Blogs & Opinion


Sultan of swing

'Anderson should take plenty of first-innings scalps in Nottingham'

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 24th May 2012 view comments

The second Test between England and the West Indies starts at Trent Bridge on Friday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD.

England are 1/3 favourites with Sky Bet, who have the West Indies at 8/1 and the draw as a 7/2 chance. I said last week that there had been no money for the tourists and they could have been a 16/1 shot at Lord's and still not been backed, so I was pleasantly surprised by their decent performance.

Quick on the mark: Anderson will pose Windies' batsmen plenty of problems at Trent Bridge

Quick on the mark: Anderson will pose Windies' batsmen plenty of problems at Trent Bridge

I thought England would win the first Test much more comfortably but really enjoyed the West Indies showing the fight that so many of their recent sides have lacked. There's some real talent in this West Indies side and I particularly like the look of Adrian Barath with the bat and Kemar Roach with the ball.

Finally we have some proper cricket weather, but that shouldn't stop the ball swinging in Nottingham and I expect Jimmy Anderson to have a field day.

The ball should swing in Nottingham and I expect Jimmy Anderson to have a field day.

Ed Chamberlin
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Stuart Broad stole the headlines at Lord's with his 11 wickets but I fully expect his new ball partner to be the star of the show at Trent Bridge. Jimmy Anderson looks a great bet to be England's top wicket-taker in the first innings at 2/1 with Sky Bet.

Horse racing

Poor old Frankel. What more does he have to do to be the headline story on the back pages?

He was a scintillating winner of the Lockinge at Newbury on Saturday, yet his performance was completely over-shadowed by all the other sport happening last weekend and his story confined solely to the racing pages.

The sport finally has a superstar, but how do we get him to capture the imagination of sports fans across the country?

To me, racing aficionados were left purring by his rout at Newbury but by beating the same opposition, the race meant little to sports fans and it's likely to be the same story in his next outing: the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. To interest sports followers across the board, I think Frankel needs a rival, a contest for sports followers, punters and journalists to get their teeth in to.

Just recall the press coverage of Kauto Star v Denman, which really captured the public's imagination. Racing needs Frankel all over the back pages of our daily newspapers.

I don't think that will happen with a 10-length procession in the Queen Anne, but would happen with a heavyweight clash with Black Caviar. Camelot might also fit the bill to take on Frankel if he wins the Derby (4/5 with Sky Bet) at Epsom next Saturday and then heads to the Eclipse at Sandown.

There is great local excitement here in Hampshire as our local trainer, and big Southampton fan, Andrew Balding prepares to saddle his first runner in the Derby. Bonfire was an impressive winner of the Dante at York and is now Sky Bet's second favourite at 5/1. However, he'll have to be some horse to trouble Camelot, who could be very special.

Football

The Champions League Final was yet another thrilling in-running betting event. Bayern Munich got to as short as 1/100 to lift the trophy, with Chelsea at 20/1 before Didier Drogba scored from a corner and the rest is history. Chelsea even touched 11/4 when they were 1-3 down in the penalty shoot-out and the betting was typical of the roller-coaster ride punters have enjoyed and endured all season.

Prior to the Champions League Final, I was very keen on Germany's chances of winning Euro 2012. Now I have two worries. First, the German players in the Bayern Munich side showed worrying mental frailty; snatching at chances in front of goal, arguing between themselves and eventually managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

A second concern is the effect defeat will have on those players' morale ahead of the tournament. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller and co. looked crestfallen after the game and will take some picking up. For Spain, France and others, the final will have made pleasant watching.

Sky Bet's Euro 2012 odds: 5/2 Spain, 3/1 Germany, 6/1 Netherlands, 10/1 England, 10/1 France, 12/1 Italy, 18/1 bar

Plenty of the talk after the game concerned Roberto Di Matteo's future. He is 4/9 with Sky Bet to get the Chelsea job full-time, with Fabio Capello at 3/1 and Harry Redknapp next in at 8s. It's a busy time of year for Sky Bet's brave odds compilers as they have markets available on all the Premier League clubs' managerial vacancies.

The odds on the next Liverpool manager seem to change by the hour. Andre Villas-Boas is the current favourite at 5/6, with Roberto Martinez at 5/2. The markets for the next Aston Villa and West Brom boss are equally volatile.

It's not just managerial moves the odds compilers will be sweating over and glued to Sky Sports News to find out the latest news on. Sky Bet currently have markets on over 20 players who may be on the move.

Of most interest at the moment is the destination of Eden Hazard, with Manchester City the favourites to claim his signature at 8/11, Manchester United 11/8 and Chelsea 3/1. It's going to be a fascinating 'battle' between the Premier League powerhouses to sign him.

Click here to see more Sky Bet odds.

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