Backing Britain does not pay
Monday 04 December 1995
When the book opened, Rovers were 1-3, in bookies' term near-certainties, to finish top. Their price then drifted with each fresh disaster, through 8-13, 5-2 and 12-1 until, just six weeks later, they were 25-1 simply to qualify for the next stage.
This rapid decline should be borne in mind by anyone, even in Nottingham, who intends to back Forest at 25-1 to win the Uefa Cup before tomorrow's third round, second leg match in Lyon.
Bookies are often accused of offering miserly odds about British teams in Europe in the knowledge that punters will back them anyway. Their lists, however, simply reflect weight of money, and British patriotism (or is that self-delusion?) being what it is, teams from these shores will almost invariably offer poor betting value.
Consider, for instance, the surprising fact that Lyon, who, following their excellent first-leg performance, will be fancied by many to overcome a one-goal deficit at home tomorrow, are eight points longer to win the Cup, at 33-1 (Ladbrokes, Coral). This, remember, is the team which beat Lazio in the last round.
At the top of the market, Milan, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSV have enormous talent and experience, but, in the last eight, can be expected to begin to knock each other out.
Lyon are too big at 33-1, and an each-way bet (at half the odds for a place in the final) should at least give punters the novel opportunity to enjoy the performance of a British club in Europe.
UEFA CUP (Ladbrokes): 5-4 Milan, 9-2 Barcelona, Bayern Munich, 7-1 PSV Eindhoven, 8-1 Roma, 16-1 Werder Bremen, 20-1 Bordeaux, 25-1 Nottingham Forest, 33-1 Lyon, 40-1 Real Betis, Lens, Slavia Prague, 50-1 Brondby, 66-1 bar.
CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE (Hill's): 13-8 Juventus, 7-4 Ajax, 8-1 Borussia Dortmund, 9-1 Spartak Moscow, 10-1 Real Madrid, 11-1 Nantes, 25-1 Panathanaikos, 33-1 bar.
Latest in Sport
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
Raheem Sterling interview: No amount of money can convince Sterling to stay at Liverpool
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England shirt is now
The 10 potential biggest transfers of the summer: Raheem Sterling, Theo Walcott and Radamel Falcao in the mix
Liverpool injury news: Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren expected to be ready for Arsenal clash
- 1 Rape threats, death threats and a police investigation after video poking fun at an Islamic Party in Malaysia goes viral
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 6-year-old writes ice cold Valentine's card to his stepmother
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
£10000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of staffing and r...
£19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the four inns of Court is seeking...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the four inns of Court i...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support Helpdesk / 1st L...