Every game and I mean absolutely every game, is going to be tough this season and today is going to come down to luck. We won't want it anymore than Sunderland, so it really is going to come down to fortune. Call it luck of the draw.
Steve Bruce is one of those managers, a little like Alex McLeish, in the way that we know he'll achieve nothing in the game as a manager, he just loves football and was fortunate enough to be quite good at it, so ended up managing too. But he is a journeyman manager - nothing more.
And that is why nobody can predict with any certainty if there is going to be a winner and why the odds just favour the home team and why every bet is a good one but why you should take the draw.
Just because I like food, it doesn't make me a good chef
I don't mean to be disrespectful to McLeish or Bruce - I'm sure they are very nice men that you'd enjoy a round with and there is no doubt that the game is stressful and something not everyone can do - but that doesn't mean they are going to be great managers - it just means they are nice men you could enjoy a round with and they know how to build a team of people around them.
To the match
Have I set this up enough for you? I do apologise if I have but just because I don't see an exciting game doesn't mean that it isn't going to be exciting and besides, when 3pm comes about, your natural instincts take over and you just want the club to win and you go back to that optimistic place where anything can happen and you start to believe you'll win 3-0.
For a brief moment last week when the camera followed Alex McLeish out onto the pitch through the tunnel, I even thought he could do it, but then, when he went to shake the hands of a couple of stewards and they didn't look like they had taken to him, I snapped out of it.
But we can win today and Darren Bent could score three. He really could. But I really don't know. The odds follow and then some links that might be useful for you today, especially if you want to watch the game or follow it differently or read something I might have said in a preview for this game.
Links and tricks
- I answered a few questions for The Roker Report here. I did have a beer inside me, probably, so I started in on McLeish, but I stand by every word
- If you want to watch the game online, like you were watching on a TV and you can do this if you have HTPC or PS3 - then click here. I've ran it through XMBC, PS3 and the browser on a TV before and it is pretty excellent all things considered
- If you wanted to have a cheeky bet on us winning - the odds are pretty good click here but do remember, this is all set up for a draw
Given, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Petrov, Herd, Heskey, N’Zogbia, Bent and Gabby. On the bench; Guzan, Albrighton, Clark, Delph, Cuellar, Ireland and Delfouneso.