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.
A cautionary tale for ambitious would-be authors
X Factor judge will appear in court later this month
MMA: UFC heavyweights Mark Hunt and Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva in fight for the ages
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira relive the rivalry - after a shared ice cream in Warsaw
Ashes 2013-14 match report: Alastair Cook future in jeopardy after another woeful display sees England lose to Australia by 218 runs to go down 2-0
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Dear Sir Jimmy Savile: A comedian's words of valediction to the nation's trusted uncle
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Teenage girl convicted of robbery after taking pre-crime selfie wielding knife
- 4 Newly vegan Beyoncé wears fox fur to dine in meat free restaurant
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent