Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

Saturday 27 February 2010 01:00

Several strands of football's current soap, provisionally titled "Shinpads", lumber on, the latest being the resignation of Wayne Bridge from the England squad, following the long-term injury to Ashley Cole, who's been dumped by wife Cheryl.

So the men with the long lenses will be out in their hundreds at Stamford Bridge today for any further instalments, as Chelsea take on fourth-place Premier League challengers Manchester City.

They'll be mainly looking for any argy-bargy between John Terry and Bridge in the players' tunnel or at the team handshakes before the game. The Irish bookmakers Paddy Power, always ready for a cheesy laugh, have an extensive market on contact between the two players ranging from a handshake (9-4), swapping shirts (20-1), to Bridge being booked for fouling Terry (40-1). Bridge is also 80-1 to score the first goal.

Rather more pertinent will be City's performance, given that their form is already feeble enough to make Roberto Mancini the second City manager to lose his job this season. Power have him at 16-1 to be the next to go, but I think City might dig in on behalf of their beleaguered left-back, and force a draw; £5 at 7-2 (Victor Chandler).

Sir Alex Ferguson would just love that result, his team being diverted from the Premier League to tomorrow's Carling Cup final against Aston Villa. United took just one point off Villa in the league – losing at home, drawing away – and will find Martin O'Neill's team committed and well-organised again. I fancy Villa to edge it in extra time; £10 at 14-1, Boylesports.

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