Football: The Sweeper The price is right

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THAT WAS close. We went for glory last week, with 35 trebles in seven games, and almost wiped out an entire season's profit in one afternoon with one out of five on "Black Saturday". Man Utd v Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday v Chelsea got us out of trouble in style on Super Sunday, though. Consolidation has to be the name of the game between now and the end of the season, particularly as we've got an excellent portfolio of paid-for ante-post bets to look forward to in the coming weeks. Here's a reminder: pounds 3 on Arsenal at 5-1 - now 11-8 - to win the Premiership; pounds 3 on Parma at "Burlington Bertie" (100-30) - now 1-2 - for the Uefa Cup and pounds 2 on the other finalists Marseilles at 7-1 - now 6-4; pounds 2 on Manchester United at 9-2 - now 4-6 - for the European Cup and pounds 4 on Lazio at 6-4 - now 1- 2 - for the Cup-Winners' Cup. This weekend, the value, as ever, lies in backing the draw and there are four good bets to be had. Relegation-threatened Charlton and Blackburn can draw at The Valley; mid-table Newcastle and Middlesbrough can draw at St James' Park; doomed Nottingham Forest may be held to a draw by Sheffield Wednesday; and West Ham and Leeds, contenders for place in Europe, may draw at Upton Park.


(Four pounds 2 trebles with Stanley): Charlton to draw with Blackburn (12-5); Newcastle to draw with Middlesbrough (9-4); Nottingham Forest to draw with Sheffield Wednesday (12-5); West Ham to draw with Leeds (12-5).

ORIGINAL BANK: pounds 100.

CURRENT KITTY: pounds 146.74!

TODAY'S BETS: pounds 8.72 (including 72p tax paid on).