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Right Said Fred: City move a step closer to the title

It's certainly not over until the fat lady sings but I'm quietly confident I won't be paying out twice on the Premier League champs.

By splashing £750,000 last month on City retaining the title I put my head on the block in some people's eyes  with goal crazy Arsenal going so well.

But with Pep Guardiola at the helm I did feel all along it is the Blues title to lose - and going to the wire on Sunday, City are now firm favourites with us.

Betfred have them 1/11 for the title ahead of the visit to the Etihad of West Ham while Arsenal are out to 15/2 with Everton at home in their last game.

The odds changed significantly of course after City won their game in hand at Spurs on Tuesday  to go two points clear at the top with a slightly inferior goal difference.

Erling Haaland might have got a brace but it was reserve keeper Stefan Ortega who was the undisputed hero with that excellent cameo including a stunning late save from Son Heung-min.

The Norwegian superstar striker's double has put him beyond reach at the top on the goal scoring charts - and he's 1/100 for the golden boot with Chelsea's former City academy player Cole Palmer second in the Betfred betting at 40/1.

It would certainly be fitting if Wire were to win the Betfred Challenge Cup at Wembley on June 8.

And we have them 5/2 second favourites behind odds on Wigan but ahead of 5/1 Hull KR and Huddersfield at 8/1 to do so.

I say fitting as it would be Warrington's tenth Challenge Cup triumph  - and the 50th anniversary of Wolves' 24-9 victory over Featherstone.

That win over Featherstone in front of 77,400 fans at the old Wembley was when legend of the game  Alex Murphy  kicked two field goals.

Former Wales International Mike Nicholas, now 77 who scored a try that day, was amongst a group of veterans who enjoyed a special lunch at the Halliwell Jones Stadium to commemorate the 1974 triumph.

Nicholas - the Welsh RL president - spoke for the Wire faithful when he said he hopes Sam Burgess and his players can reproduce the form that saw off Saints 31-8 in the quarter finals.

He said: "Warrington have plenty of pace and can throw the ball about nicely - and Sam has got them looking really fit."

Toby King was man of the match for Wire who beat Super League form team HKR warming up nicely  for Sunday's 2024 semi final at the neutral Totally Wicked Stadium against Huddersfield.

He went over twice - and earned high praise indeed from Burgess. The coach said: "He's a great bloke and he's a good character in the group. He's consistent every game, he doesn't miss much, he loves the club and his team mates."

So we now have four clubs enjoying top billing in the Betfred Super League all on 16 points but with Wigan having played one match less.

That is naturally reflected in the odds to win the Grand Final with holders Wigan 11/10 favourites followed by 5/2 Saints with Wire at 15/2 and Catalans at 8/1.

As for the Betfred Challenge Cup well the odds are pointing to a Wigan win against Hull KR in the first semi final on Saturday to set up a final against Wire who are odds on to beat the Giants on Sunday.

Here's Paul Sculthorpe's take on what's happening in the fascinating world of RL. The Oldham born legend of the game, who is a Betfred TV pundit, writes:

"There’s an old saying in sport that you can only beat the team in front of you…and that was certainly the case for the Saints  as they demolished the Castleford Tigers at the Jungle.

"The 60-4 rout keeps us joint-top of the Betfred Super League along with Wigan, who also have a game in hand, Warrington and Catalans.

 It was definitely a game of two halves at the Jungle as St Helens went into the break 8-4 up, having only scored two of the final eleven tries in the first forty.

"Waqa Blake picked up a second half hat-trick as the Saints completely demolished the home side, scoring forty unanswered points in the last 25 minutes.

"They completely tore apart the Tigers defence, and did this with 12 players for the majority of the game after Tommy Makinson was judged to have made direct head contact with Tex Hoy.

"I’m not too sure - and neither was our coach Paul Wellens in his post match assessment.

"Wello questioned the decision and whether there was direct contact to the head or whether it should have just been a yellow card for a late challenge. 

"We have seen Tommy make these kind of tackles year after year, and he’s one of the best in the business. It’s such a difficult position to defend on the wing as you are ultimately the last man...and often it’s a do-or-die decision.

"It isn’t foul play. Yes it may be mistimed…but when you have to make a split decision at full speed these things happen in contact sport. Do we really want to continuously see our best players sat in the stands?

"As well as losing Tommy, sadly we also saw Jake Wingfield leave the field with what looked a serious shoulder injury. I know speaking to Wingy a few weeks back, he’s been struggling for a while with the shoulder so now hopefully he can get this fixed and come back stronger. We wish him all the very best in his recovery.

"One of the big positives during the win was the emergence of young prop Noah Stephens. Noah was given two objectives by his coach: make your tackles and run hard! He certainly did both and looked like he loved every minute of his winning debut in the Red V."

Finally let's celebrate the quickest winner in Betfred history who  landed a £50,000 jackpot from a ONE POUND bet.

The 30 year old housewife from Birmingham placed her bet on the 49s numbers game three minutes after signing up online with Betfred - and four hours later her life was transformed.

She's never had a passport so is getting one to go on a family holiday in Spain, can now afford to get married - and will be putting down a deposit on a house having been in rented accommodation.

The mother of one, who used to work as a clothing shop assistant, picked the numbers 3,6,11, 17 and 47 based on family birthdays together with her delighted partner's lucky number.

She said: "I am in state of shock to win so much so quickly is fantastic...I can’t really believe what has happened.

"We couldn't afford to get married but can now and never been abroad. Well that duck is over now and we can afford a deposit on a nice family home.

"A  friend of mine who I have known since school told me about Betfred so I thought I'd give them a go. She's in for a treat from my winnings. They always say good fortune comes to those who wait."

We've been in business since England won the World Cup in 1966 and never have we had a winner who has picked up so much from such a tiny bet within minutes of signing up. It is remarkable and my very best to this young lady who has so much to look forward to with £50,000 in her bank account.

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