Rafa to rule
Tipster Dave Tindall selects the best Premier League wagers in his weekly betting column.
By Dave Tindall
Last Updated: 23/11/12 6:37am
It's straight into the deep end for new Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez, with champions Manchester City at Stamford Bridge his first assignment (live on Sky Sports 4pm Sunday). Chelsea had won four, drawn one and lost one of their six PL home games under Roberto Di Matteo so are pretty strong at the Bridge but, despite not hitting top gear, City remain the only unbeaten team in the land. They haven't pulled up many trees on the road though and have been held to draws in three of their five away games so far this term. Sky Bet make Chelsea 6/4, Man City 13/8 and the draw 5/2. In his Liverpool days, Rafa completely outthought Roberto Mancini when the Italian was in charge of Inter so I'm going to back Benitez to put one over him again. He'll want to keep it fairly tight so a good way of cashing in is to head to the Correct Score Group Betting market and back Chelsea to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 at 3/1.
Tottenham's home form this season remains suspect with two wins, two draws and two defeats. The wins were over two of the bottom three (QPR and Aston Villa) so seventh-placed West Ham should give them something to think about on Sunday. The Hammers, who drew 0-0 on their last visit to White Hart Lane in March 2011, have been pretty decent on the road this season with two draws and a win in their five games and they've conceded just six goals. A low-scoring draw is the call then and perhaps the best way to punt on that is to back 'Draw & under 2.5 goals in match' at 9/2. That, of course, covers 0-0 and 1-1.
The rush to back Rafa Benitez to be next Chelsea boss was electric after the Blues announced that Roberto Di Matteo was on his way. Benitez was available at 2/1 before the news broke of Di Matteo's sacking but that was quickly cut to 4/6. By Wednesday afternoon, the Spaniard had been slashed to just 1/8, with Sky Bet reporting "significant betting" and, of course, a few hours later his role was confirmed. As you'd expect, QPR boss Mark Hughes is next in the firing line and Sky Bet have him at just 1/3 to be the next Premier League manager to go. Southampton's Nigel Adkins is next at 6/1 while Manchester City's Roberto Mancini is 10s. Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who had been second favourite to take over at Chelsea, is now the 7/4 market leader to be next Man City boss while the Spaniard also heads the next Arsenal boss betting at 3/1. He's the 7/2 co-favourite with Jose Mourinho and David Moyes in Sky Bet's next Manchester United manager betting.
Like many, I was gobsmacked to see Ella crash out of the X Factor last week although, in hindsight, I shouldn't have been. I've watched enough of the ITV reality show over the years to know that strange things happen. The line I've heard most in X Factor discussions in the office has been "If Christopher wins, it'll be the death of that show." Hmmm. I'm sure there were similar sentiments being said about Wagner when he kept being put through. Christopher is obviously better than the tuneless Brazilian warbler but I think he'll suffer a similar fate and go in a week or two. Sky Bet's latest outright odds read: 8/11 Jahmene, 9/4 James, 7/1 Christopher, 14/1 Union J, 20/1 Rylan.