Gone are the Friday nights where my pals and I would convene at the local park, convince the friendliest (stupidest) dog walker to buy us bottles of the corner shops finest (strongest) cider, drink aforementioned cider in record speed, throw up aforementioned record speed consumed cider, initiate drunk conversation with parents about their choice of television watching entertainment to appear ‘sober’.

My Friday nights now consist of secretly streaming Ligue Deux games (Nimes v Le Havre specifically last week) whilst pretending to be interested in whatever Miss Gambling Panel has chosen for us to watch that night. God I miss White Lightning (other unnecessarily strong cider brands are available).

Not even corner shops strongest cider could shrug off the disappointment of that particular 0-0. A weeks worth of meticulous match selection.

Twitter notification.


Place bet.


Next bet.

I had managed to beg, steal and borrow my way up to 68 sovs from a fiver (method known as ‘The Hollywood’ read more on other methods here https://wordpress.com/post/thegamblingpanel.com/6414). This meant only two more bets to reach the holy grail. £100.

Buzz went the phone – 71.1% proclaimed the Tweet – Place bet went the thumb – 0-0 goes the final score. F*ck you Nimes v Le Havre. F*ck you Celebrity Big Brother I’m now committed to watching.

Minutes after the final whistle, the post-match inquest commences. This is the second week running I’ve been stung by the French, and this time I’m not having it! With The Panel’s analytics department on call 24/7, I managed to access stats for me to draw some conclusions from the outcome:

– France Panel win % = 61% (20% lower than our overall win rate)

– Ligue 2 draw % = 35% (extremely high compared to the Premier Leagues 22%, Nimes draw % = 40%!)

– Ligue 2 average goals per game = 2.27 (this is lower than average amongst leagues in Europe, Premier League = 2.86)

– Le Havre have Ligue 2 second best defensive record and 5th worst scoring record.

– Separated by only two points (suggests teams of very similar quality, ability to cancel each other out)

This is the level of The Panel’s analytical interrogation and how we are constantly striving to improve upon our 81% win rate. In time, this sort of analysis will be integrated into the BetScore and hopefully next time my phone buzzes with a Ligue Deux game, it better be a bloody good’un.

After witnessing such shithousery two weeks running, completely ruining my Friday night, it’s easy to see why players such as: Didier Agathe, Morgan Amalfitano, Jordan Amavi, Ibrahim Ba, David Bellion, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Remy Cabella, Bruno Cheyrou, Ousmane Dabo, Stephane Dalmat, Mathieu Debuchy, All the Diarra’s, Didier Digard, Christophe Dugarry, Bafetimbi Gomis, Yoan Gouffran, Stephane Guivar’ch, Olivier Kapo, Christian Karembeu, Anthony Le Tallec, Eliaquim Mangala, Steve Marlet, Yann M’Villa, David N’Gog, Gabriel Obertan, Frederic Piquionne, Emmanuel Riviere, Yaya Sanogo, Sebastian Schemmel, Florent Sinama Pongolle, Sebastian Squillaci, Benjamin Stamboli, Florian Thauvin, Jordan Veretout, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Paul Pogba… never made it in the Prem.

Ones to Watch:

Al Ahli v Al Shoalah (Friday 17:10 – Saudi Arabia)

“Beer please bar-keep… Oh, and have you got Al Jazeera TV?”

A common quote used by Panellers this Friday evening, looking to keep an eye on this one. This game looks good for goals, we’re just hoping they’re all in the second half. Al Ahli will be resting important players for this cup tie as their attention is fully focused on the league, they still however have the quality to make the breakthrough. Saudi Arabia have a decent record for The Panel with a win rate of 84.6%.

Helmond Sport v Oss (Friday 19:00 – Netherlands)

Let’s have it right, there’s as much chance of picking a game in this feature that will appear as a tweet as there is being a 0-0 in this division. With a total disregard for defending, I’m relying on the keepers of both of these teams having a blinder… until the 65th minute. Oss average more goals per game than wees I have in a day (4.85) and Helmond Sport are banging in and conceding goals like they’re going out of fashion. With a league win rate of 80% and a Panel win rate of 84.3%, if this is 0-0 at half time make sure you lump on… before preparing for the end of the world.

Man City v Spurs (Saturday 17:30 – Premier League)

This is quite an easy one and also the most probable of all three. Neither side can afford to lose so expect a cagey first half. Both would secretly quite like to win, so expect a more expansive second. Combine that with Bravo and Stones being rubbish and Alli and Kane being quite decent, can definitely see goals, eventually…


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