BetVictor column: Costa charge too much for Mourinho

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Chelsea's Diego Costa get involved in an altercation during the Capital One Cup Semi Final, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 27, 2015. See PA story: SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Chelsea's Diego Costa get involved in an altercation during the Capital One Cup Semi Final, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 27, 2015. See PA story: SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league

The big game of the Premier League weekend sees leaders Chelsea entertain Champions Manchester City with the Blues BetVictor’s 21/20 favourites, City 29/10 and the draw 13/5, say BetVictor.

Neither side has been at their brilliant best in recent weeks and it promises to be a tense, tight affair but a home win would take Chelsea eight points clear and this is a game City can’t afford to lose.

I don’t think they will.

Both sides were knocked out of the FA Cup last weekend but Chelsea limped past Liverpool into the Capital One Cup final after extra-time midweek and over the two legs, most neutrals would have to say the better side lost.

Cesc Fabregas, who had been largely anonymous in both games, went off with a tight hamstring against the Reds and I can’t see him being risked against City who have had a week to contemplate their loss to Boro in the cup when they were largely outplayed at the Etihad.

At the time of writing it could be that Diego Costa will be banned for the game with any number of indiscretions from the Capital One Cup clash, having been charged with violent conduct.

Sergio Aguero is 11/2 to score the opener and he and Eden Hazard could hold the key to the outcome of the game.

The latter was magnificent against Liverpool but that 120 minutes might have taken an awful lot out of the league leaders and the recommendation is the 4/5 for City to either win or draw the game. The loss of Costa would be huge for Chelsea and in his absence the best I could see for Jose Mourinho’s side would be a 1-1 draw which again could be a shade too big at 13/2.

Andy Murray is 3/1 for the Australian Open ahead of Thursday’s game with Tomas Berdych who broke one of the longest losing streaks in Men’s tennis when he beat Rafa Nadal earlier in the week. Berdych had lost 17 on the spin against the Spanish ace and one extraordinary fact Jimmy Connors also once lost 17 matches on the run to Ivan Lendl.

Novak Djokovic has moved serenely into the semi -finals and he is 8/13 to lift the title on Sunday and 2/9 to beat holder Stan Wawrinka in Friday’s second semi.

Murray has been in magnificent form and I think he will have too much for Berdych despite saying his Czech opponent was favourite after his demolition of a below par Nadal who will be a different position in the spring on clay.

It is Super Bowl XLIX this weekend and the layers suggest it is a toss-up with both the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots 20/21 at BetVictor. Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick have protested their innocence too much after “deflate-gate” and I expect the Seahawks to follow up last year’s victory.

For all your weekend bets, go to www.betvictor.com