Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 28 February 2009
They can forget about their Ferraris and Bentleys. For Manchester United's players, it's coaches, trains and planes as they embark on a two-week, five-game tour that will decide the success of their season. Tomorrow they go to Wembley to face Spurs in the Carling Cup final; then it's up to Newcastle on Wednesday for a Premier League game. Next Saturday they visit Fulham for an FA Cup sixth-round tie, then back home to face Internazionale in the Champions League and Liverpool in the definitive Premier League decider.
There are bullish noises coming out of Old Trafford about winning all four trophies. For what it's worth the bookies (Bet 365, Stan James) are offering 12-1 about this unprecedented feat, with shorter prices for assorted trebles, doubles and so on. On one betting exchange 54-1 is being offered on "no trophies".
Ferguson must "rotate" his squad, though I doubt he'll put out a team of kids. If Wayne Rooney starts I'd expect United to win at cramped odds. But it's tempting to sprinkle a few small bets on an extra time win (15-2 United, 17-1 Spurs at Paddy Power) or on penalties, (12-1 for each at Totesport). Meanwhile, the pursuit of the Tote's super7 pot ended on Thursday when nine punters found the seven winners, bagging £114,374.80 each. I was not among them.
*Possol finished second in the Racing Post Chase, so the £10 winnings go on him for the William Hill Trophy at Cheltenham (12-1 generally). In America, Geoff Ogilvy is in the final 16 of the Match Play, and was last night facing Colombia's Camilo Villegas, who has blown his first two opponents off the course. Still, there's no Tiger Woods waiting.
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