YOU join The Tenner Bet on the train to London. In the seat opposite is a very posh twentysomething girl who could be on her way back to a drama casting – most probably as Train Guy’s daughter. If you are unaware of Train Guy – Bob Mortimer’s social media alter ego – you don’t really need to look him up. We’ve all encountered a Train Guy on a journey somewhere. The conversation is punctuated with references to “Chester”, “going super glitzy” and the revelation that there are “about 16 glittery dresses” in Train Girl’s bag.
Which segues us nicely into the place where we last departed. Cocktail frocks, champagne and over-the-top laughter – not to mention lavish amounts of money – were the order of the day at Ayr a fortnight ago when the Tenner Bet’s due diligence finally paid off at the Gold Cup when Motagally and Edraak finished in the places. It was a particularly decent return since both drifted out to 33/1 for returns of £66 but it says much about punting strategy thus far that that sum was only enough to bring us to a figure of -£4 profit.
The temptation then this week is to go conservative and – bearing in mind Train Girl and that we’re London bound – what better place to start than Chelsea, a club with more right-wingers than Bullingdon Boys FC. Chelsea suffered a hiccup at home to Manchester City last weekend following an unbeaten start to the campaign which had taken them to the top of the table in impressive fashion.
Losing to City, of course, is no embarrassment and we’re not going to let it distract our thinking when Thomas Tuchel’s side host Southampton this afternoon.
It’s worth noting that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s drew up a tactical plan to unsettle City the previous weekend but that only emboldens us further for this weekend’s selection. Southampton are averaging a goal a game on their travels in the league this season (two of which came against Newcastle) and it’s fair to assume that they will go to Stamford Bridge seeking to replicate the tactics they employed in taking a point off City. Nevertheless while they were expansive that day and should have had a penalty but for a VAR intervention, they still failed to score. It would not be a surprise if the same outcome occurred this afternoon.
Southampton look as if they are still coming to terms with the loss of Jannik Vestergaard and Danny Ings in the summer transfer window while Adam Armstrong, the player signed to replace the goals Ings scored, has struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League despite a strike on his debut at Everton, albeit it was the former Blackburn Rovers striker who was brought down in the area at the Etihad for that contentious non-penalty.
City had a goal disallowed that day but generally turned in a performance that was crying out to be won by a prolific striker such as Harry Kane.
Chelsea, of course, are no strangers to that phenomenon having experienced similar during the course of last season but now have such a player in their ranks in the shape of Romelu Lukaku. Here’s the interesting bit: the burly Belgian loves sticking it to Southampton having bagged nine times against them. Indeed, there is only one club in the Premier League that Lukaku has scored more goals against and that is West Ham.
The conservative play is Chelsea to win to nil at 13/10 while a bit more value and insurance can be gleaned from sticking Lukaku to score anytime and under four goals into the bet.
Selections: Chelsea to win to nil (13/10); Chelsea to win/Lukaku anytime/under four goals (9/4).
Season’s total: £-4