Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A great part of the nation will be denied its traditional lie-in tomorrow now that Andy Murray has reached the final of the Australian Open, scheduled to start at 8.30am.

His hopes of beating the 8-13 favourite Roger Federer will rest on how quickly he can get at the Swiss maestro's game – only Nikolay Davydenko has rattled his cage so far, and that was for just one and a half sets. Having disregarded Murray's chances initially, shameless patriotism demands that we back him now – £10 win, at 13-10 with Totesport.

There is another essential match-up later in the day, the Arsenal v Manchester United game. Arsène Wenger's strategy of sacrificing an FA Cup fifth-round place for maximum points in the Premier League over the next fortnight has already backfired with two dropped to Aston Villa in midweek.

Surprisingly, given Arsenal's defeat to Stoke, the Villa result and the injury to Thomas Vermaelen, the bookies make the home side favourites. The 19-10 offered by Betfred for United to win must be taken, to a £20 stake.

After dismal results in the NFL Conference Championships (see below), the betting fund needs replenishing. £5 each-way on Nenuphar Collonges, at 14-1 with the sponsors in today's Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster, might help.

*The last-minute interception from Brett Favre's pass, with the Vikings moving towards a game-winning field goal, proved fatal to Minnesota's hopes. In the AFC Championship, the Jets put 17 first-half points on the Colts but managed zip in the second.