Friday 29 March 2013

Week 30: Happy Jesus' death day!

Glad to be back to good ol' league football after an international break which proved devastating for both the Grambler's bets and my faith in the Scotland national team.  Wins for Holland and the mighty Uzbekistan on Tuesday gave us a grand total of two out of five correct predictions which the chairman has deemed 'not good enough.'  The newspapers were full of talk of The Grambler's imminent sacking on Wednesday morning but after crunch talks with the board, he/she/it has been given a vote of confidence, but been warned that results must change before the end of the season.  There will be a great deal of pressure on all staff at Grambler Park this week and some good predictions will be expected to alleviate shareholders and fans alike.

Five game accumulator from all leagues
Game - Result - Odds
Swansea vs Tottenham - Draw - 2/5
Aberdeen vs Hearts - Home win - 7/5
Preston vs Portsmouth - Home win - 4/6
Ipswich vs Leeds - Home win - 23/20
Queen of the South vs Brechin - Home win - 4/11
50p @ 39/1

With Tottenham looking to seize 4th place from rivals Chelsea, a trip to Swansea may appear daunting.  The League cup winners may be back in 9th place but their home form has been impressive this season.  Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has warned Spurs that they could suffer from the 'FIFA virus'; an illness comparable to chlamydia whereby a one-night stand with international football leaves one unable to perform.  Aberdeen have finally moved Granpaw Broon into a granny flat beside Pittodrie and appointed former St Johnstone boss Derek McInnes, breaking a club tradition of only stealing Motherwell managers.  The Dons sit 9th in the SPL, although the fans still reckon that it's 1989 and they're challenging for the title.  Hearts have already been through their annual managerial turmoil, replacing John McGlynn with Gary Locke who will inevitably be sacked at the end of the season anyway.  Preston boss Simon Grayson has pretty much written off this season but claims that the foundations are in place for a promotion push next year.  He has overseen just one win in six games since taking over.  Portsmouth look likely to continue their unstoppable slide down the leagues with relegation to League Two this year.  It's almost like spending beyond their means in the Premiership leading to financial instability and seasons of poor performances on the pitch was a bad idea.  Who was manager then again?  Oh yeah, 'Sir' Harry Redknapp...  Since taking over as Ipswich gaffer earlier in the season, Mick McCarthy has taken his side from bottom to something resembling safety.  However, the Tractorboys have the lowest number of goals for in the Championship.  And the worst nickname.  Neil Warnock has said that if Leeds fail to gain promotion to the Premiership this season, he will leave the club.  Currently 10th, a play-off spot is not mathematically impossible but with 2 wins in the past 10 games, he'd best start packing his  bags.

Three game accumulator from the Premiership
Game - Result - Odds
Wigan vs Norwich - Home win - 10/11
Southampton vs Chelsea - Home win - 5/8
Everton vs Stoke - Draw - 11/4
50p @ 24/1

Wigan have reached that point in the season where they occasionally remember to win some games but they are still in the relegation zone.  Roberto Martinez expects his team to attack and be aggressive in their fight for survival.  Apparently Callum McManaman took this too literally...  Norwich have had a good season, although with probably a few more draws than they would like.  They have already started planning for next season by bolstering their attack with a club-record signing of the man with the greatest name in world football; Ricky van Wolfswinkel!  Just months ago, Southampton looked like they were already doomed.  But the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino may prove to be a shrewd one with the Saints joint on points with Sunderland in 15th.  Pochettino's only 2 wins have come against Manchester City and Liverpool, so Chelsea might not seem so daunting to him.  The Blues have moved past Spurs to 3rd in the Premiership and Rafa Benitez will be looking to hold onto this position, lest the Chelsea fans somehow turn against him even more.  The reverse fixture ended in a 2-2 draw back in January, and this proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Nigel Adkins.  Everton will once again be aiming to finish ahead of their noisy neighbours this season and so far lead the way with a 3 point advantage as well as a game in hand.  They were surprise victors against Manchester City prior to the international break and will hope that this form will not have been disturbed by the interval.  Stoke look set to end the season with their usual mid-table finish having gained no new fans as a result of their style of football.  But on a positive note, they will no longer be lumbered with the waste of space, self publicising, deluded, former footballer Michael Owen.

