The waste-paper bin in my office is filling with losing betting slips from the Rugby World Cup.
But, as with every punter, there's a voice saying: "You can still win." You are also consoled by the fact that it wasn't your decision to play Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood only to discover the rugby equivalent of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
So – I want Wales to beat the French today, not out of revenge but on betting logic. Wales are organised and think on their feet. The French (13-10 32RED) are creative individuals who occasionally become a highly effective team. At other times they are vulnerable; £20 win Wales, (10-11 Boylesports).
In tomorrow's semi-final the All Blacks (9-20 Blue Square) face their fiercest rivals and also the memory of multiple "chokes" since their only World Cup win in 1987. Coach Graham Henry discarded luxury players, preferring function above art. Having lost Dan Carter though, it comes down to winning ugly. Argentina foxed them for a while, refusing the bait of an open game. Australia, in contrast, may go for the throat; £20 win Australia (12-5 Betfred).
Wayne Rooney will get enriched stick from the Kop today. United need Rooney to rise above it as they have lost on their last three trips to Anfield. £10 win Liverpool (11-5 Ladbrokes); £5 on a red card (12-5 William Hill).Reuse content