Blades are worthy favourites

July 17th, 2015 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

As the Second Test, the Open Golf and the Tour de France are well underway as I write these notes, there will be a brief pause in the service. The bookmakers’ prices on the forthcoming football season will be published next week and there will be one or two recommendations.

As I said last week, I think Tottenham will have a good season in the Premier League and have bought well. However, the 125/1 about them covers only first and second each-way at a third of the odds. That makes little or no appeal and we shall have to wait for prices about making the top four or beating the rest if the usual suspects dominate – a ‘betting without’ wager in other words.

I thought Dean Smith’s Walsall did enough on occasions last term to suggest they may be well up there in League One and there is some 33/1 available. To be honest, this has to be the year that Sheffield United take a major step in the right direction and they are worthy favourites at 11/2. They will be the main bet with Nigel Adkins taking over from Nigel Clough. Meaning no offence, I think this is Nigel’s level. He couldn’t really fail at Southampton, Alan Pardew having spent wisely (Lambert, Fonte) as the Saints started their long climb back with money to spend. In fact he did extremely well, gaining two promotions in successive years, but Nicola Cortese, an extremely ambitious man, was quite unwilling to have a nervous season back in the Premier League, which is why Pochettino was recruited.

Reading supporters feel Adkins did not have the rub of the green and there were many injuries early in his tenure, together with a board that expected to bounce straight back to the top section. Bramall lane is the right job for him and 11/2 is a fair price.