This week’s footballing action is something of a mixed bag, with the denouement of the Euro 2012 qualification group stage ending in midweek before a full programme of domestic fixtures.
Add in a Monday night League One game, international friendlies, a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie and European Under-21 Championship qualifying matches and there are plenty of opportunities to use your £25 free bet for signing up to bwin.
With England’s Group G fixtures completed following the 2-2 draw with Montenegro on Friday, the spotlight will be firmly fixed on the attempts of Ireland and Scotland to join them in Poland and Ukraine next summer.
Ireland only need to draw at home against Armenia to secure a play-off spot, although their hopes of automatic qualification appear to have ended as Russia’s win against Slovakia on Friday means Dick Advocaat’s side only need to draw against lowly Andorra to finish top of the group.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s hopes could depend on the performance of Lithuania against Czech Republic.
Craig Levein’s men need to match or better the Czechs’ result to make it to the play-offs, although given they are up against world and European champions Spain in Alicante they could need a Lithuania victory in Kaunas to progress.
Following the conclusion of these games on Tuesday evening, attention will be turned to the return of the Premier League and one game in particular.
The Saturday lunchtime kick-off sees Liverpool take on Manchester United at Anfield.
Former Everton striker Wayne Rooney’s sending off in an England shirt on Friday is only likely to add spice to the occasion, while United’s undefeated status so far this season will make them an even bigger target for Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish.
It is a crucial time for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, with the Liverpool match preceding by a week the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
With this in mind, this week could also be a good one to have a bet on the outcome of the title, as odds are likely to change significantly over the coming days.
As it stands, United are 19/20 favourites ahead of City (9/4), Chelsea (3/1), Liverpool (25/1), Tottenham (40/1) and Arsenal (66/1).
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