International fortnights usually mean a tough weekend test for leading sides all over Europe, although the fixture list is usually tweaked to temper the effect. For example, Man United, Arsenal and Chelsea are all grateful to be at home. But Man City are away at West Ham, who are bolstered by their success at Spurs. City haven’t won away from home in the league this season.
As for England; 20-1 for the World Cup? Still a lay. Spain, meanwhile, are 11-2.
Racing-wise, Ascot’s British Champions’ Day is the draw. Except that the dreadful weather this week will have deterred many trainers from running their stables' very best on the basis that heavy ground can dent a reputation ahead of a far more lucrative career at stud. Actually, Ascot drains an awful lot better than most racecourses. Add this to the fact that bookmakers usually over compensate in extreme conditions – ie: odds on horses that like soft ground are cut disproportionately. So don’t be dissuaded from keeping your nose in the Form Book rather than looking out the window for hints of rain.
You might have had enough of Mo Farah as he plugs his book almost as unrelentingly as he circles the track. But the public do love him. He is 20-1 to be BBC Sports Personality of the Year because Andy Murray is 40-1 on with some bookmakers. Just a thought; has Murray really won over the nation as these odds suggest in a betting heat that is now determined by popular vote?