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Roker Riches (Week 12): Farewell Phil... what next for the lads and our betting bunch?

It’s been all change at the SOL, with Parky out, Speakman and McGeady in, and a new manager imminent. Will our bets do any better? Probably not!

Roker Riches 20/21

How things can change in a week or so!

We said a farewell to Philip John Parkinson last Sunday, a couple of days after another very lacklustre performance at home to Fleetwood. An action which was met with a pretty unanimous feeling of ‘we wish you well Phil, but it was more than overdue’.

Already our club have announced the new Sporting Director in Kristjaan Speakman, and after the withdrawal of Gustavo from the race, the odds are rapidly shortening on Lee Johnson, formerly of Bristol City, to be head coach under Speakman.

We are also allegedly very close to confirming the takeover involving a certain Billionaire with the initials KLD, though some feel that is more likely that ownership will be moving to a budding ZZ-Top impersonator who coincidentally (allegedly) runs a soft drinks impersonation company.

Only time will tell, and most would take either to see the present lot leave from the views I have seen. Often a change is as good as a rest, and we haven't seen such paradigm shifts in the club for many years so let’s hope this is the step change we have needed for some time, and that this change to a new and modern approach reaps benefits for the club and the region very soon.

In the meantime, we need three points from our caretaker Mr Taylor please, both for him and us as fans and a club. If he really wants to impress the incoming regime, four points from six would not be too bad a statement, especially with the away team goal being down to an individual error last time out.

What we in the Riches team do know is our football team is presently virtually impossible to predict, but hopefully that will become easier very soon when the new regime settles and the wins start rolling in for the squad and the lads.

The Rolling Table Week #12: Season 2020-2021

Yellow card update...

Danny and Matty were ‘late to class’ with bets this week, so have their tenner wagers from last time deducted, plus a tenner each for a yellow card missing from their totals.

This makes the bottom four of the table now very tight, with less than two quid between ‘Riches Ed’ Malc D in last place (being overtaken by our Readers on countback, after they had the only win last weekend) to Matty, in a ‘respectable-but-only-30-bobish-better’ fourth.

Can the lads eat into the £100 buffer that Phil ‘The Boss’ Butler has on many of the others? We hope so – but, like the league, there is a long way still to go.

Can anyone predict our scores when we are under such change? Probably not, but no harm in having a laugh and trying while all this football re-structure stuff calms down and hopefully defines our rosy positive future.

Here is the table as it stands before the Wigan game on 05/12:

It’s getting tough in those relegation places already...good luck lads.

Banker’s Bonus...

No bonus last week as, in his last run out with the lads, Phil failed to rock out any subs till well past the 65th minute point we called as the trigger.

This week, it is simple. We need to get back to two things – clean sheets and goals. And not just single ones.

If SAFC win by two goals or more with a clean sheet (welcome back Mr Burge, I hope), all punters get an extra tenner bet on anything they choose next weekend.

Come on Mr Taylor, show us what you can do? Tick Tock...

This Week’s Bets:

Matty Crichton says...

Will Grigg to score anytime
After looking bright when he came off the bench on Tuesday, I have a feeling Will Grigg will be handed a start by Andrew Taylor – surely he can score against struggling Wigan? £5 returns £11.00

EFL Treble
After beating Charlton and drawing with Sunderland I am backing Burton to beat inconsistent Crewe, MK Dons to beat Accrington Stanley since they have not played in three weeks, and Charlton to beat Shrewsbury away from home. £5 returns £99.61.

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One
Matty’s backing Will Grigg to provide a spark
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Gary Morris says...

SAFC to win 2-0 and Embleton to score first
This gathers great odds at a huge 35-1, and the lad is well good enough to score against these, and early. Fiver returns £180 including stake.

Portsmouth to beat faltering Peterborough either 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2
At odds of 7-1 this isn't a bad dabble for 2 teams who can score well at times. Fiver returns £40 incl stake.

