Friday 24 August 2012

Week 2: If this were strip billiards, I'd be as naked as Harry.

John Motson: "Well what a fine list of results The Grambler is bringing us this week. Outstanding! Mark?"

Mark Lawrenson: "Yes, outstanding,"

John Motson: "I think it's safe to say that we will all be rich at the end of the weekend if we take the advice of the almighty one.  What will you spending your winnings on?"

Mark Lawrenson: "Well first of all, I'll be getting some new stockings and suspenders."

John Motson: "Ah, good on you Mark.  Treating the wife?"

Mark Lawrenson: "No."

John Motson: "..."*

And now that that nonsense is out of the way, here is what The Grambler tells us will definitely happen this weekend!

Game 1: Norwich City vs Queens Park Rangers

Prediction: Home Win
Hooray, it's our first Premiership prediction of the season!  And adding last week's results to knee-jerk reactions, I'm going to call this a relegation dogfight!  Chris Hughton started his Norwich career with a humiliating 5-0 defeat away to Fulham.  The Canaries have maintained the majority of the squad that were a delight to watch under Paul Lambert last season and there is no reason why they can't play like that this season.  QPR kicked the season off with an equally, if not more, embarrassing 5-0  home defeat to Swansea.  And with QPR continuing their mental transfer strategy of building the largest, overpaid squad of ageing players in the league by adding Ricardo Carvalho on loan, they may well be in for a long season.  Both teams will be keen to bounce back from the opening weekend but with a home advantage and more settled squad, I think this is a reasonable bet.  Reliability balls: 7/10.

Odds on this result: 5/4

Game 2: Watford vs Birmingham City
Prediction: Draw
Neatly moving from Chris Hughton's new side to his old side... Lee Clark now holds the metaphoric reins at Birmingham City and looked to have made a reasonable start with a 1-1 draw at home to Charlton Athletic, however this was followed by a 3-2 midweek defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.  Also starting the season with a new manager in the lovable Gianfranco Zola, Watford have had similar fortunes with a 3-2 away win over Crystal Palace (more on them later) followed by a 1-0 home defeat to Ipswich Town.  So home advantage might mean nothing in Watford's case but I have a gut feeling that they may edge it, especially if they start with legendary sitter-misser Chris Iwelumo up front.  A draw is not such an outlandish prediction though.  Reliability balls: 6/10.

Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 3: Notts County vs Walsall
Prediction: Home Win
Dropping down to League 1 now, we have a rather good prediction.  Notts County have had a splendid start to the campaign and currently sit joint top of the league thanks to a 2-1 away win at Crewe Alexandria and a 2-0 midweek win over Jeff's favourite team.  The Saddlers however have not had the best of starts to the season.  A 3-0 home defeat to Doncaster was followed by a 1-1 draw midweek as awesomely named Hungarian goalkeeper Dávid Gróf has already had to pick the ball out of the net 4 times this season.  Surely The Grambler will be accurate with this prediction?  Reliability balls: A whopping 9/10.

Odds on this result: 3/4

Game 4: Blackburn Rovers vs Leicester City
Prediction: Draw
I do believe that The Grambler may have a soft spot for the Rovers, that's two appearances out of a possible two!  Last week against Ipswich, a draw was also predicted and on that occasion, it was correct.  Huzzah!  Let's hope for more of the same!  This draw was followed by a 1-0 win at Hull with Colin Kazim-Richards (who for some reason I have always thought sounded more like a magician than a footballer) scoring in both games.  Leicester have had mixed fortunes in their opening games with a 2-0 win over Peterborough on day one cancelled out by a 2-1 loss at Charlton.  The Foxes have a strong squad and will be hoping for a good performance against the chicken-mongers of Ewood Park.  A draw could be a real possibility in this game.  Relaibility balls: 7/10

Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 5: Middlesbrough vs Crystal Palace
Prediction: Away Win
If not a Blackburn fan, The Grambler is definitely a Championship fan, with yet another prediction from the second tier of Engerlish footerball.  And this is the one that I'm least confident about this week.  Middlesbrough, along with having home advantage at the Riverside, have had a passable start the season.  A 1-0 loss at Barnsley was followed by a 3-2 victory over Burnley thanks to a late winner from Luke Williams, who was named after the dog from 1915 comedy-short 'Fatty's Faithful Fido'.  Palace on the other hand have started the season in craptacular fashion, with two losses in spite of scoring 3 times.  Maybe Dougie Freedman's side are due a good result?  Reliability balls: 4/10

Odds on this result: 7/2

Game 6: Wycombe Wanderers vs Bristol Rovers
Prediction: Draw
Down the leagues we go again with a trip to Adams Park.  Both teams in this tie have made an unremarkable start to the season.  Wycombe got the ball rolling with a 3-1 win over York but then got the ball, em, unrolling(?) against Gillingham with a 1-0 loss.  Rovers got off to an even worse start, losing to Chesterfield but picking up a point as they visited Barnet on Tuesday evening.  By my reckoning, Wycombe's home advantage will be cancelled out by Bristol having the presence of former Motherwell favourite, and nephew of Uncle Phil, David Clarkson up front.  So I reckon a draw and so does The Grambler.  Just one more to get right and we're onto a winner!  That is obviously assuming that the previous six are also going too be correct... Reliability balls: 6/10.

Odds on this result: 9/4

Game 7:  Acrington Stanley vs Exeter City
Prediction: Away Win
Sticking around in League 2 like (insert name of perennial League 2 player here for topical funnies), we have another potential spoiler.  Nominees for best football team name in England, Stanley have picked up a maximum of six points so far and more impressively not conceded a single goal.  Manager Paul Cook will hope to serve up more of the same (badum-tish!)  Meanwhile City, who have a mediocre name at best, were defeated by Eric Morecambe on day one but may have restored some confidence with a midweek 2-1 win at Aldershot.  Manager Paul Tisdale will be hoping that his side will be in paul position in this game (thankyouverymuchI'llbehereallweek!).  Much like (insert name of rumoured bi-sexual footballer here for funnies), this could go either way.  Reliability balls: 5/10.

Odds on this result: 2/1

So there you go!  Not a bad wee set of results at all.  A couple of potential spoilers amongst them but that only helps to bump up the odds and win more donations for the good ol' Bobby Moore Fund.  Also, noteworthy that there is not a single Scottish game this week, suggesting that The Grambler is potentially some kind of massive racist.

So what are our total odds for this week?  A grand total of....


Woohoo!  We're all going to be rich on Sunday!  The latest game selected will be played at 17.20 GMT tomorrow evening.  Hopefully, the results shall be appearing on this webernet page following the conclusion of this match (between Watford and Birmingham).  If the scenario leaves us with 6 out of 7 correct at kick off time for this game, I shall actually be jobbying my pants. 

And I shall finish with that thought.

*Parts of this conversation may be a work of fiction.

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