Andre Villas-Boas conceded that his Tottenham team should be “ashamed” after the 6-0 mauling at Manchester City.
But bookies appear undecided as to whether the Spurs boss’ stinging rebuke will have the desired effect as the north London outfit look to bounce back against Manchester United.
Some firms for example, price both teams at 13/8 but Paddy Power consider Tottenham to be slight outsiders at 17/10 while the champions are the underdogs with BetVictor, at 7/4.
Inevitably then, as is always the case when clashes are proving tough to figure out, the stalemate will attract cash and William Hill quote it at 12/5.
In this case, that could be right call, especially after United failed to finish the job at Cardiff on Sunday and a repeat of the 2-2 scoreline from that one is a 14/1 shot at bet365.
Alternatively, BetVictor chalk 17/5 against any score draw at White Hart Lane, where Stan James offer 5/6 about a match tally of three or more goals.
Staying in the scoring department and Robin van Persie will be well backed at 5/1 (betway) to break the deadlock having done likewise in the last season’s corresponding fixture but Wayne Rooney has three in his last four Premier League appearances so a better bet is Winner.com’s 2/1 for the England man to net at any point.
Leaders Arsenal are 8/13 via Stan James to do what Manchester United couldn’t and return from Cardiff with a maximum haul.
Nevertheless, Malky Mackay’s team can ensure it’s a close affair so Ladbrokes’s 11/4 about a Gunners success by one catches the eye alongside BetVictor’s 12/5 for them to triumph but also concede, although more ambitious punters might prefer bet365’s 8/1 about a 2-1 away victory.
Southampton slipped down to fifth following their defeat to Arsenal last Saturday and they’re set to lose further ground on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea are odds-on at 8/15 (BetVictor) to secure the points.
Ahead of the Blues by virtue of a superior goal tally, second-placed Liverpool can also prevail, Skybet rating them at 8/13 to see off Hull while bet365 quote rampant Manchester City at 1/3 to overcome Swansea. That top four trio combine in a treble at 2/1 courtesy of Stan James.
At Goodison Park, resilient Everton, who have lost just once this term, get the nod at 8/13 (Stan James) as they entertain Stoke and, buoyed by their Monday night fightback at West Brom, Aston Villa are worth considering at even money as they tackle rock-bottom Sunderland.
Elsewhere, having watched Crystal Palace from the stands as they won at Hull, Tony Pulis will take charge of the Eagles for the first time at Norwich and Ladbrokes make his side 13/5 to return from Norfolk with a share of the spoils.
An inconclusive affair, at 13/5 via BetVictor, might also be on the cards as Newcastle lock horns with West Brom at St James’s Park and Stan James post 9/10 against West Ham getting the better of fellow strugglers Fulham.
Rugby League’s world champions New Zealand are bet365’s 11/4 outsiders as they look to retain their crown in Saturday’s final against Australia.
The Kangaroos are just 1/3 (BetVictor) to emerge triumphant at Old Trafford, where they’re even money to overcome the eight-point start given to the holders by Stan James in the handicaps and after the Kiwis endured such a gruelling semi-final against England last weekend, in stark contrast to their opponents, it’s hard to envisage anything other than an Australia victory.
Kangaroos star Jarryd Hayne is the tournament’s current top try scorer with a total of nine and he’s worth considering at 10/1 courtesy of betway to cross the whitewash first in this one but he’ll face competition from team mate Brett Morris (10/1, Stan James).
Finally, in boxing, Tony Bellew is a 7/2 underdog at Ladbrokes as he faces heavy-handed Canadian Adonis Stevenson for the WBC light heavyweight title in Quebec.
In what could be an explosive affair however, the scouser will fancy his chances of causing an upset and if he can keep his head while steering clear of the bombs thrown by the home fighter, he might just capitalise on the champion’s occasional untidiness.
Bet of the week: Jarryd Hayne to score the first try in the RL World Cup final – 10/1 (betway).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com