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A thrilling Ryde

Poulter the value for top European, says Ed

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 27th September 2012 view comments

2012 Ryder Cup odds: 4/6 USA, 6/4 Europe, 10/1 Tie

The perfect way to round off the greatest sporting summer: a Ryder Cup.

Sky Sports' coverage from Medinah starts at 12.30pm on Friday and I intend to watch most of what is always one of the best weeks in the sporting calendar.

Ian Poulter is a solid bet to score heavily in Chicago, says Ed

Ian Poulter is a solid bet to score heavily in Chicago, says Ed

I was lucky enough to play golf with a few of the Sky Sports golf team at Wentworth last week and get an idea of what the great event is all about, especially when it's played in America.

Tim Barter and Richard Boxall told horror stories about the crowd's behaviour at Brookline and Kiawah Island, while Howard Clark explained how daunting an atmosphere it is to play in.

Ian Poulter is always a fantastic performer in matchplay golf and has a great Ryder Cup pedigree to match. He adores this event and won't be intimidated one bit by the American galleries.

Ed Chamberlin
Quotes of the week

Make no mistake, the Chicago 'bear pit' is going to be one intimidating place to play golf. The noise on Friday will be incredible and I just hope it's going to be a brilliant atmosphere without the animosity we've seen at previous Ryder Cups in the States.

Who will win it? On paper at Celtic Manor two years ago I thought Europe were much the stronger side and the Americans did an amazing job to run them so close. This time around the sides look very evenly matched and I think home advantage will swing it the US Team's way.

I'm sure it will be close again just as it has been in five of the last ten Ryder Cups, which have been won with a 14½ - 13½ scoreline and I can't resist taking a bit of Sky Bet's 4/1 on that scoreline happening again.

The Medinah course is a big hitter's paradise and with that in mind, I like the look of Dustin Johnson at 9/1 to finish as top American points scorer.

For Jose Maria Olazabal's side, Ian Poulter is always a fantastic performer in matchplay golf and has a great Ryder Cup pedigree to match. He adores this event and won't be intimidated one bit by the American galleries - in fact, he will relish the hostile atmosphere. Poulter can be backed at 7/1 with Sky Bet to be top points scorer for Europe.

Premier punts

Sky Bet's Premier League Title odds: 6/4 Man Utd, 7/4 Man City, 7/2 Chelsea, 8/1 Arsenal, 50/1 Tottenham, 100/1 Liverpool, 100/1 Everton, 250/1 Newcastle, 750/1 bar

It's been an eventful road trip this week. Super Sunday was such an emotional day with all the moving tributes at Anfield.

On the pitch, both games were full of incident and ended with Manchester United (6/4) usurping Manchester City (7/4) as Sky Bet's favourites to win the Premier League title, which amazes me.

United have been winning games but as Sir Alex said they have played poorly and looked unconvincing, while City have been slow in to their stride but I'm sure will come good.

The champions might have a title hangover but have so much quality and will surely hit their stride soon. After all, these first five games are merely the early skirmishes of a marathon Premier League season.

Chelsea have eased half a point to 4/1 after a disappointing display against Stoke, while Arsenal impressed again at the weekend.

Steve Bould seems to have helped give this team a backbone and more steel than recent Arsenal sides. I reckon last season's team would have conceded a second on Sunday. They remain 8/1 with Sky Bet to win the title.

Arsenal (23/20 to win with Sky Bet) face another big test in the game that kicks off the Premier League weekend at midday on Saturday against Chelsea (9/4). They have scored the most Premier League goals against Chelsea (58) and more this weekend would make a major statement in the title race.

Turf wars

After the show on Sunday I travelled up to Wetherby and was up early on Monday morning to visit Richard Fahey's yard at Malton.

It was a fantastic experience to see so many good horses gallop - seeing Mayson and Garswood work was a particular treat - and the most relaxed stable I have ever visited.

Richard is a big Arsenal fan so seemed pretty pleased with their performance at the Etihad the previous day. From there I went to Sky Bet's offices in Leeds to meet the team and do a question-and-answer session with all the staff, which was a lot of fun and I had to answer a few curve-ball questions!

This weekend I'm heading to Villa Park for Super Sunday for the Midlands derby between Aston Villa (6/4) and West Brom (7/4). It's been a year to forget for Aston Villa. Of the teams currently in the Premier League, they have the worst record over the calendar year, taking just 19 points - but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

In the wins over Swansea and Manchester City, there have been signs of Paul Lambert's organisation and bonding skills. If he can galvanise the Villa faithful, who have been subdued and dejected for a while now, then he really is in business.

West Brom have made their best ever start to a Premier League season and best beginning to a top division season since 1978-79 (W3, D2) when they went on to finish third. Steve Clarke has made an excellent start to management and his team will be a tough nut to crack. The last seven wins in this fixture have all been by the same 2-1 scoreline and a 2-1 win for Aston Villa could be of interest at 17/2.

From Birmingham, the team will head down to London to watch the conclusion to the Ryder Cup and prepare for Monday Night Football. As always, we will look back on the Premier League weekend from 7pm and the live game is QPR against West Ham. The Hammers haven't won at Loftus Road for 24 years and this could be just the kind of high-profile fixture that brings out the best in this QPR team.

Other things to bear in mind this weekend: Southampton's only Premier League win at Goodison Park was 2-0 in November 1997 when Matt Le Tissier and Kevin Davies got the goals and Aqua were number one with the truly dreadful 'Barbie Girl'. Manchester United have an awesome record against Tottenham at home and have taken more points off them at Old Trafford (54) than they have against any other side. Stoke v Swansea: the home side won both games 2-0 last season and lightning could easily strike again at 15/2.

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