Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 10 January 2009
As we are just two weeks into the new year it is a little early to describe tomorrow's Manchester United-Chelsea match as a 'six-pointer', especially as United have two games in hand. But neither side will be able to shrug off a loss in the context of a stuttering first half of the season.
United can thank their home form (seven wins) while Chelsea's strength has been away (eight wins). Neither side has resolved its key problems – a lack of goals from United's expensive forwards; disharmony in the Chelsea squad – a draw looks the bet, £10 at 11-4, Coral.
There will be no easing off in the NFL Divisional play-offs. The third and fifth seeds were knocked out supposedly leaving the top seeds with easier games – far from it. The Giants face arch-enemies Philadelphia, while Tennessee welcome their doppelgangers, the Baltimore Ravens.
The Eagles lost to the Giants at home this season by just five points then downed the Giants by six on the road. The key factor will be the fitness of Giants' huge running-back Brandon Jacobs (right) who batters defences early on, setting up gaps for two speedier colleagues, the trio being nick-named 'Earth, Wind and Fire'. £10 win Giants, 1-2, Skybet.
The Titans-Ravens game will be 'smash-mouth football', aggressive defences not just stopping plays but also trying to score. Tennessee have the more effective running back, Lendale White, so £10 win, Titans, 4-7 totesport. In the other two games, heart rules head – the Steelers can hold off the Chargers (4-11 generally) while the Cardinals (15-4 Boylesports) could shock the Panthers.
*We managed to call all four NFL Wild Card games correctly for a modest profit. But while Everton got through to the FA Cup Fourth Round, they were drawn against Liverpool.
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