Manchester United have regularly failed to convince this season and indeed they needed a last minute Ji-Sung Park goal to sneak it against Wolves at home on Saturday. However, despite their perceived shortcomings, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men remain unbeaten ahead of the crucial derby clash with Manchester City and they’re stubborn enough to nick a point at Eastlands.
The hosts snapped a run of three straight defeats in all competitions by notching twice without reply at West Brom but the main architect of the victory, Mario Balotelli, is suspended for this one and although former United striker Carlos Tevez will feature, Ladbrokes 23/10 for the spoils to be shared looks the pick in a tough to call clash.
Nevertheless, even that’s a risky wager when both teams possess the quality to edge it and safer, more neutral bets could be Totesport’s 10/11 for both teams to score and Betdaq’s 11/10 chalked against a tally of more than 2.5 goals; the pair have quality in abundance going forward but have displayed defensive vulnerability of late.
Chelsea skipper John Terry believes the defeat to Liverpool on Sunday was the “kick up the backside” the league leaders needed and they should bounce back quickly from that Anfield reverse by winning the local derby clash against Fulham at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have won all five matches on their own patch, keeping clean sheets in every one while Fulham have drawn four of their five winless away fixtures but have yet to face any team likely to be in the top eight or so come next May, so everything points to a home win but this is reflected in the odds with the hosts just 2/9 with William Hill to make it six-out-of-six on their own patch.
A chunkier alternative is Coral’s 5/6 for Carlo Ancelotti’s men to win ‘to nil’ yet again but better value with the same firm, albeit at a slightly skinnier 4/6 comes at the other end where Didier Drogba can get on the scoresheet. The Ivorian striker has struck in all but one of the six home games he has featured in this season and he’ll be raring to go after only making the bench at Liverpool following an illness.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa were unfortunate to only get a point at Fulham, but they can land a maximum haul at home to Blackpool, a result chalk up at 4/6 while the formbook suggests Newcastle, Partybets’ even money favourites, can get the better of Blackburn at St James’ Park.