Sporting events of the week

By Martin Green17 February 2019
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England rugby

Chelsea v Man Utd

This is a repeat of last season’s FA Cup final, which saw Chelsea defy the odds to secure a famous win over Jose Mourinho’s Man Utd. Since then both teams have parted company with their managers and it now pits a beleaguered Maurizio Sarri against caretaker Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian went 11 games unbeaten at the start of his reign, but that air of invincibility ended in brutal fashion with a 2-0 defeat at home to PSG in the Champions League last time out. Chelsea’s last domestic game saw them lose 6-0 to Man City and Sarri’s position is perilous at Stamford Bridge. Man Utd-draw double chance is well priced at 4/5 with Bet365 and Sky Bet and 87/100 with Marathon Bet, as they beat Spurs and Arsenal in their last two trips to the capital. Alternatively, under 2.5 goals looks interesting at 21/20 with Ladbrokes.

Champions League

There are some huge clashes to look forward to in Europe’s premier competition this week. On Tuesday, Liverpool host Bayern Munich and they are well priced at even money with William Hill, Ladbrokes and Bet365 and 53/50 with Marathon Bet to win it. Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals also looks interesting. Barcelona should win away at Lyon, and you can almost double your money by backing them to do so, which looks very tempting. Atletico Madrid v Juventus looks like developing into a tight, tense encounter, and under 2.5 goals might appeal there. Finally, Man City travel to Germany to take on Schalke and you will need to give Pep Guardiola’s in-form side a -1.5 Asian handicap to find value, or look at half-time / full-time betting.

West Indies v England

These teams begin a five-match ODI series in Barbados on Wednesday and Eoin Morgan’s men are expected to win handsomely. They are top of the world rankings, while the West Indies are down in ninth. The hosts are also missing key players through suspension and injury, while England have pretty much a full team. The Windies have not won an ODI series since 2014, and England are on a strong winning streak, so it all points to a fruitful time in the Caribbean for the tourists. England to win 5-0 is gaining a lot of attention at 6/1, but England 4-1 looks more tempting at 15/8 with Bet365, Paddy Power and Betfair.

Europa League

Arsenal suffered the ignominy of a 1-0 defeat to BATE Borisov on a frozen pitch in Belarus last week. It is now the second leg and they are overwhelming favourites to turn the tables on their opponents and surge into the next round. They will need to start strong and Ladbrokes and Coral have an interesting 8/13 on them winning half-time / full-time, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be appealing in goals markets as Alexandre Lacazette will be suspended. Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen to win and under 4.5 goals against Russian side Krasnodar looks good at 17/20 with Ladbrokes, as a straight Valencia win against Celtic at 8/13 and both teams to score in the Benfica v Galatasaray game at 3/4 with Bet365.

Six Nations

France will bid for a first win of the tournament when they host Scotland in Paris on Saturday. They are the favourites to pull it off, but Scotland look pretty good and the 6/4 on an away win at Bet365 is attractive. England and Wales have won their opening two games and they meet in Cardiff for what could be a title decider. After beating Ireland and France, England will not fear the Welsh, even if they are on the road and shorn of the services of big players like Mako Vunipola. They have been extremely impressive thus far and 8/13 at Paddy Power and Betfair on an way win for England looks tempting. Finally, Ireland should thrash Italy.