Friday 26 April 2013

Week 34: Gramblersaurus, raaaaaaaaaawwwwwr!

This week, one rather peckish fellow has dominated the footballing headlines as Luis Suarez decided that it was a good idea to have a mid-game snack consisting of Branislav Ivanovic's forearm.  Strangely, the FA felt that this feast did not quite adhere to the rules of the game and promptly whipped out a ten match ban for the Liverpool based cannibal.  Absolutely everyone has had an opinion on this episode, including our glorious leader David Cameron who is worried about the example that Suarez's behaviour is setting for our children.  It's almost as good an example as taking your offspring to the pub and then leaving them there, eh Davey?

Elsewhere, coupons across Europe were busted as every armchair fan's former favourites Barcelona and Real Madrid were soundly beaten by every armchair fan's new favourites Bayern Munich and Borrussia Dortmund respectively.  The first leg results from the Champions League semi-final would suggest we may be looking forward to an all-German final at Wembley come May but the Spanish giants could have an element of bouncebackability in the return legs.  Sadly for Dortmund, it looks like their team will be ripped apart by the richer vultures of European football over the summer meaning that they will be unable to build upon this season's success.  Munich are unlikely to be disappointed by this seeing as they were first in on the act, with the capture of Dortmund's £30 million striker Mario Götze.

And in the Europa League... Who am I kidding, no one cares.

Two bets for you this week; the traditionally useless 5 game accumulator and the always so close but no cigar Premiership accumulator.  I have ditched the goalscorer bet as it is flawed in so many ways.  If anyone would like to suggest an alternative bet to take it's place, feel free.  I was thinking of something along the lines of a £1 bet on what Neil Lennon will cry about this weekend...

Five game all-league accumulator
Game - Result - Odds
Everton vs Fulham - Home win - 4/9
Wolves vs Burnley - Home win - 5/4
Hibs vs St Mirren - Away win - 21/10
Shrewsbury vs Portsmouth - Home win - 6/4
Chelsea vs Swansea - Home win - 1/3
£1 @ 33/1

At first glance, that is not too ridiculous a bet.  Two Premiership games in which The Grambler has selected the home sides and favourites to win.  In both cases, they could be considered must win games with a Europa League place up for grabs for Everton and third place within Chelsea's grasp.  In the Championship, Wolves are desperately trying to claw their way out of the relegation zone and this is their last home game of the campaign so again I get to use the very much overused phrase 'must win.'  Portsmouth have had a good week by their standards, having emerged from administration, agreed a fan's takeover and appointed Guy Whittingham as boss.  But Pompey are already relegated and with little to play for, along with Shrewsbury's recent good form, defeat may be likely.  And in the SPL, two teams who have had mixed seasons meet at Easter Road.  Home-side Hibs are due to play Celtic in the Scottish Cup final in May but find themselves 9th in the league.  St Mirren won the League Cup in March but are second bottom of the SPL.  Both teams evidently have moments of good play but can also be very poor so this game could go either way.

Three game Premiership accumulator 
Game - Result - Odds
Newcastle vs Liverpool - Home win - 15/8
Man City vs West Ham - Home win - 1/4
Aston Villa vs Sunderland - Home win - 5/4
£1 @ 7/1

In what looks like a fix, it's all home wins in this week's Premiership bet.  But home advantage is not everything, otherwise this betting lark would be a whole lot easier.  Newcastle set a high standard last season, playing some decent football and surpassing everyone's expectations with a 5th place finish.  However, Alan Pardew's side have struggled replicate their form this season and despite the odd good result, have been dragged into the relegation fight.  Liverpool are another team who have failed to live up to expectations.  Currently 7th in the league and now without suspended leading scorer and aforementioned bitey-person Luis Suarez, they may struggle to finish the campaign on a high note.  Manchester City have just handed the Premiership trophy back to their rivals from across the City and the talk of which multi-million pound signings they will be making this pre-season has begun.  Second place is pretty much safe for City but speculation surrounds the future of many players who will surely be keen to prove that they are worthy of another season at the club.  West Ham have had a better season than many would have expected and are currently 10th having gone 5 games unbeaten.  They also had a nice bonus recently after it was confirmed that the taxpayers of this country, allegedly a bit skint and in a double-dip recession, are buying them a new stadium.  Which is nice of us all!  Aston Villa and Sunderland square up in a relegation dogfight (why is it always dogs?  Why not giraffes?), with the home side having suffered yet another poor season.  At least they didn't do so with Alex McLeish at the helm this time though.  Meanwhile, Sunderland fans have already forgotten that their new manager is a horrible fascist after he won a few games, including thrashing much-hated rivals Newcastle on their own patch.  How fickle football fans can be!  Should he keep up the good start, the Black Cats could well be safe come the end of the weekend.  

An agreeable sum of £40 is on offer this week should The Grambler correctly predict all eight results.  As always, any winnings shall go to the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research.  Should you wish to play along at home, press the red button now......

Saturday 20 April 2013

Week 33: Nooooo, not Rolf!

They say that a lot can happen in a week of football.  This week virtually nothing happened and a man punched a horse.  That is this week's summary for you.

Here are the bets...

Five game accumulator from all leagues
Game - Result - Odds
Hamilton vs Raith - Home win - 5/4
Aldershot vs Dag & Red - Away win - 14/5
Queen's Park vs East Stirling - Home win - 2/7
Norwich vs Reading - Draw - 11/4
Liverpool vs Chelsea - Home win - 23/20
50p @ 88/1

Three game Premiership accumulator
Game - Result - Odds
QPR vs Stoke - Home win - 6/5
Sunderland vs Everton - Home win -9/4
Swansea vs Southampton - Home win - 13/10
50p @ 15/1

Three player anytime goalscorer accumulator
Player - Game - Odds
Olivier Giroud -Fulham vs Arsenal - 5/4
Sergio Aguero - Tottenham vs Man City - 8/5 
Juan Mata - Liverpool vs Chelsea - 5/2
50p @20/1

To save you the effort of dusting off the ol' calculator, I can confirm that the potential winnings of this week's bets combined are a humongous... £61.50!!!  As always, any winnings shall be donated to the good folks at the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research, for cancer is a half-witted rapscallion and should be stopped.  Grambling is the only way!

Saturday 13 April 2013

Week 32: Teri Hatcher's dead!?

Okay, so the whole horse racing thing didn't work out too well.  After a short trip to the dog food factory, I'm willing to put that all behind us and from now on stick to Buckaroo when I'm in the mood for horsing around.  And so we return to what we know best this week... Football!*  And by 'know best', I clearly mean what we know very little about but Google thankfully fills in the blanks.  

*Although I am tempted to put some money on the French to win the real -life Quidditch World Cup...

A week of Champions League excitement saw Borussia Dortmund leave it late to beat a spunky Malaga side, Galatasaray give Real Madrid a run for their money and an injured Leo Messi still managing to make the difference against PSG, setting up the goal to see them through to the semi-finals.  Another league manager was carelessly tossed onto the scrapheap as Sheffield United parted ways with 1980s Scottish pop-rock group Danny Wilson.  The incredibly unlikeable Neil Warnock has already emerged as a contender for the vacancy.  And the Daily Mail started a campaign to have a minute silence at each weekend game to mark the death of Big Mags Thatcher, apparently oblivious to the fact that a large proportion of the country were less than enamoured to her.  Because obviously any attempt to have a minute silence in the name of Thatcher would end well, wouldn't it?  It's almost as if they want to anger people and have them boo their way through a minute's tribute in order to whip up a frenzy and feed off the outrage...  Oh wait, it's the Daily Mail.  That's exactly what they want.

And on that note, we move onto this weekend's football.  The Tyne-and-Wear derby could be the pick of the Premiership games, although the prospect of Southampton vs West Ham is tremendously exciting... Chelsea and Man City square-off for a place in the FA Cup final whilst in the other semi-final, Wigan and Millwall will compete in a half-empty Wembley...  And in Scotland, Hibs play Falkirk and Dundee United face Celtic for a place in the Scottish Cup Final.  But what does The Grambler have to say about it all?  Well, this:

Five game accumulator from all leagues
Game - Result - Odds
Newcastle vs Sunderland - Home win - 19/20
Stevenage vs Yeovil - Draw - 12/5
Dag & Red vs Oxford Utd - Home win - 6/5
Leeds vs Sheff Wed - Away win - 21/10
Wolves vs Huddersfield - Home win - 11/10
50p @ 94/1

Three game accumulator from the Premiership and FA Cup
Game - Result - Odds
Stoke vs Man Utd - Away win - 4/7
Chelsea vs Man City - Home win* - 21/10
Southampton vs West Ham - Home win - 17/20
£1 @ 8/1
*Obviously not actually a home game.  Result is after 90 minutes.

Three player any-time goalscorer accumulator
Player - Game - Odds
Theo Walcott - Arsenal vs Norwich - 10/11
Wayne Rooney - Stoke vs Man Utd - 6/4
Christian Benteke - Aston Villa vs Fulham - 11/10
50p @ 8/1

And that's yer lot for today.  In the unlikely scenario that all predictions are correct, we will be handing over a whopping £54 to the Bobby Moore Fund.  In the more likely scenario that none are correct, we will be handing over a pitiful £0.  

