Just when the Ashes series appeared to be heading towards the dull end of the competitive spectrum, the Australian selectors did something extraordinary.

They have named a barely believable squad for the first Test, which starts on Thursday in Brisbane.

With no international football to puncture domestic schedules until a set of March friendlies, the Premier League will be the focus of English football fans for the considerable future.

Runaway Premier League leaders Man City travel to the King Power on Saturday to face a resurgent Leicester City in what promises to be the most exciting game of the weekend. City have banged in a remarkable 38 goals in 11 league games so far this season and look dangerous whenever they are in possession.

England v Brazil Betting: England won’t dodge a beating this time. It is not often the Germans let you down when short-priced favourites but they did just that against an inexperienced England at Wembley on the weekend. The 0-0 draw was a big tick for England’s next generation of wannabees rather than Germany’s stars.

Neutrals were left disappointed in the two intercontinental playoffs as Honduras v Australia and New Zealand v Peru both finished goalless. Wednesday sees the second legs of both ties, which are teetering on a knife edge and could go either way, and we have analysed them both in a bid to find value:

Australia v Honduras

The Ram Slam, surely the best name of all the T20 franchise leagues around the world, is underway. South Africa’s version of the thrash and bash lacks the glitz and glamour of their rival leagues – and it has not been too competitive in recent seasons – but that doesn’t mean we should consider it a decent betting heat on the outright.
 

The odds on Jose Mourinho being the next Premiership manager to leave his job have plummeted after he was linked with a sensational move to Paris Saint Germain. The Man Utd boss was 100/1 in this market a couple of weeks ago but he has been backed all the way into 20/1 with William Hill after the PSG link.

The month of Autumn Internationals beginning this weekend represents the start of the International season for the Northern Hemisphere sides and the end of a long season for the Southern Hemisphere teams and a valuable staging post for all teams to measure progress halfway towards the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

The three big games this weekend, with all prices from Bet365, are

It is fair to say that Huddersfield Town versus West Bromwich Albion is not one of the matches which have tempted TV companies to spend millions on acquiring the rights to the  English Premier League. Indeed, you could probably count on two hands the number of folks, outside of Yorkshire and the Black Country, who are interested in the Saturday fixture.
 
Sometimes successful sports betting can be about who not to pick, rather than to decipher who will win a market. After all, it’s better not to bet at all rather than some misguided punt on a favourite who is going to lose you your money. It’s a win of sorts.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pocchetino declared his team is among the very best in Europe after they beat Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley this week. Spurs thoroughly outclassed the reigning European champions in a result and performance that will have made all of Europe sit up and take notice.

We all like to have a moan about the Premier League, about all the things it gets wrong and about how much better it could be with a few small alterations. But Sundays like the one upcoming make it all worthwhile.
Last week we were talking about how Joe Root could probably turn up for the Ashes series with one hand tied behind his back and still outscore his team-mates. Yup, Root aside it is one of the weakest batting line-ups England have ever assembled. And that’s saying something.
 

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