Betrescue’s Chief Sports Writer Chris Hutcheon takes his weekly look at all the major Premier League action in England.
With just seven games to go and 21 points to play for, it’s Manchester United that lead the way in the enthralling three-way title battle and the champions can stay out in front by bagging a maximum haul at Bolton.
The rugged Trotters are often seen as a banana skin for the top sides, especially on their own patch, where their robust approach can knock the opposition out of their stride. Under Owen Coyle, the hosts have begun playing some decent football too but having won three of their last five to pull clear of danger towards the foot of the table, there is no longer a sense of desperation at the Reebok Stadium, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, at 4/9 with Paddy Power, can capitalise.
Nevertheless, bet365’s 15/2 outsiders can still give United a thorough examination and as was the case at Wolves earlier this month, they may have to settle for a victory by a one-goal margin; an outcome Partybets quote at 14/5. Jaxx.com’s 6/1 for Fergie’s troops to bag the game’s only goal subsequently catches the eye, especially as United look well placed at 6/5 (888Sport) to prevail without conceding.
Elsewhere, Betdaq post a generous 11/10 against the contest producing fewer than three goals; a wager lent appeal by the likelihood of a clean sheet for the league leaders and with a tight affair likely, Victor Chandler could regret chalking 10/3 against an away following on from a drawn first period.
Inevitably, it’s Wayne Rooney that bookies fear in the first scorer betting; Totesport making the in-form striker 11/4 to break the deadlock and 8/13 to notch at any stage.
On paper, Aston Villa look like the kind of side that can get something at Stamford Bridge, Martin O’Neill’s men comparable to the only two teams to have managed such a feat this season; Everton and Manchester City.
However, Aston Villa are threatening to lose a bit of momentum again at the business end of the campaign, which suggests that Chelsea are worthy favourites at 2/5 (Betfred) and can win ‘to nil’ (7/5, Partybets).
At St Andrews, Arsenal are 8/15 with Stan James to edge out Birmingham and 12/5 (William Hill) to do it by one, while a treble including the Gunners, Chelsea and United is an alluring 11/5 courtesy of Paddy Power.
It looks set to be a case of as you were for three of the main protagonists In the battle for fourth place with Tottenham a safe bet at 1/4 with Ladbrokes for three points as they welcome rock bottom Portsmouth to White Hart Lane, Liverpool also a home banker; Betdaq pricing them at 3/10 to overcome Sunderland and Jaxx.com posting 1/3 against Manchester City getting in on the act by beating Wigan at Eastlands.
Classed as 11/10 favourites by Stan James, Everton can keep alive their slim hopes of securing European football next season by seeing off Wolves at Molineux, West Ham and Stoke are 9/4 with Betfred to share the spoils at Upton Park and at the bottom, both quoted at 9/4 by bet365; draws could also be on the agenda in the Lancashire derby between Burnley and Blackburn and in Hull’s KC Stadium clash with Fulham.
To compare all the weekend’s match odds, click here