Sports round up archive

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Thursday 13th January 2005

Australia A and Pakistan play the second ever 20/20 game in Australia after a sold out crowd in WA earlier this week at the Adelaide Oval tonight. Both sides have some big hitters capable of amassing big totals in the 20 overs. Australia A are slight favourites with a few quick scoring players at the top of their batting line up including Brad Haddin and James Hopes capable of getting the Aussies off to a flyer.

The first VB series match is played tomorrow with Australia taking on the West Indies at the MCG. The Aussies are clear favourites but the Windies are a very good one day side more than capable of causing an upset. The Windies will be reliant on a couple of their top order batsmen making a big score with Chris Gayle and Brian Lara both in very good form. The Aussies deserve to start favourite just about every time they go around but the Windies are definitely going to give the Aussies a run for their money.

The Australian Open begins on Monday and the money has come for the big guns in the men's draw. Roger Federer has clearly been the best supported and is a clear favourite. However, there has been some support for a number of other players. Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt are the next two in the market and both have come in for solid support while Andre Agassi and Guillermo Coria have both been supported at bigger prices.

In the women's draw, the bulk of support has been for Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport while there has also been good support for Alicia Molik who represents Australia's best prospect in many years in the women's event.

There are some very important games for the top sides in the English Premiership this weekend. Liverpool take on Manchester United with both sides desperate to stay in touch with Arsenal and Chelsea who have pulled a gap at the top of the League. Two other teams in the chasing pack, Middlesbrough and Everton, meet at the Riverside in what should be a close encounter. Both sides have exceeded expectations so far this season and will be keen to keep the run going.

Thursday January 20th 2005

Australia take on the West Indies in the fourth VB series match at the Gabba on Friday. Australia are ruling favourites and their form certainly justifies their short quote. The Windies have been well beaten in their first two games while the Aussies have won both of their games convincingly. The West Indies best chance of an upset looks to be batting first and hope the likes Gayle, Lara and Sarwan can post a big total the Aussies may struggle to run down. The smart money has all been for the Aussies at this stage and it is difficult to see them being beaten.

The Buick Invitational is on this week and all the big guns have come out to play. Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson are amongst the top class field. Singh is in the best form of his life and does look to be the value with Tiger retaining favouritism after strong support early this week. The best supported roughies have been Luke Donald and Shigeki Maruyama.

Chelsea look to have taken a stranglehold on the English Premier League for the season and if Arsenal are to apply any pressure for the remainder of the season they cannot afford any more slip ups following last week's shock loss to Bolton. The Gunners take on Newcastle this weekend and the Geordies will also be desperate for a win to keep them in contention for a place in Europe next season.

Manchester United take on Aston Villa and the Red Devils must win to have any hope of staying with the top two. Villa has been disappointing lately but did have a good win last weekend and United will have to be at their best to get all three points.

American Gridiron
The NFL playoffs are upon us and this weekend sees the Falcons taking on the Eagles and New England playing the Steelers. The Eagles have been well supported and certainly look hard to beat in the NFC game. New England and Pittsburgh are the two favourites to take out the Superbowl and this game looks a little harder to pick. Both sides have been in great form and despite the Patriots being well supported favourites, the Steelers will certainly take it to them.

Thursday 27th January 2005

There have been few surprises at this year's Australian Open with the men's semi-finals containing the four early favourites for the tournament. Roger Federer has looked near unbeatable through the whole tournament but faces his toughest test yet in the semis against the in form Marat Safin. In the other semi, Aussie Lleyton Hewitt takes on Andy Roddick. Hewitt has come through a marathon match against David Nalbandian and will need to be back at the top of his game to challenge Roddick. Federer is a ruling favourite to win the tournament and it is hard to see anyone beating him.

Pakistan take on the Windies at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. Pakistan are favourites for the game and have been well supported following some good performances from their batsmen. Both sides have been largely outplayed by Australia but have shown enough to suggest they can pull a big performance out. Both sides have struggled to chase large totals and the side that bats first may well have a big advantage for this game.

The FA Cup continues this weekend and there are a number of top class games being played. Manchester United take on Middlesbrough and both sides will be keen to get a good cup run going following good recent league form. Portsmouth take on Southhampton in a south coast derby and with both sides struggling in the Premiership, they will be looking for a Cup win to build some momentum for their relegation battle. The Superbowl is just around the corner and New England are strong favourites to beat Philadelphia. The Patriots defeated Pittsburgh in what looks a stronger form line than Philadelphia's win over the Falcons. The Patriots are the defending champions and the money says they will be hard to beat again this year.

