Bookies dodge Torres bullet

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FERNANDO TORRES’ failure to score on his Chelsea debut has saved Ladbrokes from a significant six-figure payout.

Liverpool’s 1-0 victory sees them cut to 4/1 for a top-four finish (from 8/1) and they also re-enter calculations for the league, albeit at odds of 250/1. Chelsea drift to 8/1 leaving Manchester United the solid 8/13 favourites.

Torres was one of the best backed individual players either to score at any time or first in recent seasons meaning a dream Chelsea debut would have been a nightmare for the bookies. The only punters left celebrating as he left the field in the second half were those who backed him to start and be substituted at 2/1 (from 9/4).

At the other end of the table West Ham are now the 4/7 second favourites for the drop following their 1-0 home defeat to Birmingham, which sees the Blues pushed out to 3/1 for relegation.

Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “A Torres goal would have cost us nearly as much as his transfer fee. Punters are also keen on Liverpool for a Champions League spot now as the Dalglish revival looks set to continue with arch rivals Manchester United the main beneficiaries.”

Ladbrokes latest betting

Premier League Winner
Manchester United – 8/13
Arsenal – 5/2
Chelsea 8/1
Manchester City – 12/1
Tottenham – 50/1
Liverpool – 250/1

Liverpool top four finish – 4/1 (from 8/1)

Premier League relegation
Wigan – 1/2
West Ham – 4/7
Wolves – 4/6
Blackpool – 6/4
W.B.A. – 13/8
Birmingham – 3/1
Blackburn – 8/1
Newcastle – 10/1
Fulham – 10/1
Aston Villa – 12/1
Everton – 20/1
Stoke – 33/1

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.