Good morning and welcome to 2013! If your head is in a bit of a spin – put the kettle on and have a read of what’s happening today – the first day of the New Year. Resolutions? You’re cutting down on the drink this year remember? No more bacon butties – well maybe just two at breakfast and you’re definitely opening a Paddy Power account. The run and a swim can wait until tomorrow. Or the weekend.
There’s plenty of football as the Premier League and nPower Championship enters the second half of the season with titles to be won and fortunes to be wasted as teams try to buy themselves out of relegation and secure promotion.
Premier League leaders Manchester United travel to Wigan who put a dent in their title aspirations last season as United blew an eight-point lead to lose to Manchester City on goal difference on the final day. City have stuttered in the first half of the new campaign and a home tie against Stoke could prove trick if they don’t get an early goal and force the Potters to leave their penalty area.
Spurs have taken 10 points from a possible 12 since mid-December but Gareth Bale is missing for Tottenham’s clash at home to Reading. Another Swan Lake impression from the Welsh international against Sunderland at the weekend earned him his fifth booking of the season and a one-match ban.
A win for Andre Villas-Boas’ side would see them leapfrog Chelsea into third place before the Blues entertain lowly QPR at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
The Gunners have really gotten their act together after their season threatened to disappear down the pan and Arsene Wenger’s side take on a Southampton side who came very close to ending Stoke’s unbeaten home record on Saturday when leading 3-1 before eventually drawing 3-3.
Every time someone writes off Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor he comes back flying. The greatest darts player ever is safely through to the PDC World Championship Darts final against Michael ‘Mighty Mike’ van Gerwen at Alexandra Palace tonight.
The pundits are split as Sky Sports’ Dave Clarke fancies The Power but Josh Powell thinks ‘Mighty Mike’ can take the big leap forward.
Taylor is looking for one final burst of energy to carry him through to his 16th World Championship win with the 23-year-old van Gerwen looking for a maiden victory on the biggest stage in world darts. It should be an absolute belter to round off two cracking weeks of arrows action at the Ally Pally and if a 100+ checkout wins the final Paddy Power will refund selected losing bets on the game (T&C’s apply).
Paddy’s lost the plot on the opening day of the New Year with his Money-Back Special all losers on two races on January 1st. It seemed like a good idea at the time but there could be carnage later when the bean counters start to see the cash flowing in the opposite direction. But there’s nothing they can do now except sit and wait until the TWO races are confirmed later today from Musselburgh, Exeter, Wolverhampton, Catterick, Fakenham, Tramore and Fairyhouse.
The new-look C4 team are broadcasting four races live from Musselburgh this afternoon as racing fans ring in the New Year and a new era and start to countdown to Cheltenham 2013.