Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


SPORTS BETTING: New-look Scots a temptation

William Hill are the only firm so far to have priced up Saturday's Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham, but if their lead is anything to go by, Scottish fans might do well to book a last-minute holiday to somewhere without television, radio or papers. Hills make England prohibitive favourites at 1-5, with Scotland available at 100-30 and 16-1 about a draw.

Even the most patriotic of Twickenham's debenture holders, however, would surely be reluctant to back the home side at such short odds, all the more so if they witnessed their shoddy performance against Argentina. Scotland, meanwhile, were soundly beaten by Wales in their opening match, but their line-up has undergone surgery as a result and they can be guaranteed to give their all against the English. Victory might still prove beyond them, but the early odds imply that they will receive plenty of points when the handicaps are drawn up later this week, and the advice must be to take as many as you can get.

Wimbledon visit Old Trafford for the second time in five days on Wednesday night for a match which could prompt substantial changes in the Premiership betting. The Dons fully deserved the Cup replay they earned on Saturday but remain 33-1 chances for the Premiership despite having sufficient games in hand to overtake Liverpool (11-4) at the top.

Another draw would probably be ideal for Arsenal (9-2), who visit West Ham, softened up by Wrexham on Saturday, the same evening, while Newcastle will expect to advance from their current 6-1 following the visit of Everton.

FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP: Best odds: 5-4 Manchester Utd (T), 11-4 Liverpool (H, L), 9-2 Arsenal (H, L), 6-1 Newcastle (H ,T), 14-1 Chelsea (H, L, T), 22-1 Aston Villa (L, T), 33-1 Wimbledon (H, T), 25-1 bar.

H Hills, L Ladbrokes, T Tote.

FA CUP: Ladbrokes odds: 4-1 Manchester United, 5-1 Arsenal, Chelsea, 7-1 Sheffield Wednesday, 10-1 Blackburn, 12-1 Middlesbrough, Wimbledon, 14-1 Leicester, 16-1 Derby, Leeds, Nottingham Forest, 20-1 Bolton, 40-1 Birmingham, Coventry, 50-1 bar.