All in all, it was a pleasing weekend across my picks, although it was disappointing that WBA couldn’t take advantage of a depleted West Ham side on Sunday afternoon. Big Sam has made his West Ham side hard to beat and WBA lacked the attacking flair to break them down. Given the rest of the results over the weekend, I wonder whether WBA are in for a pointless Christmas with Norwich the next visitors to the Hawthorns before difficult trips to QPR and Man Utd.
Elsewhere, I had highlighted Villa’s recent revival and the possibility that they might frustrate Liverpool at Anfield, but I certainly wasn’t expecting them to run away with it in the fashion they did. Having conceded just one goal at home in their last five games, it was a very disappointing performance from Liverpool’s defence. Please stop me if, full of sherry and mince pies, I try to forecast a Liverpool victory at any time over Christmas (or in fact over the course of this season)!
I was perhaps a bit lucky with the Man Utd vs Sunderland game after the Red Devils raced into an early two goal lead but could only manage to draw the last 70 minutes of the match. However, a comfortable Utd win with 4 goals ensured some decent returns. The draw between Stoke and Everton was very pleasing, especially with the correct scoreline. Meanwhile, QPR deserved their first win of the season and I’m glad we all got on board at the right time.
The Human Toothpick:
It was a mixed but ultimately profitable weekend for THTP’s picks. Saturday afternoon’s football got him off to an excellent start but Leinster and West Brom dampened slightly the weekend’s overall takings.
THTP put his faith in Wayne Rooney and he didn’t let him down. Open goal, bar, saves….it felt like it wasn’t going to be Wayne’s day on Saturday but eventually the pressure told and he continued his recent scoring run by notching his side’s 3rd goal. Over 2.5 goals in the Norwich game was pleasing, especially having highlighted the threat of Norwich’s danger men (good old Pilkington responding well to the pressure put on him in THTP’s write up). It pains him to say it, but THTP feels (given their relatively more generous odds) that he may be revisiting the Canaries at various points over the season. QPR completed THTP’s football hat-trick on Saturday afternoon. They did indeed need 2 goals, but an Adel Taraabt inspired QPR were reportedly excellent value for their first win.
The hop over to Dublin for the Heineken Cup was less successful. The French juggernaut was too much in the end for a surprisingly flat looking Leinster. The points side of the bet came in nicely, but despite a late rally, the Irish side couldn’t overhaul the deficit they conceded early on.
Finally, THTP’s foray into the boxing arena almost ended in a pleasing return. Molina made it 10 rounds, and despite taking a fair battering, it looked like he might just last the distance. In the end, he (or his corner) did the one thing THTP didn’t expect, and threw in the towel.