The much talked about Mega Millions jackpot was won over the weekend, and news outlets are currently racing about trying to ruin the life of some sorry sod before he actually does it himself, Michael Carroll-style. The media was full of ponderous pearls of statistical wisdom in the run-up to the $640 million draw, the pick of which had to be USA Today’s claim that you were nine times more likely to die from a TV falling on your head. Having failed to beat the 175 million to 1 odds, allow us to help you get rich in three easy steps.
1) Liga: Sevilla vs Mallorca, 21.00 CET/15.00 EST
Take ten of your finest dollars, pounds or Euros, and stick it on Mallorca at 9/2. The islanders’ away form is reasonable, while Sevilla’s home record has been poor this season.
2) English Premier League: Blackburn vs Man Utd, 21.00 CET/15.00 EST
Now you have 45 of your finest dollars, pounds or Euros. Bit of a leap of faith this one, but shove it all on Blackburn at 7/1. With a supportive home crowd behind them, an early goal could see Steve Kean’s men hang on for a surprise victory. And it’s not like they haven’t done it before.
3) Bulgarian A PFG: Levski Sofia vs Ludogorets, 18.30 CET/12.30 EST
Your total stands at a rather tasty 315 of your finest etc. etc. While we’re not generally in the habit of venturing out into outposts such as the Bulgarian league, this fixture is interesting in that it involves a side – Ludogorets – that came up from the second division to challenge for the title this year, and a traditional heavyweight club that has just changed coaches due to patchy form. Take the promoted side at 7/2, spend your $£€ 1,112.50 wisely, and remember to send us our 15% commission.
The best succinct one-liner we’ve ever heard came from the mouth of English comedian Les Dawson, and it is one that son-in-laws the world over can relate to: “I can always tell when the mother-in-law’s coming to stay – the mice throw themselves on the traps.” As sometimes it’s best to get straight to the point, today’s previews have a certain direct quality about them.
1) Liga: Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao, 22.00 CET/16.00 EST
If brilliant Basque blitzers Bilbao can replicate their mind-blowing Europa League form, and allowing for awful alliteration, this match could become the must-see fixture in world football this weekend.
2) Ligue 1: Nancy vs PSG, 21.00 CET/15.00 EST
PSG fans are beginning to realise that pesky leaders Montpellier, the Kim Kardashian of the French top flight, are just not going to go away, so capturing three points in Lorraine today is essential.
3) Bundesliga: Hertha Berlin vs Wolfsburg, 18.30 CET/12.30 EST
Hertha may have shipped six goals to Bayern a fortnight ago, but everybody’s doing that at the moment, so they’ll look to continue the form they showed at Mainz last week in their increasingly desperate attempts to avoid playing at Duisburg next season.
Today’s three matches to keep an eye on are brought to you by Football Clichés, taking one game at a time.
1) French Ligue 2: Lens vs Nantes, 20.30 CET/14.30 EST
‘How the mighty have fallen’.
Really? This is one of today’s picks? Well, it’s certainly the most symbolic encounter of Monday’s fixture list. French champions in 1998, desperate to return to the big league so that their fervent supporters can once again fill their 40,000 capacity stadium, Lens have fallen on hard times recently. French champions in 2001, desperate to return to the big league so that their fervent supporters can once again fill their 40,000 capacity stadium, Nantes have fallen on hard times recently.
2) English Premier League: Manchester United vs Fulham, 21.00 CET/15.00 EST
‘A six-pointer for United’.
Given that those big-spending baddies across town dropped two points to Peter Crouch FC on Saturday, a win would put Man U three points clear with eight games to go. Clint D and Co., who have turned mid-table mediocrity into an art form in recent years, should put up
some stiff no resistance whatsoever at Old Trafford.
3) Spanish Primera División: Granada vs Sevilla, 21.00 CET/15.00 EST
‘Too big to go down’.
No not, Granada, who came up from the second division last year and are doing well to be lying (just) outside the relegation zone. Sevilla have had an awful second half of the season so far, and although they currently appear well clear of trouble, a defeat to El Graná would not augur well for the run-in. The 2007 UEFA Cup winners would seem to have more match-winners in their side (Jesus Navas, Manu del Moral), but Granada may prove to have more cojones over 90 minutes.
Today’s Three up front are a surprisingly robust trio for a Thursday.
1) Liga: Racing vs Sevilla, 20.00 CET
It’s fast approaching squeaky bum time in Spain, and if tonight’s clash in Santander goes the way of the Andalusians, Racing’s long-suffering fans (Founded: 1913; trophies of note: zero) may have to gear themselves up for glamour trips to Las Palmas and Xerez next season.
2) Dutch Cup semi-final: AZ Alkmaar vs Heracles, 20.45 CET
If they can hold their nerve, AZ are looking good for a remarkable league and cup double. Jozy Altidore and Co. must first dispose of Heracles Almelo, a team they, well, disposed of in the league a few weeks ago. The mighty PSV await the winners in the final on April 8 in Rotterdam.
3) Copa Libertadores Group 1, Santos vs Juan Aurich, 20.00 BRT
Neymar, who’s so on fire that his team-mates have been detecting a burning smell coming off him in recent games, will try to drag his team by the bootlaces up to first place in a tightly contested section. Tightly contested, that is, if we disregard Peruvian outift Juan Aurich, who’ve had a bit of a ‘mare.