It’s derby day in the Premier League on Saturday as Merseyside bragging rights go up-for-grabs at Anfield and Arsenal entertain local rivals Tottenham.
At the Emirates Stadium, it’s Arsene Wenger’s men that get the nod from bookies, Ladbrokes installing them as odds-on 5/6 favourites to get the better of their neighbours, BetVictor’s 4/1 outsiders, and as the Gunners have lost just once to Spurs on their own patch in over two decades, it’s easy to see why.
Moreover, Mauricio Pochettino’s charges have seen some of their flaws exposed over their last few matches and the lack of a natural leader might prove to be their undoing in the heated atmosphere of a north London showdown.
Arsenal won all three of last year’s meetings ‘to nil’, a feat they’re 9/4 with betway to repeat in this one and BetVictor chalk them up at 19/2 to notch twice without reply.
Danny Welbeck, meanwhile, opened his Gunners account in last weekend’s convincing triumph at Aston Villa and he isn’t without appeal at 9/2 via Stan James to break the deadlock in this one.
Both Liverpool and Everton head into their scrap in desperate need of a pick-me-up after recent Premier League disappointments but it’s the Reds that are fancied at 5/6 (BetVictor) to send their foes back across Stanley Park empty-handed.
The Toffees are Stan James’s 7/2 outsiders to pick up a rare triumph at Anfield, exactly 15 years to the day since their last but as three of the pair’s last four meetings have ended all-square, there’s likely to be plenty of neutral cash for the stalemate at 11/4 via bet365.
As neither side looks particularly convincing defensively, a score draw at 19/5 (BetVictor) will be well backed however Liverpool’s home advantage could again prove crucial, alongside Everton’s leaky rearguard and in a fixture that’s 4/7 (Paddy Power) to see both teams score, the Reds appeal at 8/1 via bet365 to shade it 2-1.
Three points clear at the summit, Chelsea are just 2/9 at best courtesy of William Hill, to overhaul Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge and Jose Mourinho’s team are a safe-looking 4/6 in Paddy Power’s handicaps, when starting a goal in arrears.
They’re identically-priced, this time at Ladbrokes, to lead at the end of each half and BetVictor rate the Blues at 11/2 to record a 2-0 triumph.
Ten-man Manchester City snatched a dramatic point against Chelsea, thanks to Frank Lampard and they can build on that result by seeing off Hull, a result Winner.com chalk up at 4/7.
Despite their shocking capitulation at Leicester, Manchester United (1/3, bet365) can also collect a maximum haul against West Ham at Old Trafford and they double up with the champions at 11/10 with Stan James.
At the St Mary’s Stadium, Ladbrokes go 1/2 about second-placed Southampton inflicting more misery on struggling QPR, Skybet mark 11/10 against a Stoke success as they entertain rock-bottom Newcastle and it’s even money (William Hill) for West Brom to build on the win at Tottenham by edging out Burnley.
Stan James, finally, quote 12/5 about a stalemate as Crystal Palace host Leicester and Swansea look a touch overpriced at 9/5 via BetVictor ahead of their trip to Sunderland.
Given that they have won five of the last half-dozen Ryder Cup renewals, enjoy home advantage and can count the world’s best golfer – Rory McIlroy – among their ranks, it’s perhaps not surprising that Europe are strong favourites at 4/6 with BetVictor to overcome the United States (7/4, bet365) as the sides face-off over three exciting days on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.
High expectations, of course, bring their own pressures but Paul McGinley’s men have every reason to be confident and with the crowd behind them, McIlroy firing on all cylinders and Ryder Cup form on their side, the Europeans are tough to oppose.
Nevertheless, given the steely determination of the Americans it’s easy to envisage scores being closer than the odds suggest.
Indeed, the last two clashes have finished 14.5-13.5 to Europe, a result that’s a 9/1 shot at William Hill on this occasion.
Also at 9/1, this time courtesy of Stan James, is a 15-13 home win and for punters expecting McGinley’s troops to run away with it, Skybet mark 20/1 against a 17-11 Europe victory.
Naturally, McIlroy is betway’s 4/1 favourite to be the Top European but who would bet against Ian Poulter (8/1, bet365) in light of his incredible record in this competition.
For the United States, Winner.com chalk Rickie Fowler up at an enticing 11/2 to bag the most points, ahead of bet365’s 6/1 chance Phil Mickelson.
Bookies meanwhile, unanimously side with Sergio Garcia (7/4, BetVictor) to be the best continental European but at 4/1 with Ladbrokes, the German Martin Kaymer appears to have been overpriced.
The Super League play-offs continue tonight (Thursday) at the Jungle, where Warrington are bet365’s 8/15 favourites to follow up last week’s tremendous comeback against Widnes by emerging triumphant against Castleford (13/8, BetVictor).
The Wolves are also an enticing 10/11 (Ladbrokes) to overhaul the Tigers’ four-point start in the handicaps.
In tomorrow’s contest, William Hill rate Huddersfield at just 4/9 to see off Catalans Dragons but after the French side impressively toppled Leeds last weekend, they get the nod at 10/11 in BetVictor’s handicaps, when starting eight points in front.
Bet of the week: Martin Kaymer Top Continental European in the Ryder Cup – 4/1 (Ladbrokes).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com