Aston Villa the each-way Premiership value at 20-1

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Anyone who believes God is a Manchester United supporter has had ample evidence to support their case recently (beyond the obvious point that He is not a resident of Manchester). First Alan Shearer, and then, though perhaps less seriously, Robbie Fowler suffered injuries during pre-season friendlies, and it may be that the two most serious rivals to the reigning champions' attempt to win another Premiership title will both start the season without their most potent strikers.

The loss of Shearer, perhaps for almost half of the campaign, did not just affect Newcastle's price on the stock exchange. Regardless of the fact that their coupons were already printed and distributed, Ladbrokes pushed last year's runners-up out to 9-2 from 7-2, a significant shift which relegates them from second-favourites to fourth position in their list behind both Liverpool and Arsenal. With Les Ferdinand also departed and no hint yet of a signing to shore up the attack, there will be few backers rushing to support the Magpies even at their adjusted odds.

The best price about Manchester United is the 13-8 put up by Coral (Ladbrokes offer just 5-4), and it is difficult to argue with the claims of a side which can consider resting David Beckham for the first few games of the season. Yet statistics from throughout the major European football nations demonstrate how difficult it is for champions to defend their title while also pursuing the riches of the Champions' League, and while United succeeded last time, there must also be a feeling that their rivals, particularly Liverpool, made life very easy for them.

The problem for punters, though, is the lack of credible alternatives. Liverpool's disturbing lack of a killer instinct last season - their home record was little short of a disgrace - makes them a very dubious betting proposition, even after Paul Ince's arrival in midfield, while even Nick Hornby would think twice before backing Arsenal's ageing squad at 5-1. Chelsea may still be too vulnerable away from home to mount a sustained challenge, while all the teams from Tottenham (40-1) downwards are more likely to be relegated than they are to win the title.

This leaves one possible value bet, in the shape of Aston Villa each- way at 20-1 (William Hill and the Tote). Outright victory may be beyond them, but at 5-1 to finish either second or third, Brian Little's side are a very fair price. Their defence is among the best in the division, the midfield includes two of the most under-rated players around - Mark Draper and Ian Taylor - and Stan Collymore will join Dwight Yorke up front.

The greatest mystery in the pre-season prices is how, after spending almost two months weighing up the form, the bookmakers can make Middlesbrough a top-priced 7-2 to win Division One. In the Premiership, they were a very ordinary side with a world-class playmaker. Now, they are just a very ordinary side, who may well struggle in such a fiercely competitive division.

When you have a false favourite, there is inevitably value elsewhere, and the most appealing bet must be Sunderland at 9-1 (William Hill). Newly established in their 41,000-seat stadium, Peter Reid's men surely stand every chance of making a swift return to the Premiership, just as Bolton did last year.

Further down the League, Oldham are very attractively priced at 12-1 to win the Second Division for one of the most consistent managers in the lower divisions, Neil Warnock, while Swansea, who would be in the Second Division already but for some desperate luck in last season's play- off against Northampton, are the pick of the prices at 9-1 (Ladbrokes) for Division Three. The Swans had a poor start 12 months ago, but were a match for anyone in the second half of the season.

Premier League

Team C H L T

Manchester United 13-8 6-4 5-4 11-8

Liverpool 4-1 4-1 7-2 4-1

Newcastle 3-1 7-2 9-2 3-1

Arsenal 9-2 9-2 4-1 5-1

Chelsea 12-1 11-1 12-1 11-1

Aston Villa 18-1 20-1 18-1 20-1

Tottenham 40-1 33-1 33-1 40-1

Blackburn 50-1 50-1 66-1 66-1

Everton 50-1 50-1 50-1 80-1

Leeds 50-1 50-1 80-1 66-1

Sheffield Wednesday 80-1 66-1 100-1 100-1

Wimbledon 125-1 100-1 150-1 125-1

Bolton 150-1 150-1 200-1 200-1

West Ham 150-1 200-1 200-1 200-1

Crystal Palace 300-1 250-1 350-1 250-1

Coventry 200-1 250-1 200-1 400-1

Derby 200-1 250-1 250-1 400-1

Leicester 250-1 250-1 200-1 400-1

Southampton 300-1 250-1 250-1 500-1

Barnsley 500-1 1,000-1 500-1 1,000-1

Each-way a quarter the odds, places 1, 2, 3

Division One

Team C H L T

Middlesbrough 3-1 7-2 3-1 3-1

Nottingham Forest 6-1 6-1 6-1 13-2

Manchester City 13-2 7-1 6-1 13-2

Sunderland 8-1 9-1 7-1 8-1

Wolves 10-1 9-1 10-1 9-1

QPR 12-1 12-1 10-1 11-1

Sheffield United 12-1 12-1 12-1 12-1

Ipswich 14-1 14-1 12-1 14-1

Birmingham 16-1 14-1 16-1 18-1

Portsmouth 18-1 16-1 20-1 18-1

Norwich 20-1 16-1 16-1 22-1

West Brom 25-1 25-1 25-1 25-1

Charlton 33-1 40-1 40-1 33-1

Huddersfield 40-1 40-1 40-1 40-1

Port Vale 33-1 28-1 33-1 40-1

Stockport 40-1 33-1 40-1 40-1

Stoke 40-1 28-1 33-1 40-1

Tranmere 33-1 33-1 40-1 33-1

Bradford 50-1 50-1 50-1 40-1

Swindon 40-1 50-1 50-1 40-1

Bury 50-1 40-1 66-1 50-1

Crewe 40-1 66-1 50-1 66-1

Oxford 66-1 50-1 50-1 66-1

Reading 66-1 66-1 66-1 66-1

Each-way a quarter the odds, places 1, 2, 3

Division Two

Team C H L T

Luton 8-1 8-1 6-1 8-1

Bristol City 8-1 8-1 7-1 9-1

Watford 8-1 9-1 7-1 8-1

Fulham 10-1 10-1 10-1 10-1

Oldham 12-1 12-1 12-1 12-1

Brentford 12-1 12-1 12-1 14-1

Burnley 11-1 9-1 14-1 9-1

Grimsby 12-1 14-1 10-1 14-1

Blackpool 14-1 16-1 14-1 16-1

Chesterfield 14-1 16-1 12-1 12-1

Wigan 14-1 12-1 16-1 14-1

Preston 16-1 18-1 14-1 16-1

Millwall 16-1 16-1 20-1 20-1

Wrexham 20-1 20-1 20-1 20-1

Gillingham 20-1 20-1 16-1 22-1

Southend 20-1 20-1 20-1 22-1

Carlisle 20-1 20-1 25-1 22-1

Bristol Rovers 25-1 33-1 28-1 28-1

Northampton 28-1 28-1 33-1 28-1

Walsall 25-1 20-1 20-1 33-1

Wycombe 33-1 33-1 33-1 28-1

Bournemouth 40-1 50-1 50-1 40-1

Plymouth 40-1 50-1 40-1 40-1

York 50-1 66-1 66-1 50-1

Each-way a quarter the odds, places 1, 2, 3

Division Three

Team C H L T

Peterborough 8-1 8-1 7-1 15-2

Cardiff 7-1 8-1 8-1 9-1

Swansea 8-1 8-1 9-1 8-1

Notts Co 10-1 10-1 9-1 10-1

Shrewsbury 11-1 12-1 12-1 12-1

Colchester 14-1 12-1 12-1 14-1

Rotherham 11-1 14-1 12-1 9-1

Brighton 16-1 16-1 12-1 16-1

Chester 14-1 14-1 16-1 16-1

Hull City 11-1 12-1 12-1 16-1

Leyton Orient 14-1 16-1 14-1 16-1

Macclesfield 14-1 14-1 16-1 14-1

Cambridge 18-1 16-1 20-1 18-1

Lincoln 20-1 16-1 16-1 16-1

Mansfield 20-1 20-1 20-1 25-1

Scunthorpe 20-1 16-1 25-1 20-1

Scarborough 25-1 25-1 25-1 28-1

Barnet 25-1 25-1 33-1 33-1

Rochdale 33-1 25-1 20-1 22-1

Darlington 25-1 40-1 20-1 33-1

Doncaster 33-1 40-1 33-1 33-1

Hartlepool 40-1 50-1 50-1 50-1

Exeter 50-1 50-1 66-1 33-1

Torquay 40-1 40-1 66-1 50-1

Each-way a quarter the odds, places 1, 2, 3

Scottish Premier League

Team C H L T

Rangers 1-7 1-6 1-6 1-6

Celtic 4-1 7-2 3-1 7-2

Dundee United 40-1 25-1 33-1 33-1

Hearts 50-1 40-1 66-1 50-1

Aberdeen 40-1 50-1 125-1 40-1

Hibernian 300-1 200-1 250-1 200-1

Kilmarnock 400-1 300-1 500-1 400-1

Motherwell 1,000-1 500-1 500-1 1,000-1

St Johnstone 1,000-1 500-1 750-1 1,000-1

Dunfermline 1,000-1 500-1 1,000-1 2,000-1

Win only

Scottish Division One

Team C H L T

Dundee 11-4 7-2 11-4 11-4

Raith Rovers 3-1 3-1 7-2 11-4

Falkirk 7-2 4-1 4-1 7-2

Airdrie 5-1 9-2 4-1 5-1

Partick Thistle 8-1 8-1 6-1 8-1

Ayr United 11-1 10-1 9-1 10-1

St Mirren 11-1 10-1 10-1 11-1

Hamilton 16-1 12-1 12-1 18-1

Greenock Morton 16-1 20-1 16-1 18-1

Stirling Albion 20-1 25-1 20-1 25-1

Each way, a fifth the odds, places 1, 2, 3

Scottish Division Two

Team C H L T

Livingston 11-4 5-2 9-4 9-4

Inverness C Thistle 11-4 3-1 3-1 3-1

Clydebank 10-3 7-2 3-1 3-1

Clyde 11-2 6-1 6-1 6-1

East Fife 8-1 8-1 9-1 15-2

Forfar 9-1 12-1 10-1 9-1

Stenhousemuir 16-1 14-1 16-1 16-1

Queen Of The South 16-1 14-1 20-1 18-1

Brechin 16-1 20-1 25-1 22-1

Stranraer 25-1 25-1 33-1 33-1

Each way, a fifth the odds, places 1, 2, 3

Scottish Division Three

Team C H L

Ross County 13-8 7-4 6-4

Dumbarton 11-4 3-1 3-1

Alloa 11-2 5-1 6-1

Albion 6-1 6-1 7-1

Berwick 7-1 8-1 5-1

Montrose 9-1 10-1 10-1

Arbroath 12-1 12-1 20-1

Cowdenbeath 14-1 16-1 20-1

Queens Park 20-1 20-1 20-1

East Stirling 25-1 33-1 33-1

Each way, a fifth the odds, places 1, 2, 3

n C - Coral, H - William Hill, L - Ladbrokes, T - Tote. NB: The prices quoted by the Tote are also available with many independent bookmakers

Comments