Friday, April 14, 2006

Weekend Outlook (14 Apr 2006)

Manchester United vs Sunderland

"...We should have the Runner-Up spot delivered by Monday."
- JayWalk, 14 Apr 2006

The Easter flurry would usually decide more or less how the league table would finish, which is why this weekend is probably one of the more important ones in the fixture calendar. The outcome from the weekend will probably decide who survives the relegation battle. It will also the weekend that will probably decide who goes to Europe and who don't.

ManUtd's game today against Sunderland has got 2 significance. A win tonight would mean ManUtd closing the gap on Chelsea to just 4 points although it is just for 24 hours before Chelsea plays away to Bolton at the Reebok Stadium. We have seen in recently weeks that the Chelsea team are not as mentally strong as the previous season's. Cracks are starting to show with Chelsea winning only 3 of their last 5 games. Fergie is certainly hoping that Chelsea falters again then we'll have a real cracker of a title-decider come 29 Apr when ManUtd travels to Stamford Bridge.

Next, we look at Liverpool, who has played an extra game, has only got one game on Saturday while the rest of the teams have a second game on Monday. Already 5 points behind, Liverpool will be left further behind when ManUtd wins tonight and go 8 points up. What better opponent in the favour of ManUtd when Liverpool has to travel to Ewood Park to play Blackburn Rovers, a team that plays attacking football which Liverpool seemed to have a problem handling all season. I am expecting Liverpool to drop more points this weekend. Thereafter, all ManUtd need is a simple win at White Hart Lane over Spurs and the race for 2nd spot would be signed, sealed and delivered.

JayWalk The Talk: We have good news and bad news from the medical centre. Bad news is that Saha will not be playing as the French striker picked up a knocked during training and should be sitting this one out. Fortunately, the knock isn't really serious and we should have Saha ready on Monday against Spurs. The real good news is that Heinze is back from injury and will be expected to earn a seat on the bench. Given that this game against Sunderland would be an easy one, expect Fergie to give the Argentine defender a run-out onto the pitch in the final minutes.

If you look closely at the league table, ManUtd is the top scoring team with 66 goals, 2 more than leaders Chelsea. Sunderland on the other hand will be looking for a slaughter having only netted 4 goals in their last 8 games. I think Sunderland would have lost this match even before walking out of the tunnel.

JayWalk The Walk: People say that a high scoring victory is worth 3.5 points with the half point refering to the goal difference advantage should two teams finish on equal points. Bookies are giving Sunderland a 2-1/4 ball handicap and a 1.90 odds for Sunderland to win it. I am thinking a comfortable 2-goal victory in favour of the Red Devils and nothing more. ManUtd is already 10 goals ahead of Liverpool in goal difference and as such won't really need a big scoreline today. The strategy for today should be bang in the 2 goals early and then rest up all the key players ahead of Monday's more difficult game away to Spurs. I think even Rossi will get a chance to get a run-out as well.

We should have the Runner-Up spot delivered by Monday.

Stay away from this game. There are more than enough games to wager on this Easter weekend and so why bother to risk on a game whose handicap as bad as this?

Happy Easter, everybody!

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 5:50 AM, April 15, 2006, Blogger Acey Deucey said...

*Big Sigh* Title challenge gone under the most unexpected of matches.

At 9:09 AM, April 15, 2006, Blogger JayWalk said...

Would it be different if we drew Spurs instead of Sunderland?

Not say I want to say you lah... you hor, like the rest of the ManUtd team hor, never give enough respect to Sunderland and so now you kena bite backside. Although they are stuck at the bottom of the table and we scored 3 times more than then hor, people chao chao still Premiership team leh.

Remember back in 1984 when ManUtd (1st Division) kena beated 0-2 by Bournemouth (3rd Division) in the FA Cup?

Anyway, I supposed we expected too much from ManUtd for after all they did pull off a 9-game winning streak which itself already is very commendable.

The 2-1/4 ball handicap was just another bookie trap riding on the punter's euphoria.

At 7:29 PM, April 15, 2006, Blogger C.O.O.L said...

hai.. if only i have read your blog earlier..

At 8:31 PM, April 15, 2006, Blogger JayWalk said...

hey c.o.o.l,

welcome to the blog. Don't worry if you missed this Sunderland preview.

We have the Tottenham Hotspur game coming up. Stay tuned.


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