Ben Cleminson and Bill Esdaile bring you the best football and racing bets of the weekend
THE signs are ominously familiar for Tottenham fans. Just like last season they are going off the boil at precisely the wrong moment and there is every chance that they will again let the prospect of Champions League football slip through their fingers.
Chelsea and Arsenal have leapfrogged Spurs, while Everton, in sixth, are positioned to capitalise on any further mistakes.
With a game in hand on the Gunners and a visit to Stamford Bridge to come, Andre Villas- Boas’ men’s fate is still in their own hands, but the top-four betting shows that it is a pretty weak grip.
Spurs are available at 11/8 and Arsenal are on offer at a best price of 1/2 with Coral. Chelsea look nailed on at 1/5.
I’d advise anyone thinking of backing Tottenham for a Champions League berth to hold off as I’m pretty sure those odds will be longer after Manchester City’s visit on Sunday.
Last season’s champions might be set to hand over the title to their city rivals but they have already shown that they plan to keep Manchester United waiting for as long as possible. Besides, they’ve not yet wrapped up second place for themselves.
City have won five of their previous six Premier League matches – beating Chelsea and United in that run – and have also prevailed in their last four clashes with Spurs.
The hosts’ crumbling campaign has seen them take just four points, from games against Liverpool, Fulham, Everton and Swansea, since victory against Arsenal in early March.
Edin Dzeko got four and Sergio Aguero the other as City routed Spurs 5-1 at the Lane last season. They shouldn’t enjoy that level of superiority this time; however, I do anticipate Roberto Mancini’s side taking the three points back up to the north west.
At 13/10 with Coral, the visitors look a very good price to me and I am also sweet on City to win 2-1 in the correct score market at 8/1 with the same firm.
Later on Sunday afternoon, Rafael Benitez returns to Liverpool and Chelsea’s interim manager will know that he can expect no favours from his old club – even though Brendan Rodgers has underlined the benefits of his team not securing a Europa League place.
That prospect is looking more likely after back-to-back draws against West Ham and Reading and Rodgers would relish a win, especially after recent comments from Benitez about returning to Anfield.
This is already Chelsea’s seventh game since the start of the month and they eased to a 3-0 victory in the most recent of those at Fulham.
But Liverpool will undoubtedly be a tougher test and I fancy Rodgers’ outfit quite strongly at 13/10.
Elsewhere, Sunderland are crying out to be backed at 11/5 with Coral in their home game with Everton.
I’m not sure whether he’s a long term solution but there is no denying Paolo Di Canio seems to have given the Mackems a real lift and I think they can get the better of the Toffees, who have taken just three points from five games on the road.
Man City to beat Tottenham at 13/10 with Coral
City to win 2-1 at 8/1 with Coral
Liverpool to beat Chelsea at 13/10 (general)
Sunderland to beat Everton at 11/5 with Coral