack, and seem to not know how to defend, meaning a big bet on ivory coast might prove fatal, should the aussies somehow eke a draw. so just put a fiver on ivory coast, and watch them win. they should.

Eddy's prediction: $5 on ivory coast @ 1.60 = $8.00

Sunday, August 10, 2008


<1.67> <3.30> <4.40>

japan were unlucky to lose to the usa the other day, showing considerable attacking threat without the cutting edge or finish needed to actually win games. however, i think nigeria, with their superb technique and far superior physique, should be able to edge out japan here.

- Eddy's prediction: $5 on nigeria @ 1.67 = $8.35


<3.08> <3.15> <2.05>

ivory coast looked very dangerous the other day when they came up against the formidable argentina, with kalou in particular looking world-class. expect the likes of him and gervinho to terrorise the serbians in this match-up. serbia looked rather ordinary against australia (bunch of shitkickers), and as such, i think ivory coast will win this one, no problems.

- Eddy's prediction: $10 on ivory coast @ 2.05 = $20.50
$5 on ivory coast -1.5 @ 4.35 = $21.75


<1.53> <3.65> <4.95>

Oh wow, the first shade of red in 2 months! Well, I'm back! Man Utd team news: Ronaldo, Rooney, Hargreaves, Park, Foster are out. Pompey team news: Kanu, Diarra, Sean Davis, and Glen Little are out. While Man Utd have their main players in Ronaldo and Rooney out, Tevez isn't a poor lone striker, especially with Carrick and Nani back fit to support him. Onto Pompey, Crouch + Defoe look set to start and if Crouch + Torres couldn't score against Man Utd, Crouch + Defoe will struggle even more. Pompey were terribly lucky to beat United in the FA cup and I think Fergie's men will exact their revenge today in a tight match. The 2-1 in Nigeria is a testament to that :p

Roland's prediction: $5 on Man Utd @ 1.53 = $7.65
$5 on Man Utd 1-0 @ 6.50 = $32.50