My infamous list was angrily yanked from under my pillow last Saturday evening. I scrawled ‘Arsenal’ in big black capital letters, with my man tears almost smudging it beyond recognition.
Some people say I overreact when I have a narrow acca miss, but I think I’ve found a good balance.
The Gunners’ shock defeat at the hands of Blackburn was the only result not to come through last Saturday, and is clearly the real reason for Arsene Wenger’s ‘rant’ ahead of yet another loss against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
I attempted an ambitious midweek coupon to try to make up for it, and fared quite well, but that was also ruined by some bizarre results from the likes of Cardiff, Leicester and Celtic.
But fear not, because I can smell that first win of 2013 (or perhaps my laptop is on fire), and have decided to try to be crafty about this week’s selection. No very obvious winners, just ‘likely’ ones.
If you agree with these tactics, then you can place the free £20 bet you receive for signing up to a bwin account today on this foursome and take away a buttock-warming £264.37 (assuming you spend it on an electric buttock warmer).
Hannover to beat Hamburg @ 8/5
I like starting my Saturday in the Bundesliga, full of beer, bratwurst and buxom wenches, and if you look close enough, there’s some football as well.
In theory, this should be a very tight game, with Hannover in eighth and Hamburg lying sixth, but it is the reason Hannover are eighth that I am backing the home side.
The Jekyll and Hyde of German football would be fourth if the table were based on home results, and third from bottom if it were based on away points.
Hamburg have won just one of their last six away games, while Hannover have won five of their last six at the AWD-Arena under Mirko Slomka.
Blackburn to beat Leeds @ 21/20
Both of these teams had huge FA Cup games last weekend, with very different results.
Rovers pulled off one of the shocks of the season as they dispatched Arsenal on their own turf thanks to a Colin Kazim-Richards goal, while Leeds were walloped 4-0 at Manchester City.
The Yorkshire club are in turmoil at the moment, with Neil Warnock being vocal about the issues he’s having to deal with behind the scenes, and going as far as admitting that he will leave Elland Road if he does not win promotion this season.
Blackburn have finally found some modicum of stability since Michael Appleton took the reins at Ewood Park, and although they were bested by Hull in midweek, they have won their last two home games, on top of that success at the Emirates.
Leeds have done pretty well at home, but it is away that their troubles are worrying, losing five of their last six on the road, and they have the third-worst away record in the Championship.
Oldham to beat Portsmouth @ 3/5
Portsmouth are rock bottom of League One, and thanks to their financial issues, have a new starting line-up on an almost weekly basis, though they have drawn their last two.
However, this weekend they travel to Oldham Athletic, who are on a high after they earned a late draw against Everton in last Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie.
The Latics have won their last two in the league and despite remaining managerless after Paul Dickov’s departure, they are playing well with a new strike partnership of Lee Barnard and Chris Iwelumo.
Brave Pompey have started to put up something of a fight, but a trip to Boundary Park will be too much for them in my opinion.
Manchester United to beat QPR @ 11/20
Oh all right then, here’s one small, little, measly ‘sure thing’, but come on, this is Manchester United we are talking about here.
The Premier League champions-elect can do no wrong at the moment, having won ten and drawn two of their last 12 league games, moved through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and made themselves slight favourites to progress to the same stage of the Champions League.
QPR have had an up and down campaign (mostly down) but after some serious transfer business in January, they look stronger and better equipped to fight the drop.
Harry Redknapp is throwing everything he has at a situation labelled ‘mission impossible’ when he took over, but it won’t be enough to take anything against the Red Devils, who will find a way to win, as they always do.
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave