Ed Chamberlin: Breeders' Cup focus
Ed Chamberlin looks ahead to the Premier League action and the Breeders' Cup in his latest blog.
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What a feast racing fans have to look forward to this weekend. The National Hunt season steps up a gear with the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, an excellent card at Ascot and Sizing Europe running in Ireland. Meanwhile, it's Breeders' Cup time in America.
The action on Saturday night will be terrific and my bet of the meeting should get us going early in the Filly and Mare Sprint at 1935 GMT. My Santa Anita mole told me on Tuesday that they will need "an amendment to the American Constitution" to get Groupie Doll beaten.
She's won her last four races and is different class to the rest I'm told.
"Groupie Doll has been flying in her work and the 7/4 available earlier in the week looked a steal. Even money or bigger on Saturday night will still represent good value if she's anything like as good as William Bradley and the Groupie Doll groupies think she is."
The Turf at 2218 GMT is usually a given to come back to Europe.
American horses aren't bred for this test but the home team think Point Of Entry could be an exception to that rule. He's been in great form and could be a proper Turf horse and a decent price with Sky Bet.
The European horses are bound to be well backed over here but lack star quality and all look much of a muchness to me.
We should collect the Mile (2340 GMT) . I'm told Excelebration has come out of his Ascot romp in really good form and goes in to the race with plenty of Ballydoyle confidence.
The night builds up to the Classic, which should be a crescendo but this year is as uninspiring renewal as I can remember. Last year's bridesmaid, Game On Dude, is the one to beat but is pretty short at 7/4 and I like the each-way chance of Ron The Greek at 8/1.
Earlier that afternoon one of my favourite horses could return from a long absence at Ascot. Tocca Ferro did this column a few big favours two seasons ago and I really thought he could develop in to a Champion Hurdle horse before injury struck. It will be fascinating to see how he gets on after a 707 day absence. The Emma Lavelle team still have great faith in Tocca Ferro.
It's a decent renewal of the Charlie Hall and I fancy Master Of The Hall to go close. He goes well fresh and is bound to have been targeted at this by Nicky Henderson.
Super Sunday had a James Bond theme throughout the show and the two live matches produced an absolute blockbuster.
The first ten minutes of the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park set the tone for the day with goals and controversy. It was a Super Sunday that had two matches, nine goals, two red cards, controversial decisions galore and a vital win for Manchester United.
It all left the top three sides in the Premier League separated by just one point.
I can see exactly why Sky Bet have got City and United both at 7/4 as at this early stage it looks so hard to call. Neither is firing on all cylinders yet but keep grinding out results. For Man Utd it was another dangerous away game successfully negotiated.
I can also see why Sky Bet only pushed Chelsea out a fraction from 5/2 to 11/4 despite the defeat. From the time they went 2-0 down to the moment Ivanovic got sent off, Roberto di Matteo's side were very impressive and were trading as favourites to go on and win the game with an hour on the clock.
Graeme Souness described Chelsea as the 'real deal' and was hugely impressed by Eden Hazard and Juan Mata. The Blues are big runners in the title race.
Di Matteo now has a conundrum though because as brilliant as Hazard, Mata and Oscar are going forward it leaves a lot of space in behind. As Gary Neville described so well, Manchester United exploited that space ruthlessly, especially down there right hand side.
It was another brilliant tactical move as everyone before the game expected them to play a diamond shape with Wayne Rooney sitting deep. However, Sir Alex said it was going against his own instincts by introducing that formation and sure enough he went for it with two wingers and it worked.
You'd expect Sir Alex to stick with the system he prefers as his team destroyed Arsenal out wide in both games last season. Ashley Cole had a tough time on Sunday, and if Santos starts at left back I fear for him with Valencia and Rafael ready to take him on.
United have have had the sign over Arsenal of late, winning eight of the last ten meetings in all competitions, including five of the last six, and the last four at Old Trafford.
What a week these two sides have had in the Capital One Cup, involved in Sky's two live games that produced just the 21 goals. Extraordinary. After this fixture had nine goals itself last season, it will be fascinating to see what happens on Saturday.
I'll be heading up to Anfield for Super Sunday and two more really good games. We start with a crucial match at the bottom of the table as QPR (5/6) host Reading (3/1) with both still looking for their first win of the season.
"I can see plenty of money coming in for QPR who played well against Everton and Arsenal plus punters are bound to worry about how Reading will respond to that bizarre and demoralising 5-7 defeat to Arsenal in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night."
Then we focus on Anfield for Liverpool (4/7) against Newcastle (9/2) , a fixture that has thrown up some of THE great Premier League memories.
Newcastle won 2-0 at St James' Park in April but it's a fixture Liverpool have dominated over the years. The Reds have won nine of the last 12 Premier League meetings, including six of the last eight and the last seven at Anfield.
The worry for Liverpool fans and punters is that only the Premier League's bottom three sides - Southampton (4pts), Reading (3) and QPR (2) - have won fewer home points this season and Wednesday night's defeat to Swansea will have further dented their confidence.
Over 2.5 goals could be a decent bet as Liverpool have scored 21 goals in their last eight meetings and have scored more PL goals against Newcastle (73) than they have against any other side.
There has also not been a goalless draw in the last 59 meetings between these two, since a 0-0 at St James' Park in February 1974.
Newcastle's only Premier League win at Anfield came 18 years ago - 2-0 in April 1994. Take That were number one in the charts with 'Everything Changes'. Newcastle will be desperate to change everything about that pattern on Sunday.
When we finish at Anfield it will be straight in the car to head down to London as Monday Night Football returns this week. It's a while since we've done an MNF so there are lots of issues to discuss with Gary plus an intriguing live game - West Brom (4/6) v Southampton (7/2).
It's looking ugly for Southampton: - the 26 goals they have conceded is a PL record for goals against in opening nine games of a season and the Saints are the only team in all four English League divisions without an away point this season. Hope you can join us from 7pm on Sky Sports 1HD.