Speak the name of Peter Crouch and most football fans will probably tell you he is a ‘good old fashioned’ English centre forward – and a lanky one at that.
It also wouldn’t be out of place to term the 31-year-old international as a bit of a journeyman, considering that he has played for a whole host of clubs up and down the country.
But on Saturday evening at the Britannia Stadium, Crouch made the entire nation sit up and take note with an absolute wonder strike against title chasing Manchester City.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the footballing weekend, the usually awkward looking striker teed himself up perfectly before lashing a scintillating 30 yard effort past a hapless Joe Hart.
A goal worthy of winning any game for sure – but Stoke were to be denied thanks to a late Yaya Toure goal which kept Roberto Mancini’s side in contention, but only just.
Indeed, it probably wasn’t such a great weekend in terms of football betting and City were just one of a handful of ‘top teams’ who failed to land the odds for backers.
Resurgent Chelsea looked a sure thing at home to Spurs who have slumped beyond all proportions in recent weeks.
But Harry Redknapp worked wonders to galvanise his side who in truth were probably a little unlucky to only come away with a point.
Liverpool were perhaps the biggest disappointment of the weekend – the Reds carried absolute banker status heading into their fixture with basement boys Wigan Athletic at Anfield, but another dire display meant the visitors were able to claim a vital three points in their quest for survival.
Newcastle maintained their solid season to net a decent touch for punters at West Brom, whilst Arsenal continued to fire all guns blazing with a consummate 3-0 success over lowly Aston Villa.
The battle to beat the drop is really intensifying – and Alex McLeish’s Villains could indeed find themselves dragged into the mire unless they can turn the form around fast.
QPR were unable to build on a fine midweek comeback against Liverpool as they lost to Sunderland, whilst Wolves’ heads dropped once again after losing 2-1 on the road at Norwich.
Bolton Wanderers were unquestionably the main beneficiaries at the wrong end of the table as they completed a league double over Blackburn Rovers to move out of the drop zone.
The relegation battle as it stands looks completely wide open and punters should now be able to obtain decent prices about whichever team they fancy to lose Premier League status next season.
But the main focus will of course be matters at the summit of the table and both Manchester clubs are now on level points after the weekend’s action.
The betting should, nonetheless, heavily favour United who will be ready to pounce on Monday evening and win their game in hand against Fulham to extend three points clear.