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Here is today's betting editorial for the UK, Australia and Canada:



Martinez snubs Villa

Roberto Martinez has turned down the chance to manage Aston Villa after opting to sign a new contract at Wigan Athletic, leaving Mark Hughes at 11/8 with bet365 to be the next boss at Villa Park.

The Spaniard had been heavily linked with the position but has now signed an improved three-year contract with the Latics.

Hughes resigned as Fulham boss last week while current Everton manager David Moyes is 7/2 to be Gerard Houllier's permanent successor.

Martinez was appointed Wigan manager two years ago after impressing during his time in charge of Swansea City.


Liverpool snap up Henderson

Liverpool are 5/4 with bet365 to finish in the top four of the Premier League next season after completing the signing of Jordan Henderson from Sunderland.

The 20-year-old, who won his first England cap in the friendly international defeat to France seven months ago, made 79 appearances for Steve Bruce's team, scoring five goals.

Henderson moves to Anfield on a long-term deal in a move that could eventually earn the Black Cats, who are 8/1 to be relegated in the 2011/12 season, up to £20million.

He is Kenny Dalglish's first signing of the summer, although the Scot did snap up Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in January.

Rugby League

Lynch aims to stun St Helens

Bradford prop Andy Lynch believes the Bulls can shock St Helens, who are 6/1 with bet365 to win the Grand Final, this weekend as several members of the visitors’ squad will be suffering from fatigue.

Six Saints regulars are scheduled to take part in Friday's International Origin clash between England, 11/8 to win the game at Headingley, and the Exiles, but coach Royce Simmons is expected to use them in the Grattan Stadium clash even though it kicks off less than 48 hours later.

"They're all likely to be involved for a fairly significant amount of time, so it will be difficult for them to back that up a couple of days later," said Lynch.

"The challenge from our point of view though is to starve them of possession and keep them defending."


Rugby Union

Baxter seeks World Cup swansong

Al Baxter hopes to end his career with a place at the World Cup with Australia, who are 4/1 to win the competition with bet365.

The Wallabies’ most capped Test prop announced his retirement from the Waratahs on Wednesday at the age of 33.

But Baxter, who has 69 Test appearances for the Wallabies, still holds out hope of being selected for his third World Cup.

Baxter is confident he's made the right call about his career.

“It's a tough decision to make, but the more I've thought about it the clearer it's come to me that it is the right decision to make,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“My body is holding up but it's certainly taken its fair share of collisions and contortions over the years and I'd rather make the decision to call it a day before my body does it for me.

“I'd love to play as many Tests as I possibly could and I'd love to play another World Cup, but obviously that's out of my hands.”


Clarkson calls for more from Hawks

Hawthorn, who are 11/2 with bet365 to win the AFL Grand Final, need to step up from their performance against the Dockers to have any chance of upsetting Geelong on Saturday.

So says coach Alastair Clarkson, who takes his side into the match knowing the Hawks have lost all five meetings with the Cats since beating them in the 2008 Grand Final.

Hawthorn goes into the game with momentum after winning five straight games, the last a 22-point win against Fremantle at the MCG where they had to come from behind.

The Hawks were 28 points down in the third term, and Clarkson warned they will have to raise their game this weekend against Geelong. The Cats have already beaten them once this season.

He said: “They're 10-zip and playing great footy. We lowered our colours to them about six weeks ago. We started the game really well and got ourselves back into the contest and then just couldn't go on with the game.

“We need to play a lot better than the last time we played against them.”

Rugby Union

Trio passed fit for Waratahs

The Waratahs, who are 40/1 with bet365 to win the Super Rugby Grand Final, have been handed three lucky breaks ahead of their clash with the Highlanders.

Benn Robinson (foot), Lachie Turner (hamstring) and Dean Mumm (calf) all came through Friday's captain's Run and have been selected.

However, backrower Ben Mowen has succumbed to an ankle injury suffered in the second half of last week's match against the Bulls. Ryan Cross and Sekope Kepu are also sidelined after returning home early from South Africa with injuries suffered against the Sharks, while Kane Douglas is serving a two-week suspension.

Captain Phil Waugh and number eight Wycliff Palu are back from hamstring injuries, while the promotion of Dave Dennis to the starting XV presents a new back row.

“We've come back from South Africa with fewer players available than when we left, but getting Phil and Cliffy back is definitely a boost for us,” head coach Chris Hickey told planet rugby.

“We've been able to select the same backline which gives us some good continuity there, and with Benn Robinson being fit we've been able to stick to the same front row.”



Red Sox sweep Yankees in the Bronx

The Boston Red Sox, 3/1 with bet365 to win the World Series, move onto a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays after a satisfying sweep of the Yankees in New York. The Red Sox scored 25 runs in the series to take over first place in the division after Josh Beckett won his fifth with a solid performance. They are now 7/5 to finish top of the American League standings.


Tigers close in on Indians

The Tigers will send Brad Penny to the mound in search of his sixth win as Detroit, 11/1 with bet365 to win the American League, look to overhaul the fading Cleveland Indians in the divisional standings. Erik Bedard will pitch for the Seattle Mariners, 45/1 to win the World Series, who are looking to bounce back from the opening loss in the first match of the four-game series.


Pathetic Athletics lose again

With Brett Anderson on the sidelines because of an elbow issue that threatens to make Oakland's season even worse, the A's, 25/1 with bet365 to finish top of the American League, will turn to rookie debutant Graham Godfrey to stop the bleeding of a 10-game losing streak that cost manager Bob Geren his job. Oakland are now 50/1 to win the World Series.


Jurrjens sharp once again

The Atlanta Braves, 25/2 to win the National League with bet365 and 25/1 to take the World Series, move to Houston after sweeping Florida at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, a result that sent the Marlins, 28/1 to win the World Series, to their eighth consecutive loss. Tim Hudson will be after victory number five the night after Jair Jurrjens won his eighth.


Berkman haunts Astros

The St Louis Cardinals, 6/1 with bet365 to head the National League standings, move on to Milwaukee to face the Brewers in a potentially season defining series against their biggest rivals this year in the Central division.

Key off-season acquisitions Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum will pitch in game two and three of the three-match series for the Brewers, 13/1 to win the World Series, who face a St Louis team fresh off a series win against the Astros.


Bumgarner victimised by lack of support

The San Francisco Giants, 17/1 with bet365 to win a second successive World Series, will send Ryan Vogelsong to the hill hoping to give the comeback player of the year candidate more support than they did for Madison Bumgarner in the first match of the four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds, who are 11/1 to have the best record in the National League this year.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me other any other member of the bet365 team.