Three goalscorer accumulator
Scorer - Match - Odds
Michu - Swansea vs Tottenham - 8/5
Dimitar Berbatov - Fulham vs QPR - 10/11
Edin Dzeko - Manchester City vs Newcastle - 20/21
50p @ 9/1

Michu will undoubtedly go down as the find of the season having cost Michael Laudrup just £2 million and going on to score 15 league goals already this season.  Spurs kept a clean-sheet against Swansea back in December and will be aiming to keep Michu quiet once again.  Berbatov has been a pleasure to watch in the Premiership for the past 7 seasons with some memorable goals.  He is Fulham's top scorer this season with 11 but was not on the scoresheet when QPR defeated Fulham 2-1 earlier in the season.  Dzeko is perhaps the one of the most under-appreciated players at Manchester City with rumours constantly abound that the Bosnian striker will be sold off at the end of the season.  With 12 league goals this season, he is City's top scorer.  However, Roberto Mancini may not start with the striker following his international involvement during the week.

And that's yer lot!  Three relatively plausible bets to follow this weekend which could bring in a massive £36 for the Bobby Moore Fund.  And as always, remember; if you are Grambling under the age of 12, make sure you do so with the help of a responsible adult.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Week 29.5: Down with this sort of thing!

The Grambler's weekend international bet did not go too well.  In fact, it is fair to say that it was utter pish...  Only two of the five predictions were correct as a bet which looked reasonable on paper was a disaster in reality.  On top of that, we may have set a new record for losing an accumulator at the earliest possible time, with Portugal's failure to win meaning that the bet was void by about 2.30 on Friday afternoon.

We had slightly better luck with the domestic bet.  One game was off due to the weather which is slowly throwing the entire country into meltdown, meaning that we only had to get four right to win a (reduced) total of £25.  And who managed to blow it?  The one team on the coupon that everyone would have expected to win, The Rangers Franchise FC!  Not even the dangling carrot of winning the Third Division title was enough to help them and their overpaid 'stars' to overcome Stirling Albion at Ibrox.  And yet Charles Green still thinks they belong in the Premiership...  They are now on my list of enemies.

Anyway, since there is a decent number of competitive international games taking place tonight, it would only be right to get some Grambling on the go.  Sticking with a five game accumulator picked at random for this one, and here are the results...

Game 1: Holland vs Romania
Prediction: Home win
Holland are the only team in Europe to have a 100% record in this round of qualifiers, having played five and won five.  They do tend to have a habit of playing well in the qualifying rounds but then failing to perform when the actual tournaments come around though.  With the Netherlands expected to win  Group D, the play-off place is pretty open with Romania and Hungary joint on 10 points and Turkey not far behind.  Romania have won three of their qualifiers to date, including a 1-0 win away to Turkey.  A 2-2 draw at Hungary on Friday was made all the more impressive by the fact that old, old man and former coke addict Adrian Mutu scored.  As the only striker in the squad to have scored more than 3 goals in their international career, the Romanians may be relying on him for a while longer if they are to qualify for the World Cup.  The teams met at Bucharest back in October and the Oranje left with a deserved 4-1 victory.
Odds on this result: 1/3

Game 2: Turkey vs Hungary
Prediction: Home win
Sticking with Group D, Turkey take on Hungary knowing that they must win to stay in contention for second place.  Victory this evening could take them to within a point of a the play-off spot but defeat will leave them seven points from opponents Hungary.  A 2-0 win at Andorra on Friday was a good warm-up for the Turks.  Hungary, twice runners-up in the World Cup, have not qualified since 1986 but will be looking to rectify this following a good start to this campaign.  They have already defeated Turkey 3-1 back in October on home soil and a win tonight will leave them vying with Romania for the play-offs (or for first place if they feel particularly ambitious).  Veteran Gabor Kiraly suggested that their team team spirit and mentality are second to none; "Our team spirit and mentality are second to none", he said.
Odds on this result: 7/10

Game 3: Serbia vs Scotland
Result: Draw
Oh dear... Having watched playing on Friday night, it is fair to say that anything bar 'Scotland to lose' is a bad bet.  Gordon Strachan insists that he wants his players to raise their game after the defeat to Wales, which really shouldn't be too hard after that performance.  Hopefully, Strachan will be the Scotland manager to finally realise that Kenny Miller upfront alone is no longer an option.  The current qualifying campaign is essentially a write-off with the new challenge being 'don't finish bottom and find a settled, young team with good spirit in time for the Euro 2016 qualifiers.  Christ, supporting Scotland is depressing!  Serbia have as little chance of qualifying for the World Cup as Scotland but have at least won a game, a 6-1 thrashing of Wales meaning that they have double the points tally of the Scots.  The teams played out a goalless draw back in September at Hampden and both will be looking to restore some pride after a string of defeats.  
Odds on this result: 3/1

Game 4: Northern Ireland vs Israel
Prediction: Home win
Surprisingly, Northern Ireland have only lost one game in this campaign.  They have drawn three and had one game called off, but still to make it to round 6 of games and only lost once is quite an achievement.  The cancelled game against Russia on Friday will not have been ideal preparation for Michael O'Neill's side as they look to keep the gap between themselves and the three potentially qualifying teams respectable.  A 1-1 draw way to Portugal in September will have given N'ireland belief that they can hold their own against anyone in the group.  Israel can also claim a draw with the Portuguese amongst their good results following their 3-3 match on Friday.  Two victories over bottom placed Luxembourg have left the Israelites second, ahead of Portugal on goal difference.  It is still unlikely, but it would be ridiculously entertaining to see how FIFA would handle the inevitable political shit-storm if Israel were to qualify for the World Cup.   
Odds on this result: 9/4

Game 5: Uzbekistan vs Lebanon
Prediction: Home win
Probably the highlight of this week's selection and I think we will all agree that Lebanon don't a chance.  Mon the Uzbekistan!  It would appear that, since I put this bet on this morning and am only now getting round to writing this now, Uzbekistan have already won this match 1-0!  Hooray!  So that's one down and four to go, I can already smell victory!
Odds on this result: 3/10

Which gives us odds of 38/1 for this midweek international bonanza!  Just think of what you could buy with all of that money!  Three official Grambler t-shirts...  Two official Grambler t-shirts and a couple of nice Easter eggs...  One official Grambler t-shirt and four nice Easter eggs...  That's about it really.

Anyway, fingers crossed for a better performance than the weekend's.  Back to business at the weekend with the return of league football.  

In the meantime, if you would like information about our new Grambler's Anonymous helpline, please click here.

Friday 22 March 2013

Week 29: Why didn't Dan Petrescu ever present Pet Rescue?

Shall we get the ball rolling by reviewing last week's performance?  It was utter bollocks.

With that out of the way, we can look forward to this weekend's footballering action.  And it's an exciting one as international football makes a welcome return!  The game everyone is talking about, of course, is Scotland vs Wales.  And the question on everyone's lips is will Gareth Bale play?  Or will Wales have to actually rely on other players and win without the assistance of a penalty won by a blatant dive from a simian lookalike twat?  Elsewhere, the media would have us believe that England's qualification chances are in TURMOIL as a 34 year old defender who hasn't represented his national team for two years opted not to play against a team who have managed one solitary win in their history.  It's a SHAMBLES!  And to complete the home nations round-up, Northern Ireland are probably going to lose to Russia.

Whilst all of this super-exciting international football is taking the place, the lower leagues are still in action.  So we shall have a five game coupon for both the World Cup qualifiers and the remainder of domestic action this weekend.  And might I remind you that The Grambler's biggest victory to date came on an international weekend back in October?  Fingers crossed for more of the same!

International Bet
Game - Result - Odds
Croatia vs Serbia - Home win - 8/11
Norway vs Albania - Home win - 9/20
Liechtenstein vs Latvia - Draw - 11/4
Israel vs Portugal - Away win - 11/20
Luxembourg vs Azerbaijan - Away win - 6/5
£1 @ 31/1

Four reasonable picks in there, one would think that Croatia, Norway and Portugal will be victorious in their games.  Azerbaijan deserve to win because their name rolls of the tongue so nicely...  Not too sure about Liechtenstein to draw but stranger things have happened at sea.  Latvia won 2-0 in the reverse fixture but with home advantage, the 'Steinies could possibly sneak a draw.

