With the possible exception of playing Scotland in a football match, nothing in life is easy.
After only three weeks of profitable football betting, the Premiership has to make way for its less attractive sibling, the International.
Luckily, Wales v England and Scotland v Italy both appear to be no-brainers, so what we lose in entertainment value, the reward of an 11/10 double on the away teams will provide adequate compensation.
Admittedly, the bookies cleaned up in England’s last match; betting slips were thrown like confetti as Denmark put four past a hapless English defence, but don’t read too much into that display, Sven treats friendlies like Wayne Rooney treats salad.
Speaking of Mr Rooney, the bulky striker looks a great bet to open the scoring. He was the only player to emerge with credit from the Danish pasting, and should be backed at 4/1 against a leaky Welsh defence.
John Terry will miss the match through injury, meaning Jamie Carragher has the dubious honour of looking after ‘Big Bad John’ Hartson. You can back the mad Welshman to be sent off at 25/1 while an English clean sheet is available at 4/6.
In order to solve the conundrum that is Scotland v Italy, I have concluded the following; in order for the Italians to take all three points, they will have to follow the correct directions to the stadium.
FIFA’s World rankings show that Scotland are still languishing behind crypto gambling Guatemala, Oman, Qatar, Mali and the mighty Democratic Republic of Congo; the closest the Scottish back four will come to an Italian is if they nip off for a spaghetti dinner after the match.
If Scotland were able to nick three points off the Azzurri, there would be more drunken Scotchmen on the streets of Glasgow than you would find on an average Hogmanay, but only the most optimistic/intoxicated of the tartan army will be taking the 5/1.
The lack of Premiership action hasn’t stopped the flow of the weekend specials, these beauties are all available at Super Soccer.
“Enter the Dragon” – John Hartson to score two or more goals 12/1
“Take a leek” – Wales to have a player sent off 7/1
“A bit sheepish” – Wales not to score 4/6
“Choir boys” – No Welsh player to be booked 11/2
“Taffy, Duck” – John Hartson to score with a header 8/1
“The Fab Four” – England to score four or more goals 9/2
“The Rolling Stones” – Rooney to be booked for diving 50/1
“Born Mouth” – Rooney to be booked for dissent 7/1
“Eton” – Rooney to score two or more goals 9/2
“The Oval” – Rooney to score a hat–trick 16/1
“No Sweat” – Scotland not to score 4/5
“Head Loch” – Kenny Miller to score with a header 10/1
“Have the crack” – Scotland to score two or more goals 4/1
“Happy Ness” – Scotland to score three or more goals 14/1
“Audley Haggison” – Scotland to have a player sent off 9/1
“Have a Pizza that” – Italy to score four or more goals 6/1
“Christian, door” – Vieri to be sent off 33/1
“Aless in Wonderland” – Del Piero to score two or more goals 11/2
“Roman, Off” – Italy to have a player sent off 12/1
“Pasta Joke” – Italy not to score 11/4
Quote of the week:
“It will be great to work for, erm, with Alan Shearer.”
Michael ‘Why aye man’ Owen’s Freudian slip.
Stat, you’re a liberty:
Wales are yet to win a game or even keep a clean sheet in a qualifying group that includes Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan.