Money bags Manchester City are 50/1 to win the Champions League after slumping to a 3-1 defeat at Ajax last night.
Roberto Mancini’s schizophrenic tactical changes have been called into question as the Italian switched to three centre-backs from a 4-4-2 formation when City were a goal up and promptly paid the price to leave them bottom of Group D.
Arsenal’s unbeaten record at home in the Group stages of the competition also came to an end as Shalke ran out 2-0 winners at a rapidly-emptying Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are still in a strong position to qualify from Group B but have a couple of nervy nights ahead.
Liverpool face a tricky tie against a Guus Hiddink’sAnzhi Makhachkala at Anfield tonight and are 11/8 to topple the Russian Premier League side who trade at 2/1. Brendan Rodgers will need to balance his stretched resources carefully as the Reds face Everton on Sunday in the new manager’s first Merseyside derby in charge.
Spurs travel to Slovenian to face NK Maribor and are 8/11 to come away with the points while Alan Pardew’s Newcastle take on Belgian side Club Brugge and can be backed at 8/13.
The vacant manager’s job at Ipswich has been left at the default setting by most bookmakers with Alan Curbishley (you are forgiven for asking who?) installed as 2/1 favourite to end his three years out of the game “if the right opportunity comes along”.
A team that is perennially anchored to the foot of the Championship hardly represents an ‘opportunity’ but until someone you never considered signs on the dotted line expect a few more familiar names in the frame.
- Betting: Liverpool v Anzhi Makhachkala
- Betting NK Maribor v Tottenham
- Betting: Europa League coupon
- Betting: Premier League Coupon
Jamie Donaldson holds a four-shot lead in the clubhouse on 10-under-par from Peter Hanson after an overnight 62 at the BMW Masters in Shaghai.
Tournament favourite Rory McIlroy is three under through 12 with a Ryder Cup who’s who of Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts still on the course and just behind McIlroy as the opening day’s play draws to a close.
If McIlroy wins the tournament Paddy Power will refund all losing single stake on the second place player(s).
Last weekend’s Ascot Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Excelebration is flying ahead of his trip to Santa Anita to the Breeders Cup on Saturday week.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt will be the highest rated runner in the two-day showpiece and the world’s joint second-highest rated thoroughbred (behind Frankel) alongside Cirrus Des Aigles. Racing today comes from Carlisle, Wolverhampton, Ludlow and Southwell in the UK and Thurles in Ireland.