Thursday February 10th 2005

The US PGA Tour heads to Pebble Beach this weekend and Vijay Singh is favourite to continue his dominance in a strong field which also includes Phil Mickleson, Davis Love, Jim Furyk and Mike Weir. Singh's current form and previous Pebble Beach record has seen him attract a lot of support from punters. The best backed of the others are Luke Donald and young gun Charles Howell.

The English Premiership has a few crack games this weekend with the Manchester derby attracting plenty of interest from punters. City put up a very good performance against champions elect Chelsea last week but the Red Devils will be very keen to keep the pressure on Chelsea with a win and punters have certainly backed United strongly this week. Chelsea take on Everton this weekend and the Blues will be keen to ensure they do not slip up again which could give the chasing pack a sniff of hope. Arsenal take on Crystal Palace which they should win comfortably and a Chelsea loss could reignite the Premiership race.

The ING Cup finals are just around the corner and there is a full round of games this weekend. Queensland has been well backed to beat Western Australia and with the likes of Maher, Hayden, Bichel, Hopes and Kasprowicz all in the side they certainly look hard to beat. In other games, NSW has been heavily supported to beat Victoria and there has been some support for Tasmania as outsiders against South Australia.

Thursday 17th February 2005

Footy season is already back with the Wizard Cup kicking off on Friday night. St Kilda has a nice draw and have been well supported favourites to take out the Wizard Cup. There has also been support for Melbourne and the Kangaroos at good odds. Sportingbet will be betting on all the Wizard Cup games on match day with head to head, line and margin betting available.

The one day series between Australia and New Zealand starts in the Shaky Isle on Saturday with Australia hot favourites to take out the series. The Aussies consistency over the five games should see them take the series but the Kiwis are a formidable one day outfit and are more than capable of surprising Australia. The ING Cup final is on this weekend and Queensland has been well backed to beat Tasmania. The Bulls started the season in fine fashion but have been hit by injuries and a number of players on Australian duty. Queensland remain strong favourites but Tasmania are certainly not out of it with the likes of Bevan, Marsh and Di Venuto all in good form.

Aussie Robbie Peden takes on America's Nate Campbell for the vacant IBF Super Featherweight title in Melbourne next week. Campbell dominated Peden in their last bout but Peden caught Campbell off guard to record a surprise victory. Campbell is unlikely to showboat again and his dominance in the previous bout has seen him be well supported as favourite.

The Blue Diamond market has turned on it's head following some upset results in the preludes last weekend with a number of the favoured runners now looking unlikely to line up in the race. The Mick Price trained Perfectly Ready is now favourite for the race following his impressive win last weekend. The John Hawkes trained The Rhine who followed Perfectly Ready home last weekend has been well supported and is on the second line of betting. The Colts and Gelding Prelude does look to be the best form line for the Blue Diamond but there is certainly some value for the fillies with the Prelude winner Doubting in double figures at this stage to take out the big one.

There is also Rugby league action this weekend with the Charity Shield between St. George and South Sydney doing battle at Aussie Stadium. St. George have a star studded line up despite missing a few players due to injury and are favourites to take care of perennial cellar dwellers Souths.

Thursday February 24th 2005

Rugby Union
The Super 12 kicks of this weekend and all three Aussie sides have a good chance to get the season off to a winning start. The Brumbies host the Crusaders and have been well backed despite losing Matt Giteau to injury. The Waratahs are favourites to take care of the Chiefs who have had some support at odds after a much improved season last year. Mat Rogers is in doubt for the game and with inexperienced inside backs, the Waratahs will need to be at their best to beat the Chiefs. The Reds take on the Hurricanes at Ballymore and the market points to a tight encounter. The Reds can run hot and cold but with close to their best side on the park should give the Hurricanes a big run for their money.

Horse Racing
The Blue Diamond is on at Caulfield on Saturday and there are a host of hot youngsters in one of the more open fields in recent years. The Tony Vasil trained Opportunity has been the best backed runner and is now outright favourite ahead of Perfectly Ready and The Rhine. The Rhine, trained by John Hawkes, has also had good support this week. Of the roughies there has been money for Doubting, Line Account and Red Hot Mama.

The Aussies gave the Kiwis another hiding in the second one day international and are clear favourites to maintain their dominance in the third match on Saturday. Australia may be without second game hero Matt Hayden but with Michael Clarke replacing him at the top of the order they do not lose a great deal. The Aussies have been well backed and will be keen to wrap the series up as soon as possible.

The WGC Match Play Championship starts tonight and Sportingbet will be betting on the head to head clashes as well as the tournament winner. Tiger Woods is the favourite to take the title but he faces a tricky first up match against veteran Nick Price. The Aussies have done well in match play in the past and Peter Lonard, Adam Scott and Stuart Appleby are all in good form and could give the tournament a real shake.


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