Weblog: The football punter
Marseille look to be heading for the chop
THERE'S so much to like about France. The food, the wine, Le Tour, or more specifically the peasants' ability to manufacture massive, moving bicycle wheels out of nothing more than a dozen combine harvesters and a few bales of hay.
And of course no one organises a blockade of a Channel port quite like the French. Magnifique!
But I'm afraid when it comes to French football they're on a different planet and a lonely one at that. The joie de vivre goes right out of the window and I'm looking forward to seeing Marseille make their exit from the Champions League this evening.
They may have a national anthem named after them but the Marseillaise hit all the wrong notes at home to Bayern Munich in the first leg and look as dim and gloomy as most other Championnat sides.
I know Michel Platini hates us Brits, but you've got to admit that French football was top class when he was in his pomp. These days the French league is a dire affair and the guillotine for Marseille will be a relief for those of us who want to enjoy the rest of the competition watching teams going for it.
My money's on a 4-0 Bayern romp since we know the French lads don't score and the Germans don't know when to stop.
There's a handful of league games to get stuck into as well and for a bit of value I'm having Burnley to do a job on Birmingham at Turf Moor.
Brum aren't that reliable with just two wins in nine – one of which was against Doncaster which doesn't count – and the Clarets' 5-1 win at Pompey has got to have them believing.