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Lille v Everton

Thursday, 23 October 2014, 18:00

Europa League Group H

Goodison Park

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Saturday, 18 October 2014, 15:00

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Ed Chamberlin: What a start!

Sky Sports presenter Ed Chamberlin reflects on a flying start to the new Barclays Premier League season.

Last Updated: 22/08/13 at 13:31 Post Comment

Manchester City laid down a marker by hammering Newcastle

Manchester City laid down a marker by hammering Newcastle

We look set for an epic Premier League title race.

Manchester United got off to a flyer on Saturday Night Football when they won 4-1 at Swansea City, before Jose Mourinho's Chelsea laid down a marker with a stunning opening 45 minutes on Super Sunday as they beat newly-promoted Hull City 2-0.

Then Manchester City made a real statement of intent on Monday Night Football as they thrashed 10-man Newcastle 4-0.

An enthralling opening Premier League weekend with Manuel Pellegrini's side impressing Sky Bet most as they shortened to 7/4 from 9/4.

Chelsea are 11/5 after edging past Villa on Wednesday night and the champions have drifted half a point to 3/1 despite scoring those four goals at Swansea.

I can't ever remember a side doubling in price after one game - but Arsenal have been put to 20/1 from 10s and probably friendless at that price after a nightmare start.

It felt good to get the first Super Sunday and Monday Night Football of the season under our belt.

It was a great experience to be at Stamford Bridge for Mourinho's homecoming and the atmosphere could not have contrasted more with when we were there for Rafa Benitez's first game.

Some of the football that followed in the first half had analyst Graeme Souness purring and comparing Chelsea's play to that of Barcelona.

MNF was full of fascinating analysis from Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, and I was particularly interested in what Jamie had to say about the new-look Everton under Roberto Martinez.

He said the change in style was summed up by the two full-backs being the only Everton players in the six-yard box for Seamus Coleman's goal.

Everton had more possession and more passes than any other team in the Premier League last weekend. Their 564 passes against Norwich was 150 more than their average under David Moyes last season.

Punters should keep a close eye on Roberto Martinez's starting XI at home to West Brom on Saturday.

On Super Sunday this week we have another chance to see the title favourites in action as Manchester City travel to Cardiff.

It will be Cardiff's first top division home game since a 3-0 win against West Ham at Ninian Park on April 23, 1962.

West Ham's team that day included Martin Peters, Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst. Peters had to go in goal for the final 20 minutes (with the score at 2-0) after goalkeeper Brian Rhodes was carried off with a dislocated collarbone as no subs were permitted back then.

How times have changed and that game 51 years ago was played in front of 11,274 fans so it will be quite a contrast on Sunday as Cardiff's new home will packed and jumping.

Cardiff are such a progressive, forward thinking club and we will be featuring a few of their innovations on the show.

Talking of new things, Thursday is going to be a day with a difference for Gary Neville and I because we are heading north to speak at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

I'm not sure we'll make the headlines Al Gore did there a few years ago but it should be good fun and hopefully a good warm-up act for Kevin Spacey, who is this year's main speaker.

The main game game of the weekend comes on Monday night with the first 'blockbuster' clash of the season - Manchester United v Chelsea.

Skybet have Manchester United at 5/4, Chelsea at 11/5 and the draw trading at 23/10.

What a fascinating tactical battle this will be and there's so much for Jamie and Gary to get stuck in to from 7pm on Sky Sports 1.

Horse Racing.

There's always brilliant racing at York's Ebor Festival and the meeting has weather to match this year.

I sincerely hope Richard Fahey has a productive few days.

The master trainer needs a bit of cheering up as he's a big Arsenal fan and has been despairing at their lack of activity in the transfer market.

I'm also not sure Fahey's recovered from being the beaten favourite in the summer's Sky Bet Yorkshire Festival Tipping competition.

I was the outsider of the party as the only football representative amongst six racing aficionados and also the rank outsider in Sky Bet's market.

I was delighted to prove those odds wrong - by using a few contacts up North - to win the competition and most importantly make a profit of over £900 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

My sources tell me the esteemed Sporting Life editor (Dave Ord) and Sky Bet's Racing PR manager (Michael Shinners), who was tailed off, are still licking their wounds.

Definitely one of the highlights of my summer.

That was a freak week and my tipping will probably now revert to the norm but I will certainly be having a few quid on The Fugue in Thursday's Yorkshire Oaks.

No Al Kazeem to worry about this time and conditions look ideal for her.

Sky Bet are sponsoring three good races on Friday's card on the Knavesmire. The feature is the Nunthorpe and I'd love to see Moviesta win for Harry Redknapp and his team of owners.

Saturday's Ebor looks as competitive as ever.

I did fancy Jonjo O'Neill's Well Sharp to run a massive race but connections have decided to give this race the swerve which is a shame as the long York straight would have been ideal for him.


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