I am sorry Juventus, really I am. The Old Lady’s forty-nine game undefeated streak came to a halt last weekend as they lost 3-1 at home to Inter Milan in Serie A, despite my tip that Antonio Conte’s side would bring up the big 50 with a win. Luckily for me though, my coupon wasn’t reliant on a home victory.
Perhaps ‘luckily’ isn’t the word, but thanks to Chelsea’s inability to hold on to their lead at Swansea, the wins of Lille and Accrington Stanley proved to be in vain, and Juve’s loss was not as painful as it could have been.
As I feel in a kind of old fashioned mood this week, I have plumped for four games from England, and yes, I have dipped my toes in the League One fountain again. Just wait until you see which side I have backed.
If, like me, you’ve had to sell your coat to buy shares in financially troubled Spanish club Real Oviedo, then why not throw the free £20 bet you get for signing up to bwin on this acca to have a chance of scooping £240. Then you can buy a new coat so that you don’t feel the chill this winter. Or of course you could just move to Oviedo.
Arsenal to beat Fulham @ 12/25
It’s that time of year again. Arsenal have dropped a few points, conceded a few goals, and the big player they sold in the summer is shining at his new club, which means that Arsene Wenger needs to go and the board needs to spend.
That is at least the feeling of several of the Gunners faithful on Twitter (led by the outspoken Piers Morgan) and could be taken from any of the previous four or five seasons. However, I’ve read this script before, and it does get better Arsenal fans, honestly.
Fulham scraped a home draw with Everton last week despite being dominated for large periods and have a notorious inability to get points away from Craven Cottage, picking up just five wins from their last 24 top-flight trips.
Wenger’s men threw away a two-goal lead in Schalke in midweek, but a score draw against the high-flying German side was not a terrible result, and although it may be close, I would certainly back the Gunners to triumph against Martin Jol’s charges at the Emirates.
Crystal Palace to beat Peterborough @ 13/10
Ian Holloway must not be able to believe his luck. A has contract dispute at Blackpool, then gets offered the Palace job, wins 5-0 in his first game in charge and is immediately top of the league.
Despite having Dougie Freedman wrestled from them by Bolton, the mood is high at Selhurst Park as the irrepressible Bristolian tries to guide Palace into the Premier League, just as he did with the Tangerines three seasons ago.
Peterborough were often picked on early in the campaign by this punter, and with good cause as they lost their first seven games, though they have picked up since, winning four of their last eight.
However, with the Eagles flying high (sorry), I believe that ‘new manager’ syndrome will win through and the Championship leaders look great value at 27/20 to triumph at London Road.
Stevenage to beat Preston @ 27/20
That’s right, Stevenage. Scrape the porridge you’ve just spat over the screen away, and keep reading.
The Boro ruined a perfectly good accy two weeks ago as they inconsiderately lost 4-0 at home to Swindon, but you know the old phrase, ‘once bitten, twice eager’.
They may have won only three of their eight games at Broadhall Way this season but they produced a sublime 3-1 win at Yeovil in midweek to climb back to third in the League One table. This Saturday they face a Preston side suffering a poor run of form.
North End have accumulated just six points from their last six games and were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Carlisle on Tuesday. Last chance to appease me Stevenage, last chance.
Manchester United to beat Aston Villa @ 1/2
Robin van Persie was the only Manchester United man not jumping for joy as he blasted the ball past Vito Mannone last weekend and helped the Red Devils cement their place at the top of the Premier League.
A week on, United travel to face an Aston Villa side who have not had the best of starts to the season, though Paul Lambert’s men did pick up a rare away win at Sunderland last week.
However, it will be a big ask for the Midlands club to push on from that win this weekend as Sir Alex Ferguson’s boys come to town.
United have won 31 of the 42 meetings between the sides since 1993, while Villa have bested the Reds on just two occasions.
Last year’s Premier League runners-up are already looking good to go one better this year, and I am very confident that the evening kick-off at Villa Park will see another United victory to wrap up our 11/1 accy.
That’ll do it for this week. I’m off to book my flight to Oviedo to see what else I can do to help save Los Azules. If you’re wondering, the life of a (very) minority shareholder of a third-tier Spanish club isn’t all Pina Coladas and caviar, although they do still feature.