FOOTBALL BETTING: Betrescue’s Chief Sports Writer Chris Hutcheon takes his weekly look at all the Premier League action with the Manchester derby and Spurs V Chelsea taking centre stage.
Following their one nil victory over Bolton and Arsenal’s 2-1 reverse at Tottenham in midweek, Chelsea are now a best price 1/6 at betfair to win the Premier League.
In the battle for fourth place, Spurs are now just a point and a goal behind Manchester City in what has become a two horse race for the final Champions League spot. Stan James make Harry Redknapp’s side 2/1 outsiders in that market with City 8/15 at Betfred.
Manchester United’s season has virtually collapsed in a quick-fire four-match sequence that has seen Bayern Munich send them spinning out of the Champions League and their title hopes degenerate following a reverse at home to Chelsea and a frustrating draw at Blackburn on Sunday.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are now targeting a derby victory at Manchester City as they seek to keep their slender hopes of retaining the Premiership crown alive and Partybets have installed them as 6/4 favourites to acquire the vital three points.
However, it’s City at a massive 15/8 (Victor Chandler) that are the team to follow in this one, and not simply because United are wobbling. Roberto Mancini’s men are in great shape at present; they defeated Chelsea in February and have only lost once in their last ten in the league matches, a defeat they have followed up with fourteen goals across three emphatic victories.
Furthermore, that Everton loss was also City’s only loss this season at Eastlands, where they have already beaten United once and subsequently the stats suggest that the hosts should be anything but outsiders against their demoralised neighbours.
Admittedly, a stalemate (12/5, Paddy Power) shouldn’t be ruled out and indeed Betfred’s 1/2 for Mancini’s charges to nab one point or three, or even Stan James’ evens chalked against City in their ‘Draw No Bet’ market are both viable alternatives for the more cautious.
Nevertheless the hosts’ dual incentive – to move closer to clinching fourth spot and simultaneously put paid to their bitter rivals’ title hopes – means they might just sneak it and William Hill’s 7/2 for them to do so by a one-goal margin is a cracking bet.
More specficially, Jaxx.com quote City at 9/1 to beat United 2-1 as they did in the Carling Cup back in January while Carlos Tevez is a tasty 5/1 with bet365 to break the deadlock against his former club.
Chelsea are a touch skinny 10/11 with Betdaq to overcome Tottenham as they look to maintain their lead at the top of the table and it would be no surprise if Spurs, Ladbrokes’ 3/1 outsiders, were to hold Carlo Ancelotti’s men to a draw at White Hart Lane, a result Totesport offer at 12/5.
With all four sides needing three points, punters can expect two open attacking games and goals could well be on the cards. Three or more in Manchester can be backed at 5/6 at bet365 whilst Victor Chandler offer 10/11 about a similar outcome in North London.
Arsenal by contrast, at 1/2 with Betfred, can ensure they remain in the hunt, by seeing off Wigan at the DW Stadium.
In the battle at the bottom it’s hard to see many of the relegation-threatened sides picking up points. Hull for example, are 8/11 (888Sport) to emerge empty-handed at Birmingham, Burnley are 4/7 with Victor Chandler to do likewise as they visit Sunderland and Paddy Power price Liverpool at 4/11 to get the better of West Ham at Anfield.
Those three results combine at just shy of 14/5 (bet365) in a treble.
Elsewhere, relegated Portsmouth will have their minds on an FA Cup Final appearance and so Aston Villa (4/6, Stan James) should secure the points at Fratton Park, Fulham are evens with William Hill to edge out Wolves at Craven Cottage and Betfred mark 10/11 against hosts Stoke as they entertain Bolton.
Draw fanciers meanwhile, can obtain odds of 23/10 with Betdaq for Blackburn and Everton to be inseparable at Ewood Park.
To compare all the weekend’s match odds, click here