Sunderland Slashed In FA Cup Betting

Sunderland have seen their odds on winning the FA Cup 2012 slashed following their weekend victory against Arsenal, but Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool remain the bookmakers favourites.

At the Stadium of Light, a Kieron Richardson goal five minutes before the break and an own-goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after 78 minutes saw Arsenal tumble to a second Cup defeat in the space of a few days.

In Sunday’s evening kick-off, Liverpool swept aside the challenge of Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion with an emphatic 6-1 victory at Anfield.

Martin Skrtel opened the scoring after just five minutes but Brighton were back on level terms after 17 minutes when Kazenga LuaLua equalised. An own goal from Liam Bridcutt a minute before half-time gave Liverpool the advantage and Andy Carroll put the Reds 3-1 ahead after 57 minutes.

A second own-goal from Bridcutt and a third by Brighton, this time from Lewis Dunk put the match beyond doubt but Luis Suarez added gloss to the scoreline with a sixth five minutes from the end.

Earlier that afternoon, resilient Stevenage held Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw but the Premier League side will be hot favourites to progress to the quarter finals with the replay at White Hart Lane.

Louis Saha saw a goal ruled out for offside in the second half after his effort struck Scott Parker on the goal line.

Spurs were not the only Premier League side held to a draw – Birmingham City drew 1-1 at Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.

David Murphy struck from close range after 20 minutes to give the Championship club a shock lead but Daniel Sturridge eased some of the pressure from under-fire manager Andres Villas-Boas with an equaliser just after the hour mark.

One top-flight club that did not survive the fifth round was Norwich City, who were beaten 2-1 at Carrow Road by improving Leicester City.

Sean St. Ledger gave the Championship side the lead after five minutes but Wes Hoolahan equalised for the Canaries on 23. Former England-cap David Nugent struck the winner after 71 minutes, meaning the Foxes are the only non-Premier League club guaranteed a place in the quarter finals.

Elsewhere, Stoke City ended Crawley Town’s FA Cup run. Despite home advantage, Crawley succumbed to a Jon Walters penalty late in the first half and a goal from Peter Crouch seven minutes after the break.

The Potters overcame a controversial sending off for Rory Delap and the defeat meant Crawley went out of the competition at the fifth round stage in successive seasons.

Everton eased past Blackpool with a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park. The tie was wrapped-up early on after two goals in the first six minutes. Rosyton Drenthe broke the deadlock after just 49 seconds before Denis Stracqualursi added a second barely five minutes later.

Bolton Wanderers also eased past Championship opposition with a 2-0 win at Millwall. On-loan Arsenal starlet Ryo Miyachi scored after four minutes and former Liverpool striker David Ngog added a second just before the hour.

Quarter Final Draw

Liverpool have home advantage when they take on Stoke City for the fourth time this season. Tony Pulis’ team earned a draw at Anfield when they met in a Premier League fixture in January.

If Chelsea see off Birmingham City at St. Andrews, they will face another Championship club in Leicester City. However, if Chris Hughton’s side win, it will mean a Championship team is guaranteed a place in the semi finals.

Tottenham Hotspur should win their replay against Stevenage in front of their own fans but whoever wins the tie has home advantage against Premier League strugglers Bolton Wanderers.

The last quarter-final is guaranteed to be an all-Premier League affair when Everton host in-form Sunderland.

Best odds available for all teams remaining in the FA Cup:

  • Tottenham Hotspur @ 3.5 (Betfred)
  • Liverpool @ 3.75 (Bet Victor)
  • Chelsea @ 5.5 (Ladbrokes)
  • Everton @ 8.0 (bet365)
  • Sunderland @ 10.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Stoke City @ 21.0 (Coral)
  • Bolton Wanderers @ 3.5 (Sportingbet)
  • Birmingham City @ 51.0 (Boylesports)
  • Leicester City @ 3.5 (Paddy Power)
  • Stevenage @ 751.0 (Bet Victor)

Manchester City Favourites In Europa League Betting

Europa League Round of 32 First Leg Review

Manchester City are the bookmakers favourites to win this season’s Europa League after a first leg victory in their round of 32 tie at FC Porto.

Roberto Mancini’s side fell behind to a Silvestre Varela goal after 27 minutes but fought back in the second half through a Alvaro Pereira own goal after 55 minutes and a Sergio Aguero winner six minutes before the end.

