Go with a smile!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Football Betting Season 2 Week 13

On Saturday I didn’t see anything worth punting on. On Sunday I considered punting on 2 matches – Blackburn vs Man U, and Tottenham vs Portsmouth. Blackburn vs Man U - I thought that Man U had to win this match if they wanted to continue to be in the hunt for the Premier League. But then I remembered how Blackburn had sabotaged me by drawing with Chelsea a few weeks ago. So I decided not to punt. Good for me, the match was a goalless draw, with Man U showing how badly they missed Wayne Rooney, and how inadequate a replacement Berbatov is.

The other decision I made, to punt on Tottenham vs Portsmouth is something I had cause to regret. On paper, it seemed like a sure win situation. Tottenham was chasing 4th place. Portsmouth were already relegated. They were in administration, the first team to enter administration while still in the Premier League. But I should have taken a few other factors into consideration.

First, Portsmouth have a lot of players on pay as you play. That means that a lot of their best players were not available for the Premier League (which is why they did so badly in EPL). But the club evidently decided that the players could take a shot at the FA cup, which is why they did so well in the FA cup. This also means that a lot of their best players are still fresh, as opposed to other players in Tottenham who had to give their all week in week out.

Second, since Portsmouth are down, a lot of their players are looking to leave the club. They obviously can up their game in this match, since a lot of people will be watching. I don’t know whether they still have their bonuses for winning the FA cup.
The fact that they managed to beat Birmingham city in the last round (and Birmingham have been the best side this season outside those competing for the top 4 places) should have been a warning for me.

Well, incredibly, they will meet Chelsea in the final. I don’t remember a team being relegated and reaching the FA Cup final since Middlesborough played against Chelsea in the 90s. (In fact Middlesborough reached the finals of both domestic cups, and lost both. Chelsea won the FA cup.)

Portsmouth – a real sad story. There was an article the other day when David James, their keeper and one of their star players, said that winning the FA Cup was the beginning of the end for Portsmouth. The players were promised bonuses for winning the FA Cup in 2008, and paying out that bonus was something that effectively bankrupted the club. The managers thought that it wasn’t going to happen.

Indeed, looking at the stats in the 2008 FA Cup, it was a topsy-turvy year. An incredible year for the FA Cup where a lot of sides were dumped out by teams from lower divisions. Portsmouth were very lucky to have won that FA Cup, because they only ever had to play 1 other team from the Premier League. (OK, that team was Man U in the quarter finals.) From then on, in the semis and the finals, they only had to beat WBA and Cardiff, both in the lower divisions. Which means that Man U, if they had managed to beat Portsmouth in that match, could conceivably have won the treble again that year and equalled the amazing 1999 season.

This year, though, it was remarkable. They beat Sunderland, Birmingham and now Tottenham in the FA Cup. Not bad for a team in relegation form. So since Chelsea is going to play in the Champion’s League, does that mean that Portsmouth gets to play in the Europa League next year? Not bad for a bankrupt team in a lower division.
Well Man U have screwed up, and it’s up for Arsenal and Chelsea to capitalise.



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