Solheim Cup 2019: Europe and the United States are tied 8-8 going into the final day

Caroline Masson (right) missed a putt on the 18th hole to win a match for Europe
2019 Solheim Cup: Europe v United States
Venue: Gleneagles, Scotland Dates: 13-15 September
Coverage: Full live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app followed by an hour-long highlights show on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and online

Europe and the United States go into the final day of the Solheim Cup tied 8-8 after strong winds made for tricky playing conditions at Gleneagles.

In an enthralling afternoon, three fourball matches went to the final hole, with Europe's only victory coming from Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier.

Germany's Caroline Masson missed a six-foot putt to win her match.

All the fourball matches were put on the clock after they took three hours to play nine holes.

The slow play was largely down to the weather conditions with the wind gusting up to 35mph and causing balls to fall off tee pegs and oscillate on greens.

However, both Europe's Carlota Ciganda and American Lizette Salas, playing in the final match, also received formal warnings on the 13th hole.

Salas' playing partner Danielle Kang finally won their match, after five hours and 35 minutes, with a birdie putt on the par-three 17th.

“It was a tough day, a battle for everyone,” said European captain Catriona Matthew.

“But the first two days has shown how close both teams are. Sunday will come down to the odd shot that will get momentum going one way or the other.”

There are 12 more points available in Sunday's singles.

As defending champions, the US need to reach 14 points to retain the title, while Europe require 14½ to regain it.

Morning session shared

Europe had retained their one-point advantage by drawing Saturday morning's foursomes 2-2.

Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz continued their profitable partnership, beating Danielle Kang and Megan Khang 4&3 to make it 2½ points out of three, while Hall and Boutier added another point with a 3&2 victory.

However, Bronte Law and Carlota Ciganda were well beaten 6&5 by Jessica and Nelly Korda.

The Korda sisters, who won their foursomes match 6&4 on Friday, were only level par for the 13 holes they played but Law and Ciganda struggled in the wind with six bogeys.

And Anne van Dam and Anna Nordqvist, who were four up after six holes, lost 2&1 to Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex.

‘Oh my goodness!' Salas sinks huge putt as USA go level with Europe

Europe fight hard in afternoon

US captain Juli Inkster said on Thursday that none of her players would take part in all five possible matches over the three days. And true to her word, the Kordas were rested for the fourballs, despite also picking up half points with different partners on Friday.

Inkster's stance looked to be being vindicated when her side led all four matches midway through the afternoon.

However, only Altomare and Park – with a last-hole win over Pettersen and Van Dam – and Salas and Kang held on for victories.

Hall and Boutier registered their third point of this year's event, winning the final five holes of their match with Ally McDonald and Angel Yin.

The Americans who were 7&5 winners on Friday raced four clear after seven holes and were still three holes ahead after 13.

However, Boutier won the par-four 14th with an eagle after driving to the green and Hall took the next with a par.

A Boutier birdie levelled the match on the 16th before Hall moved the Europeans ahead for the first time in the match with a par on the short 17th and her French partner completed the win with another birdie on the last.

England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Germany's Masson had a real see-saw match with Lexi Thompson and Marina Alex, with never more than one hole in it.

The Europeans briefly led but were one down after nine. Masson birdies on the 10th and 13th holes put them ahead.

But Alex rolled in a birdie putt to win the 16th and after the 17th hole was halved, play went down the par-five last.

Masson chipped her third to six feet and after the Americans had missed lengthier birdie opportunities, she had a chance to win the hole and match but pushed her putt fractionally left.


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Boxing fans furious with Otto Wallin’s dirty tactics at the end of round six with Tyson Fury’s terrible cut

Tyson Fury may have come away with the victory on Saturday night in Las Vegas, but there is no question that Otto Wallin came out of that fight with a ton of credit.

The Swedish southpaw showed guts and determination throughout and thanks to a nasty cut above Fury’s right eye, he had a very good chance of winning the fight via TKO.

Tyson Fury survived a scare against Otto Wallin

Getty

Tyson Fury survived a scare against Otto Wallin

That wasn’t to be and although it was all respect at the end of the fight, many boxing fans didn’t appreciate his tactics at the end of round six.

As the bell rang to finish the round, Wallin rubbed his glove directly into Fury’s open gash and the Gypsy King was instantly furious.

On the one hand, it showed the Swede was not afraid to get dirty with Fury and he was prepared to do whatever it takes to win. On the other, many fans felt like it was poor sportsmanship and outright dirty.

Take a look for yourself:

Wallin ended up suffering the first defeat of his career and Fury just hung onto his unbeaten record, but his father John Fury was far from impressed with the performance.

It wasn’t the way Fury would have liked to warm-up for the rematch with Deontay Wilder on February 22, but he showed a different side to himself as a fighter.

And so did Wallin when he poked Fury’s nasty cut without a care in the world! All is fair in love and war, we guess.

 




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Watford v Arsenal: Hornets hoping new boss can sting Gunners

Watford take on Arsenal at Vicarage Road on Sunday without a win in the Premier League though they do have Quique Sanchez Flores at the helm once more.

Matthew Crist  |  14th September 2019

Watford will be hoping that their new manager can have an immediate impact when they entertain Arsenal in Sunday’s televised Premier League clash at Vicarage Road but will be wary of their opponents who have started the season strongly.

Quique Sanchez Flores is back at The Hornets following the departure of Javi Gracia and, as a man who boasted a decent record the last time he was in charge of the club, Watford fans will be hoping for a first win of the season at the weekend with their 11th manager in just over eight years at the helm.

The 54-year-old guided the Hornets to a comfortable mid-table finish during the 2015/16 season in the club’s first campaign back in the Premier League before enjoying a reasonably successful spell with Espanyol and then moving to China.

Watford currently sit bottom of the Premier League table with just one point from four games following a hard-fought draw with Newcastle last time out, though they did taste their first victory of the season against Coventry in. the League Cup so it’s easy to see why they are 3.65* to take the spoils here.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE TO SCORE ANYTIME FOR  VERSUS WATFORD AT 2.25*

As for Arsenal, they slipped out of the top-four places ahead of the international break but they have a chance of getting back amongst the Champions League spots with a win over a team they traditionally do well against with the North London side winning 10 of the 12 Premier League meetings between the two to date including two victories last season.

The Gunners began the campaign strongly by beating Newcastle and Burnley and even after a disappointing 3-1 loss at Liverpool responded well by coming from two-goals down to draw 2-2 with Tottenham and are understandably favourites to take all three points here at 1.95* so the goalscoring market might provide better value.

Both are 2.25* to score anytime at Vicarage Road on Sunday and against a team who they have never kept a clean sheet against in the Premier League there is every likelihood that at least one of these in-form frontmen will find the net at some point on Sunday afternoon.

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Wolverhampton vs Manchester United Prediction

Novibet Free Bet

English Premier League 2019-20 preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United – Monday 19th August 2019 – Molineux Stadium – 20:00 hrs BST

The Red Devils' confidence after their huge 4-0 win over Chelsea in their Premier League opener at Old Trafford could very well get punctured at the Molineux stadium on Monday night when they face a very difficult Wolves side.

Wolverhampton Form

The Wolves beat Manchester United twice at Molineux last season and drew at Old Trafford and the Red Devils weren’t the only ones to be shocked out of their wits by Nuno Espirito Santo's men. The Midlands giant-killers who notched up an impressive seventh spot on the Premier League table in the 2018-19 season, mustered as much as 16 points from their 12 outings with Top 6 opposition, with 10 of those points coming at home.

The Wolverhampton's EPL opener, though, away at the Bet365 stadium can be described as sketchy at the best, drawing 0-0 with Leicester City and with the usually prolific Diogo Jota failing to capitalize on a couple of easy scoring chances.

Manchester United Form

Comparatively, Manchester United enjoyed a much more productive start to their domestic campaign last weekend as they thrashed Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford. However, the score line was rather flattering for the Red Devils and spoke more about Chelsea’s weaknesses than anything else, so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to temper his optimism ahead of Monday's Molineaux clash.

As for fitness, United have a clean bill of health and Solskjaer will find it hard to drop anyone from the XI that faced Chelsea. Wolves look nice and settled under manager Espirito Santo who leads the team for a third consecutive season. Santo has managed to snare back a couple of experienced loan performers in Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker on permanent deals and both seem equipped to enjoy another impressive season.

Jimenez is 9/2 on the Betfair Sportsbook to score first while Martial who is on 49 goals for United in all competitions carries odds of 6/1 to open the scoring.

As for the United’s defence, 80-million-pound import from Leicester, Harry Maguire, has undoubtedly added steel and composure to the backline while Aaron Wan-Bissaka has already shown glimpses as to why he was so highly valued in the transfer circuit with his dazzling performance against Chelsea at the back and also along the flanks.

Wolverhampton Starting Line Up

Wolves XI: Rui Patricio (goal), Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Castro, Jimenez, Jota

Manchester United Starting Line Up

Manchester Utd XI: De Gea (goal), Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Pereira, McTominay, Pogba, Mata, Martial, Rashford

Wolverhampton vs Manchester United Prediction

Wolves, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last 8 league games at Molineux and have netted an impressive 16 goals in the process. They failed to score against a Big 6 side in only one of those home outings, so they definitely have the goods to trouble this new look Manchester United back line. That being said, Wolves failed to keep a single clean sheet in their 12 meetings against the Top six in 2018-19 and now face a United side that scored in 17 of their 19 Premier League away fixtures last season.

Which is why both teams are tipped to score on Monday but given the Wolves’ fantastic record against the bigger oppositions, a 1-1 correct score prediction should be a safe bet. Even a 2-2 score line looks a possibility.

Wolverhampton vs Manchester United Match odds 

Wolves to win: 11/5 or 3.20

Draw: 9/4 or 3.25

Manchester Utd to win: 13/10 or 2.30

Wolverhampton vs Manchester United First goal scorer

Raul Jimenez: 9/2

Marcus Rashford: 5/1

Anthony Martial: 11/2

Diogo Jota: 13/2

Correct Score odds

Draw 1-1: 11/2

Man Utd 1-0: 13/2

Draw 0-0: 15/2

Wolves 1-0: 17/2

Man Utd 2-1: 9/1

Man Utd 2-0: 11/1

Wolves 2-1: 12/1

Draw 2-2: 16/1

Wolves 2-0: 16/1

Man Utd 3-1: 22/1

Man Utd 3-0: 22/1

Wolves 3-1: 28/1

Man Utd 3-2: 40/1


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Horse racing tips today: Horses you must back at Chester, Doncaster, Lingfield, Chelmsford | Racing | Sport

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori can continue their domination in today’s William Hill St Leger with LOGICIAN (3.35, treble).

Gosden, successful in the oldest classic on four occasions, and Dettori, seeking a sixth victory, have made no secret of the high opinion they hold for Logician.

This is understandable as the unbeaten grey has yet to be extended in his four races. 

His most recent victory in the Great Voltiguer at York last month highlighted his untapped ability when slamming Constantinople.

Sir Dragonet, from the Aidan O’Brien stable, looks the obvious danger – especially if there is some rain.

Like Gosden and Dettori, O’Brien also has an excellent record in the race with six victories to his credit.

O’Brien looks to have the answer in the Park Stakes with NEVER NO MORE (2.25, nap).

His recent run in the States can be overlooked as he was denied a clear run at a crucial stage of the contest, but he looked a smart colt on his penultimate run when slamming the Derby runner up Madhmoon at Leopardstown in April.

THREAT (3.00, nb) can enhance his prospects for next year’s 2,000 Guineas by taking the Champagne Stakes.

He has impressed in both defeat and more recently in victory at York when proving too strong for Lord Of The Lodge in Gimcrack Stakes.

Today's tips

DONCASTER 

1.50 Gunmetal

2.25 Never No More (nap)

3.00 Threat (nb)

3.35 Logician (treble)

4.10 Kingbrook

4.45 Victory Command

5.55 The Trader

LINGFIELD 

1.10 Maroon Bells

1.40 Lady Of Shalott

2.15 Beechwood James

2.50 Kashmirella

3.25 Tanqeeb

4.00 Reloaded

4.35 Whisper Aloud

CHESTER 

1.30 Stroxx

2.05 Ben Vrackie 

2.40 Fun Mac

3.15 Praxeology

3.50 Gabrial The Devil

4.25 Humble Gratitude

5.00 Medalla De Oro


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Fifth Ashes Test Day 3 In-Play Update


Latest score: England 294 & 313-8, Australia 225

After so many close finishes, there is an argument to be made that England winning the final test would represent a just outcome.

Australia deserve to retain The Ashes, having definitely been the better side and player of the series Steve Smith certainly deserves it. But England have played their part and it would be fitting for their star player to decisively impact the finale.

Jofra Archer already has six wickets and could well finish the match with ten. England have almost two full days to bowl out Australia and it is hard to see any other result.

Aussies need Headingley-style miracle

Having said halfway through the Headingley miracle that England didn't have a prayer, I'm loathe to completely write off Australia.

The scale of their task cannot be overstated though. Even if England fail to add a single run for their final two wickets when play resumes, the target equates to the seventh highest successful run chase in the fourth innings of a test. 400 has been breached a couple of times in drawn matches, if not since 1979.

In theory, 400 is chaseable given there is so much time, with two or three big contributions. With a good start, their odds could crash from [7.0] – over-reactions are frequent in tests.

Early wickets could kill their hopes

There is very little prospect of that good start materialising though. David Warner is having a nightmare series and Marcus Harris is playing with split webbing in his left hand. I expect those early wickets will leave a near-impossible task and Aussie heads will soon go down.

So far as the two previous bets on Australia and laying England are concerned, I'm solely interested in damage limitation. Taking what feels like an unimaginable draw out of the equation, my position is 12 units to win 24 – in effect [3.0] about Australia. I will be delighted to get out at [4.0] and take a three unit hit.

A better position involves Test Match End, where we're on Day 4 Evening at [5.2] – its now [2.8]. I'm now adding Day 4 Afternoon at [8.0] – the combined position is now effectively 5 units to win 11 (3.2].

England to wrap up victory quickly

Two new markets to consider are Top Australia 2nd Innings Batsman and Australia 2nd Innings Runs.

I'm very much an unders backer in the latter, in expectation of those early wickets and conditions getting harder. Archer could be devastating with uneven bounce and Jack Leach will get plenty of turn. Lay 250 plus at [1.8] and 200 plus at [1.4].

Naturally Smith is favourite to top-score at [2.5] – a price that will never interest me in such a market, irrespective of the statistical legitimacy. He can't win every time!

When expecting a low score, it generally pays to take bigger odds about the middle order. Lets try the skipper Tim Paine at 20/1.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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Sunday’s gossip column: Kroos, Pogba, De Gea, Eriksen, Mane

Manchester United are interested in signing Real Madrid's Germany midfielder Tony Kroos, 29, this January in a swap deal involving 26-year-old France midfielder Paul Pogba. (Bild – in German)

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, 28, has signed a new four-year deal with Manchester United worth about £250,000-a-week, rising to £350,000-a-week with performance-related clauses. (Mirror)

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid are all monitoring the progress of Tottenham's 17-year-old Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Troy Parrott. (Calciomercato – in Italian)

Major League Soccer expansion side Inter Miami, part owned by David Beckham, are interested in signing 30-year-old Wales forward Gareth Bale from Real Madrid. (Maxifoot – in French)

Eighteen-year-old Argentine midfielder Thiago Almada, who was interesting Manchester City, has signed a new four-year contract with Velez Sarsfield. (Manchester Evening News)

Liverpool have opened contract talks with 27-year-old Senegal forward Sadio Mane (SoccerLink via Sport Witness)

Wolves owners Fosun are understood to be looking for fresh investment to help the club challenge at the top of the Premier League and are willing to sell a 20% stake in the club. (Express and Star).

Juventus' 33-year-old Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic, who was linked with Manchester United over the summer, is closing in on a move to MLS side LAFC (Calciomercato)

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, 27, is holding out for a January move from Tottenham to Real Madrid. (Marca – in Spanish)

AC Milan and Inter Milan are interested in signing Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic, 31. from Manchester United in January. (Corriere Dello Sport – in Italian)

English defender Tyrone Mings, 26, says he was surprised when Aston Villa decided to pay £20m to sign him from Bournemouth this summer. (Express and Star)

Arsenal boss Unai Emery says Javi Gracia learnt of his sacking as Watford boss during a chance meeting between the pair back in their native Spain. (Telegraph)


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Logician enjoys dominant St Leger win

Logician justified his tag as favourite by recording a commanding victory in the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

The John Gosden-trained colt barely had to break sweat under the stewardship of jockey Frankie Dettori as he won the contest in a course-record time.

Logician’s victory represents a sixth Leger win for Dettori, who continued his superb season, while Gosden has now trained the winner of Britain’s oldest Classic on five occasions.

“It feels good,” said Dettori. “We came into the race with lots of expectation as a short-priced favourite in front of a massive crowd and everyone likes to see a favourite win on the big day. He’s only run four times and there’s definitely more improvement to come.”

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Sir Dragonet did look like he might be able to challenge Logician for race glory during the early exchanges, but he faded badly towards the end.

Indeed, it was Mark Johnston’s Sir Ron Priestley and Nayef Road that ended up battling it out for second place, with the former edging out the latter.

It was Logician’s day, however, as he finished two-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of his nearest rival to follow up his victory in last month’s Great Voltigeur Stakes at York in style.

The three-year-old also became the second roan to win the race in recent years following Kingston Hill’s success in 2014.

Whenever you bet on Racing, Betfred




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Norwich stun 4/6 City at Carrow Road

Norwich produced the biggest shock in the Premier League so far this season after they beat champions Manchester City (4/6 to win title) 3-2 at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Nobody expected the Canaries to get anything from the contest, especially as their squad had been severely depleted by injuries over the international break, but goalkeeper Tim Krul and defender Ben Godfrey did pass late fitness tests.

After weathering the expected early storm from City, Norwich moved into a shock lead on 18 minutes thanks to a first Premier League goal from Kenny McLean.

Todd Cantwell made it 2-0 just 10 minutes later but with over an hour still to play many people would have expected City to still find a route back into the game.

That belief grew when Sergio Aguero halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time with his seventh goal of the season.

City had an 18-match unbeaten run in the Premier League to protect and they attempted to throw the kitchen sink at Norwich after the break.

However, it was Daniel Farke’s side who scored next through talisman Teemu Pukki five minutes after the restart to regain their two-goal lead.

From there Norwich had to withstand some sustained pressure and City did pull another goal back late on through Rodri, but the Canaries held firm to move out of the relegation zone and up to 12th.

For City, it has been a disastrous Saturday as their defeat, coupled with Liverpool’s (6/4 to win title) 3-1 home win over Newcastle earlier in the day, means Pep Guardiola’s side are now already five points behind the Reds in the early-season Premier League standings.

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Williams ‘feeling great’ ahead of Svitolina date

Serena Williams claims she is in good shape ahead of her US Open semi-final showdown against Elina Svitolina after blitzing China’s Wang Qiang in the last eight (Williams 4/11, Svitolina 2/1 Match Betting).

The 37-year-old American, who is attempting to move level with Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam wins, broke serve five times and hit 25 winners to oust the 18th seed 6-1 6-0 in just 44 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium (Williams 5/6 Tournament Outright).

Williams has six US Open titles so far in her career but lost last year’s showpiece to Naomi Osaka and has not won a major since returning from the birth of her daughter, Olympia, in September 2017.

But she appears to have rediscovered her top form in this tournament, having defeated three of her opponents in straight sets.

Maria Sharapova was one of those victims, but the standard of opponent will make a significant jump when she faces Ukrainian Svitolina.

The fifth seed saw off Britain’s Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals and Williams is aware that she must be at the top of her game to book another final appearance.

Speaking after claiming her 100th singles win at the US Open against Wang, she said: “When I play someone who is playing well I have to step up or go home and I’m not ready to go.

“I knew I needed to come out and play well. I’m feeling good, had a really tough year and I’m still here.

“Physically I’m feeling great and more importantly I’m having fun every time I come out here.”

Whenever you bet on Tennis, Betfred




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Galway Punters Hit €19,000 Winning Streak On EuroMillions | BoyleSports Betting | Kevin Kilbane | Robbie Power

Galway was the place to be to take a Lotto punt this weekend as not one but two natives landed handsome four-figure windfalls.

The natives took their flutters in two separate BoyleSports shops in the county, with the first lucky winner placing only €0.30 on four numbers to land in the EuroMillions Plus Draw on Friday night.

When 8, 12, 24 and 26 all rolled out, the tiny bet had smashed mammoth odds of 33,000/1, bagging the punter a cool €9,900.30.

But somewhere else in the county, the same four numbers were being toasted by another local, who overcame the same odds from a €0.25 bet to land €8250.25. They even added a tasty bonus with a €1 treble on 8, 12 and 26, which added €1,501 to their winnings.

Between them, the Galway pair were able to return to the shops and pick up combined winnings of €19,651.55.

You can play Lotto with us here!




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Goals likely on Quique Sanchez Flores’ return

Watford v Arsenal
Sunday, 16:30
Live on Sky Sports Premier League

Flores back at Watford after Gracia's exit

It is all change again at Watford after Javi Gracia paid the price for a poor run in the league and was sacked last weekend. The Spaniard guided the club to only their second FA Cup final last season but was dismissed with the team bottom of the Premier League with one point from four games. His exit was not a big surprise but the successor certainly was with Quique Sanchez Flores returning for his second spell in charge.

Flores managed Watford during their first season back in the top flight, leading the club to 13th position in the 2015-16 campaign and a run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. But he departed after just one season citing differences in direction between the board and him. This makes Flores' return all the more unexpected and he has a challenge on his hands to lift Watford away from the foot of the table, although the squad is stronger than he had previously with record signing Ismaila Sarr and Danny Welbeck offering potential attacking threats.

Emery yet to solve Arsenal's defensive issues

Unai Emery's first season in charge of Arsenal upheld the team's status with their potent attack held back by defensive frailties. A limp end to their last campaign led to Arsenal missing out on Champions League football again in fifth place along with a heavy Europa League final defeat to Chelsea. The opening month of this season has been promising, with seven points from four games, but their fans will rightfully not be getting carried away.

Arsenal's transfer activity during the summer was encouraging with Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos adding creating to the midfield and club record signing Nicolas Pepe already dropping hints of his raw pace and talent in attack. Defender Kieran Tierney has yet to play due to injury but the left-back should prove an astute signing.

Watford are still looking for their first league win of the season and it requires a leap of faith to side with them at [3.85]. Flores lost both league games against Arsenal although he did mastermind a memorable 2-1 FA Cup victory at the Emirates Stadium. The Hornets have lost five of their last six home games against the Gunners and even the motivational bounce of a new head coach may not be enough to cure the team's problems and inspire a victory.

Arsenal are [2.04] favourites to win at Vicarage Road and this is hard to dispute. Their away record improved somewhat under Emery although their record of seven wins last season was unspectacular. One of those came in this fixture and the visitors merit their status although their weaknesses at the back always give opponents a chance.

The draw is [3.85] but this is a match which has regularly produced wins. None of the 12 top-flight meetings between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road have finished level and this record suggests the draw can be ignored. The Gunners are rightfully favourites but there are enough doubts, particularly with the potential impact of Flores, to look elsewhere for a bet.

Both of these teams have struggled defensively and it is difficult to envisage a lack of goals this weekend. Watford have conceded eight goals in their opening four games while Arsenal have shipped six. The Hornets have been particularly exposed at the back, with their lack of pace apparent, during their home matches with Brighton and West Ham both scoring three goals in their visits last month.

Arsenal have kept just nine clean sheets in 42 Premier League matches under Emery and he appears no closer to solving the defensive problems which dogged Arsene Wenger's reign. Both teams to score is predictably short odds at just [1.54] so it is worth turning to the Same Game Multi option to boost the price. With the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette potent finishers, Arsenal are worth backing to score at least twice with Watford also getting on the scoresheet at 2.24.

Opta Stat

Only Mohamed Salah (52) has been involved in more Premier League goals since Aubameyang's debut for Arsenal in February 2018 (44; 35 goals, 9 assists), with
the Gabonese forward scoring the winner in Arsenal's 1-0 victory at Vicarage Road last season. The striker is 10/11 to score this weekend.

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster




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Rugby World Cup Betting and Tips – England Team Preview

Whatever happens in the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Eddie Jones' next move should be into cinematic script writing. The England boss knows how to take fans on a rollercoaster journey, draw out every emotion along the way and deliver plot twists out of nowhere.

The euphoria of an immediate Grand Slam, Australian whitewash and world record equalling run of victories was followed by an erratic drop in form, coaching resignations and a fondness for combat based training methods. The plot twists even occurred within games: outfoxed by Italy, out run by South Africa and out muscled by France. In 2019, England appear to have turned a corner and arrive as one of the favourites in Japan. Here are five things that need to happen for them to win their first World Cup for 16 years.

Mako Vunipola gets fit

Mako Vunipola 956.jpg

It's a risk to go with just four fit props, meaning they'll all be involved in every game. It's exacerbated when the fifth, currently injured for the first three pool games, is Mako Vunipola. He has the workrate of two props on his own. England need him fit and firing. Or else I hope Ben Moon is currently on an impromptu Asian fishing trip somewhere nearby.

Manu Tuilagi and Billy Vunipola need to stay fit

Two giant men whose physical presence, when absent for long periods, has left big holes in England's attack. They're irreplaceable, shown by the fact Eddie Jones hasn't selected anyone else with their skill set to deputise in his 31 man squad. As well as being game-breakers in their own right, their sheer presence creates such havoc in opposition defences, critical to unlocking the world's best sides. Can this pair last for seven straight games? I hope Eddie's taken an industrial sized bag of cotton wool!

Leadership and problem solving must improve

Eng Owen Farrell 1280.jpg

It should be an ominous sign for other contenders that England haven't put an 80 minute performance together for a long time. They've veered from irresistible to inexplicable within individual matches, a proclivity world champions just don't share. Tactical naivety has been exposed at times, England robotically going through a pre-planned repertoire even when it's failing. A huge amount of responsibility is on the shoulders of Ben Youngs, George Ford and skipper Owen Farrell to problem solve ‘on the fly'. England have the chess pieces to win. They just need a stone cold Grand Master's mind in the heat of battle. A consistent England would frighten the life out of the rest of the World.

Discipline has got to be better

Going hand in hand with point three, England's mental lapses have seen them prone to spells of brain-dead penalties or avoidable yellow cards. If men like Kyle Sinckler and Dan Cole can keep the top two inches on ice and ride those waves of pressure, England can come through the crucial tests which World Cups always deliver.

Jonny May must star

Jonny May - 1280.jpg

Such is his form, I'm confident Jonny May would make the pre World Cup ‘World XV' of most pundits. Which is some statement given Ioane, Mapimpi, Kolbe and co are among a particularly talented batch of electric wingers gracing this year's tournament. You'd struggle to argue against May having been England's most consistent and dependable player since he was overlooked for the 2017 Lions Tour. Defensively, under the high ball and as a finisher, he has laid the platform to be one of the stars of the 2019 World Cup. In tight games he could be the difference.

There's a lot to like about this England squad. It feels very ‘2019'. Ellis Genge and Kyle Sinckler are a WWE tag team or a Buddy Cop movie duo in waiting (working title “Bad Cop, Bad Cop”) not to mention explosive 21st Century props with the handling skills of a fly-half. In Sickler's case I predict an endorsement deal with Fairy Liquid, so soft are his hands.

Mark Wilson and Tom Curry exemplify the hard work, honesty and humility rugby fans hold so dear. Northern grit from Ford and Farrell. West Country flair from Slade and May. And a healthy contingent of proven winners from the all conquering Saracens. The stage is set. What ending has Jones written for us? You get the feeling it'll be either glory or tragedy.

My pre-World Cup World XV

When England lifted the trophy in 2003 they boasted at least half of a World XV, and, and among them greats of the game like Johnson, Dallaglio, Robinson and Wilkinson. This 2019 vintage isn't nearly as dominant, but it's revealing that I have more Englishmen in XV than from any other nation. Blinkered bias? What do you think?

15. Liam Williams (WAL)
14. Cheslin Kolbe (SA)
13. MANU TUILAGI (ENG)
12. Ryan Crotty (NZ)
11. JONNY MAY (ENG)
10. Beauden Barrett (NZ)
9. Antoine DuPont (FRA)
1. MAKO VUNIPOLA (ENG)
2. Dane Coles (NZ)
3. Frans Malherbe (SA)
4. Brodie Retallick (NZ)
5. MARO ITOJE (ENG)
6. Pieter Steph Du Toit (SA)
7. Michael Hooper (AUS)
8. BILLY VUNIPOLA (ENG)

England – 5
New Zealand – 4
South Africa – 3
Australia – 1
Wales – 1
France – 1




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