Manchester United also won away from home, strolling to a comfortable 2-0 first leg victory at Ajax.

Ashley Young broke the deadlock after 59 minutes while Javier Hernandez made sure of the victory five minutes from time.

If you fancy an all-Manchester final, you can get odds of 10.0 with Paddy Power on it happening.

The other remaining Premier League side in the competition, Stoke City, face a tall order to qualify for the last 16 as they slipped to a 1-0 home defeat against Valencia.

A 30 yard effort from Mehmet Topal nine minutes before the break brought Stoke’s unbeaten home record in Europe to an end and gives the La Liga club a precious away goal in the second leg.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid took a commanding first leg lead at Lazio, winning 3-1 in Italy. Veteran German international Miroslav Klose gave Lazio the lead but an equaliser from Adrian Lopez and a brace from Radamel Falcao put the La  Liga club in the driving seat.

Polish side Legia Warsaw took the lead twice against Sporting Lisbon but were pegged back to a 2-2 draw. Jakub Wawrzyniak gave Legia the lead eight minutes before the break but Daniel Carrico equalised on the hour. Janusz Gol looked to have won it for the Warsaw-based club with 10 minutes left but Andre Santos equalised for the second time late on.

Schalke 04 were big favourites to win at Plzen but were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg. Vladimir Darida gave the Czech side a shock lead after 22 minutes but Klas Jan Huntelaar equalised with 15 minutes left to spare the Bundesliga club’s blushes.

Besiktas pulled off a surprising win at Braga who were not helped by the sending off of Helder Barbosa after 29 minutes. Tomas Sivok gave the Turkish side the lead shortly before half time and Simao Sabrosa added a second on 58 minutes.

Outright Europa League Winner:

  • Manchester City @ 4.5 (Ladbrokes)
  • Manchester United @ 5.0 (bet365)
  • Valencia @ 11.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Atletico Madrid @ 13.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Schalke 04 @ 15.0 (Sky Bet)
  • PSV Eindhoven @ 21.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Athletic Bilbao @ 26.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Olympiacos @ 29.0 (Betfred)
  • Metalist Kharkiv @ 34.0 (Betfred)
  • Sporting Lisbon @ 34.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Udinese @ 34.0 (Sportingbet)
  • FC Twente @ 34.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Hannover 96 @ 41.0 (Paddy Power)
  • AZ Alkmaar @ 41.0 (Betfred)
  • Besiktas @ 41.0 (bet365)
  • Lokomotiv Moscow @ 67.0 (Bet Victor)
  • SC Anderlecht @ 67.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • PAOK Thessaloniki @ 81.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Porto @ 81.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Robin Kazan @ 81.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Standard Liege @ 81.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Stoke City @ 151.0 (bet365)
  • Lazio @ 176.0 (bet365)
  • Club Brugge @ 201.0 (Betfred)
  • Viktoria Plzen @ 201.0 (Betfred)
  • Wisla Krakow @ 201.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Trabzonspor @ 251.0 (Sportingbet)
  • SC Braga @ 251.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Legia Warsaw @ 251.0 (bet365)
  • Steaua Bucuresti @ 501.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Ajax @ 501.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Salzburg @ 1001.0 (bet365)

AC Milan Slashed In Champions League Betting

Champions League Round of 16 First Leg Review

AC Milan have been slashed in the Champions League betting following last night’s 4-0 crushing of Arsenal at the San Siro.

The Serie A club were available at 28.0 before kick-off, but two goals from Robinho, a wonder-strike from Kevin-Prince Boateng and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw the bookmakers cut their odds down to 13.0.

The Gunners were shellshocked in Italy and are now out to 401.0 outsiders to win Europe’s premier competition. They will need to win by five clear goals to proceed to the quarter finals or by a 4-0 scoreline to take the tie into extra time and penalties.

Earlier that evening, Zenit St Petersburg beat Benfica 3-2 in Russia. Benfica took the lead through Maxi Pereira but were pegged back with a goals from Roman Shirokov and Sergei Semak. Oscar Cardozo equalised for the Portuguese side with three minutes left but Shirokov grabbed a dramatic second two minutes later.

Zenit were cut by several firms but are still outsiders at 126.0. With two away goals, Benfica will fancy their chances in the return leg but drifted out to 41.0.

