Sports Betting: Superiority of Juventus an attractive proposition

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The Independent Online
Manchester United's preparation for their most important game of the season so far could hardly have been much worse. Their first defeat of the campaign at Elland Road on Saturday was bad enough, but the injury to Roy Keane which may rule him out of the Champions' League meeting with Juventus at Old Trafford on Wednesday was little short of a disaster.

The gravity of Keane's injury should become apparent today, but with plenty of other European matches this week, the bookies were unable to delay printing their betting coupons and thus went to press without the benefit of a very important piece of information.

Keane's importance to United cannot be underestimated, but even if he does line up, Juventus will find plenty of supporters at the 6-4 offered by Super Soccer, who supply prices to the Tote and many independent bookmakers. Juve's superiority over Alex Ferguson's men in last year's Champions League campaign was almost embarrassing, while United have looked less than awesome in recent weeks. It is true that a draw would not disappoint the visitors too bitterly, but with only Group winners guaranteed a quarter-final place, they have every incentive to go for the win.

Dynamo Kiev made an impressive start to their Champions' League campaign and appear worthy favourites (10-11 with Hills) to beat Newcastle, while another British side who might struggle are Aston Villa. They have made a poor start to the season, yet are odds-on to beat Bordeaux tomorrow, and the French side merit a small interest at 11-4 (Hills, Coral). Leicester, though, have the team spirit to get a draw with Atletico Madrid, at odds of 9-4 (Hills), while both Liverpool and Arsenal are unbackable odds-on chances to win their matches with Salonika and Celtic respectively.

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL: Best odds: 2-7 Arsenal (Hills), 9-1 Salonika (Ladbrokes), 4-1 draw (Coral ,Tote). 5-6 A Villa (C), 11-4 Bordeaux (C,H,L), 9-4 draw (H,L). 4-7 Liverpool (C,T), 5-1 Celtic (H), 5-2 draw (C,H,L,T). 7-4 Leicester (C,H,L), 5-4 A Madrid (C,L), 9-4 draw (H). 7-4 Man Utd (H), 6-4 Juventus (T), 9-4 draw (L). 10-11 D Kiev (H), 3-1 Newcastle (T), 12-5 draw (C,T). 7-2 Bratislava (C), 8-11 Chelsea (H), 12-5 draw (H).

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