How we all doing folks?!
It has been a mighty quiet around here the last week or so in my absence. Anyone found anything they like the “luck” of?
I still don’t plan on putting anything big on this weekend. It is still a little early for me. That said, I may go through the coupon tomorrow and have a little tinkle.
Before then we have the small matter of England v Bulgaria to enjoy/dure.
As I alluded to a few weeks ago, I have had a bit of trouble getting my picks on “special” markets up on here before the market/price disappears.
One of my largest wagers of the year will mature tomorrow when Don Fabio names his starting XI for the first Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria.
Back at the end of June, Stan James and his boys jumped straight on the “England are doomed” bandwagon after that miserable afternoon in Bloemfontein, opening up a rash of markets.
One of such markets , was a special over/under market based on the starting XI from the Germany game.
They had determined the “breaking point” for this market to be that either 7 or 8 of the players from that day would retain their starting place. As a result, they offered a generous 10/11 on both “under 7.5″ and “over 7.5″.
After pondering this for a few hours (actually, it was so obvious this was about 5 minutes!) and consulting a few well respected friends, I placed a hefty 10% of my personal betting bank on “under 7.5″.
Let’s have a quick look at the team from that day:
Here is the thought process I went through:
- You didn’t need to be a football revolutionary to recognize that David James was unlikely to be the starting goalkeeper for the new campaign. I chalked him up as a goner.
- I determined that Matt Upson was unlikely to start the game, given both the teams and his individual performance in the summer, even before considering the possibility of Rio Ferdinand being fit to play football (which I quickly dismissed as irrelevant!)
- I figured that the days of trotting out a midfield four containing the trio of Gerrard, Barry and Lampard were also over. So there is 3 “likely” changes.
- I also felt that the striking combination of Jermaine Defoe / Wayne Rooney was never Capello’s first choice, and a shift to a 4-3-3 formation was likely, demoting Defoe back to the bench at best. That’s 4 changes, which would result in 7 players being retained.
- Given the inevitable media hysteria and the talk of an FA enforced “revolution”, I also placed weight on possible international retirements (Frank Lampard) and the possible ousting of a somewhat “talkative” centre half.
- At the time, I also felt that all further injury risk was in our favour i.e. there was a material chance one of Johnson, Cole, Rooney, Gerrard could miss the game due to an unfortunate injury… or simply being told they are “injured” by a rather domineering club manager! If you know what I mean, nudge nudge, wink wink.
As a result, I decided to plow in with a maximum stake 10% wager on the “under 7.5″ market.
A key factor in this staking decision was that all the injury risk and intangibles were in my favour.
However, after the retirements of Carragher and Brown, the ongoing issues of Captain Rio, the Deadly Ledley experiment running its course, the withdrawal of the Iron Man himself and an 11th hour injury for Phil Jagielka, it appears Capello has been left with a choice of using an untested Gary Cahill, Citeh’s reserve left back Joleon Lescott and, yes you guessed it, Matthew Upson at centre half.
Bloody hell. That is a spanner amongst my pigeons.
And in another crazy twist, injuries to both man-of-the-moment Bobby Zamora and Peter Crouch and the retirement of Big Emile have left JD and his mysteriously self regenerating groin in with a chance of starting up front again.
So from absolutely nowhere, I now have a nervous few hours ahead.
From what I thought might be my best bet of the year.
It’s a funny old game, sports betting!