Rafa Benitez must be licking his lips after Bradford’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa. If his side can do the same against Swansea in tonight’s other Capital One Cup semi final he’ll fancy his chance big-time of delivering a trophy for Roman Abramovich in his first season in charge. That it might be his last season in charge won’t bother Chelsea fans too much and the Stamford Bridge outfit are 4/9 to get a result tonight.
Petr Cech and John Terry are absent though and Jon Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are on African Nations Cup duty while Michu should return up front for the Swans.
The sides drew 1-1 at the Liberty Stadium earlier in the season but Chelsea have won just two of their last nine home games in all competitions.
The bean counters at Arsenal look like they’re tiring of being a feeder club and will make want-away winger Theo Walcott an improved £26m five-year deal to end the 23-year-old’s contract saga, according to the Guardian.
While the Gunners and Chelsea – or anyone else – hoping to poach Marouane Fellaini from Everton will have to stump up £22m to trigger a buy-out clause in his contract that was inserted when he signed his five-year contract.
Dustin Johnson (-16) finished four strokes clear of Steve Stricker in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions last night as the reduced 54-hole tournament finally came to a close after the weather played havoc in Hawaii.
Johnson jumped to 12th in the world from 23rd in the World rankings and is 10/1 favourite with Paddy Power for this weekend’s Sony Open in Honalulu.
Local boy Branden Grace is back to defend his Volvo Golf Champions title in Durban after last season’s first-hole play-off win over compatriots and former Major winner Retief Goosen and reigning Open champion Ernie Els.
Grace – the first four-time winner on the European Tour last season – ended a stunning season when finishing third to World No 1 Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai standings. The 24-year-old is 12/1 in Paddy Power’s betting behind 9/2 favourite and 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen to retain his title.
If your selection finishes second to a South African golfer in the Volvo Golf Champions Paddy Power will refund your losing stake. (T&C’s apply)
Paddy will sleep a little better at night knowing the legendary professional punter and racehorse trainer Barney Curley has retired. The 73-year-old who’s last great coup netted a reputed £4m in 2010 plans to devote more time to his charity work.
The racing today comes from Doncaster, Kempton, Lingfield, Ludlow and Fairyhouse with Overturn – a 7/1 poke for the Arkle Chase behind Nicky Henderson-trained favourite Simonsig – has his second start over fences at Doncaster (2.15pm) today.
Donald McCain’s charge finished runner-up to Rock on Ruby in last season’s Champion Hurdle and is sure to bowl off in front to test his rivals today.
Paddy is gearing up again for his All losers Money-Back Special on Saturday after refunding €235,000 last Saturday.
Punters cashed in as the sirens went off for the MBS in the 1.35pm at Chepstow and the 2.40pm at Wincanton.
Just four days after refunding a whopping €150,000 to 14,000 punters on New Year’s Day Paddy made it one hell of a start to 2013 for punters. An he’s not done yet. This Saturday and every Saturday in January Paddy will laugh deliriously at the bean-counters and spit in the eye of the company share price with his Money-Back Special All Losers.