Saturday, December 03, 2005

Weekend Outlook (03 Dec 2005)

Manchester United vs Portsmouth

"...Lamb For The Slaughter..."

- Fly On The Windscreen, Black Celebration - Depeche Mode (1990)

Usually, when the news starts plastering non-football related news all over the headlines, one would normally suspect if the bookies are trying to throw you a smokescreen and distract you from focusing on the technicals of the game. Most of the punters lose because they were too emotional. When it comes to wagering, you need the mind of steel and stay disciplined on the facts and figures. A feat, unfortunately, few can achieve. I mean try asking a Scouser to bet against his own Liverpool Reserves say, against Chelsea First XI at Stamford Bridge and you would know what I mean.

Fortunately, for this game, ManUtd fans will not need to subject their nerves to the ultimate test for this games has Win, Win, Win, written all over it.

First we had Fergie's slump, then Keane's departure and now George Best's passing. Well, allow me to bring everybody's attention back to the field itself. May I?

ManUtd has home advantage although home record this season doesn't look too good on paper. However, I would take the earlier shock draws and defeats as minor glitches and think that ManUtd are more or less back in business and their current second spot is evidence of that.

Granted that their Euro performance is way below expectation, but I think ManUtd even against a full strengthed Pompey, should easily take all 3 points.

Gary Neville takes the Captain's armband permanently from this game onwards and we trust that he will not disappoint us as he has been an effective deputy serving alongside Keane for many years already. Pudgy Silvestre and Bumbling Ferdinand will need to pull up their socks if they wish to avoid the wrath of their new skipper.

We also welcome back Saha during midweek which gave Rooney and Nistelrooy a well-deserved rest ahead of this game. Fortune is also back while Solksjaer is on the brink of making a full recovery which indicates that morale in the changing room is on a high. Expect great things from ManUtd from now to the rest of the season.

The opposite can't be said for Portsmouth who presently wandering like a headless chicken without a manager. Portsmouth's fortune went downhill with the departure of Harry Redknapp when owner Mandaric stabbed Redknapp in the back by appointing Zajec last year to meddle with Redknapp's backroom. I have already said since a year ago on my blog (here and here) that Zajec at best was just a clueless administrator. The slap in the face led to Redknapp's resignation, shortly after. Now 11 months later, we see both Zajec and subsequent manager, Perrin, getting the boot.

And to think a year ago, I let my reader Pompeygory to contradict me about Zajec's ability over Redknapp. What impertinence!

Anyway, Portsmouth is currently under caretaker manager Joe Jordan (an ManUtd old boy) and it is really the short end for him to be taking over at this point in time as not only Portsmouth's form is in shambles, the squad is also missing quite a few key players due to injuries and illness. I wonder if they even have enough headcount to fill the squadsheet submission ahead of the game.

JayWalk The Talk: Bookies point towards a 1-1/2 ball handicap against the home side and so a home victory is never in question and a comfortable goal margin is also in the cards.

I doubt if Portsmouth can score any goals here, not because ManUtd's defense has strenghtened but rather Pompey's fire power doesn't even beat a water pistol at this time. Lua Lua may get a goal in but only because he is sibeh lucky like maybe Rio Ferdinand's clearance kena Lua Lua's backside and go into the net when Van der Sar sneezed at the crucial moment.

On the home side, 2 goals from a well-rested strike force shouldn't be a problem as long as midfield is in control and feeding the balls through. Fletcher, Scholes, Smith and Ronaldo should be enough to dominate the midfield. Many would have argued that Park would be a better selection but I think the sensational Korean needs to take a breather before burning himself out.

JayWalk The Walk: I think there shouldn't be any problem winning this comfortably unless Ferdinand hantam the ball into Lua Lua's backside and Van der Sar sneezed at the crucial moment twice! I am going for the home side and give the handicap.

Disclaimer: The above views are purely my own two-cents' worth. In other words, I cannot and will not guarantee that my predictions are accurate. If you want to bet on the game, do so at your own risk. Also, please bet responsibly and within your means regardless of how "sure thing" that game may appear to be. As the old saying goes, "The Ball Is Round". Good luck.


At 4:20 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger Merenwen said...

Andy's not daring to play on this match. We both feel the same - a Man Utd victory and 3 points in the bag for sure, but whether they can win by more than 2 goals is another matter given their home record - 1 goal in their last 6 league games only! *shudder*

Plus van Nistelrooy is suspended for this game after picking up his 5th yellow cards, so it'll be Saha up front with Rooney. Can they score more than 2? Hopefully Saha can put in a performance as good as his Carling Cup one.

Anyway, I totally agree with all you said about Man Utd being back on track finally. Hurray! Hope TPP win big-big and can buy me iPod! Heh.

At 10:06 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger kachuaz said...

man utd has this tendency to perform poorly in loop sided matches.

lets keep our fingers crossed.

At 9:04 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger JayWalk said...

Where did you get the idea RVN is suspended?

Anyway, it's a comfortable 3-0 victory while Arsenal and Wigan both went down.

As for the iPod, let Andy do the honours since he'll be making money off the bets too.

At 10:24 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Merenwen said...

Yeah I watched the match yesterday and he was playing. But he picked up his 5th yellow card in the last match against West Ham. Which means he was suspended for the Carling Cup match, and not rested.

At 7:41 AM, December 05, 2005, Blogger JayWalk said...

Er... if he was suspended for the Carling Cup match, then it also mean that he was rested for the Carling Cup match what.... no?

Right or not? Not playing = rested.

At 10:58 AM, December 05, 2005, Blogger Merenwen said...

He was not playing because of a suspension, the resting was just a nice side-effect of it.

It's a matter of PRINCIPLE! =p

At 6:24 PM, December 07, 2005, Blogger JayWalk said...

Principle your head lah.

Suspension = Not playing = Rest.

You ever heard of players exhausted from suspension?



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