Football – Realistic Rodgers demands complete focus
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told his players they should not under-estimate anyone in their last four games of the season.
The Reds’ hopes of securing the Premier League title were boosted by Manchester City’s 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Sunderland on Wednesday, a result which leaves Manuel Pellegrini’s men six points behind Liverpool with one game in hand.
However, Rodgers claims the result should serve as a lesson to the club’s players and fans not to take anything for granted ahead of Sunday’s game with Norwich City, which is 9/2 to finish as a draw.
He said: “I think that result was a warning sign for everyone that, at this point of the season with four games to go, there’s nothing guaranteed. I’ve said that all the way along. “We’ll still look to win the game at the weekend and we’re still in touch with reality in terms of where we’re at.” Liverpool are 8/15 to win the Premier League outright, so may be primed for a double chance bet.
Formula 1 – Hamilton anticipates tough weekend
Lewis Hamilton is expecting a difficult weekend as he attempts to make it three wins in a row by triumphing at the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver, who has won the last two races in Malaysia and Bahrain, overcame some early problems in Shanghai to set the fastest time in his second practice session.
The 29-year-old Englishman said afterwards: “It was a difficult day but it’s OK. “I missed a bit of practice in the first practice session which put me on the back foot for this weekend. I went into the session not really happy with the balance of the car, so we have some work to do.” Hamilton, who is 8/15 to clinch the Drivers’ Championship outright this year, can be backed at 4/5 to win Sunday’s China GP.
Football – Martinez thrilled as Howard pens new deal
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has inked a two-year contract extension with the club, to the delight of boss Roberto Martinez.
The 35-year-old USA international moved to Goodison Park, initially on loan, from Manchester United in June 2006 and has gone on to make almost 300 Premier League appearances for the club.
Martinez said: “It is fantastic news. He has been vital to our overall achievements. “To have Tim performing as he has this season, I cannot see past him to choose the best goalkeeper in the league.” Everton, 10/3 to finish in the top four this season after slumping to a 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace, face Manchester United on Sunday. Everton are available at 5/2 to keep a clean sheet against David Moyes’ side.