Domestic Bet
Game - Result - Odds
Rangers vs Stirling - Home win - 1/10
Arbroath vs Stenhousemuir - Home win - Evens
Northampton vs Oxford - Home win - 23/20
Torquay vs York - Home win - 7/5
Swindon vs Notts County - Draw - 3/1
£1 @85/1

Starting at Ibrox with Rangers Franchise # FC, the home side all but have the Third Division sewn up.  A win tomorrow could put them 23 points clear at the top.  Up one division, Arbroath have not won against Stenhousemuir in the past 5 years.  They are currently 3 points ahead in Division Two.  In the first of two games in League Two, Northampton take on Oxford whom they defeated twice last season.  The reverse fixture this season ended in a 1-1 draw.  Meanwhile, Torquay host York.  The Gulls have lost their past 4 but have already beaten their opponents 2-0 this season.  In League One, one would expect Swindon to defeat Notts County but the Robins have drawn 3 of their last 5 home games whilst the Magpies have drawn 3 of their last 5 away.  I like to think that means something.

Overall, not too bad a bet with good odds.  Portugal have already screwed up the international bet by drawing 3-3 in Israel so all hope rests upon this domestic accumulator.  I am 63% confident of a win.  So basically, not very confident.

Happy Grambling! 

Thursday 14 March 2013

Week 28: All hail Pope Franny Jeffers the First!

Ah, the excitement of Grambling!  Or it is slightly more exciting anyway, thanks to the New! Improved flavour! Grambler.  Last weekend saw us reach half past 5 in the afternoon with two bets still in with a chance of winning...  That,s right, TWO BETS!!! And in a somewhat strange twist of events... One of them actually won!  Granted, it was only £4.50 (damn you Edin Dzeko, you were supposed to score!) but every little helps as we attempt to bring down the bastarding super-villain better known as El Cancero.  With that win, The Grambler (with help from The Grasmblerzhgi) has raised £88.53 for the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research.  Hooray!

It makes sense to stick the format which brought mild success last week so we have a further three bets to enjoy this weekend.  If you don't want to know the full-time scores, look away now:

Bet 1: Five game accumulator from all leagues
Game - Result - Odds
Celtic vs Aberdeen - Home win - 1/4
Annan vs Clyde - Home win - 4/5
Coventry vs Hartlepool - Home win - 8/11
MK Dons vs Tranmere - Draw - 9/4
Forfar vs Stenhousemuir - Away win - 23/10
50p @ 41/1

"It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes..."   So sang William Hague, or some other person; I'm not really sure.  Such is the excitement of this week's opening bet.  Can ya feel it!?  No?  Ok , it is slightly dull and for some reason, Coventry keep appearing - perhaps taking all of their turns whilst the club still exists?  There is a potential slip-up for SPL leaders Celtic as Aberdeen travel South... Annan vs Clyde sounds more like a case being dragged through the civil law courts...  Tranmere will still be hopeful of topping League One and a win in Milton Keynes could move them to second spot...  And Stenhousemuir are just not going to beat Forfar but will enjoy the trip and have the chance to stop for some bridies on the way home.

Bet 2: Three game accumulator from the Premiership
Game - Result - Odds
Tottenham vs Fulham - Home win - 4/9
Aston Villa vs QPR - Draw - 12/5
Man Utd vs Reading - Home win - 1/7
£1 @ 4.6/1

In this weekend's actually interesting bet, the odds are low but the chances of winning are (hopefully) high.  We start at White Hart Lane where Spurs take on Fulham.  Spurs are one of the top teams on form in the Premiership right now but a loss to Liverpool last weekend prevented them from cementing their stranglehold on third place.  Speaking of form, Aston Villa are a bit crap.  The gamble of bringing in Paul Lambert as manager has not quite paid off, but the fans don't mind because he's not Alex McLeish.  Speaking of managers, QPR's Harry Redknapp... Actually, I'm not going to bother.  In other QPR news, on-loan Spurs winger Andros Townsend this week admitted that he's not Gareth Bale, ending month's of speculation.  And a formality to round things off as champions-elect Man Utd take on managerless relegation-fodder Reading.  And according to one journalist, Brian McDermott got the sack because owner Anton Zingarevic didn't find him sexy enough.  Paulo di Canio seems to have emerged as a frontrunner for the vacancy; a folk- hero loved by the people for his crazy antics.  Like being a horrible, violent, self-professed fascist.  Ah crazy Paulo, what will he do next?

