Stan Hey: 6-5 against

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The Independent Online

Red carpet, tears, lots of heartache, triumph, a glittering occasion – yes, the Carling Cup final at Wembley between Chelsea and Tottenham should be a fine warm-up for the Oscar ceremonies which follow the game late tomorrow night. Indeed, there was a time when Didier Drogba would have been a cert for any Best Actor award.

The curiosity about the final is that both managers, Avram Grant and Juande Ramos, came to power as a result of unpopular boardroom coups. So winning will represent a quick endorsement of their coaching talents. Grant has done a good job steadying Chelsea after the Special One's operatic exit, but I still don't see a great deal of the sparkle that the owner was supposedly gagging for.

Ramos, in contrast has seriously reorganised Spurs, making them fitter, more purposeful and good to watch. Given Ramos's cup expertise I'm having £10 on Spurs to win inside 90 minutes, at 12-5 (Blue Sq), and a fiver on Dimitar Berbatov for first goal (15-2 William Hill).

The Oscars don't seem worth waiting up for, with strong odds-on favourites in the four main categories. I'll have two quid on Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) for Best Director (15-2 Betfred) and the same on Ellen Page (Juno) for Best Actress (9-1 Coral), then take a walk up the stair-carpet.

Last week's wagers

In the Accenture Match Play golf, Steve Stricker (backed at 33-1) was in a third-round match against Angel Cabrera last night. Geoff Ogilvy went out in the first, and Adam Scott blew a lead to go in the second (£10 lost). Mind you, if Maria Sharapova was after me I wouldn't be lingering on a golf course.

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