Barcelona remain the favourites to win the tournament, as they have done all season, after a comfortable 3-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen on  Tuesday night.

Two goals from Alexis Sanchez either side of an effort from Michal Kadlec put Barcelona in control and a late third from Lionel Messi looked to put the La Liga side into the last eight with the return leg at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona are a best-priced 2.4 to become become the first club to retain the trophy since the switch to the Champions League format in 1992.

Lyon take a slender lead to Cyprus after beating APOEL 1-0 at the Stade de Gerland. A goal from Alexandre Lacazette after 58 minutes was enough to win the first leg for the Ligue One club.

Elsewhere in the betting, Real Madrid remain second favourites to win the Champions League while Bayer Munich are third favourites with the bookmakers.

Both play their last-16 first-leg matches next week, as do Chelsea, Inter Milan and Napoli.

Outright Champions League Winner:

  • Barcelona @ 2.4 (Paddy Power)
  • Real Madrid @ 3.75 (Betfred)
  • Bayern Munich @ 7.0 (Sportingbet)
  • AC Milan @ 13.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Chelsea @ 15.0 (bet365)
  • Inter Milan @ 34.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Napoli @ 41.0 (Coral)
  • Benfica @ 41.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Lyon @ 81.0 (Boylesports)
  • Zenit St Petersburg @ 126.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Marseille @ 151.0 (Bet Victor)
  • APOEL @ 301.0 (Coral)
  • Arsenal @ 401.0 (Sportingbet)
  • FC Basel @ 401.0 (bet365)
  • CSKA Moscow @ 401.0 (Boylesports)
  • Bayer Leverkusen @ 1251.0 (Coral)

Dancing On Ice Betting Update – Week Six

Jorgie Porter is now the odds-on favourite with the bookmakers to win Series Seven of Dancing on Ice.

The 24-year-old received a series-best score of 26.0 from the judging panel, three clear points from her nearest rival on the night, Chico.

Former favourite Matthew Wolfenden could muster only a score of 22.0 and despite clear skating ability, needs to improve if he is to beat Jorgie.

Rosemary Conley became the sixth contestant eliminated from the show after facing Chemmy Alcott in the bottom two skate-off.

The 65-year-old could only muster a judge’s score of 15.5, down on her 17.0 series best last week and positioned her as ninth out of 10 on the leader board. Chemmy finished seventh but lack of support in the public vote made her skate again.

All three judges voted to save Chemmy and send the oldest remaining contestant home.

Here is how the nine remaining contestants fair in the betting:

Jorgie Porter

Hollyoaks actress Jorgie has raced ahead in the betting and is now the clear favourite to win the show ahead of both Matthew and Chico.

Best Odds: 1.8 (Sky Bet)

Matthew Wolfenden

Emmerdale actor Matthew is now available at much longer odds than a couple of weeks ago. His score of 22.0 last night put him third for the show overall, behind both Jorgie and Chico and marginally ahead of Sebastien.

Best Odds: 4.0 (Betfred)

Chico

Reality television personality Chico is giving the show all he’s got and he finished week six with the second-highest judge’s score of the night. His score of 23.0 was his series best so far.

Best Odds: 7.5 (Paddy Power)

Sebastien Foucan

Freerunner Sebastien was awarded the fourth best score of the night and is fourth in the betting. He’ll be there of thereabouts come the end of the series but is unlikely to finish higher than fourth overall.

Best Odds: 11.0 (Sky Bet)

Jennifer Ellison

Actress and glamour model Jennifer suffered a blow to her head from her skate blade performing a “scorpian kick” but finished her routine and was awarded a series best score of 19.0. Miles behind the leading contenders and her odds reflect that.

Best Odds: 34.0 (Betfred)

Chemmy Alcott

Chemmy found herself in the bottom two for the first time this series despite three other skaters awarded lower judge’s scores overall. Support for her appears to be dwindling.

Best Odds: 34.0 (bet365)

Andy Whyment

Andy skated reasonably well last night but as usual does not display any great ability. He’s clinging onto his place in the show and could find himself in the bottom two skate-off next week.

Best Odds: 67.0 (Paddy Power)

Heidi Range

Singer Heidi received the lowest judge’s score of the evening – just 14.0. A slip on the ice cost her points and it is unlikely she will remain in the show much longer.

