Reds installed as favourites for clash with United

Jonathan Trott is back in the England squad for their Test series in the West Indies
Jonathan Trott is back in the England squad for their Test series in the West Indies

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists his “remarkable” side can finish second in the Premier League.

And given their current momentum you wouldn’t put it past the in-form Reds, who will climb into the Champions League places if they get the better of bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield.

Paddy Power have installed the Merseyside outfit as 5/4 favourites to rack up a sixth straight league victory while the visitors will kick-off as BetVictor’s 27/10 outsiders and it’s 5/2 with Stan James to finish all-square.

As the teams are separated by just a couple of points that stalemate quote is set to attract cash, alongside Ladbrokes’s 7/2 about a score draw and’s 6/1 about the mouth watering showdown ending one-apiece.

However, in recent years this is a match-up that has tended to prove conclusive, indeed the pair have only been inseparable twice in 35 meetings across all competitions and that statistic suggests there could be a winner.

As United have managed just four victories on the road this term, they don’t look likely to make the short journey back up the East Lancashire Road in possession of a maximum haul and subsequently the hosts get the nod in what should be a frantic but tight affair.

Rodgers’ charges are a generous 3/1 (Skybet) to edge it by a one-goal margin and defending impressively at present, Liverpool are 15/2 courtesy of bet365 to register a second consecutive 1-0 success.

Leaders Chelsea could only draw with Southampton, but they still possess a six-point lead at the Premier League summit and have played a game less than their nearest challengers so the result wasn’t exactly a disaster for Jose Mourinho’s side.

They should return to winning ways this weekend too, Stan James rating the Blues at just 1/2 to get the better of struggling Hull at the KC Stadium, where BetVictor offer 6/5 about them defeating their goal-shy hosts ‘to nil’.

Back amongst the goals last Sunday, meanwhile, following a seven-match barren spell, Diego Costa is 7/2 (bet365) to break the deadlock.

Manchester City’s title challenge suffered a potentially fatal blow as they lost at Burnley and it would be a brave punter that backed the champions at just 1/3 with William Hill to see off Tony Pulis’s stubborn West Brom.

With City’s potential vulnerability in mind, a more tempting proposition at the Etihad Stadium is Ladbrokes’s 21/20 for both teams to get on the scoresheet.

Arsenal can tighten their grip on a top-four berth, betway ranking them at 7/10 to overhaul Newcastle on Tyneside and their north London rivals Tottenham are 4/7 (Stan James) to enhance their own Champions League chances at the expense of Leicester.

Fresh from that impressive draw at Chelsea, BetVictor’s 4/9 chances Southampton can also prevail, this time against Burnley and Saints combine with the Gunners and Spurs in a tempting treble at 14/5 (BetVictor).

Elsewhere, Skybet quote Dick Advocaat at 17/20 to make a losing start as Sunderland boss as they visit West Ham, Paddy Power price revitalised Aston Villa at 6/4 to register a home win against Swansea and at 23/20 via bet365, Everton are the pick at QPR.

The best stalemate bet on the coupon, finally, comes at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke are 23/10 (Stan James) to share the spoils with Crystal Palace.

Ireland’s defeat to Wales has opened the Six Nations Championship up again and we’re in for an exciting finish this weekend.

England are now 8/11 favourites at Stan James to win the tournament and betway mark 1/4 against them coming out on top against France at Twickenham.

Hoping to maintain their superiority in terms of points difference, Stuart Lancaster’s men are 10/11 (bet365) in the handicaps when starting 10 behind Les Bleus and as they kick-off last, England will have the advantage of knowing what they need.

Ireland are 2/7 via Ladbrokes to stay in the hunt by beating Scotland at Murrayfield and needing to improve their points difference, they look a solid bet at 10/11 ( to prevail by at least nine.

Meanwhile, in Rome, BetVictor price Wales at 10/11 to overhaul Italy’s 22-point cushion.

Finally, in cricket, England announced their squad for the forthcoming Test series in the West Indies.

Hoping for a morale boost following the disastrous World Cup campaign, albeit in the limited overs format, the tourists are Stan James’ even money to win the three-match contest and Jonathan Trott is 4/1 (BetVictor) to make the most of his recall by finishing as England’s best batsman.

Bet of the week: Liverpool to beat Man Utd by a one-goal margin – 3/1 (Skybet).

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