Live on Skysports & ESPN: Sat 12.45 & 17.30, Sun 13.30 & 16.00: Man Utd go into 2011 on top, they are 4/7 for 3 more points (Stan James).
Still unbeaten as the half way point in their season and the turn of the year approaches, Manchester United appear to be moving ominously towards a 19th league title. Admittedly there is a long way to go but Sir Alex Ferguson’s troops are easing through the gears now, Birmingham’s controversial late leveller on Tuesday notwithstanding, and the reaction amongst bookies has been to make them strong favourites, Betdaq posting 6/5 against United topping the pile.
Despite having drawn seven out of eight on the road, they should add another three points to their tally on Saturday as they face faltering West Brom at the Hawthorns, where an away win is quoted by Stan James at 4/7 and Ladbrokes offer a generous 6/1 for United to notch twice without reply.
As the Baggies fluffed their lines in attack at Bolton on Boxing Day before going down to Blackburn in midweek, Partybets’ 7/4 for the visitors to prevail ‘to nil’ isn’t without appeal and it might also be worth risking a quid or two on a tally of fewer than 2.5 goals at 11/10 with .
Dimitar Berbatov has struck eight of Manchester United’s last ten league goals and he’s 9/2 (Paddy Power) to break the Black Country deadlock, a bigger price than Wayne Rooney (7/2, Totesport), who is yet to score from open play this season.
Arsenal also head to the West Midlands, to face Birmingham and like United they should emerge triumphant. The Gunners are 4/6 courtesy of Paddy Power to edge out gritty City and 13/5 (Stan James) to shade it by a one-goal margin at St Andrews. Chelsea and Aston Villa meanwhile, have both looked out of sorts recently but with home advantage it’s the Blues, 888Sport’s 2/7 favourites that should collect a maximum haul on Sunday, although they’re far from reliable enough at present to be attractive at that price.
Seeking to keep the pressure on neighbours United towards the top of the table, Manchester City are just 3/10 (Paddy Power) to send Blackpool home empty-handed but arguably the best bet at Eastlands is William Hill’s 17/20 for both teams to score.
At Anfield, Liverpool look a touch skinny at 8/13 with 888Sport ahead of the visit of Bolton, who are worth considering at 3/1 (William Hill) to nick a share of the spoils and yet another away draw, priced by Coral at 23/10, could be on the cards for the Reds’ Merseyside rivals Everton, at Stoke.
A quartet of potential home wins complete the weekend coupon with improving West Ham 11/10 at Stan James to overcome Wolves, Tottenham a banker at 4/9 (Betdaq) as they host Fulham, Betfred quoting Sunderland at evens to see off Blackburn and Wigan marginally the pick at 8/5 with bet365 against unpredictable Newcastle.
Manchester United to beat West Brom ‘to nil’ – 7/4 (Partybets)
Both teams to score in Manchester City v Blackpool – 17/20 (William Hill)
Stoke and Everton to draw – 23/10 (Coral)
West Ham to beat Wolves – 11/10 (Stan James)