Best Odds: 81.0 (bet365)

Sam Nixon

After facing the bottom two skate-off last week, Sam performed much better last night and earned a respectable score of 19.5 – positioning him fifth out of the 10 remaining skaters. Still the bookmakers outsider to win.

Best Odds: 101.0 (Sky Bet)

Wales New Favourites In Six Nations Betting

Wales moved ahead of previous favourites France in the Six Nations betting after beating Scotland at the Millennium Stadium by a 27-13 score while the French saw their match against Ireland called off due to a frozen pitch.

A penalty from Greg Laidlaw for Scotland and one from Leigh Halfpenny for Wales saw both sides level at 3-3 going into half-time but after the break, both sides sprang into life.

Alex Cuthbert got the first try of the match for Wales and Halfpenny converted before adding a penalty shortly after. A Laidlaw penalty dragged the score back to 13-6 but Wales add another try and conversion minutes later courtesy of Halfpenny again.

Halfpenny got his second try of the match and followed up with a conversion, seemingly putting the match beyond Scotland’s reach at 27-6. But, Laidlaw touched down for a first try in five matches for the Scots before adding a penalty for a final score of 27-13.

On Saturday, England made heavy weather of beating Italy and needed an impressive comeback to prevent a shock result in Rome.

England went 6-0 ahead thanks to two Owen Farrell penalties but errors gifted Italy two tries in two minutes from Giovanbattista Venditti and Tomasso Benvenuti and threatened to make Six Nations history going into half-time with a 12-6 lead.

A vastly experienced Italy, with 698 caps in their starting XV compared to just 248 for England, went further ahead thanks to a Kris Burton penalty, taking the score to 15-6 but they could not hold on to the lead.

A second charge-down try in eight days from Charlie Hodgson, converted by the ice-cold Farrell and two further penalties from youngster turned the match on its head for a final score of 19-15 in England’s favour.

Later that evening, France called off their match with Ireland 10 minutes before kick-off due to a frozen pitch at the Stade de France.

With the temperature at 8pm standing at minus five degrees, with a windchill of minus 11, referee Dave Pearson decided parts of the pitch were frozen and unsafe for the players.

The match needs to be rearranged.

Six Nations Winner:

  • Wales @ 2.38 (Boylesports)
  • France @ 2.75 (bet365)
  • England @ 6.0 (Betfred)
  • Ireland @ 17.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Scotland @ 1001.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Italy @ 5001.0 (Bet Victor)

Grand Slam

As well as edging ahead in the overall Six Nations winner market, Wales are now firm favourites to win the Grand Slam after beating Scotland on Sunday. Wales take on England in a fortnight and then France in the final round of Six Nations matches on 17 March.

Wales have two more home fixtures – against Italy and France but must still travel to England. France are yet to play Ireland in their second round of matches and then take on England at home. They must travel to Scotland and Wales. England host Wales and Ireland and face France on the road.

  • Wales @ 3.25 (Boylesports)
  • France @ 4.33 (bet365)
  • England @ 12.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • No Winner @ 2.5 (Paddy Power)

Triple Crown

Wales are the red-hot bookmakers favourites to take the Triple Crown, despite travelling to Twickenham to face England on 25 February. Should England beta Wales, they also have home advantage against Ireland.

  • Wales @ 1.73 (Ladbrokes)
  • England @ 4.33 (Sky Bet)
  • No Winner @ 5.0 (bet365)

Manchester United vs Liverpool Betting

It is advantage Liverpool as both sides go head-to-head at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.

Kenny Dalglish’s side earned the bragging rights with a 2-1 victory at Anfield in the FA Cup fourth round and all eyes will be on what happens between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra and the customary pre-match handshake.

In some ways it’s fortunate the circus surrounding Harry Redknapp being cleared of all allegations of bungs and tax dodging and Fabio Capello resigning on the same day, happened this week to ease some of the speculation that could have filled the media in the run-up to this match.

United have lost just two of their last 15 Premier League matches but we saw the best and worst of them during last weekend’s remarkable 3-3 draw at Chelsea. Yes, United were magnificent as they battled back from 3-0 down but their defensive weaknesses were there for all to see.

Goalkeeper David De Gea does not look up to Premier League standard yet and he was exposed during the FA Cup tie against Liverpool. No doubt he will be a target yet again from set-pieces should he stand between the sticks.

