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Betting news on the Champions League, Andy Murray and Liverpool

by Aidan Elder | August 30, 2012

Morning update from the Paddy Power Blog on all the latest betting moves in sport

Football

The draw for the group stages of the Champions League will take place at about 4.45pm today, although we’ve no idea just how many crappy montages we’ll have to sit through before they actually start the oddly long-winded process of pulling names out of a bowl.

Defending champions Chelsea are alongside Manchester United and Arsenal in pot one, meaning they’ll avoid fellow pot-oners, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Porto and AC Milan. It’s not quite as good for Manchester City. As they’re in pot two, they’ll will face one of the non-English clubs mentioned in the previous sentence, which could make things very tricky. Celtic could find it even tougher as they’re in pot four, which could translate into a fiercely competitive group.

The Spanish clubs head the betting with Barcelona the 13/5 favourites and Real Madrid 7/2 second favourites. Despite the unfavourable seeding, City are rated the best hopes of an English win at 7/1 with their local rivals from Old Trafford next in the betting at 10/1. Chelsea are 14/1 to push their luck all the way to the successful defence of their title, Arsenal are 25/1 and Celtic are 250/1.

Jim White looks forward to two days a year and neither is Christmas or his birthday. The summer transfer window closes on Friday evening and the Sky Sports News presenter has been limbering up for a day of over-enthusiastically speculating about any footballer who decides to get behind the wheel of a car. We’ve got Jim White Cliché Betting, which is good, because it’s shaping up to be a busy day of rumour-mongering and here’s why:

– Brendan Rodgers is said to be making one last push to get Andy Carroll out the Anfield door. He’s trying to talk West Ham into taking his lovely hair to Upton Park to make room for the arrival of Theo Walcott. It’s so exciting, Jim might just explode.

– Yesterday Dimitar Berbatov was learning the Italian for ‘this is as fast as I can move’ ahead of a switch to Fiorentina. Today he’s brushing up on his cockney rhyming slang after Fulham swopped in to take him to the Cottage for £5 million. He’s said to favour remaining in England, officially because of his family, but in reality because he’s not arsed moving house.

– No, it’s not 1999, but yes, Celtic are said to be after Alessandro Del Piero.

Betting: Premier League outright

Tennis

Andy Murray cruised into the third round of the US Open after a dominant straight sets victory over Ivan Dodig of Croatia. It wasn’t quite a bagelling, more a ducking, fish-fingering and sideways bum-cheeking – or as it’s more commonly known 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. He’ll meet a Spaniard in the next round, the identity of which we’ll find out later. It will be either Pablo Andujar or the man Murray’s mum cringingly refers to as ‘Delici-ano Lopez’, Feliciano Lopez.

There was more good news for British tennis as Laura Robson ended Kim Cjisters’ career about a week earlier than most people were expecting. The 18 year old prevailed in two tie-breakers to claim a straight sets win over the three time winner at Flushing Meadows. Robson will need more of that teenage angst when she faces Li Na in the third round.

In a n unintentionally dismissive round up of other results, ladies’ first seed, Victoria Azarenka won her second round match in straight sets. John Isner, Ricahrd Gasquet, Juan Martin Del Potro and Lleyton Hewitt were the amongst the bigger names who progressed in the men’s draw.

Cricket

Alastair Cook is the new England Test captain after the rumours about Andrew Strauss’s retirement proved to be accurate. Strauss resigned from all forms of the game in a ‘not as emotional as we were expecting’ press conference and the job of getting someone to go fine leg to fine leg for 90 overs and dealing with Kevin Pietersen’s ego will pass to Cook. Cook (27) is already captain of England’s ODI side and the obvious candidate for the role.

Next up for England is the 3rd ODI with South Africa tomorrow and next month’s Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

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