JOE v Paddy Betting Challenge Week 14
It’s week 14 of our betting challenge and while JOE is still in the lead, Paddy Power are hurtling behind at a pace that would make Usain Bolt blush.
For the second week running, Paddy Power reduced the deficit, mainly thanks to events at headquarters where they rightly predicted that Cork would overcome an alternative three-point handicap against Kildare and that Donegal’s substance would triumph over Kerry’s style in the quarter-finals.
Both ourselves and Paddy were left to rue placing too much faith in the Dubs, with Bernard Brogan failing to raise a green flag costing Paddy and Dublin’s failure to beat the eight-point handicap leaving us with egg on our faces.
Cork raising the green flag on two occasions also cost us dear, while if Usain Bolt hadn’t pulled up in the 100 metre final rather than trying to break the world record, we might have had at least a little pocket change from last week’s punts but alas, it wasn’t to be.
As a result of everything last weekend, Paddy made up the deficit slightly, but both sides of the divide still aren’t exactly healthy.
Still, we’ll constantly endeavour to turn that red figure into the green and as a result, Conor Heneghan has bravely stepped forward as our gambling guru this week. Here are his selections.
After a slow burning start to his Leinster Championship campaign against Offaly, Joe Canning really burst into life with 1-10 against the Cats in the final. Some question marks have been raised about his performances on the biggest of stages, but he sure does love playing against Cork.
The Portumna man marked last year’s clash between the sides with ten points and a ridiculous reverse handpass and also had a goal controversially ruled out. It was against the Rebels in 2008, meanwhile, that he really marked his arrival on the inter-county scene with an individual tally of 2-12 from a total of 2-15 in the defeat that knocked the Tribesmen out of the Championship.
He’ll be tightly marked and possibly double-marked but he’s well used to that and we reckon he’ll break free of the shackles to rattle the onion sack at some stage.
This could have been described as the clash of new money versus old money before Roman Abramovich opened his wallet in spectacular fashion once again this summer, but we think that it might take a bit of time before Hazard, Marin, Oscar and company are firmly settled into the side.
With not a signing made yet this summer, astonishingly, and with minimal Olympic involvement, we think City will be the best prepared for the season curtain raiser on Sunday and lay down a marker that it’ll take a serious team to rob them of their Premier League title.
Unless they’ve been too busy partying in the build-up, we would be shocked at any other result apart from a Brazil win in the Olympic Football Final against Mexico. The brilliant Neymar has scored in three of Brazil’s games so far and we fancy him to do so again, probably with a ridiculous flick, or after beating ten players with a mazy run from his own half.
Joe Canning really, we mean really, likes playing the Cork. In his last three championship encounters against the rebels the Joe Show has scored 2-12, 0-11 and 0-10 which isn’t bad, is it? Canning is 4/1 to be the first to rattle the onion sack, which is well worth a bet in our eyes and while we won’t benefit from it here it’s double the odds if your winning first goalscorer selection scores twice, get on it!
Other than the fancy new kits that will be on show we’re particularly looking forward to catching a glimpse of Eden Hazard who wasn’t exactly shy in talking himself up during his drawn out transfer saga. One trend that has emerged from the glorified friendly…sorry Community Shield in recent seasons has been debut goals and at 13/5 to score anytime the Belgian, who scored 20 league goals last season, is definitely worth a punt.
Last year Chelsea’s form was more up an down than a toilet seat in a unisex bog but we can see them being competitive this weekend but not over exerting themselves. Man City meanwhile probably won’t start with their strongest 11 but given their strength in depth I can see that affecting them too much. We fancy both teams to score but given the nature of the contest we can see it ending in a draw which can be backed at 23/10.