At the back United may be vulnerable but they are irresistible in attack with 16 goals in their last five matches. Wayne Rooney’s two penalties against Chelsea were his first in the league since scoring at Fulham before Christmas and of course Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick in this fixture last season. The Bulgarian netted a treble against Wigan on Boxing Day and it will be interesting to see if he features on Saturday.

Liverpool are in good form themselves and have lost just three times in their last 15 in all competitions. They are also very mean in defence – only Manchester City have conceded fewer goals in the Premier League this season.

The danger man for them in recent weeks has been Craig Bellamy and the Welshman has scored six goals in his last eight starts. The pacy striker gave Rio Ferdinand a torrid time when playing for Manchester City a couple of seasons ago and will been keen to impress on the big stage again.

This is a difficult match to predict but given home advantage, I will favour United to avenge their FA Cup exit and close the gap on Manchester rivals City before their match kicks off on Sunday.

Verdict: Manchester United @ 1.91 (Paddy Power)

Other Results:

  • Liverpool @ 4.5 (Betfred)
  • Draw @ 3.6 (bet365)

First Goalscorer

Wayne Rooney finally broke his goalscoring duck with two penalties against Chelsea last weekend and is overdue a goal against Liverpool. His last strike against the Reds came in March 2010 and he can be backed at 5.0 (Bet Victor).

Selected other first goalscorers:

  • Javier Hernandez @ 6.5 (Sky Bet)
  • Danny Welbeck @ 7.0 (Boylesports)
  • Dimitar Berbatov @ 8.0 (Boylesports)
  • Luis Suarez @ 8.5 (bet365)
  • Nani @ 9.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Craig Bellamy @ 10.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Ashley Young @ 11.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Andy Carroll @ 13.0 (bet365)
  • Steven Gerrard @ 13.0 (bet365)
  • Luis Valencia @ 13.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Dirk Kuyt @ 15.0 (bet365)
  • Ji Sung Park @15.0 (Betfred)
  • No Goalscorer @ 11.0 (Bet Victor)

Anytime Goalscorer

Craig Bellamy has scored six goals in the last eight matches he has started and is on course to win Player of the Season for Liverpool. He looks good value at 4.0 (Ladbrokes) to hit the back of the net at any time, especially given United’s defensive frailties.

Selected other anytime goalscorers:

  • Javier Hernandez @ 2.7 (Paddy Power)
  • Danny Welbeck @ 2.85 (Sportingbet)
  • Dimitar Berbatov @ 3.4 (Sky Bet)
  • Luis Suarez @ 3.5 (Coral)
  • Nani @ 3.8 (Sportingbet)
  • Ashley Young @ 4.5 (Ladbrokes)
  • Andy Carroll @ 5.0 (bet365)
  • Steven Gerrard @ 5.0 (bet365)
  • Luis Valencia @ 5.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Dirk Kuyt @ 5.0 (bet365)
  • Ji Sung Park @ 5.5 (Sky Bet)

Correct Score

Despite Liverpool’s mean defence, there could be goals in this fixture. United scored three last weekend and with David De Gea shaky in goal, Liverpool could grab a couple themselves. How about United to win 3-2 @ 29.0 (bet365).

Selected other correct scores:

  • Manchester United 1-0 @ 7.5 (Boylesports)
  • Manchester United 2-0 @ 9.5 (Coral)
  • Manchester United 2-1 @ 9.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Manchester United 3-0 @ 17.0 (Coral)
  • Manchester United 3-1 @ 17.0 (Coral)
  • Draw 0-0 @ 11.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Draw 1-1 @ 7.0 (Betfred)
  • Draw 2-2 @ 15.0 (bet365)
  • Liverpool 1-0 @ 12.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Liverpool 2-0 @ 23.0 (Coral)
  • Liverpool 2-1 @ 15.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Liverpool 3-0 @ 67.0 (Betfred)
  • Liverpool 3-1 @ 41.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Liverpool 3-2 @ 41.0 (Sportingbet)

Harry Redknapp Favourite In Next England Manager Betting

Harry Redknapp is the bookmakers favourite to become the next permanent England manager after Fabio Capello resigned yesterday.

Redknapp was found not guilty of taking “bungs” in a £189,000 tax dodge and speculation is rife that it was “no coincidence” that Capello left his post on the day Redknapp was cleared.

