Saturday, 30 July 2011

Pukka Up

Newly promoted Real Betis may have thought they had a nice easy warm-up game arranged for today against relegation candidates Portsmouth, but a collision between Portsmouth's aircraft and a catering truck has delayed the Championship side's return to England by a couple of days, resulting in their replacement in the friendly by rivals Havant and Waterlooville.

You probably won't believe this, but apparently when the Real Betis official asked if a replacement opponent of similar standard had been found, and was told "Havant", he was about to order his team home before, amidst much hilarity, an interpreter was found to explain it all.

It didn't end there though, with Real Betis being initially very concerned about the risk of injury involved in playing two matches in one day.

Another amusing side-note is that several Pompey fans were reported to be planning trips to the city of Betis in the event of a reciprocal friendly being arranged for next summer...

When it comes to friendlies, a real bet is (get it?) not always easy to find, as seen in last night's Oxford United v Everton fixture. Betfair listed it as just that, despite Everton playing today at Birmingham City, so clearly the team at Oxford was always going to be a weak one. Relatively speaking of course. For anyone doing their homework, Oxford at 5.0+ were good value, but losers were bailed out as Betfair voided the game only after it had finished and Oxford had won, presumably because there was no XI after Everton's name in the listing.

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