One of the great sporting competitions kicks off it’s proper first round this weekend, and The Gurgler is looking forward to the many clichés about minnows who are just happy to be this far advanced. To be fair, the minnows and the chance for potential upsets is why the FA Cup is anticipating so much.
It is a real chance for those who study a division that doesn’t have Premier in the title a chance to earn some nice coin with the unexpected and expected wins. It’s more a chance for teams with populations smaller than a Gold Coast United Football crowds to take on some good old fashioned teams, who have been there, done it, and been relegated from it.
Gladly, the BBC have taken back the rights in the UK, and the have split the first round over Saturday and Sunday giving the punters double the usual amount of fun, and saving the exhaustive effort of keeping up with 50odd games of football at once.
Away from the FA Cup, English teams had a bad week in the Champions League. Manchester City are entering a sort of crises despite winning their derby last weekend, given the amount of complaining on the BBC phone in podcasts. Looks as if many, many millions of dollars can’t make you play any better in the Champions League.
The biggest controversy was Liverpool who fielded an understrength side in anticipation of their pants being pulled down by Real Madrid, to more than likely save them for the Chelsea game. Anything other than a win will leave Brendan Rogers to absorb some abuse.
Chelsea and Arsenal will probably qualify for the next phase like they usually/always do, but draws will have been disappointing, especially the Gunners who gave away 3-0 against Belgian powerhouse Anderlecht.
The Europa League teams fared better, with the two remaining teams set to qualify for the next phase.
Further down, Bournemouth took the lead of the Championship. Manager Eddie Howe who dropped into the third div from Burnley recently EPL promoted to manage Bournemouth must be quite content given the two sides could swap placed. Looking very likely for Burnley who have yet to win a game.
Enough blabbing for now, there’s too much football to tip. Win, win, win, (loss, loss, loss).
EPL TIPS – $1 Multi pays $19
SOUTHAMPTON to beat Leicester
OVER 2.5 goals – QPR v MAN CITY
ARSENAL to beat Swansea
NEWCASTLE to beat WBA
MAN UTD to beat Crystal Palace.
CHAMPIONSHIP TIPS – $1 Multi pays $109
OVER 2.5 goals – IPSWICH V WATFORD
DRAW – Sheff Wednesday v Rotherham
DRAW – Derby v Wolves
BIRMINGHAM to beat Cardiff
READING to beat Charlton
FA CUP SATURDAY MULTI A – $1 pays $122
CAMBRIDGE to beat Fleetwood
GRIMSBY to beat Oxford
BRISTOL ROVERS to beat Tranmere
DOVER to beat Morecambe
EASTLEIGH to beat Lincoln.
FA CUP SATURDAY MULTI B – $1 pays $102
LUTON to beat Newport
BURY to beat Hemel Hempstead
BARNET to beat Wycombe
BARNSLEY to beat Burton
SHEFFIELD UTD to beat Crewe
PLYMOUTH to beat AFC Fylde
MK DONS to beat Port Vale
PETERBOROUGH to beat Carlisle
FA CUP SUNDAY MULTI – $1 pays $51
PORTSMOUTH to beat Aldershot
WOKING to beat Wrexham
COVENTRY to beat Worcester
NOTTS COUNTY to beat Accrington Stanley
STEVENAGE to beat Maidstone
BRAINTREE to beat Chesterfield
THE ULTIMATE CUPSET DAVID V GOLIATH MULTI – $1 pays $492
GOSPORT BOROUGH to beat Colchester
FOREST GREEN to beat Scunthorpe
WESTON SUPER MARE to beat Doncaster
HALIFAX to beat Bradford