The 63-year-old Englishman would be a popular choice to lead his underachieving country into Euro 2012 following a dismal World Cup campaign two years ago.

Indeed, Redknapp has displayed such credentials at Tottenham Hotspur, who were languishing near the bottom of the Premier League when he took over in 2008.

Just two years later Redknapp delivered Champions League football for the first time in the White Hart Lane club’s history and has turned Welsh international Gareth Bale into one of the best players in the Premier League. This was a player who had infamously played 24 league matches for the club and not been on the winning side.

This is not the first time Redknapp has turned around the fortunes of a flagging club – his first managerial appointment at Bournemouth in 1983 was when the Cherries sat second-from-bottom in the old Division Three. But, in 1987, they were promoted after winning the league.

He joined West Ham United as assistant manager in 1992 and was appointed manager in 1994 after Billy Bonds resigned. He quit in 2001 after avoiding relegation.

He joined Portsmouth as director of football and when Graham Rix was sacked, he took over as manager in 2002 and won promotion to the Premier League a year later.

But, in 2004, Redknapp committed the cardinal sin of leaving Portsmouth to join arch-rivals Southampton. He stayed at St Mary’s for just over a year and by December 2005 was back at Fratton Park after admitting he made a “monumental mistake” in leaving the club.

Redknapp guided Portsmouth to winning the FA Cup in 2008 but just a few months later, quit the club for a second time to take the job at Tottenham Hotspur.

Redknapp can be backed at current best odds of 1.4 (bet365).

More England Manager Candidates

Undoubtedly Redknapp’s odds are short due to the media frenzy which has taken place during the past 24 hours with him being cleared of tax-dodging and Capello resigning. Both England striker Wayne Rooney and former player-turned-pundit Gary Lineker have also publicly called for Redknapp’s appointment.

However, value hunters will be keen to look elsewhere, so if you want to back somebody at longer odds, you can choose from:

  • Stuart Pearce @ 8.5 (Paddy Power)
  • Guus Hiddink @ 11.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Jose Mourinho @ 15.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Roy Hodgson @ 15.0 (Betfred)
  • Alan Pardew @ 21.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Arsene Wenger @ 34.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Martin O’Neill @ 34.0 (bet365)
  • Rafa Benitez @ 34.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Gareth Southgate @ 41.0 (Betfred)
  • Carlo Ancelotti @ 51.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Chris Powell @ 51.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Louis Van Gaal @ 51.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Roberto Mancini @ 51.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Sam Allardyce @ 51.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Steve Coppell @ 51.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Alan Curbishley @ 67.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Alan Shearer @ 67.0 (Sky Bet)
  • David Beckham @ 67.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Kevin Keegan @ 67.0 (Boylesports)
  • Steve Bruce @ 67.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Ray Wilkins @ 67.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Sir Trevor Brooking @ 67.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Gary Neville @ 101.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Sven Goran Eriksson @ 101.0 (Boylesports)
  • Terry Venables @ 101.0 (Sportingbet)

France Favourites In Six Nations Betting

France are the favourites to win the Six Nations 2012 after an opening round victory against Italy.

New boss Philippe Saint-Andre enjoyed a perfect start as his team eased to a 30-12 victory, avenging the shock defeat sustained at the hands of the Italians during the 2011 Six Nations tournament.

France lead by a 15-6 scoreline at half-time thanks to tries from Clermont duo Aurelien Rougerie and Julien Malzieu but Kris Burton added three points soon after the break to reduced the deficit to 15-9.

A converted Vincent Clerc try by Dimitri Yachvili and a Wesley Fofana try on his debut ensured a comfortable home victory.

England won their first game at Murrayfield in eight years when they beat Scotland 13-6.

A new-look side under interim coach Stuart Lancaster stood up to wave after wave of Scottish pressure and the home side were left ruing a host of wasted try-scoring opportunities.

Owen Farrell opened the scoring with three points for England but two penalties from Dan Parks edged Scotland into a 6-3 half-time lead.

Park turned villain when a clearance was charged down by Saracen fly-half Charlie Hodgson who scored an easy try and Farrell added the conversion and a late penalty to put the game beyond the reach of the Scots.

On Sunday, Wales beat Ireland with the last kick of the match in a thrilling encounter in Dublin. Leigh Halfpenny struck a last-gasp penalty to win the match 23-21 after the lead had changed hands five times.

