Boo or cheer? While options are open for England supporters, there's no confusion for the fans of Premier League teams.
Beat Arsenal, the two Manchesters – United and City – Liverpool and Chelsea if you want to win the title; otherwise just beat the teams around you to survive.
Last season saw the bizarre spectacle of lower-table clubs "resting" their first teams for "unwinnable" games against the big boys in order to do better against their own class – it looked as though the three points Wolves reserves gifted Manchester United might be crucial to winning the League, one of the three that exist almost as separate entities.
Manchester United (5-2 Victor Chandler) and Chelsea (7-4 Paddy Power) have shared the last six titles and look to have the next to themselves. Then there's the mini-league trying for Europe. Below them a dozen clubs fight for survival, or in Burnley's case, and perhaps Blackpool's (10,000-1), just enjoy the visit. If the Premier League really wants a "winter break" maybe they should dump two clubs, the four fewer fixtures allowing a month off.
Betting-wise, the United-Chelsea duopoly dominates; but you might still get Manchester City – "The Irlam Globetrotters"– at 7-1, with Ladbrokes; or perhaps Arsenal (also 7-1 at Ladbrokes) and "tippy-tappy" football will come good? The value may be Everton – £10 each-way, at 150-1 Blue Square (one-third odds for three places) – whose 11 draws last season cost them a higher placing. Fernando Torres can win the Golden Boot (£10 at 8-1 Stan James) but nothing else.Reuse content