La Liga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid will lock horns for a huge six-pointer at Camp Nou on Wednesday night. They occupy the top two places in the table and this game will have massive ramifications for the title race. It was due to be played earlier in the year, but it had to be postponed due to civil unrest in Catalonia. Both teams will be fatigued after a busy schedule over the past couple of weeks, and we could therefore be in for an open, entertaining game. Neither defence looks watertight, but they both have some great attacking options off the bench, and that could lead to the game being stretched in the second half. Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals therefore looks interesting at 8/11 with Boyle Sports.
All four quarter-final clashes take place on Wednesday and it will be interesting to see how seriously the various teams take the competition. Liverpool were handed a preposterous scheduling clash: playing Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night before facing Monterrey on Wednesday in Qatar. Jurgen Klopp has opted to take his first-team squad to Qatar for the Club World Cup, leaving the youngsters behind to face Aston Villa. You would therefore expect a comfortable win for Dean Smith’s men, and they are priced at just 1/4 to pull it off. Man Utd are also heavy favourites to beat Colchester, while Man City should obliterate Oxford. The game that really offers value is Everton v Leicester. The Toffees are battling relegation, whereas the Foxes are flying high in second. They might view this as a distraction, but if Leicester put out a halfway decent team they should win it. Betfair has 13/8 on an away win, although you might want to wait to see the starting line-ups before taking the plunge.
World number one Michael van Gerwen is the 11/10 favourite with Bet365 to win the World Championship, which began on Friday and runs until January 1 at Alexandra Palace in London. Compatriot Raymond van Barneveld has already bowed out, marking a disappointing end to a stellar career, but Dutch fans can get behind van Gerwen. He has not been his invincible self this year, but he is still the man to beat at a big tournament. Gerwen Price is the second favourite at 9/2, followed by Peter Wright at 11/1 and Michael Smith at 18/1. Going each-way on Price looks tempting after his victory in the Grand Slam of Darts last month.
Stayers’ Hurdle winner Paisley Park will bid to extend his impressive winning streak at Ascot on Saturday. The Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle looks like the perfect race for his talents. It takes place over 3 miles and 1 furlong and there are 12 hurdles to be jumped during its running. Paisley Park triumphed last year for Emma Lavelle and he is the favourite to defend his crown this time around. He has continued to display impressive form since his spine-tingling victory at Cheltenham in March, and odds of 4/7 at Ladbrokes look decent.
Defending Premier champions Man City trail Leicester in the table after the Foxes embarked on a superb nine-game unbeaten streak. Yet Pep Guardiola’s men now have a golden opportunity to close the gap on their rivals by securing a morale boosting victory at The Etihad. Little has gone to plan for City this season, but they remain a brilliant side and they boast a number of world-class players. Both teams to score looks really attractive at 7/10, but so does Man City to win and both teams to score at 7/4 with Coral.