Wales raced into a 5-3 lead after the first of two Jonathan Davies tries but Ireland had the advantage at half-time when a Rory Best try made the score 10-5.

Wales went in front again through Davies but Tommy Bowe looked to have sealed a home victory with 13 minutes left with the score now at 21-15.

But, six minutes from the end, a George North and an agonising missed conversion from Leigh Halfpenny saw Wales right back in the game, now trailing 21-20.

Stephen Ferris was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle for Halfpenny to convert the resulting penalty and snatch the game 23-21 at the death.

Six Nations Winner:

  • France @ 2.25 (bet365)
  • Wales @ 2.75 (Bet Victor)
  • England @ 6.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Ireland @ 11.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Scotland @ 101.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Italy @ 751.0 (Boylesports)

Grand Slam

Despite France being the bookmakers favourites to win the Six Nations, it is Wales who are favourites to win the Grand Slam. Wales host France in the final round of Six Nations matches on 17 March.

Wales have three home fixtures – against Scotland, Italy and France but must still travel to England. France face Ireland and England at home but travel to Scotland and Wales. England host Wales and Ireland but face Italy and France on the road.

  • Wales @ 3.75 (Boylesports)
  • France @ 4.5 (Ladbrokes)
  • England @ 15.0 (Sportingbet)
  • No Winner @ 2.1 (bet365)

Triple Crown

Wales are the favourites to take the Triple Crown following their defeat of Ireland. They take on Scotland at the Millennium Stadium but must travel to Twickenham to face England on 25 February. Having beaten Scotland away, England also have home advantage against Ireland.

  • Wales @ 2.2 (Coral)
  • England @ 3.5 (Sportingbet)
  • No Winner @ 3.5 (Sky Bet)

Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur Betting

After Manchester United slipped up in the title race on Sunday following a remarkable 3-3 draw at Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur will be keen to make up ground with a victory at Anfield.

Easier said than done, however, as Liverpool are still unbeaten at Anfield in the Premier League this season and are a team hitting form when it counts.

They may have been humiliated 3-1 by Bolton Wanderers a couple of weeks ago, but that was followed up by a convincing 3-0 victory at Wolves. Kenny Dalglish has inspired his side to dumping Manchester United out of the FA Cup and reaching the Carling Cup final at the expense of Manchester City.

Last September, Spurs smashed the Reds 4-0 at White Hart Lane but are likely to depleted as they hunt a league double over Liverpool in successive seasons. Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart all rated doubtful and Aaron Lennon is struggling to be fit in time.

Manager Harry Redknapp may give a debut to striker Louis Saha who has scored just once in 18 league appearances this season for Everton and is some 942 minutes without a goal. The home side welcome back Steven Gerrard who was rested at Wolves while striker Luis Suarez is also available following an eight-match suspension.

With key players unlikely to play, Redknapp’s record of two victories on Merseyside in 28 Premier League visits may get a little worse on Monday night.

Verdict: Liverpool @ 2.15 (Paddy Power)

Other Results:

  • Tottenham Hotspur @ 3.75 (Bet Victor)
  • Draw @ 3.4 (bet365)

First Goalscorer

Craig Bellamy has scored in each of his last four Premier League starts and scored a total of five goals this season. The Wales international has become a key player for Dalglish this season and can be backed at 7.5 (Boylesports).

Selected other first goalscorers:

  • Luis Suarez @ 6.5 (Boylesports)
  • Andy Carroll @ 9.0 (bet365)
  • Emmanuel Adebayor @ 9.0 (Boylesports)
  • Rafael van der Vaart @ 9.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Jermain Defoe @ 9.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Steven Gerrard @ 9.5 (Bet Victor)
  • Louis Saha @ 10.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Dirk Kuyt @ 10.5 (Bet Victor)
  • Gareth Bale @ 11.0 (bet365)
  • Maxi Rodriguez @ 13.0 (Boylesports)
  • Giovani Do Santos @ 15.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • No Goalscorer @ 10.0 (Sky Bet)

Anytime Goalscorer

After an eight-match absence, it is unlikely Luis Suarez will start the game but don’t rule out a contribution from the bench. The Uruguay striker can be backed at best odds of 3.0 (Coral) to hit the back of the net at any time.

