Most neutrals will be rooting for Bradford City as they bid to lift the Capital One Cup at Wembley.
The League Two outfit have captured the public’s attention and affection by beating the likes of Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa on their way to the final and most fans will be hoping Phil Parkinson’s men can secure one last victory, this time against Swansea.
So, can Bradford do it? The heart says yes but the head contradicts and so do bookmakers, bet365 making the Bantams 9/2 to capture the silverware on offer and BetVictor making them 9/1 to do so in the 90 minutes while. Michael Laudrup’s troops are just 2/5 at Stan James to prevail in normal time.
Admittedly, there are no guarantees in sport and indeed, Parkinson’s boys have defied the odds throughout their incredible run but this contest could sadly prove to be a bridge too far.
Nevertheless, punters shouldn’t expect Bradford to be overawed. They’ve shown that they’re capable of keeping calm under pressure and can keep it tight, so a case can be made for a Swans triumph by a one-goal margin at 13/5 (Ladbrokes) as well as a 2-1 reverse for the plucky Bantams, at 17/2 with bet365.
Michu, meanwhile, is the main threat for Swansea, the Spaniard having enjoyed a tremendous first season in English football. On-target against Chelsea in the last four, the ice-cool striker will relish the big stage and he’s 10/3 at BetVictor to break the deadlock.
In the Premier League, Manchester City and Chelsea aim to maintain their forlorn hopes of title glory as they face off at the Etihad Stadium and it’s the hosts at evens via Stan James that should edge it.
Skybet rate Roberto Mancini’s men at 11/4 to prevail by one and William Hill price them at 9/2 to shake off the Blues in the second period having drawn the first.
By the time that match kicks-off on Sunday, Manchester United should already be 15 points clear, Stan James rating them at 1/2 to get the better of rock-bottom QPR at Loftus Road and Paddy Power chalking Sir Alex Ferguson’s men up at 13/10 in the handicaps where they kick-off a goal behind their seemingly-doomed hosts.
At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal are just 4/11 with Coral to come out on top against relegation-threatened Aston Villa and two of the latter’s rivals in the battle for survival, Reading and Wigan are an alluring 12/5 via BetVictor to be inseparable at the Madejski Staduim.
Norwich and Everton are also set to share the spoils at Carrow Road, an outcome bet365 offer at 12/5 and Skybet’s 12/5, marked against the stalemate, is the best bet as West Ham and Tottenham lock horns in Monday night’s televised encounter.
Elsewhere, BetVictor quote Newcastle at 11/10 to shade a potentially entertaining encounter against Southampton at St James’ Park, Coral offer 6/5 about a Fulham success against Stoke and it’s 11/10 (Ladbrokes) for West Brom to secure a maximum haul at the expense of Sunderland at the Hawthorns.
Stan James make England just 1/3 to prevail in their crucial Six Nations clash against France at Twickenham.
Stuart Lancaster’s charges have looked strong in the competition so far, in direct contrast to Les Bleus, who have lost to both Italy and Wales and as a result the hosts get the nod in Skybet’s handicaps, at 10/11, when starting seven points behind.
Wales can also cover a seven-point start at odds of 10/11 (Paddy Power) as they head to Italy and with only two extra points to find, Ireland (10/11, Ladbrokes) are the pick against Scotland at Murrayfield.
Bet of the week: Swansea to beat Bradford by one – 13/5 (Ladbrokes).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com