Weblog: The football punter
Splashing the cash on scorers in one of football's richest games
After a frantic Easter period, Thursday’s lack of quality televised football left me twiddling my thumbs, scratching my head and doing
unpleasant things to other parts of my body as I struggled to get
through a day without punting on the footy.
Fortunately my impatience was rewarded by a cracker of a Championship clash on Friday night. The Championshipplay-off final is always referred to as the richest game of football in the world but Southampton versus Reading is a serious pretender to that title.
After all, the winner will be all but guaranteed Premier League status next season so don’t be surprised to see the Sultan of Brunei, Richie Rich and the bloke on the Monopoly box with the monocle queuing at the burger van outside St Mary’s.
Never mind how rich the two clubs will be if they get promotion – how are we going to get rich from the big match? Southampton are brilliant at home but Reading are brilliant away so that doesn’t clear things up.
The Saints have one of the most prolific strikers in English football,
Rickie Lambert, leading the line so plenty of punters will be backing
him to open the scoring.
The Royals’ top league scorer, amazingly, is Adam Le Fondre with just
nine goals (Lambert’s got 26). The way Reading share the goals around doesn’t make them an easy side for first-scorer purposes but set-piece specialist Ian Harte has been in good form – he got the winner at Brighton and scored a penalty at West Ham recently.
I’ll have a little nibble on the veteran left-footer notching first and whatever’s slightly smaller than a nibble on Reading centre-back Kaspar Gorkss grabbing the opener.