Selected other anytime goalscorers:

  • Craig Bellamy @ 3.0 (Coral)
  • Steven Gerrard @ 3.4 (Sportingbet)
  • Andy Carroll @ 3.5 (Paddy Power)
  • Emmanuel Adebayor @ 3.6 (Sportingbet)
  • Jermain Defoe @ 3.75 (Paddy Power)
  • Rafael van der Vaart @ 4.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Louis Saha @ 4.0 (bet365)
  • Dirk Kuyt @ 4.0 (Sportingbet)
  • Gareth Bale @ 4.33 (bet365)
  • Maxi Rodriguez @ 5.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Giovani Do Santos @ 5.5 (Ladbrokes)
  • Charlie Adam @ 5.5 (Sky Bet)

Correct Score

With two influential players returning for Liverpool in Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez, while Spurs could be without a host of attacking players, a 2-0 home win @ 10.0 (Betfred) looks appealing.

Selected other correct scores:

  • Liverpool 1-0 @ 7.5 (Bet Victor)
  • Liverpool 2-1 @ 9.5 (Coral)
  • Liverpool 3-0 @ 21.0 (Coral)
  • Liverpool 3-1 @ 19.0 (Coral)
  • Liverpool 3-2 @ 34.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Draw 0-0 @ 10.0 (bet365)
  • Draw 1-1 @ 7.0 (Betfred)
  • Draw 2-2 @ 17.0 (Ladbrokes)
  • Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 @ 10.0 (Paddy Power)
  • Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 @ 19.0 (Bet Victor)
  • Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 @ 15.0 (Betfred)
  • Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 @ 34.0 (Sky Bet)
  • Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 @ 41.0 (Bet Victor)

Premier League Predictions 5 February 2012

On Sunday 5 February, Manchester United look to end a winless run at Chelsea that spans almost a decade in the Premier League while Newcastle United could unleash the “Two Demba’s” on an Aston Villa side unbeaten in their last five away fixtures.

Newcastle United vs Aston Villa

Newcastle welcome back top goal scorer Demba Ba and could hand a debut to £10 million striker Papiss Cisse in the televised lunchtime kick off. Alan Pardew’s side are in good form at home, winning their last three in all competitions, including a 3-0 defeat of Manchester United.

What is exciting about Newcastle’s form is they have won four of their last six league matches, even when key players like Ba and Cheick Tiote have been missing. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last five at home against Villa, including handing out a 6-0 drubbing at the beginning of last season.

This is not a cut-and-dried home victory though. Villa are unbeaten in their last five away matches in the Premier League and have won their last two – at Wolves and Chelsea.

Alex McLeish’s side showed great spirit coming from two goals down against QPR midweek to draw the fixture but they have not scored in their last three visits to Newcastle.

With a bolstered front line – the “Two Demba’s” have scored 59 league goals between them since the start of last season, the Magpies are tipped to outgun Villa, with Darren Bent having scored in his last three league appearances.

Verdict: Newcastle United @ 2.15 (Bet Victor)

Chelsea vs Manchester United

This is a crucial time in United’s season – having beaten Arsenal a few weeks ago, they face Chelsea this weekend and then host Liverpool next Saturday. They have also played Manchester City and Liverpool in the FA Cup in recent weeks.

The big games are coming thick and fast and it is time to put the notion that United always step up a gear in the second half of the season to the test.

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last nine home league matches against United – winning six and drawing three with United scoring just five goals during that sequence.

But, with John Terry missing with a knee injury and Ashley Cole suspended, United have a great opportunity to end their winless run at Stamford Bridge. Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Nani and Tom Cleverly are all available for Sir Alex Ferguson too. Under-fire goalkeeper David de Gea is set to return between the sticks after Anders Lindegaard was ruled out for six weeks.

Chelsea’s form has not been great. Since beating Manchester City at the Bridge convincingly, they have won just twice in eight league fixtures, despite having a relatively easy run of opponents.They lost at home to Aston Villa and dropped points against Wigan Athletic, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City and Swansea City.

Rooney has a great record against Chelsea – scoring six in 12 meetings while it is now 17 hours and 56 minutes since Fernando Torres scored for the Blues. Only youngster Daniel Sturridge looks dangerous for Andres Villas-Boas and he hasn’t found the net in his last five league and cup appearances.

Verdict: Manchester United @ 2.9 (Betfred)