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Not feeling Blue

Ed picks out the best bets of the sporting weekend

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 5th May 2011 view comments

Three games to go and it's game on in the title race.

I was lucky enough to present the key games for Sky Sports last weekend, which saw Chelsea ride their luck to beat Tottenham and shorten to 10/3 to retain their crown, while Manchester United lost at Arsenal to drift from 1/14 to 2/9 to win a 19th title.

McLeish and Ancelotti: both have big games this weekend

McLeish and Ancelotti: both have big games this weekend

Now all eyes turn to Man Utd v Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday, which is part of a hat-trick of big games on Super Sunday from 11.30am.

It promises to be a thrilling day of football, with David Jones the lucky man in the presenting chair this time.

Premier League

Sky Bet's title odds: 2/9 Man Utd, 10/3 Chelsea, 66/1 Arsenal

It's amazing to think Man Utd have won just five away league games and conceded 24 goals, yet cruised to the Champions League final without conceding a single goal on the road.

Ed Chamberlin
Quotes of the week

Relegation: 1/4 West Ham, 2/7 Blackpool, 4/7 Wigan, 8/13 Wolves, 4/1 Blackburn, 12/1 bar

Sky Bet go 11/8 Man Utd, 2/1 Chelsea and 21/10 the draw for the title showdown in Manchester.

United have been unbeatable at home this season picking up 49 points from a possible 51, scoring 43 goals and conceding just nine.

That is in stark contrast to their away form, which has seen them win away at only one of the top 12 sides (Stoke) and picking up 24 points from a possible 54.

It's amazing to think Man Utd have won just five away league games and conceded 24 goals, yet cruised to the Champions League final without conceding a single goal on the road.

The mystery with Chelsea is which formation Carlo Ancelotti will go with on Sunday. Glenn Hoddle looked shocked in the studio when the news came through last Saturday that, after seven wins in eight playing 4-3-3, Ancelotti was reverting to a diamond to accommodate Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres in the team.

Hoddle and Graeme Souness both said that the players didn't look like they enjoyed playing that system and that Drogba looked like a different person for the last 30 minutes when Chelsea went back to 4-3-3.

What an intriguing and crucial match in prospect - one that looks very hard to call.

Sunday's victory over Manchester United opened the door for Chelsea but left Arsenal fans with yet more 'what ifs' and 'if onlys'. They were outstanding at the Emirates and if they play with similar freedom at Stoke then the home side will be in trouble.

My 'stat of the week' is that Blackburn's last win at West Ham came 17 years ago when Prince was number one in the charts with 'The Most Beautiful Girl In The World'. In that same month my colleague Matt Le Tissier scored a hat-trick in Southampton's famous 5-4 win at Norwich.

For my 'bet of the week' I'm going with Newcastle to beat Birmingham at evens with Sky Bet. Newcastle have won their last three Premier League meetings at St James' Park and going further back, Newcastle have lost just one of the last 11 league meetings at home, winning seven.

Newcastle have impressed me at home of late with a 4-1 win against Wolves and a 0-0 draw against Man Utd in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Birmingham have lost their last two on the road, shipping eight goals in the process, and their key player Craig Gardner is suspended on Saturday after his sending off against Wolves.

Sky Bet's evens looks an attractive price about the home side.

Horse Racing

Watching Frankel win the 2,000 Guineas was nothing short of incredible.

He ran like a five-furlong sprinter for a mile, spread-eagling a classic field all over Newmarket Heath. I have never seen anything like it.

Typically, racing folk instead of basking in the glory of a sensational performance, immediately wanted to know from Henry Cecil what Frankel's next target would be and if he would run in the Derby.

I'm pleased that they won't be risking Frankel at Epsom as I'd hate to see a superstar with not much speed floundering in the straight, which is what I fear would happen. There are lots of good races to be won over a mile before a possible step up to 12 furlongs later in the season.

A clash with So You Think could be spectacular. As I pointed out last week, the Ballydoyle team think the world of their Australian import and he was hugely impressive on Monday at the Curragh.

So You Think is going to cause a major stir in the big races this summer and with him and Frankel to the fore, the flat season is set up beautifully.

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