Those lovely people at Easyodds have set me some toughish tasks lately but I’ve never been one to shirk a challenge - not likely guv!
Anyway, this one is a cracker - my favourite Leeds XI.
But it wasn’t easy given a few of the names below we’ve only lost recently. I spent some great days and nights with Leeds legends during my time at Elland Road - and have kept in touch with a few, too.
So have a look at my team - and you have to say it’s superb - starting with Nigel Martyn between the sticks. Top-class and an England international, of course, Nigel would have played so much more had David Seaman not been born in the same era!
I’m loving my back three of Rio Ferdinand, Jack Charlton and Norman Hunter.
The sublime skill and composure of Rio would be great with such tough-tackling hard nuts as Jackie and Norman. Jack just got better and better and was a brilliant competitor and organiser and Norman is in most people’s Hard Men XI. Say no more, but he could also play, too.
Gordon Strachan was a legend to me during my time there and linking him up with Speedo again, rest his soul, would be a dream. Alongside them would be two more Leeds legends in Billy Bremner, who I’d make captain, and Johnny Giles - both uncompromising and born winners.
Eddie Gray tearing down the left wing is another nod to that great 1970s Leeds side - Peter Lorimer was another who could easily slot into this side given his goalscoring record - but you’d expect Eddie to be firing crosses in for John Charles and Allan Clarke.
John was a Wales and Leeds - and Juventus - legend and was brilliant in the air, a real powerhouse. Clarkey had great feet, two great feet in fact, and gave defenders the runaround.
And given he scored the goal to beat Arsenal in the 1972 FA Cup final he had to be in!
As for the bench, that could be a decent one, too! Certainly the likes of David Batty, Peter Lorimer, Frank Gray, Tony Currie and Joe Jordan would be on there - and I’ll be talking about Batts next week in this column.
And as for me in this team? I’ll stand next door to Howard Wilkinson as his assistant!
- Nigel Martyn
- Rio Ferdinand
- Jack Charlton
- Norman Hunter
- Billy Bremner (c)
- Gary Speed
- Johnny Giles
- Gordon Strachan
- Eddie Gray
- John Charles
- Allan Clarke
There's a midweek bonus for football fans his week with a full programme of Premier League matches and I’m going in again.
The pick of the matches are the Merseyside Derby on Wednesday and Man United versus Arsenal on Thursday - and surely by then United’s new manager Ralf Rangwick will be in place and ready to give the team a boost.
To be fair United did okay against Chelsea. They were strong defensively and always a threat on the counter, although it’s a game the Blues should have won so there’s plenty for Ralfy Boy to do - starting with putting the smile back on Ronaldo’s face!
CR7 looked right p*ssed off at the final whistle at the Bridge and you wonder how that’s going to unfold.
Anyway, I’m taking United to beat Arsenal at Old Trafford. The atmosphere should be better there and with the quality Rangwick and Carrick have at their disposal they should be too strong for an improving Arteta outfit.
It just has to be Liverpool to put Everton into deeper trouble at Goodison Park on Wednesday. The wheels have come off with Rafa and the Toffees, while Liverpool’s juggernaut just rolls on - and I think they close the gap on Chelsea and City this week.
And that’s because . . .
Don't be surprised if Watford hold Chelsea at Vicarage Road. They’ve got a decent record at home and Ranieri will have seen how Man United caught Chelsea on the break and will counter attack the Blues and cause them problems maybe.
And another big-priced winner for us might be seeing Aston Villa hold Pep’s City Boys. Steven Gerrard to Villa is looking a really good move and defensively he’s shaping as one of the best around - but this is his biggest test yet!
Check out my predictions below.
Good luck all and see you next week.
Newcastle United v Norwich City NEWCASTLE WIN
Leeds v Crystal Palace LEEDS WIN
Southampton v Leicester DRAW
Watford v Chelsea DRAW
West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion WEST HAM WIN
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Burnley WOLVES WIN
Aston Villa v Manchester City DRAW
Everton v Liverpool LIVERPOOL WIN
Tottenham Hotspur v Brentford SPURS WIN
Manchester United v Arsenal MAN UTD WIN
Vinnie Jones Betting Tips
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