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Football: BEAT THE BOOKIE; BEST BETS THIS WEEKEND.

Byline: NEIL HARNETT

Adebayor to score anytime at 6-4 (Boyle Sports) Buy England tournament tries at 13.5 (Sporting Index) France to beat Scotland - 4 points at 10-11 (Paddy Power)

FOR today's early afternoon Premier League clash, Arsenal visit Eastlands to face Sven-Goran Eriksson's Man City, a side that remain unbeaten following 12 games on home soil in the top-flight this term.

Sven's men are one of only four teams yet to suffer a home defeat in the top-flight this term - the top three being the others - and only neighbours Manchester United have conceded fewer goals in the process.

However, for all that City are organised at the back and difficult to break down, the Gunners are in great form at the moment and will not fear going head-to-head with City. The flair of Aleksandr Hleb and Tomas Rosicky, allied with Cesc Fabregas' unprecedented skill and vision, not to mention the powerful Mathieu Flamini, makes Arsenal very difficult to contain.

Arsene Wenger's men are a reasonable 5-6 with Boyle Sports to take all three points here, but the best bet seems to be on Emmanuel Adebayor to score during the match.

The Togo international notched his 19th goal of the season during the 3-0 win over Newcastle in midweek and he's now netted an impressive nine times in his last seven appearances. At 6-4 again with Boyle Sports, he looks one of the best bets this weekend.

Elsewehere, the Rugby World Cup seems like a distant memory and rugby fans all over Europe will now be looking forward to another Six Nations championship. The key opening fixtures see England play host to Wales at Twickenham, while France travel to Scotland.

England will be hoping to cement their position in world rugby's elite following last summer's unexpected World Cup final appearance against South Africa.

England's total tries in the tournament look worth buying at 13.5 with spread betting firm Sporting Index, and buyers will be hoping for a repeat of England's last victory over the Welsh back in August when they ran-in nine tries in a 62-5 demolition.

Although they will probably class their World Cup performance as poor, France go into this tournament as favourites and rightly so. The last time Les Bleus lost the opening fixture in the Six Nations was two years ago - and they went on to win the tournament. They lost to Scotland that time 20-16 at Murrayfield and the French have won eight of the last nine contests.

Prior to the aforementioned defeat, they had won the previous four on Scottish soil. Not including Scotland's victory two years ago, the winning margin by France in their last five victories over the Scots has been an impressive 28.4 points.

Paddy Power only give Scotland a four-point start in this game and I reckon that's just too generous to Les Bleus, who are inexperienced but have talent in abundance.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 2, 2008
Words:484
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