Sports betting: Leading trio under pressure

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The Independent Online
TOMORROW NIGHT sees the three most important Premiership games of the season so far, at least in determining who might win and in what order the runners-up will finish. Leaders Arsenal travel across north London to Tottenham, where George Graham will play host to his old team for the first time since he moved to White Hart Lane. Although Spurs are still in transition and cannot yet compare with Arsene Wenger's side, Graham's desire to keep the Gunners at bay will have a bearing on tomorrow's game.

As the Arsenal manager, Graham lost only six League derbies out of 23 against Spurs and won 11. His Spurs side ground out a goalless draw at Highbury in November, one of seven draws between the two sides in their last 12 matches. Spurs have won three and Arsenal two in that 12-match sequence, although Wenger's team have not lost to Tottenham since he took over. Arsenal are unbeaten in 15 matches. The conclusion? It is hard to see Tottenham rolling over, especially given Arsenal's less than convincing win over Derby. It is also hard to see the Gunners losing, so a draw seems the most likely outcome.

Second-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand on the Gunners, travel to Liverpool. United are unbeaten in 27 matches in all competitions but know that on their (albeit sporadic) good days, the Merseysiders can still be troublesome. Backing United to win would be a more attractive option if they were odds against, but when the most generous price on offer is 10-11 (William Hill), they are harder to recommend. A draw again seems a likely outcome.

David O'Leary's Leeds visit Stamford Bridge hoping to defy their status as the bookmakers' outsiders and narrow the gap behind Chelsea to two points. Both Leeds (by winning 5-1 at West Ham on Saturday) and Zola-inspired Chelsea (who beat Everton 3-1) showed they still have ambition, and both still have everything to play for. If O' Leary's young side can overtake Chelsea, Champions' League football beckons. If Chelsea slip up, they only have a Uefa Cup spot to look forward to. Another close one, and another draw (for a 35-1 treble) is recommended.

MIDWEEK FOOTBALL

C H L S T

Liverpool 3-1 12-5 3-1 7-2 3-1

draw 5-2 12-5 9-4 12-5 5-2

Man Utd 8-11 10-11 4-5 4-6 8-11

Tottenham 11-4 12-5 100-30 11-4 5-2

draw 12-5 12-5 9-4 12-5 5-2

Arsenal 4-5 10-11 8-11 4-5 5-6

Chelsea 11-10 4-5 4-5 10-11 11-10

draw 9-4 9-4 9-4 12-5 9-4

Leeds 2-1 3-1 3-1 12-5 2-1

C Coral, H William Hill, L Ladbrokes, S Stanley, T Tote

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