Villa backed for the FA Cup

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Just when you think the FA Cup is dead in the water a hitherto unknown nineteen-year-old goes and scores the winning goal in the last minute of extra-time against a Liverpool side shorn of their talisman, their sulky Spanish striker but at least they still have their David Brent-lookalike manager at the helm. But for how long?

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I spent most of the Merseyside Derby fielding calls from fellow Bluenose Mike "Porky" Parry my old talkSPORT colleague and in the aftermath we both agreed that whoever won next weekend's 5th Round clash with Villa would have every chance of going all the way to Wembley. Villa have been very well backed in recent days with Stan James for the Trophy following their replay success against Doncaster and are 9/1 from 11/1 with Everton 12/1 to land the FA Cup.

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Back to Premier League action for Villa this afternoon and a difficult looking trip to a Blackburn Rovers side unbeaten under the tutelage of Sam Allardyce (as someone who is of a similar build to Sam, ok a bit fatter, note I didn't call him Big Sam). We don't like it stop!!

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Villa are 6/4 with Stan James to return to winning ways at Ewood Park with Rovers 7/4 and the draw 23/10. Arsenal (7/5) face a similarly difficult looking game in the North London Derby at White Hart Lane against a Spurs side (2/1) buoyed by the return of Robbie "Prodigal Son" Keane.

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I am not sure it is a wise move to make Keane, a player considered not good enough (albeit by Rafa Benitez) to get in the Liverpool squad, captain on his return to the Lane especially given the doubts about whether Jermain Defoe and Keane can play together. Manager Harry Redknapp doesn't have to worry about that on Sunday, however, given Defoe's injury and if Villa can pick up all three points in Lancashire they ought to make ground in their battle for the fourth Champions League slot.

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Birmingham City are a shade of odds on at 5/6 to beat a Burnley side that came within three minutes of reaching Wembley in the Carling Cup. The Clarets are 3/1 with the draw priced at 9/4. With Wolves dropping points at home to Norwich midweek and facing a difficult looking trip to Coventry today (6/5 to take the points) it is imperative that Blues get the job done at St Andrews today. But how many times have we said that so far this season?

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The Six Nations gets under way this weekend and we make Wales the 2/1 favourites to gain back-to-back 6 Nations Titles although they face a tough looking opener at Murrayfield on Sunday.

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We have come up with a number of markets below on the Tournament beginning with:

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What half do you think most points will be scored in this weekend's 6 Nations Internationals?

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  • Scotland v Wales - 2nd Half - 4/1
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  • England v Italy -   2nd Half - 9/2
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  • England v Italy - 1st Half - 9/2
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  • Scotland v Wales - 1st Half - 9/2
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  • Ireland v France - 2nd Half - 5/1
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  • Ireland v France - 1st Half - 5/1
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We also have an enhanced treble of 2/1 for favourites England, Wales and Ireland to all win and bet 7/1 that the same three countries all win on their respective matches and cover the handicap i.e. England (-15), Ireland (-4) and Wales (-5)

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Which International will produce the most points in Week 1?

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  • England v Italy 13/8
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  • Scotland v Wales 13/8
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  • Ireland v France 2/1
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Which International will produce the most trys?

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  • England v Italy 13/8
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  • Scotland v Wales 7/4
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  • Ireland v France 15/8
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Outright winners: Wales 2/1, Ireland 3/1, France 7/2, England 7/2, Scotland 12/1, Italy 80/1.

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Saturday's internationals: handicap betting;

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  • England (-15) 10/11, Italy (+15) 10/11 & Draw 16/1
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  • Ireland (-4) 10/11, France (+4) 10/11 & Draw 16/1
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  • Scotland (+4) 10/11, Wales (-4) 10/11 & Draw 16/1
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Top Tournament points scorer

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R O'Gara 5/4, S Jones 5/1, A Goode 8/1, J Hook 8/1, L Beauxis 8/1, T Flood 12/1 (from 6s), C Paterson 20/1, D Cipriani 25/1 (from 16s), P Godman 25/1 & 33s Bar.

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Top Tournament try scorer

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EW 1/4 1,2,3,4: S Williams 6/1, J Malzieu 10/1, P Sackey 12/1, T Bowe 14/1, M Medard 14/1, L Halfpenny 16/1, M Jones 16/1, U Moyne 16/1, R Kearney 16/1, M Cueto 16/1, L Byrne 20/1, T Evans 20/1, B O'Driscoll 20/1, L Fitzgerald 20/1, C Heymans 20/1 & 25s bar.

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Which country will receive the most yellow cards?

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  • Italy 2/1
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  • Wales 7/2
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  • France 9/2
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  • Ireland 5/1
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  • England 6/1
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  • Scotland 6/1
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Country to score most points in a single game?

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  • England 2/1
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  • Wales 3/1
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  • France 3/1
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  • Ireland 9/2
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  • Scotland 5/1
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  • Italy 200/1
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Total Number of tries in tournament?

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  • Under 55 5/4
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  • 55-60 10/3
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  • Over 60 5/4
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Premio Loco was slightly disappointing in the Cambridgeshire back in the autumn but is unbeaten in two starts at Kempton and looks the one to beat in the Listed Ladybird Stakes in the 3.40 on Sunday.

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Be lucky and keep warm

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Charlie

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