Viewers have to wait until Monday evening for the weekend’s biggest contest, a showdown between Manchester City and Chelsea that could definitely have implications where the destination of the Premier League title is concerned.
The hosts’ 100 per cent record at the Etihad Stadium means they’re odds-on favourites at 10/11 with Skybet to secure a vital three points while Jose Mourinho’s men, who have City’s rampant attack to contain, are bet365’s 7/2 outsiders and it’s 13/5 via BetVictor to finish all-square.
A clash of the titans such as this will inevitably attract stalemate cash and it follows that there’ll be money for both a 1-1 scoreline at 7/1 (betway) and BetVictor’s 15/4 about the match finishing in a score draw.
However, the home form of Manuel Pellegrini’s team simply can’t be ignored and even though the Blues have a better chance than most of restricting the free-scoring hosts given their solid defence on the road, City can nick it.
They’re 29/10 with Ladbrokes to do so by a one-goal margin and a generous 9/1 courtesy of Winner.com to register a 1-0 victory while Sergio Aguero, who has struck in his last two appearances against Chelsea, is a 4/1 shot at Stan James to break the deadlock.
At the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Arsenal come up against a revitalised Crystal Palace but the Gunners should nevertheless emerge triumphant, an outcome Stan James chalk up at 1/5.
Possessing the best home defensive record in the top flight, Arsene Wenger’s side will be confident of prevailing ‘to nil’ (4/5, Paddy Power), especially as the Eagles struggle for goals on their travels and it’s perhaps not surprising that the best price available for a 2-0 home victory is Ladbrokes’s 11/2.
Alternatively, banker-hunters can tackle Paddy Power’s 4/6 about an Arsenal lead at the end of each half and the North London outfit are 8/13 to beat their South London opponents in Skybet’s handicaps when kicking-off a goal behind.
In the earlier encounter, Liverpool are just 7/10 (BetVictor) to boost their hopes of finishing in the top four by getting the better of West Brom.
The Baggies however, are the Premier League’s stalemate specialists and they’re an appealing 11/4 via bet365 to hold Brendan Rodgers’s charges to a draw at the Hawthorns, where it’s 7/1 to finish one-each.
Manchester United still have plenty of work to do to ensure they qualify for next season’s Champions League but they should at least boost their claims at the Britannia Stadium by overcoming Stoke – Stan James chalk the champions up at 8/11 to emerge triumphant and it’s 7/1 with bet365 for them to grab the only goal.
Also in the scrap for fourth, Ladbrokes quote Everton at 2/5 to send Aston Villa home empty-handed and a Tottenham triumph at Hull is 19/20 courtesy of William Hill. A double on the pair pays at 9/5 (Winner.com).
Elsewhere, bet365’s 4/5 jollies Newcastle get the nod in the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland, Skybet make Cardiff 6/5 to edge out Norwich and there’s a strong chance the remaining two match-ups will prove inconclusive.
Stan James post 23/10 against West Ham sharing the spoils with Swansea and it’s 12/5 (BetVictor) for an identical result as struggling Fulham entertain Southampton.
New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium hosts Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday and bookies believe there’s little between the two contenders, AFC champions the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, victors in the NFC.
The latter are considered slight outsiders by Stan James at 11/10 while the Broncos are 5/6 at Ladbrokes and in what should be a tight affair, that looks about right.
The contest pitches Denver’s impressive offence against Seattle’s tough defence and with veteran quarterback Peyton Manning pulling the strings, it’s the Broncos that should sneak it, bet365 rating them at 10/11 to cover the Seahawks’ two-point start in the ‘spread’.
In Rugby Union, the Six Nations gets under way this weekend and the bookies feel that there’s not much between Wales, France and England in terms of who will emerge triumphant overall.
Stan James make defending champions Wales their 9/4 favourites while Paddy Power price the English and French, who go head-to-head in Paris on Saturday, at 5/2 and 11/4 respectively.
If Stuart Lancaster’s men win that one, an outcome BetVictor quote at 6/4, they’ll take some stopping and one of the best bets of the tournament is bet365’s 9/4 for England to land the Triple Crown.
Alternatively, focusing on the handicaps in the opening round, Winner.com give the visitors a four-point start at 10/11 in the Stade de France,
Italy are evens (Paddy Power) when 20 points better off in Wales and Skybet rate Ireland at 20/21 to cover Scotland’s dozen-point advantage in Dublin.
Bet of the week: England to win the Triple Crown – 9/4 (bet365).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com