Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Showdown with auld enemy can be try-less affair
Saturday 01 October 2011
You sometimes wonder if those people who compile fixtures have a sadistic streak.
The compilers of the rugby World Cup gave England a tough start, Argentina, and an even tougher finish, Scotland, to their qualifying group. Elsewhere, other traditional rivalries dominate the football, creating a fantastic spectacle for fans but leaving punters edgy because "derbies" are too volatile to predict.
England (1-5 Stan James) should see off Scotland and reach a quarter-final against France, but the Scots (11-2, Victor Chandler), could prove a thistle in their side. In the last six meetings Scotland have won two and drawn one, and England's 22-16 win at Twickenham last winter wasn't comfortable. Scotland need an eight-point winning margin to leap into the Frogs next week.
England's coach Martin Johnson has picked his "dog-fight" unit with the "purists" on standby for Plan B. But it could all come down to a shootout between Jonny Wilkinson and Chris Paterson – £5 at Coral on "no try-scorer", 18-1.
The red mist has descended in recent Merseyside derbies as players feed off a Downton Abbey syndrome with Everton's "below stairs" team eager to trounce the rich "toffs". The draw seems the best bet – £10 at 9-4, totesport. Tomorrow's north London derby should see Spurs improve their record against Arsenal – £10 win Spurs (6-5 Betfred); £5 on Emmanuel Adebayor to score first goal, at 5-1, Bet 365.
England vs India report: England expects as Bell, Ballance and Buttler make B-line for victory
Louis van Gaal says he is inheriting a 'broken' Manchester United squad
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Manchester City's #AskJesus Twitter takeover quickly descends into chaos as Premier League champions are trolled relentlessly
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan