Ed Chamberlin: Excess success

  • By: Ed Chamberlin
  • Last Updated: September 13 2013, 17:52 BST

Sky Sports presenter Ed Chamberlin brings you his St Leger tip and gets ready for the Premier League action.

  • Ed Chamberlin returns for Super Sunday and Monday Night Football.
  • John Gosden's Excess Knowledge is backed for Leger glory. 
  • Southampton face West Ham in the Super Sunday game. 

HORSE RACING

Most racing fans will want to erase the 2012 St Leger and its winner from their memories but I'm not sure the 2013 edition is one to help to that. It's far from a vintage renewal and lacks a decent 'story' at this stage.

For the Leger winner these days look no further than John Gosden.

He has a tremendous recent record in racing's oldest Classic and is looking to win it for the third time in four years and a fifth occasion in total. Gosden is the master at training a slow-developing three-year-old.

This year Excess Knowledge is his representative and I can't erase from my memory being at Glorious Goodwood in July. After the luckless second in the Gordon Stakes, you'd have expected connections to have been cursing their misfortune. Not a bit of it.

Ed Chamberlin "John Gosden was thrilled with the run and his mind was clearly already on Doncaster in September. He excels with a horse of this type. Excess Knowledge has stamina on both sides of his pedigree and is a St Leger contender."
Ed Chamberlin

He looks like a relentless galloper and his trainer this week described Doncaster as the best galloping track in Europe.

Last week the quick surface wasn't ideal for the Sky Sports News-owned two-year-old On Demand, who nevertheless ran a fine debut at Salisbury. She led until just before the furlong pole and had Alex Hammond and I very excited for a while.

Andrew Balding's newcomers always come on a tonne from their debut and On Demand is a horse to keep a close eye on.

FOOTBALL

England got the result they needed in Kiev, if not the performance the fans wanted, while the other home nations had a mixed week.

Now it's time to re-focus on the Premier League and with the transfer window closed, it feels like the season now kicks on for real. We have a fascinating weekend ahead with a load of new faces at clubs and numerous teams with questions to answer.

The Super Sunday cameras will pay a first visit of the season to St Mary's for Southampton against West Ham.

Both these teams got their seasons off to flying starts but have stuttered since.

Ed Chamberlin "Rickie Lambert is sure to get a hero's welcome on Sunday afternoon. The Saints' number seven finally seems to be getting the credit he deserves with people realising he's far more than just a target-man."
Ed Chamberlin

The forward can hold the ball up as we saw in the first half in Ukraine but also has an assured touch and can pick a pass, as we saw twice in the build-up to two of the goals at Wembley last week.

Matt Le Tissier, who will be our guest on Sunday, has described Lambert as the best passer of a ball at the club since he wore the number seven shirt himself.

Lambert is flying but there's no guarantee he will start against West Ham. After the busy week the striker has had I can easily see Mauricio Pochettino going with Dani Osvaldo up front.

The experiment of playing Lambert and Osvaldo in a 4-4-2 system at Norwich did not work and the chances are he'll revert back to 4-3-3 with Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana either side of the main striker.

Team Versus Team
Man Utd v C Palace
A Villa v Newcastle
Fulham v West Brom
Stoke City v Man City
Tottenham v Norwich
Sunderland v Arsenal
Hull City v Cardiff
Everton v Chelsea
Southampto v West Ham
Swansea v Liverpool

Pochettino has tricky decisions all over the field. Rodriguez and Jack Cork were arguably Saints' two best players at the back end of last season yet both are struggling to get a game. What is good to see is the core of young English players at the club and there's every chance two English teenagers will start at full-back - Calum Chambers and Luke Shaw - and on the opening day they were the youngest to do so since the Neville brothers in 1995.

From St Mary's, Gary Neville and I will head to London to link up with Jamie Carragher as Monday Night Football returns this week.

There's bound to be lots of interesting things to look back on from the Premier League weekend with so many new signings in action, notably Mesut Ozil's potential Arsenal debut at Sunderland.

We also have a really good live game as Swansea take on the League's only team with a 100 per cent record, Liverpool.

A theme has developed with Liverpool winning all their games 1-0 and Daniel Sturridge becoming the first player in Premier League history to score winning goals in the opening three games of a season.

If he's fit, Sturridge is 6/4 with Sky Bet to score in the game and become just the eighth player in history to score in his team's opening four Premier League games of a season.

We kick off at 1900 BST on Sky Sports 1.

CYCLING

In amongst the football on Saturday do try and see some of Vuelta a Espana's penultimate stage. First, because the race is so close and set to go down to the wire. Second, because it is as tough a stage as there is in cycling as the riders tackle cycling's Olympus, L'Angliru.

It's a leg breaker of a climb that you and I would only be able to walk up and it's the finish where infamously in 2002 David Millar protested about its severity by stopping a metre before the line and handed in his race number.

Race leader Vincenzo Nibali showed fallibility in the final Pyrenean stage on Tuesday and any chinks in his armour will be brutally exposed on L'Angliru.

Rigoberto Uran is bound to feature heavily as he bids to make amends for the narrow defeat on Tuesday and finish Team Sky's race on a high.

His biggest danger is Joaquim Rodriguez, who yet again is coming good in the third week of a Grand Tour and I'll be backing him to win Saturday's stage on Spain's equivalent of Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux.

L'Angliru will be epic.


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