Blogs & Opinion

Super Sunday: Ed Chamberlin on Ryan Giggs' return and City v Spurs

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 21st November 2013 view comments

We are back in Cardiff for Super Sunday this weekend. Manchester United visit the Cardiff City Stadium for the first time and all eyes will be on local boy Ryan Giggs.

Despite approaching his 40th birthday and playing a record 951 times for United, Giggs has never played against his hometown club. Should he feature on Sunday, it will be the 117th different side he has played against in his career. Incredible.

Giggs: Welshman returns to Cardiff this weekend

Giggs: Welshman returns to Cardiff this weekend

Cardiff have won on both our visits so far this season, against Swansea and Manchester City, and created an incredible atmosphere on both occasions. The place will be rocking again if they can pull off a 'Manchester double' in their debut Premier League season.

Sky Bet rate Cardiff as a 9/2 chance to do it and have Manchester United at 4/7 to beat the newly-promoted side which they usually do, having won 13 of the last 14 meetings against promoted teams.

Man City v Tottenham

Before the game in Wales we have a fascinating and crucial match at the Etihad. Manchester City (4/6 to win with Sky Bet) play Tottenham (4/1) with both needing to bounce back from defeats against the teams from the North-East on the Super Sunday Hat-trick before the international break.

Defeat again on Sunday could prove a fatal blow to each side's title hopes. The positive is that we see the League's best attack against the team to have kept the most clean sheets - City have scored 28 goals while Tottenham have kept seven clean sheets and conceded just six goals (only Southampton have conceded fewer).

City have had their struggles on the road but at the Etihad they have been unstoppable and have the only 100% home record left in English football.

Bet on the Premier League with Sky Bet

Despite Tottenham's impressive defence they have had well-documented problems at the other end, scoring just nine goals, which remains a mystery. The mystery comes from Tottenham having had more shots, more shots on target and more blocked shots than any other team in the Premier League this season.

Sunday might suit Spurs as City will come at them and they can play on the counter. Tottenham have also won more Premier League games at Manchester City (9) than anywhere else and have only taken more points at Everton.

It has the makings of a really good game with plenty at stake.

West Brom v Aston Villa

To round off the Premier League weekend Monday Night Football returns with West Brom (evens) against Aston Villa (11/4).

Last season, Steve Clarke's side finished seven places and eight points higher than Paul Lambert's Villa but this time around they are level on points and separated by only one goal in the table.

It's going to be tight but punters might be tempted by Villa at 11/4 as they seem to find it easier away from home. They have only conceded three goals in their five Premier League away games this season - only Tottenham (one conceded) have a better defensive record on the road, while Southampton have also conceded three.

They are unbeaten in their last three away games without conceding a goal (W1, D2) since their only defeat at Chelsea. Villa last kept four successive league clean sheets away from home in 1985 under Graham Turner - a club record.

Other sport

What a brilliant time of year this is. The Ashes series under way in Australia, which will mean lots of late nights and early mornings plus plenty of checking Twitter during the night for score updates.

Saturday night also sees the Froch-Groves fight on Sky Sports Box Office, for which Carl Froch is a warm 2/7 favourite with Sky Bet.

There was some brilliant action in the autumn rugby internationals. My annual bug bear is that none of the home nations play 'series' against the Southern Hemisphere nations. What a shame England don't get another crack at the All Blacks this weekend.

I'd prefer to see England's autumn be a three-match series against the All Blacks, likewise Wales against Australia, Ireland against South Africa etc. Then rotate for next year.

It's also my favourite time of year for racing with big races and meetings every weekend before Christmas. Hot on the heels of three brilliant days at Cheltenham is the Betfair Chase at Haydock and a top card at Ascot. Next week it's the Hennessy, followed by the Tingle Creek and the show rolls on from there.

Ed's backing Two Rockers in the Amlin Chase. Bet now

It's the best ever renewal of the Betfair Chase but it looks so tough for punters with so much guesswork involved. Will Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth be tuned up for his return? The same applies to Silviniaco Conti. Neither of their trainers is yet firing on all cylinders.

David Pipe certainly is but will Dynaste be good enough at this level? Does Cue Card stay this trip? What will Tidal Bay do on the day?

I'd back Bobs Worth all day long against this lot round Cheltenham but Saturday is a totally different ball game. It's an intriguing contest but a braver man than me who has a strong opinion on the race.

Over at Ascot the Amlin Chase looks equally difficult, while if Annie Power is as good as they say she is, she should beat Zarkandar in receipt of 11lbs.

The horse I have backed for the weekend is Alan King's Two Rockers at 15/2 with Sky Bet to win the fixed brush hurdle at Haydock. Two Rockers was an impressive winner at the track in February before disappointing in the Neptune.

But as my regular readers will know, I think that race at the Cheltenham Festival was red hot.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Follow the latest news and gossip, as Chelsea close in on Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado and Louis van Gaal confirms Darren Fletcher is set to join West Ham.

Cuadrado 'signs for Chelsea'

Chelsea have secured the services of Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado, according to Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella.

Redknapp: City must respond

Man City's players must show the character that made them champions at Chelsea, says Jamie Redknapp.

Merson's predictions

With a full Premier League schedule this weekend, Paul Merson tips wins for Arsenal, Stoke and Southampton

Costa loses appeal

Diego Costa has lost his appeal against an FA violent conduct charge and will start a three-match ban against Man City.


Premier League: A look at the key battles in Saturday's title showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City

Premier League: A look at the key battles in Saturday's title showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City

Who will emerge on top out of John Terry and Sergio Aguero? Eden Hazard and Pablo Zabaleta? Nemanja Matic v David Silva?

Chelsea v Man City: Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team?

Chelsea v Man City: Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team?

Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team? Adam Bate looks at the curious case of the former Chelsea hero's move to Manchester City...

Five classic Premier League matches between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge

Five classic Premier League matches between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge

Ahead of Saturday's title showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City, we look back a five classic Premier League matches between the two teams at Stamford Bridge.