Morning update from the Paddy Power Blog on all the latest betting moves in sport
If vague claims of the newspapers are to be believed, Andrew Strauss is set to step down as England’s Test captain later this morning. The Guardian say a “hastily-convened media conference” has been called by the ECB for midday today and despite having little evidence to go on, the conclusion is it’s to announce the Middlesex batsman’s resignation of the captaincy and possible retirement from the international game.
The newspaper also tells us that the press conference as called at 10.18pm last night, not helping the feeling a bombshell is about to be dropped. If it’s not news about Strauss retiring, it’s thought that it may be in relation to Kevin Pietersen getting booted off the team for his ill-advised text chats with his South African buddies. Either way, it looks like the stress caused by KP’s busy thumbs has taken it’s toll and events will come to a head at around lunchtime today.
With two Ashes series coming up in the next couple of years and Strauss still generally performing to a high standard, quitting international cricket would be a major surprise. He ranks highly amongst England’s most successful Test captains with just Michael Vaughan ahead of him on the list of captains who have led England to the most Test wins.
England’s Test team won’t be in action until November when they take on India in Ahmedabad. Before that, the shorter forms of the game take centre stage starting with the small matter of avoiding another thumping at the hands of South Africa in the 3rd ODI on Friday before the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka next month.
Theo Walcott is set to be nearing an Arsenal exit – with incredible speed but with less than convincing control if it’s anything his playing style. The not quite winger, not quite striker has rejected the offer of a contract extension and Liverpool and Manchester City are said to be interested in taking Walcott off Arsenal’s hands in return for about £12 million. Arsenal are 22/1 to win the Premier League and 4/5 to finish in the Top 4.
If you support a team who ere unlucky enough to be involved in the second round of the Artist Formerly Known as the Carling Cup, now called the Capital One Cup, here’s the brief round-up.
It’s bad news if you support Aston Villa, Leeds, Norwich, Wigan, QPR, Reading, Southampton, Sunderland, Swansea, West Ham and West Brom. They – along with several others – have made it through to the third round.
Well done to – amongst others – Birmingham, Bolton, Hull, Leicester, Fulham and Stoke who have been knocked out at a sensibly early stage.
– On Friday, the transfer window will shut in a blur of rumour and legendary Jim White over-excitement and Moussa Dembele could be one player to have made a move by then. The Fulham midfielder is close to joining Tottenham after the Cottagers accepted a bid of £15 million for him.
– After the money for Luka Modric came through, Spurs are set to do a Liverpool on it by handing a large chunk of it over for a player of uncertain standard. Andre Villas-Boas is said to be offer CSKA Moscow £25 million for Alan Dzagoev. The Daily Mail describe him as ‘one of the stars of Euro 2012’ omitting the crucial brackets (for about a game and a half).
– Fiorentina are set to take one bench-warmer off Sir Ferguson’s hands. The have £4.5 million burning a hole in their pocket and they’d like to get rid of it in return for one Dimitar Berbatov.
– Joey Barton’s move to Marseille is back on, presumably after the Gendarmerie completed their background checks and decided his no-nonsense Northern ways are worth the lingering threat of violence he brings with him.
Rory McIlroy took his flowing locks to the US Open for girlfriend, Caroline Woznaicki’s supposed first Round cakewalk against world number 96, Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania. As the inclusion of the word ‘supposed’ in that last sentence suggests, that’s not how it turned out as the Dane got dumped out in straight sets. The world number eight grumbled about injuries afterwards. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic and Agnieska Radwanska were amongst the bigger names who didn’t choke on the second day at Flushing Meadows.
In the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick all progressed in straight sets. Defending champion Djokovic is the 5/4 favourite to win the tournament.
Andy Murray resumes his campaign later today, no much later today that’s it’s actually tomorrow. He’s last up on the Arthur Ashe court when he’ll take on world number 116, Ivan Dodig after midnight. The Scot is 1/66 to progress to the third round, so the chances are you can skip staying up to about 3am and presume he’ll win.
- Betting: Men’s US Open coupon
- Betting: Men’s US Open outright
- Betting: Ladies’ US Open coupon
- Ladies’ US Open Betting