Phil Daniels: “Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as parklife.”
Jack Nicklaus: “Confidence is the most important single factor in sport.”
John Baines: “I’m confident Chelsea will beat Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.”
Yes folks, as ever there’s a recurring theme running throughout my twice weekly £10 to £10k Challenge betting warblings and I’m pretty confident you’ve already spotted what it is.
After 12 successive bets coming in so far, I now sit down with relish to tell you where I’ll be staking my £66.64 this time around after over 1.5 goals were successfully scored in Real Madrid’s Champions League clash with Ajax in midweek.
I did go for a similar bet when Real played Manchester City on matchday one and although that game was scoreless for over an hour, I never doubted that there would end up being over 1.5 goals between two teams assembled for more money than Cristiano Ronaldo’s make-up cabinet.
Likewise, Madrid huffed and puffed for 40 minutes in Amsterdam with the Dutch side’s goal enjoying a charmed life but their luck was never going to last, much like mine may not with the £10k challenge.
However, I’m doing myself a bit of a disservice there because so far, all 12 bets have come in at a canter without the need for any last-minute winners or any nail-biting rearguard actions, such as in the first bet of the original £10k challenge.
Step by step, I’ve plundered bets with more than a hint of bravado in backing them up and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to hide my smugness when the cash register rings and my prize pot continues to rise.
Now, I’m well aware that I’ll probably be bitten on the backside at some point and I’ve prepared myself for that eventuality. In a Sigmund Freud sort of way I’ve been psycho-analysing the £10k challenge in comparison with life and death.
If the Dog and Duck reserves nick a point away to Barcelona, there isn’t much I can do about it. That’s akin to getting struck by lightning or hit by a bus. If I go down by lobbing my stake on something ridiculous like John Obi Mikel to have a shot on target this season – the proverbial death wish – then I’ve only got myself to blame. Until I get struck by lightning, my fate is in my own hands.
Now ordinarily I’m not into all this fate and superstition lark, which is why I’m not really bothered about the next bet being bet 13 – apparently unlucky for some. But in my current mental state of utmost enthusiasm, I can only see the unlucky recipients of this weekend’s punt being Norwich City, who should be doomed to failure against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
A mate of mine who’s a Norwich City fan said he was more confident of peace breaking out in the middle east over the weekend than the Canaries getting anything against the European champions and given Roberto Di Matteo’s men are riding high at the summit of the Premier League after an impressive showing at the Emirates last time out, I’m inclined to agree.
In my pre-match preview of Chelsea v Norwich I said I could see nothing other than a home win and I’ll back those words up by sticking my £66.64 on Chelsea to beat Norwich at 19/100 for the lucky 13th bet of the £10k challenge.
At almost 1/5, the price is good and makes sense given the gulf in class between the two teams. While Chelsea’s expensively-assembled superstars were bobbing and weaving past the Gunners last weekend, Norwich looked like a side heading in one direction as Liverpool tore them a new one at Carrow Road.
To labour the point further, Chris Hughton’s men are the lowest scorers in the division and although Chelsea have looked wobbly in Europe, domestically they’ve got the best defence, having kept four clean sheets in six games, and they are yet to concede a second-half goal this campaign.
But the damage is likely to come further forward and a side that have already shipped five goals against both Liverpool and Fulham will have a real task on their hands shutting down Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres.
Should this come in, I’ll be up to £79.30 and only another one or two bets away from penetrating the £100 barrier, at which point I’ve worked out I could be up to £200 in approximately five more bets and moving towards £500 in a further seven punts from there.
Now is that confidence, over-confidence or stupidity?
Bet 13: Chelsea to beat Norwich @ 19/100
Current Balance: £66.64
Potential Balance: £79.30
You can also have a dabble at the £10k Challenge courtesy of a free £20 bet with bwin. One follower on Twitter @alanpurser has done just that and has outstripped me in getting to £151, so what are you waiting for?