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Roker Riches: Can Cats Dance The Devil's Dance?

Our tipping team cast their eye over Sunderland vs Manchester United and the rest of the Easter weekend's football action

Julian Finney

Week Thirty Recap

Pundit Last Week's Profit/Loss Current Balance
Luke Bowley £20.00 £64.66
David Boyle £4.00 £38.92
Craig Clark -£6.00 £38.00
Karl Jones -£10.00 £34.50
Chris Weatherspoon N/A -£19.50
Simon Walsh -£20.00 -£29.00

Another great week for Luke as he takes a healthy lead at the top of the table thanks to both his singles coming off; predicting Sunderland vs Norwich to feature under 2.5 goals and also Atletico Madrid to be victorious. I also picked up a couple of quid profit with also predicting a low scoring affair in Sunderland's last outing with the same selection as Luke.

Elsewhere, as he predicted himself, Simon did indeed go big and go home with his ballsy £20.00 overall stake for the week going up in smoke.

Onto this week's selections:

Karl Jones

Sir Alex Ferguson's early indication that he will rest many of his big names for Saturday's game has been offset by the injury suffered to Steven Fletcher. Sunderland have looked increasingly incapable of breaking down the opposition, and even if a makeshift United side is in fact selected, similar frustrations could well ensue - United to win to nil.

Elsewhere, the clocks go forward this weekend and that's usually a decent indicator that Wigan are about to do that end-of-season-survival thing that they do. Having won the last two games, they should extend that at home. The second part is what I'm least sure about as Peterborough have a tendency to upset the Championship establishment (they were the team that ended City's 100% home record earlier this season), and are unbeaten in five games. Despite one win in their last four games, Cardiff should have too much firepower.

David Boyle

I'm certainly not the only one low on confidence going into this weekend's game. I'm pretty certain we'll get beat but I'm not sure it will be the pasting some are predicting giving the certainty that Sir Alex will have more than one eye on what he will undoubtedly consider more important fixtures coming up this week. I can see an away win, by two goals.

Elsewhere I am going to go with a first goal scorer bet. Fulham's Berbatov has blown hot and cold this season but looks to be hitting another good spell with four goals in his last five games, with all four also being the first goal of the contest. Fulham face QPR who have interestingly conceded first in three of their last five games. The Bulgarian may be the odds on favourite to score first in this game but with good reason.

  • Sunderland 0-2 Manchester United - 15/2 - £2 Stake
  • Dimitar Berbatov to score first versus QPR - 9/2 - £2 Stake

Luke Bowley

It's been a bit of a disaster of a week for Sunderland so far, and we haven't actually played a game yet. Fletcher's injury leaves us to question who will score the goal for the Black Cats. While Manchester United are expected to rest players ahead of their cup Quarter Final replay against Chelsea just two days later, even a Man Utd B-team would take this Sunderland team to bits. Hopefully I'm proved wrong, but I'm going to follow Karl's lead by going for the away side to win to nil.

Elsewhere, a single gave me some joy last week, so I'm going stick with the winning formula and predict a Juventus win in the Derby on Italy against Inter this weekend. While Inter surprised Juve by getting a win in Turin back in November, ending the Old Lady's 49 game unbeaten streak, they've been atrocious in the second half of the season, and I can't see them getting anything off the Serie A leaders this time around.

  • Manchester United to win to nil- 15/8- £5 stake
  • Juventus to beat Inter- 13/10- £5 stake

Simon Walsh

Last week's all-in gamble failed big time. So badly in fact that it now leaves me behind a guy who hasn't even entered for 2-3 months. Some serious work now needs to be done, just like it does on the pitch.

So for the game with Manchester United you wonder if we can get something. With them facing two games in three days I think there's an opportunity. Yes, their reserves are probably on par with or better than our current first team, but if we really, really fight like we haven't for a long time I think we can bore our way to a draw and take a very valuable point.

Elsewhere in football world I haven't taken a look at the Worldwide leagues in this section for a while, so I'm going for it this week with an accumulator on the following winners - Alaves, Feyenoord and LA Galaxy.

  • Sunderland & Manchester United to Draw - 3/1 - £3 Stake
  • Alaves, Feyenoord & LA Galaxy all to Win - 9/1 - £5 Stake

Craig Clark

While Graham has so far failed to impress in a red and white shirt, something tells me that as a lone striker - assuming he is indeed that on Saturday - the former Swansea man will come good. What better way to kick start his career on Wearside than with a goal on Saturday. Even if we lose, as expected, I can see us scoring if for no other reason than Manchester United are nothing special at the back. You might think this sounds nuts given our recent paucity in front of goal but the change in tactics (please!) might, just might, see us score.

The Dutch top 4 are all in good form and are all involved in winnable games this weekend. Feyenoord are the most likely to let me down, so expect them to win and the other three to lose given my recent bad luck with betting.

  • Danny Graham anytime goalscorer -3/1- £5 stake
  • Feyenoord, Vitesse, PSV & Ajax all to win- 9/2- £5 stake

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