City fancied to keep up fine home form

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It’s so tight at the top of the Premier League that both Manchester City and Tottenham dropped out of the top six on the back of their respective defeats last time out.

But the pair aren’t far off the pace so the three points on offer as the duo meet at Eastlands could put one of them right back in the mix.

City have struggled desperately on the road this term but they remain formidable at home so they’re odds-on at 7/10 with William Hill to come out on top.

A touch unconvincing of late, Spurs are Paddy Power’s 9/2 outsiders and BetVictor make them 3/1 to snatch a share of spoils but ultimately it’s difficult to oppose Manuel Pellgrini’s men on their own patch.

Nevertheless, a close encounter is on the cards so a City victory by one for the fourth consecutive renewal of this fixture, catches the eye at 11/4 via Skybet while a repeat of last term’s 2-1 home victory is an 8/1 shot at bet365.

In terms of goals, Sergio Aguero struck when the pair met at the Etihad Stadium a year ago with the Argentine striker’s form almost impossible to ignore at the moment, he’s the pick of the bunch in the first scorer market at 4/1 (Ladbrokes).

In the 221st Merseyside derby, Everton are BetVictor’s 2/1 underdogs despite home advantage and Liverpool, who could go top with a victory, are a 6/4 chance at betway but as the stubborn Toffees have lost just once so far, Stan James’s 12/5 about it finishing all-square is the stand out wager at Goodison Park.

As this match-up is often high on passion but low on quality, a goalless affair at 10/1 (bet365) shouldn’t be ruled out and Stan James offer a generous 9/2 about two even halves.

Manchester United will be hoping the victory over Premier League leaders Arsenal will kick-start their season and the champions, now up to fifth, are just 3/5 at to further boost their stock by seeing off Cardiff.

For punters seeking heftier prices in South Wales, BetVictor price David Moyes’s side at 7/4 to prevail ‘to nil’ and a 1-0 success is a 7/1 shot at bet365.

East meets West London at Upton Park as West Ham entertain Chelsea and it’s the visitors, at 4/6 (William Hill), who get the nod from bookies.

Table-topping Arsenal meanwhile, are a slightly skinnier at 4/7 courtesy of BetVictor as they welcome this season’s surprise-package Southampton to the Emirates Stadium and the Gunners double up with Jose Mourinho’s troops in an 8/5 double with Paddy Power.

Elsewhere, Stan James go 5/2 about West Brom and neighbours Aston Villa sharing the spoils at the Hawthorns, betway chalk Newcastle up at 3/4 to send Norwich home empty-handed and it’s 5/6 via bet365 for Hull to sneak a potentially low-scoring clash with Crystal Palace.

Swansea finally, are BetVictor’s 11/8 jollies as they head to lowly Fulham and rate Stoke at even money to get the better of fellow strugglers Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium.

In the Rugby League World Cup semi-final, Ladbrokes make New Zealand 4/9 to eliminate England (9/4, and punters fancying a bet on the tournament hosts should therefore look at the handicaps, where Steve McNamara’s side get an eight-point start at 10/11 via Stan James.

England winger Ryan Hall meanwhile, is the tournament’s top try scorer with eight and he’s 11/1 (Ladbrokes) to add to that by crossing the whitewash first at Wembley.

In the other last-four clash, hot favourites Australia are even money at bet365 to cover Fiji’s 38-point start.

Saturday sees domestic rivals Carl Froch and George Groves face-off in Manchester, for the IBF and WBA super middleweight straps.

There’s no love lost between the pair, who have partaken in the customary verbal sparring in the lead-up to the bout but it’s the experienced ‘Cobra’ that bookies go for, Stan James rating the Nottingham battler at 1/4 to retain his titles.

Groves (18/5, BetVictor) impressively defeated James DeGale but has never been in with anyone of Froch’s class or intensity and the latter’s heavy hands could make it a tough night for his unbeaten opponent, who is 8/11 (Paddy Power) to be shorn of his perfect record inside the distance.

Bet of the week: Everton and Liverpool to draw – 12/5 (Stan James).

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