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One
Gary’s backing Embleton to net his first league goal for the club
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Phil Butler says...

Will Grigg to score two or more.
For all Sunderland’s recent performance against Burton was a continuation of Phil Parkinson’s reign, one slight positive was Andrew Taylor’s decision to switch to 4-4-2 for the final part of the game. This was by far Sunderland’s best spell, and Will Grigg made a positive impact off the bench in this system; and was very unlucky to hit the post from a front-post header. I’m backing Grigg to return to the starting line up and bag a brace against his former club. £5 returns £47.50

Weekend Four-fold
Starting in League One, I’m backing Hull to win away to struggling Oxford United on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, Arsenal look almost as disorganised as Sunderland at the minute – not quite, mind – and if there’s one manager to take advantage of that it’s Jose Mourinho and his Tottenham side are firm favourites for the North London Derby.

Over in Italy, Napoli should have more than enough to beat Crotone to follow their recent victory against Roma, and league leaders Milan should find little opposition in Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria. £5 Four-fold returns £55.42

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One
Will Taylor go to four at the back tomorrow?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Paul (PJ) Fletcher says...

Sunderland to draw 0-0
This has a repeat of Boxing Day against Bolton written all over it. A team with even more problems than us will come to the Stadium of Light and defend for their lives while we demonstrate the cutting edge of a melted marshmallow.
£5 returns £65

European Sixfold
This weekend I’m keeping it simple and backing six teams who are all challenging at the top end of their respective leagues. Athletico Madrid, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, Vitesse, Sporting Lisbon and CSKA Moscow all have games that they should win comfortably. No upsets please. £5 returns £61.27

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One
PJ is predicting a repeat of the Boxing Day draw at home to Bolton – a game in which Remi Matthews kept a clean sheet...
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says...

Sunderland to win 4-0
It could be argued that we could have had two or three goals on Tuesday, and against a really struggling team I am hoping a back four setup continuing from the whistle can make that and more possible. If Grigg and Graham can build on that last ten minutes (which seemed to be enabled by the formation being as it was ending the last match), this game may bring us a convincing win, and maybe even a striking partnership who are starting to click... which would be welcome by all I’m sure.
Fiver bet returns £75 at odds of 14-1 on Sky Bet.

Four-way acca - Everton, Man City, Chelsea and Portsmouth all to win. I think Everton and City will have way too much for their opponents this Saturday. Chelsea beating Leeds is a bit of a risk, but I’d like Portsmouth to beat Posh as this will confirm their usual end of year slump has begun. That will mean one less decent team to worry about come the season’s end (as well as giving me ammo to perpetuate that rumour with my neighbours in greater Peterborough). Fiver returns £35.40 on Sky Bet.

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One
Malc’s going for an attack spearheaded by Danny Graham to put four past Wigan
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Danny Roberts says...

Sunderland to win and over two goals:
Hopefully we have a new man in the stands to oversee and give the players a lift. Even without that, we should have more than enough to get the three points!
£5 returns £10.50.

EPL treble: Manchester City to beat Fulham, West Ham to shock Man United and Spurs to win the North London derby.
£5 returns £42.46.

West Ham United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Danny reckons Moyes will get one over on his former club
Photo by Frank Augstein - Pool/Getty Images

Riches Readers...

An email bet in from a reader with an interesting monicker right now “Energybill88”, who feels until the new system beds in the sequence of draws against poor teams wont change:

SAFC to draw 1-1
(Again), nothing else is going to happen till the right owner is in place”

This attracts odds of 15/2 on Sky Bet, giving our reader’s kitty a £42.50 boost if that prediction comes in.

Away prem treble acca – Everton, Man Utd and Leeds to win away.
Good odds at over 20-1”

I make that £114.55 return for a fiver bet if it comes in Bill, so fingers crossed and thanks for the input.

Good luck to SAFC, and to all our Riches readers with your bets.

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