Bet 3: Three goalscorer 'anytime' accumulator
Scorer - Game - Odds
Wayne Rooney - Man Utd vs Reading - 1/2
Santi Cazorla - Swansea vs Arsenal - 9/4
Shane Long - Stoke vs West Brom - 9/4
50p @ 15/1

This week's 'anytime goalscorer' bet kicks off with a man who has been in the news a lot recently.  Sir Alex Ferguson this week assured the fans that Wayne Rooney would not be sold at the end of the season, which in Sir's terms generally means he's going to sell him at the end of the season.  Rooney is getting slower, fatter, balder and uglier (wasn't that a Daft Punk song?), but PSG have been linked with a big-money move for the man who can still score plenty of goals.  Santi Cazorla has been one of the brighter points of Arsenal's season as they have crashed out of competition after competition.  Following their narrow failure to survive in the Champions League this week, Arsene Wenger will be expecting a positive reaction.  Can Cazorla assist with a goal?  All signs point to maybe... And finally, Shane Long has already provided West Brom with a respectable six goals this season.  But unfortunately for him, the only reason anyone remembers his name is because he has partenered Simon Cox for club and country.  Making a strike duo of Long - Cox.  Fnar fnar!

A humongous total of £50 is up for grabs this week as The Grambler promises all of the excitement of an episode of Fun House, but without the fun house.  Or the mullet.  Or the go-karts.  Or the twins.  Or the chance to win a fleece.  There is actually very little by way of comparison now that I think about it...

Saturday 9 March 2013

Week 27: Vote Grambler for President of Venezuela!

Still buzzing from the success of The Gramblerzghi last weekend, I have become all the more determined to win some bets and send the proceeds over to the Bobby Moore Fund to assist in the war against bowel cancer; a war which has raged on for 87 years during which time a number of frankly unspeakable war crimes have been committed.

This determination has brought a massive realisation during a brief moment of clarity. In the old format, I did not win very much. With that in mind, famous popular music singer David Bowie has announced "The Grambler is ch-ch-ch-changing.". Poor old guy never did get round to working on that stutter...

So instead of one highly unlikely bet, we now have one highly unlikely bet plus two potential (but unlikely) winners.  The odds on the second and third bets are rather low but any winnings are good winnings.  So without much Freddy Adu, I present to you the all new Grambler (which I'll probably only stick with for one week before becoming lazy and complacent.)

Bet 1: Five game accumulator from all leagues

Game, Result, Odds
Stranraer vs Albion Rovers, Home win, 7/10
Scunthorpe vs Coventry, Home win, 2/1
Peterborough vs Ipswich, Away win, 2/1
Birmingham vs Derby, Home win, 13/8
St Johnstone vs Kilmarnock, Home win, 10/11
50p @ 76/1

Bet the first is pretty much the same as the usual farfetched Grambler bet.  Once again, a win looks unlikely here... Perhaps 3 out of the 5 will come out correct.  However, whilst said scenario is possibly the best outcome, them pets don't win prizes as Dale Winton used to say... Actually, I'm not sure that he ever did say that.  I was about to Tweet him and ask but the only accounts for him seem to be fake. So I tweeted original PWP host Danny Baker instead.  

Bet 2: Three game accumulator from the Premiership

Game, Result, Odds
Man City vs Barnsley, Home win, 1/7
West Brom vs Swansea, Home win, 29/20
Norwich vs Southampton, Draw, 12/5
50p @ 9/1

Our second bet aims to make The Grambler a touch more exciting by focusing purely on the Bestest League in the World.  For most people, the Premiership represents more exciting football than Torquay vs Accrington Stanley.  So by placing a bet only on Premiership games, the weekend may not be ruined even though the early kick off League Two game has already lost the main bet.  The FA Cup includes many top tier teams this weekend so these games have been included, hence the presence of Barnsley. The bet is not too shabby; Man City are the clear favourites in their match, West Brom have tremendous home form behind them and both Norwich and Southampton are prone to draws.  I should really have included a joke about Tevez putting City in the driving seat just there...

