Stalemate will attract support in mouthwatering showdown

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The Premier League title battle has yet to really take shape but as big-spenders Chelsea and Manchester City will both expect to be involved in the fight for honours at the business end of the season, the pair will be desperate to avoid emerging empty-handed from their mouthwatering showdown at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

As it’s a clash between two of the top-flight’s genuine heavyweights, William Hill’s 12/5 posted against the stalemate is sure to attract market support, alongside BetVictor’s 7/1 about it finishing one-each.

However, Jose Mourinho’s charges enjoy home advantage and have had the upper hand in recent renewals of this fixture, losing just once on their own patch to City in the last couple of decades.

Moreover, Manuel Pellegrini’s men had failed to convince on the road before last weekend’s 3-1 triumph at West Ham and on that basis the Blues get the nod at 11/8 via bet365.

Nevertheless, a tight affair appears inevitable and Ladbrokes’s 13/4 for Chelsea to edge it by one isn’t without appeal while, in a match that’s odds-on at 3/4 ( to produce three or more goals, a 2-1 home success catches the eye at 9/1 courtesy of betway.

In attack, the amount of quality on display makes the first scorer market something of a minefield but Oscar and Eden Hazard have both been amongst the goals for the Blues recently and could be worth a modest flutter at 7/2 and 9/2 (bet365) respectively to notch at any stage.

Arsenal are now two points clear at the Premier League summit and they can continue their excellent run by seeing off hapless Crystal Palace, a result Stan James rate at 4/11.

As the Eagles have lost seven of their eight fixtures since gaining promotion, the Gunners could be set for a relatively comfortable afternoon and those in agreement should head for Paddy’s Power’s handicaps where the visitors are even money when kicking off a goal behind.

Champions Manchester United’s sticky start to the season continued at the weekend as they conceded a late leveller to Southampton and David Moyes’s unconvincing team are hard to recommend at 1/3 (Stan James), even in front of their own supporters, as they entertain Stoke. Subsequently, given the hosts’ shaky form, the best bet at Old Trafford is arguably BetVictor’s 5/4 for both teams to get on the scoresheet.

At Anfield, second-placed Liverpool (2/5, BetVictor) can beat West Brom ‘to nil’, an outcome Skybet chalk up at 6/4 and the Reds’ Merseyside rivals, at odds of 5/4 with bet365, can continue their own strong start to the campaign by inflicting a fourth home defeat in five outings on Aston Villa.

New Sunderland boss Gus Poyet got off to a horrible start as his side were hammered 4-0 at Swansea and Stan James offer 8/5 about things going from bad to worse for the Black Cats in their derby scrap with Newcastle at the Stadium of Light.

Elsewhere, Spurs are a banker at 9/20 via ahead of the home clash with Hull, Paddy Power quote impressive Southampton at 8/13 to overcome Fulham while William Hill’s 3/4 favourites Swansea get the nod at home to West Ham and Stan James go 12/5 the draw at Carrow Road, where Norwich take on Cardiff.

England are out to 8/1 via betway to win the Rugby League World Cup following the embarrassing defeat to Italy in a pre-tournament warm-up match last weekend.

Holders New Zealand are a 4/1 shot at Stan James but in what bookies appear to believe is effectively a three-horse-race, it’s Australia that are overwhelming favourites at 4/11 (bet365) and they simply can’t be opposed.

The hosts are 11/10 with Ladbrokes to reach the final at the end of November, it’s 7/4 courtesy of Stan James for them to meet the Wallabies in that Old Trafford clash and in the top try scorer market, Australia’s Billy Slater is an enticing 8/1 via Paddy Power, who post identical odds against England winner Josh Charnley.

The competition’s opening match sees Steve McNamara’s troops tackle the Aussies at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and it’s the latter that get the nod, BetVictor making them 1/4 and offering 7/2 about an England success.

It’s hard to see past the visitors in this one but it could be closer than the odds suggest so the handicap value potentially lies with the hosts at 10/11 with Stan James when starting 14-points ahead.

Unbeaten Kell Brook is just 1/6 at Ladbrokes to win his world title eliminator against Vyacheslav Senchenko at Sheffield Arena.

The Ukrainian, a 6/1 outsider at Stan James, ended the comeback of Ricky Hatton in Manchester just under a year ago but he can’t expect similar joy on these shores this time around, against a hungry Brook, fighting in his home town and a stoppage victory for the classy 27-year-old is on the cards.

Finally, in India, a top five finish for Sebastian Vettel will guarantee the German the Drivers’ Championship and the Red Bull man is 1/2 (Stan James) to land the title in style with a victory.

That price offers little value however and a better bet is bet365’s 7/4 about Romain Grosjean finishing on the podium in the Lotus.

Bet of the week: Chelsea to beat Man City by one – 13/4 (Ladbrokes)

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