Saturday, 16 February 2013

Week 24: With 32% extra indifference!

It's Saturday morning once again, time to sit down with your feet up, a nice big cup of tea/coffee/Um Bongo and get stuck into this week's edition of The Grambler.  Last week did not go too well but then again, if you view it with the same endless optimism as Brendan Rodgers, it was an almost flawless performance!

And it should be an exciting one this week.  The glamour and romance of the FA Cup returns with some exciting ties taking place; non-league heroes Luton take on Millwall, Brentford have the chance to cause an upset at Chelsea and fallen greats Leeds take on Manchester City.  So which of these exciting games will The Grambler choose?  Em, none of them actually.  It's a ridiculously dull week and even at that, the predictions look unlikely.  But I am due some good luck so maybe this could be the week?

Game 1: Fleetwood Town vs Burton Albion
Prediction: Home win
This could be an important tie in the race for a the League Two  title.  The two teams are 5th and 6th respectively, separated by goal-difference alone.  However, Fleetwood have one game in hand over their opponents and a win today could take them into an automatic promotion spot.  Graham Alexander's men have exceeded expectations on their football league d├ębut and a promotion this season would be a massive achievement.  Burton have improved dramatically from last season, where they only managed a 17th place finish in the league.  They will be hopeful of making it five games without defeat today at the Highbury Stadium.
Odds on this result: Evens

Game 2: Forfar Athletic vs Alloa Athletic
Prediction: Away win
And from the excitement of League Two to the excitement of the Scottish Second Division, as the Loons play host to the Wasps.  Forfar currently sit 5th and are still in with a shout of a play-off place.  They have only lost three of their ten home games this season and top scorer Gavin Swankie already has 12 goals to his name.  Alloa are ten points clear of their opponents and sit in 2nd place following a good start to the season.  However, they have virtually no hope of catching runaway division leaders Queen of the South, who are 18 points clear at the top.  Alloa have only lost two games in their last ten and will be looking to continue this good form.  
Odds on this result: 11/8

Game 3: Bury vs Coventry City
Prediction: Home win
Bury are facing the threat of relegation to League Two after a poor season and manager Kevin Blackwell has said that expects his team to put up a fight to the very end.  In a disappointing season, the Shakers have only managed five wins in 31 attempts.  In their last ten games, they have mustered just one win.  The club recently had a transfer embargo lifted and have brought in former Hull and Derby striker Craig Fagan, who could get his first start today.  Coventry still have aspirations of promotion and are not too far from the play-off spots.  However, they have been plagued by managerial uncertainty this season and are now looking for their third manager of the campaign.  Mark Robins had taken the Sky Blues from the bottom of the table up to 8th, but his success caught the eye of Championship side Huddersfield who appointed him as manager midweek.  Caretaker Lee Carsley will be in charge today but could the change affect the teams performance?
Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 4: Hearts vs Kilmarnock
Prediction: Away win
Despite paying some of the highest wages in the SPL (when they actually remember to pay them), Hearts currently sit 10th in the table.  The top and bottom spots in the SPL are all but decided but the rest is incredibly open and the Jam Tarts could still be in with a chance of 2nd place.  They added Scotland international Danny Wilson and promising youngster Michael Ngoo on loan from Liverpool in the transfer window and both have made an immediate impact.  Kilmarnock have had mixed fortunes throughout the season and have drawn a few more games than they would have liked.  A fine win against reigning world champions Motherwell last weekend was followed by a good draw at Inverness midweek, they will be aiming to build on this form.  Manager Kenny Shiels will be watching from the stands after a sending off in the Inverness game.  His reaction was to climb on top of the dug out.  He appears to be a bit of a mental. 
Odds on this result: 3/1

Game 5: Ipswich Town vs Blackpool
Prediction: Home win
Ipswich make their second Grambler appearance in a row.  In a rare correct prediction, they lost to Blackburn last weekend.  Could the Tractorboys remain Grambler friendly with a victory this time around?  Ipswich may see a home game against managerless Blackpool as a good chance to move clear of the relegation zone.  They will also be encouraged by the fact that Blackpool have never won at Portman Road.  Blackpool started the season well but have been hampered by managerial change, with both Ian Holloway and Michael Appleton head-hunted by fellow Championship clubs.  The latest name to be linked to the vacancy is former England international Paul Ince whose son Tom currently stars for the Seasiders.  However, Ince has not exactly had a breathtaking managerial career and Blackpool may instead continue to pursue their number one target, Owen Coyle.  In the reverse fixture earlier in the season, Blackpool thrashed Ipswich 6-0.
Odds on this result: 8/5

It's not a great bet this weekend but not entirely inconceivable.  With a few away wins in there, the odds have risen to a respectable 167/1.  Or to put it in terms that we all understand, a £1 bet will get you 13.91 Grambler t-shirts!

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