Bet 3: Three man anytime goalscorer accumulator from the Premiership

Player, Odds
Romelu Lukaku, 6/5
Edin Dzeko, 8/13
Steven Fletcher, 6/4
50p @ 8/1

Mixing things up a little, we have a goalscorer bet for the first time ever.  This is a historical moment, perhaps on as par with the moment that the Pope assassinated Trotsky on the moon.  Picked via random number generator from a list of all Premiership players to have scored 5 or more goals this season, the results are interesting.  West Brom's on-loan Lukaku has been in good form recently, whilst Dzeko can be good for a goal if Man City are in control...  The main problem is that he may not start.  Finally, Sunderland's Steve Fletcher has 10 goals thus far, most of which have come at home.  Unfortunately they are away to Ol
' Melty Face Redknapp's QPR this afternoon.  Still, this bet may just make this afternoon's Grambling that little bit more enthralling.

A massive total of £48.50 up for grabs today from a £1.50 bet.  Should this format come anywhere close to success I'll be sticking to it.  Otherwise, I'll be doing a Cardinal Keith and pretending that this never happened...

Happy Gramblin!

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Week 26 Results: Complimenti! Sapevamo che ce l'avresti fatta!

Well The Grambler did get one prediction correct on Saturday... The prediction that the bet presented was a steaming pile of monkey faeces.  Of the five predictions made last weekend, one... yes that's right, ONE was correct.  This would normally be quite disheartening but for once I shall not be dwelling upon this hopeless, embarrassing, depressing result.

For you see, last weekend was not entirely wasted as The Grambler's official Serie A partner The Gramblerzhgi has been raking it in!  For those you not in-the-know, The Gramblerzhgi has been running for the past seven weeks and is the brainchild of our very own Italian correspondent Andino Tinicelli.  The Gramblerzhgi has placed a number of bets each week at random using the games of Serie A, top goalscorers and occasional other bets that I probably don't even understand.  And this weekend, it paid off with a win of £25 (approximately €29.02)!  Sig. Tinicelli has kindly agreed to get on board with The Grambler and donate the money to them lovely peoples at the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research.  Take that cancer, you shit!

This brings the total raised by The Grambler/Gramblerzhgi to....

Hopefully the first of many wins for Sig. Tinicelli!  You can follow the exploits of The Gramblerzhgi via the Grambler Facebook page every weekend or over on that Twitter @Gramblerzhgi.  And don't forget, you can join the fundraising action by following the link to the Bobby Moore Fund on the right-hand menu.  Do it!

Saturday 2 March 2013

Week 26: Or Week 221 in dog years.

BREAKNG NEWS!: An inquest to be held over the lack of successful predictions made by The Grambler. A spokesman for the genderless spreadsheet confirmed "there has been unrest caused by the terrible results selected by him/her.  We have demanded an investigation to identify why he/she continuously coerces us into placing awful bets."  The inquest will be led by Lord Benjamin Terence Parsnip Poshington III and findings are to be presented by January 2015.  

Basically, I'm admitting that I won nothing last week.
Moving on to this week's bet and there's no point in beating about the bush, I may as well just say it; we're screwed already. Game over, man, game over!  If this bet actually wins anything, I will eat a huge platter of IKEA brand horse balls. It's almost worth placing a bet on the opposite of The Grambler's choices, although I'm not too sure what the opposite of a draw is...

So now that I've built up your expectations, here's that bet...

