Sports Betting: Take Liverpool to draw Celta Vigo's sting

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The Independent Online
LIVERPOOL CAN emerge with a draw after their visit to Celta Vigo for the first leg of their third round Uefa Cup tie tomorrow. The Reds are still a long way from solving their defensive problems, but they put in a superb performance at Villa Park to beat Aston Villa, the Premier League leaders, 4-2 on Saturday.

Celta Vigo were the Villa killers in the second round, but it should not be forgotten that Villa went to Spain to win the first leg and, more importantly, Celta Vigo, after heading La Liga this season, are showing signs of going off the boil. They dropped to second place in the Spanish league after being beaten 2-0 by 16th-placed Alaves on Saturday.

Manchester United have a grim task as they fly out to face Barcelona in Wednesday's Group D Champions' League encounter. With Peter Schmeichel, the United goalkeeper, transformed from a gilt-edged asset into a free- falling liability and the rest of the United defence clearly as porous as ever, what hope can the side which conceded three to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough have of keeping a clean sheet at the Nou Camp against the outfit who put the same number past them at Old Trafford?

Luckily for United, Barcelona are in poor form. They went down 1-0 to Mallorca, the new Spanish league leaders, on Saturday and lie only third in La Liga. If, as Alex Ferguson, their manager, suspects, United can raise their game, they could force a draw.

Arsenal may also be held to a draw by Lens in their Group E match at Wembley. The Gunners may be without Patrick Viera and Dennis Bergkamp, injured in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Wimbledon, whereas Lens, although only mid-table in the French league come into this game after a heartening 1-0 victory over Bastia at home.

Telephone punters quick off the mark this morning should have an interest in Gary Ponting, at 12-5 with the Tote, to upset John Parrott at the UK Snooker Championships.

C H T

Celta Vigo 5-6 4-5 5-6

draw 12-5 9-4 12-5

Liverpool 13-5 11-4 5-2

Barcelona 6-5 5-4 11-10

draw 11-5 11-5 9-4

Man Utd 9-5 7-4 15-8

Arsenal 1-2 8-13 1-2

draw 13-5 9-4 13-5

Lens 9-2 4-1 9-2

C Coral, H William Hill, T Tote

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