The Bookie’s View: Blades ‘great escape’ must begin at Preston

Gentleman bookmaker Victor Chandler gives the inside track on local football
Gentleman bookmaker Victor Chandler gives the inside track on local football
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The Blades, who prop up the Championship table, appear to be going down with a whimper (1/33 for the drop) rather than a bang and in a weekend when Hartlepool legend and former Owl Ritchie Humphreys returns to Hillsborough, we at are asking how many points do you think the city clubs will get in their combined fixtures this weekend?

We at bet: 0 pts: 8/1; 1 4/1; 2 11/1; 3 2/1; 4 10/3; 6 11/2.

So we are betting 11/2 both the Blades and the Owls win this weekend. It hasn’t happened many times this season! This is the last chance saloon for the Blades who are 5/2 to cross the Pennines with all three points. Phil Brown’s side are 21/20 for the game but if there is to be a great escape for Micky Adams’s side it must begin at Deepdale. The draw priced at 12/5 is of no good to either side.

The Owls are a shade of odds on at 5/6 to win their third successive home league game. The corresponding fixture at Victoria Park saw a 5-0 victory for the Owls and a similar scoreline is 80/1. Neil Mellor is our 5/1 favourite to score first with Ritchie Humphries 10/1 to land the first blow for the visitors.

The World Snooker Championships begins at the Crucible on Saturday with holder Neil Robertson facing recent China Open winner Judd Trump in the pick of the first round games.

The Crucible has been a graveyard for first-time winners on their return with greats Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry both making premature exits. The talented Trump is 7/4 to cause a shock and the Bristol based left-hander is overpriced in my opinion.

In the outright market I just favour Ding Jinhui (7/1) over Mark Selby (6/1) with the pair on course for a quarter final clash. Ding is based in Sheffield and I just prefer him to The Jester From Leicester. Three-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the Peoples’ Champion but can The Rocket maintain his discipline and concentration over this 17-day marathon?