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  • Jul 12, 2014
  • Updated: 11:24pm

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PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 January, 2011, 12:00am

Three of the English Premier League top five are in action tonight, but the really mouthwatering games are saved until tomorrow with three cracking derbies and Tottenham vs Manchester United to round off the night. No doubt about it, this is a real Super Sunday.

Under Harry Redknapp, Tottenham have closed the gap on all the elite teams except for United, who remain a bogey side for the Londoners. This season's 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford, which was marred by Nani's controversial second goal, meant Tottenham have lost six and drawn two of the eight games they have played against United since Redknapp took charge.

Six of those games have been away, which raises hope that Tottenham might fare better tomorrow. Redknapp's team have proved in the Champions League this season that they are a match for any side in Europe at White Hart Lane and in the Premier League they have drawn at home to Manchester City and Chelsea, looking slightly unlucky not to take all three points in those matches.

But even at home they were blown away by United in last season's league fixture, losing 3-1 despite taking a first-minute lead and having a one-man advantage for the final half-hour after the dismissal of Paul Scholes.

The question mark over United is whether they can reproduce the blistering counter-attacking form they showed that day. They may be unbeaten on the road this season, as they are at home, but they have drawn seven of their nine away games and their only wins - both 2-1, at Stoke and West Brom - were secured with late Javier Hernandez goals.

With Wayne Rooney still not firing as he was before injuring his ankle last March, United look incapable of the kind of emphatic victory they had at White Hart Lane last season. That gives Tottenham a good chance of taking something and, putting aside their 'hoodoo' against United, they look a good bet on the handicap.

The most interesting of the derbies is Liverpool vs Everton, which marks Kenny Dalglish's first match in charge of the Reds on Merseyside since the incredible 4-4 draw against Everton at Goodison Park 20 years ago that left him shell-shocked and led to his sudden departure from the club.

Dalglish has not made a good start in his caretaker role, losing two away games in the space of four days, and the chance of a rapid revival in Liverpool's fortunes has been compromised by Steven Gerrard's three-match ban for his sending-off in the FA Cup defeat at Manchester United last weekend.

Gerrard's drive was missed in the midweek defeat at Blackpool and his absence could be a key factor tomorrow, as Liverpool have lost three out of four without him in the Premier League this season.

Everton have struggled in a season to forget on Merseyside, but they beat Liverpool 2-0 at home in October and have a solid set-up on the road, losing only once in nine away games since the end of August. They have won at Manchester City and drawn at Chelsea and Tottenham, form that suggests they can take at least a point at Anfield. Everton on the handicap is the recommendation.

Nobody would have thought at the start of the season that Liverpool vs Everton would be a clash from the bottom half of the table, while Sunderland vs Newcastle would feature two top-half sides, but that is how it has turned out.

Newcastle thrashed their Wearside rivals 5-1 in the reverse fixture, but Sunderland should gain revenge now they are at home. Sunderland still have a low defeat rate - only the two Manchester clubs have lost fewer games - and only the best away performers take anything from the Stadium of Light.

Newcastle have had some good away results, but they have still lost more than they have won on the road and they look a little too fragile to cope with a Sunderland side that looks increasingly strong at the back and up front.

The other derby is Birmingham v Aston Villa, who like the Merseyside clubs have fallen out of the top 10 this season. This looks likely to be tight - the reverse fixture was 0-0 and the Carling Cup tie at Birmingham last month looked to be heading for another draw until Nikola Zigic's scuffed late goal gave the hosts a 2-1 win.

Villa may come to regret the appointment of Gerard Houllier as bitterly as Liverpool did with Roy Hodgson. Like Hodgson, the Frenchman seems unable to get the team going and has offended the fans. Villa's six-match winning run in derbies under Martin O'Neill seems a distant memory and they look a team to avoid.

Whether Birmingham can be relied on to add to Houllier's woes is open to doubt, as the hosts are one of only two Premier League teams (the other is Wigan) yet to score more than two goals in a game this season.

In the other Premier League games, two attack-minded, entertaining teams that catch the eye at long odds are Bolton and Blackpool for their respective trips to Stoke and West Brom. Bolton look good for at least a draw, having lost only one out of seven away to teams below them in the table.

Blackpool's season is still improving and their away form deserves more credit from the oddsmakers, especially with West Brom having lost their last six in all competitions. Over 2.5 goals looks a good bet too.

Shortlist: Nurnberg, Millwall, Watford, Getafe, Bilbao, Sunderland

Top five bets

1 Nurnberg home win

Strong at home and facing a team that ended 2010 in terrible form

2 Millwall home win

Can get home form back on track against easier opposition

3 Getafe home win

Excellent all-round form against teams below them in the table

4 Bilbao home win

Six out of seven at home to teams outside the top six

5 Sunderland home win

Five out of seven at home to teams outside top four on away form

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