Game 1: Arbroath vs Ayr United
Prediction: Home win
Starting out with the big one, we head for Arbroath for some smokies and some Second Division football.  It's the Red Lichties against the Honest Men in this battle of teams with slightly strange but at least original nicknames.  Only two places separate the two in the league table... but Arbroath are looking to move into the promotion playoff places with a win whilst the visitors will hope to avoid being dragged into a relegation dog fight with a loss.  The home side lost 2-1 when hosting leaders Alloa last weekend and Ayr suffered from a similar scoreline at home to Stenhousemuir.  Form does not tell us much but could The Grambler get off to a good start with a win from the Smokiemunchers? Player/manager Paul Sheer in, in an exclusive Grambler interview, said "maybe."
Odds on this result: 7/2

Game 2: Brentford vs Scunthorpe United
Prediction: Home win
The excitement continues as we head down the country to Griffin Park as the Bees take on the Iron in this contest between two sides with less exciting nicknames.  Uwe Rosler's Brentford team are flying high in League One and still in with a chance of promotion as the season run-in begins; Rosler proving that he is more than just a useful signing in 1997/98 Championship Manager.  Fresh from putting up a brave fight against horrible, horrible Chelsea in the FA Cup, the Bees won 2-1 at Crawley last week to take them 5th in the league and just four points from the top.  At the other end of the table, Brian Laws is nervously glancing back as his Scunthorpe side sit just three points from the relegation zone.  A 1-0 win at Stevenage last weekend would have allowed United to breathe a sigh of relief but they are still at risk of dropping into League Two, thus heaping shame upon local celebrity and BBC weatherman Darren Bett.   Odds on this result: 7/10

Game 3: Coventry City vs Swindon Town
Prediction: Draw
Staying in League Two, and two teams that have been in the headlines recently for different reasons.  First up Coventry, who continue to do their financial situation huge favours by refusing to submit their accounts to the league for the third season running, thus ensuring a fine and another transfer embargo.  Fantastic work from all involved with the running of this club!  City are however still fairing well in the league, in 8th place and still within reach of the playoffs.  Back to back away wins sandwiched a home loss, so home form is not everything.  Meanwhile, Swindon are feeling the effects of breaking up with a psychotic girlfriend manager as well known mentalist Paulo Di Canio walked out on the club, broke back in to steal paintings and is now threatening to sue for some reason or another.  Mostly because he's a mentalist.  The team are soaring in the league though, currently in 4th position.  Former Aston Villa coach Kevin MacDonald has just been installed as manager and will be looking to start his reign with a good result.  His brother, Steve from Coronation Street, will be cheering him on.
Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 4: Everton vs Reading
Prediction: Away win
This is where it starts to get a bit unlikely.  Everton could close the gap on Arsenal with a win today whilst Reading look almost certainly doooooomed.  Yet The Grambler has picked the underdogs to win this tie at Goodison Park.  Stranger things have happened... In fact, just last week, the Toffees visited Carrow Road where they were surprisingly humbled by Norwich.  But surely David Moyes will not let this happen two weeks in a row?  Goalkeeper Tim Howard could be ruled out through injury which may give Reading hope.  The Royals are second bottom in the Premiership at the moment and look destined to join QPR back in the Championship.  But it was famously a late surge last season that earned Reading their place in the top tier and Brian McDermott will be hoping for more of the same in the last 13 games of this season.  If it helps to include the opinion of two extremely unlikeable twats, Mark Lawrenson says 2-0 to Everton and Piers Morgan goes with the same prediction.  But then remember, Hulk Hogan was better at predicting results than the 'expert' ( I'm not letting that one go, it's my licence fee dammit!)
Odds on this result: 9/1

Game 5: Hearts vs Motherwell
Prediction: Home win
Now we're just being silly... Motherwell, of course, defeated current champions Celtic on Wednesday to become Official Scottish Champions (that's how it works, right?)  Despite an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Ross County last weekend, the Well bounced back in style to move second in the SPL once again.  European football could be coming to Fir Park yet again, and along with the return of King James of McFadden, things are looking up in Lanarkshire.  Meanwhile, Hearts did what they do best this week - sacked another manager.  John McGlynn, no one really knew how he got the job as manager anyway, walked away with his side comfortably in 11th place and with just two wins in the last ten games.  Vladimir Romanov is understood to be considering appointing fictional Lithuanian Jurgis Rudkus, the protagonist of Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle, to the post.
Odds on this result: 6/4

As this week's bet is so ridiculous, the odds are massive... 649/1 massive! Being the sensible type that I am, I am only sticking 50p on this coupon (hey, big spender!) to save the pennies for another Grambler.  Should I win, I may go mental at the thought of losing 300 odd quid, but I won't (possibly file under 'famous last words').

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And don't Grambler and drive!