Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Clutch and Choke

A week-end with some freakish results with Arsenal, Man Utd and QPR all gunned down at home. Sunderland, Real and Stoke won as expected and Fulham's +1 handicap was good for void in their brave 2-1 defeat against Man City.

The headlines of the week-end were without doubt the Miracle at Medinah Chicago where the European Ryder Cup team produced the greatest come-back ever on Sunday in defeating the US team and thereby retaining the Cup. What sweet revenge it was for Europe, especially team captain Olazabal, as it washed away the tears of Brookline 1999 when the US produced a come-back of their own amidst displays of unsportsmanlike conduct to win the Cup. What an amazing clutch player Europe has found in Ian Poulter who won all his 4 matches and started the inspiration for his teammates late Saturday when he birdied the last 5 holes of his foursome match to give an almost-out Europe some glimmer of hope. The US choked on the final day but it is really a case of the Europeans being the best whenever they are playing their best. I was saying in my previous blog that this European team had nothing to envy from their US counterparts; namely because on an individual basis, they are really better, more talented and more driven.

The countdown to this week is all about the Arc on Sunday and the organizers must be going nuts at the moment. Nathaniel has fallen sick and won't be going. Danedream as well will miss defending her title as she's suddenly stuck in quarantine following a disease outbreak at her stay in Cologne. Talk about freakish timing. Add to this the absence of Snow Fairy, Valyra, Frankel and others and you think that this year's race will be devoid of many of the world's best middle-distance runners. But it becomes great from a punting point of view, I think. At this point, my sight is set on the Japanese superstar Orfevre, the impressive Vermeille winner Shareta, and should he start, Camelot. It could be that other connections decide to supplement their horses in light of so many high-profile defects, we'll see.

Tonight's games in the Champions League look tight. I think Man Utd are in for a rude travel to Cluj. They might still win it because of their potent offense but they are very liable to concede goals with their porous defence. Anytime Johnny Evans is starting with Rio Ferdinand, you can expect some torrid moments in the Utd penalty area, as Tottenham showed over the week-end.

Chelsea should win at Nordsjaellan in Denmark, they are a confident Win selection. Galatasaray will also look to bag all 3 points at home to Poruguese Braga. The hosts should win this. I also like Valencia's chances against France's Lille. It looks worth to go for a straight Valencia win as well here.

Win: Chelsea, Valencia, Galatasaray

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