It’s FA Cup fifth round weekend this season with several teams desperate for silverware.
Chelsea’s Andre Villas-Boas’ job could depend on winning a cup this season and his side are 3/10 to beat improving Birmingham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
It’s Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi, Jose Mourinho versus Pep Guardiola and probably the most eagerly-awaited El Clasico for several years. Barcelona have dominated their arch-rivals over the last few seasons, though Real did momentarily enjoy some respite from the torment when beating Barca in last year’s Copa del Rey and have been making the running in La Liga this season. Going into this week’s big clash at the Bernebeu, Real have a three-point lead over the Catalans having played a game less.
The big game in the Premier League is on Monday night as Manchester City take their unbeaten league record to Chelsea. Andre Villas-Boas’ side have continued to struggle in the league although they will be buoyed by their win at Newcastle last time out. City look a cut above the London side, though, and should be backed at 7/4.
After Manchester City ended their unbeaten start to the campaign last weekend, Newcastle United face another tough trip this Saturday as they face Manchester United at Old Trafford. The home side haven’t been firing on all cylinders of late but I expect them to win at 4/11.
The Premier League returns this weekend with a couple of interesting matches that pit promoted sides against the title hopefuls.
Norwich City have acquitted themselves well since their return to the top flight and Paul Lambert’s side welcome Arsenal in Saturday’s early kick-off.
After their humiliating defeat to local rivals Manchester City last week, Manchester United will want to bounce back quickly, although they face a tricky away tie on Saturday against improving Everton. United are a slender 5/6 and I’d prefer to back the home side at 7/2.
To my eyes, there are a lot of comparisons between the upcoming season’s Primera Division title race and the recent world heavyweight unification bout between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye. You are hoping for one result but almost know that there is an air of inevitability about the duel.
A new betting section kicks off this week as we concentrate of providing football tips across the entire European football schedule. There’s plenty of live action on TV this weekend including Lazio v Napoli, Bayern Munich v Nurnberg, Borussia Dortmund v Hamburg, Juventus v Roma, and of coursethe eagerly anticipated ‘Derby della Madonnina’ between Inter Milan and AC Milan which is live on ESPN & Setanta Ireland on Sunday night.
Welcome to our weekly column where we try and seek good value in some longer odds bets.
A nice little profit this week as all three parts of our Premier League patent came in. I tipped Birmingham, Arsenal and Liverpool, and the Gunners’ excellent 3-0 win over Manchester City helped us to a tidy 14.5 point profit.
The irony of Manchester United’s recent week was that despite Wayne Rooney’s U-turn over a new contract, we got to see what the team would look like in Rooney’s absence as they registered their first away win of the season at Stoke City. Javier Hernandez was the hero at the Britannia Stadium, and it is the Mexican that Rooney will have to displace when he regains full fitness.
Aston Villa have made a promising start under new boss Gerard Houllier and the Villa boss’ faith in his former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey has resulted in some decent performances from the much maligned front man. Villa host leaders Chelsea this weekend and are a tempting 4/1 to prevail.
Manchester United v Liverpool has long been one of the glamour fixtures in English football and, for many United fans, the match of the season to win.
It has been an uncertain start to the season for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. Despite playing some excellent football, late lapses have cost vital points at both Fulham and Everton in matches the Red Devils should have won.