Don't drink and Gramble.

Saturday 6 April 2013

Week 31: Now featuring horses!

Yes, you read that right... HORSES!  It's the Grand National weekend and whilst I couldn't normally care less about horse racing (it's pretty cruel to be honest), I seem to have a habit of picking a winning overgrown donkey each year.  But what sayeth The Grambler?  He/She/It has already proved him/her/it-self to be incapable of selecting winning football results, but how about winning horses?  So this week, we will have one five game accumulator from the football leagues and one horse flavoured bet from the Grand National.  I can't lose!  Unless I do, in which case I can.

On the football front, it has been another eventful week...  Stealing the headlines was horrible fascist Paulo Di Canio who has finally been criticised for being a horrible fascist.  Strangely, this was rarely mentioned during his playing days or management of Swindon but suddenly everyone has an opinion on it.  I would just like to point out that The Grambler first lambasted Di Canio for being a horrible fascist back in October and therefore everyone else is plagiarising.  I shall see you in court!  Whilst one irritable cretin gained a job, another lost one as Neil Warnock was sacked by Leeds.  Quite how so many managers are given one job after another for being atrocious (and making millions whilst there at it) is beyond me.  Warnock is said to be taking time out to promote his book.  Why on earth does Neil Warnock have a book deal?  What is wrong with the world?  Elsewhere, the Champions League provided some cracking goals and enjoyable games despite NOT ONE ENGLISH TEAM BEING IN IT!!!!  The media were left shocked that the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were able to produce watchable football without the involvement of the Greatest League in the World (TM).  Thankfully, David Beckham made an appearance for PSG to make life worth living again.  Adrian Chiles reckoned Barcelona did not win because they were starstruck in D-Becks' presence.  Adrian Chiles is a tool.

Five game accumulator from all leagues
Game - Result - Odds
Walsall vs Sheffield Utd - Home win - 17/10
Dundee Utd vs Aberdeen - Draw - 9/4
MK Dons vs Crawley - Home win - 10/11
Clyde vs Berwick - Draw - 5/2
Birmingham vs Millwall - Away win - 11/5
£1 @ 187/1

Another super-exciting bet this week, it's no wonder we're switching sports!  Four points separate Walsall and Sheffield Utd but the Blades have three games in hand over most of their League 1 rivals.  A 4-0 win over cash-strapped Coventry last week will have given the home-side confidence.  Dundee Utd play host to Aberdeen with both teams chasing a top 6 finish.  Craig Brown will take charge of the Dons for the last time in this clash, with Derek McInnes due to take up the reins.  The outgoing manager has claimed that he has 'left a legacy' for the new boss.  He really is full of shit.  Another close tie in League 1 as there are three points between MK Dons and Crawley.  Both could be outside bets for a play-off spot, but Dons boss Karl Robinson could be Championship bound anyway after being linked with the vacancy at Leeds.  Clyde have little left to play for this season, sitting five points clear of the bottom but ten points from the play-off spots.  However, Berwick are just one point from fourth place and will be eyeing the chance of promotion.  Birmingham and Millwall take on each other in probably the most pointless game of this week's bet.  Sitting 11th and 15th respectively, neither are in threat of relegation or challenging for promotion.  Both teams are in similar form so this one could go either way.  Not the most exciting bet this week but at least the odds are good.  

A huge 187 smackers will be heading for the Bobby Moore Fund should a miracle happen and The Grambler actually predicts more than two correct results.

Grand National 2013
Horse - Odds
Chicago Grey - 12/1 @ 50p EW
What A Friend - 50/1 @ 50p EW
Mumbles Head - 100/1 @ 50p EW

My immense knowledge of horse racing normally amounts to picking horses based purely on the name.  So for my in-depth analysis, each horses chances of winning are based purely on how good their moniker is...  First up, Chicago Grey; the odds are pretty good for this one and at present it is 5th favourite to win.  Chicago is an incredibly nice city, proving that this horse surely has a great chance of winning.  However, grey is quite a dull colour so it will definitely come second.  Makes sense, no?  What A Friend is a bit of an outsider but must surely stand a chance with such a happy name.  I imagine that his racing abilities are limited but he gets along ridiculously well with every other horse and always shares his sweets, there is not an enemy amongst them.  On this basis, the other horses might let him win just to be nice.  At 100/1, Mumbles Head doesn't stand a chance.  And no wonder with a name like that!  Conjuring images of a confused and lonely old man, potentially and alcoholic, this horse is inevitably bullied by many of the other horses.  Not by What A Friend though, he's too nice.

John McCririck eat your heart out!  No seriously, please do.  Live on TV.  Actually, I'm going to find out what the odds on that happening are...