Kevin Palmer's Friday Flutter: Sergio Aguero to leave his mark against Liverpool
All eyes will fall on Wembley Stadium this Sunday, as the first piece of silverware of the soccer season will be handed out to either Liverpool or Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final.
There are also some crucial Premier League games on the agenda as Leicester look to cement their position at the top of the table, while Arsenal’s trip to Manchester United could be pivotal in this season’s title race.
Our weekly Independent.ie punt in association with Paddy Power is listed at the bottom of this page and here are a few more bets to tempt you ahead of a massive weekend of soccer.
LEICESTER v NORWICH
Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester confirmed their title credentials in their last match, with their performance in an agonising defeat at Arsenal almost two weeks ago cementing the belief that their improbable dream of becoming Premier League champions is realistic.
This is the first of their 12-game run-in and it is games like this that will decide their destiny. Can Leicester handle the pressure in games when they are expected to win? We are about to find out.
* Leicester’s Jamie Vardy to score two or more goals - 3/1
* Wes Hoolahan to score for Norwich - 13/2
* Game to finish as a draw - 10/3
SOUTHAMPTON v CHELSEA
Chelsea’s steady recovery under interim boss Guus Hiddink could be confirmed if they move to within four points of sixth placed Southampton with a win at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
Facets of Chelsea’s all-conquering side of last season are still misfiring and the poor form of their midfield creator Eden Hazard’s remains a concern, but they will be back on track if they beat a Southampton side that have taken 16 points from their last six matches and are eying a European finish for a second successive season.
* Chelsea to win - 13/8
* Southampton to win and both teams to score - 5/1
* Chelsea’s Diego Costa to score first - 4/1
MANCHESTER UNITED v ARSENAL
Arsenal need to clear their heads after their latest humbling experience against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night as they prepare for a clash against an injury-depleted United side.
The pace being set by Leicester at the top of the table, combined with the menacing form of Tottenham, means Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger needs to win only his fourth Premier League game at Old Trafford in his 19 years as Gunners boss. Two of his side’s previous wins at the Theatre of Dreams have been followed by Premier League title glory.
* Arsenal to win and both teams to score - 4/1
* An own goal in this match - 9/1
* Man Utd to miss a penalty - 25/1
LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER CITY
This Capital One Cup final is likely to define the season for both clubs, with a triumph for Jurgen Klopp confirming that his first campaign as Liverpool manager will be hailed as a triumph.
While City’s stuttering form suggests they are vulnerable as they aim to lift the trophy Manuel Pellegrini won back in 2014, they were impressive as they beat Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Wednesday night and have the big game players to shine at Wembley.
* Man City’s Raheem Sterling to score against his former club - 11/5
* Liverpool to be winning at half-time or full-time - 13/10
* Sending off at Wembley - 10/3
Here is our Independent.ie bet for this weekend in association with Paddy Power and all winnings to be donated to Dublin’s Temple Street Children’s hospital:
€50 on Man City’s Sergio Aguero to score first in the Capital One Cup final - 4/1 (possible returns €250.00)