The Fuzz: Fri April 2nd
North West is best
Welcome along to the weekly betting blog from within the guts of William Hill (or a kids' play area on a Leeds trading estate to be truthful).
I'll be supplementing Hill's brilliant podcasts with a bit of behind the scenes gossip, fancied flutters from the 'experts' in the office and general chit chat every Friday.
We have a North Western slant this week with an astounding bet from one of the worst gamblers I know, the United without Rooney argument, why Chelsea suddenly look great value for the title, David Haye's first defence of his world title at the M.E.N and a heavyweight clash in the world of Super League.
Footy first then and can I introduce someone who will no doubt get ridiculed once or twice in the future. For the purposes of this blog let's call him Dinky.
Dinky isn't the best punter in the world, in fact most people who know him would be happy backing the opposite to whatever he says ... he is a laying machine (which if you knew him works on an ironic level too).
Dinky 'supports' Man United and on Tuesday ahead of their Champions League game with Bayern backed Rooney to score the first goal at 4/1. Not only did he do that, but he had a ton on it. Fair play to him because he had been through a very, very tricky spell including backing Murray to win in Miami and losing a fair bit during Cheltenham.
It seems Dinky may have caused Wazza's injury in some kind of weird psychosomatic manner, because he also currently suffers from the same ailment as the man who has the hopes of a nation on his shoulders and it has nothing to do with old women of the night...they both have minor ligament injuries.
As I write this the editors at the various red tops, broadsheets, websites, non-stop sport tv and radio outlets are cursing the word "minor". They wanted major, serious, career-threatening. Surely the boot and the crutches means his World Cup place is in doubt? I'm talking Rooney here not Dinky. Whatever, I'm sure Sky Sports will have a doctor explaining what an ankle is, where your ligaments are and what minor means just to fill a bit more time.
William Hill have made the Manchester derby favourite for Wayne to make his comeback at 13/8. That game is on April 17th, two weeks away. I say no chance. I think 4 weeks is more likely so Sunderland on May 1st (25/1) or Stoke on May 9th (40/1) is worth a flutter.
Just before we come on to the Premier League title betting and staying on the theme of injuries, Cesc Fabregas' Premier League season looks a bit like Burnley's - over. His bad leg didn't respond well to smashing in that penalty equaliser against a majestic Barcelona. What a way to go though - true Roy de los Exploradores stuff.
As for the Premier League title I can't believe the odds. Chelsea are second favs at 13/8, with United 11/10 and Arsenal 11/2. With Fabregas out that will adversely affect the Gunners' hopes and I believe United will suffer without the best player in the country too - they'll be hoping Owen Gowell stays healthy. The stats back that up, but I won't bore you with the details here. Chelsea are a point behind United, with most of their top players in good form and fit.
We'll be chatting about all of the above on The Punt with Ron Atkinson, Robbie Savage (we'll get his view on the Rooney injury) and everyone's favourite Scouser (if you don't count Kerry Katona) Derek McGovern.
We'll also preview this weekend's ten top flight games too.
A few hours after Manchester United v Chelsea, the M.E.N Arena hosts Britain's first Heavyweight World title fight since Lennox Lewis beat Francois Botha in 2000 (Botha fights Evander Holyfield on April 10th).
As a quick aside I think it's Jason Manford who says in his stand up that Manchester has turned into a homosexual hotspot, with the MEN arena, Man City and Man United, plus of course it's home to Canal Street, which some joker has altered by deleting the C and S, brilliant.
Anyway, David Haye defends the title he pinched from the bottom of the beanstalk against John Ruiz. A former two-time champion himself, "The Quiet Man" has been in with some very good fighters in his time and this is the last throw of the dice - becoming champ for a third time would put him in some very good company albeit in an era when a brown paper bag might get a decision or two.
I spoke to Steve Bunce about Haye v Ruiz, Holyfield v Botha, Audley Harrison's next fight with Michael Sprott and plenty more on Wednesday and it's a cracking listen (guess I would say that). You can listen to Buncey's Boxing Podcast or download it from iTunes.
Rivalling boxing (and being a jockey) for the hardest sport in the world (can you name a harder one?) is egg throwing at Easter. Super League players play twice over the extended weekend, which frankly is wrong, but while they're doing I'll gladly watch and wince.
It's derby day for Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Cas, Hull KR and Hull FC and perhaps most poignantly this weekend St Helens and Wigan. It's the last time they'll go toe-to-toe at Knowsley Road (Saints are finally getting a new home that doesn't smell like a drugs test).
Wigan haven't beaten them at their place since 2003 when one half of William Hill's terrible twosome was playing. Terry O'Connor and his team-mates beat Saints three times that season, but it's been one way traffic since.
This time Wigan are top of the tree and the best side in the comp ... listen in to what Tez and Barrie McDermott think of that and the other six games in Round 9 in our weekly podcast.
That's it for this week - check all William Hill's podcasts and previews at the news pages.
Bet well and good luck.