The Daily Star’s Chief Football writer, Danny Fullbrook, gives his verdict on this weekend’s televised matches in the Premier League.
Man United v Wigan, Sat 26th Feb, 15.00, Setanta
Manchester United failed to find the net in France this week in the Champions League, but for the life of me I can not see that happening in their game against Wigan.
For starters Wigan have just spent £900,000 on a new pitch which should make it easy for United to play a free flowing style of football. With Arsenal also in the Carling Cup, a United win, at 8/13 with Betdaq, will extend their lead to four points.
On that basis I think they will run out 2-0 winners of this game (6/1 with bet365) which will add more woe to Wigan’s season.
West Ham, Sun 27th Feb, 13.30, Skysports 1
The big games just do not seem to stop rolling in for West Ham. Mind you, given the situation they are in, nothing is going to be easy until the end of the season.
This will be a tough test for Avram Grant’s side, 11/4 with Boylesports, because Liverpool are difficult to beat at the moment, although they are not particularly inspirational themselves.
One good thing for the Hammers though is the eventual return to fitness of Thomas Hitzlsperger. The German was the club’s marquee signing in the summer yet was injured on international duty.
He showed what he can do with his goal against Burnley and the former Aston Villa player will help take the pressure off Scott Parker because he has real quality. I think this is destined to be a draw, 12/5 Sportingbet, which will not help either team, especially West Ham, with the final score likely to be 1-1 (13/2, Stan James).
Stoke v West Brom, Mon 28th Feb, 20.00, Skysports 1
Roy Hodgson knows only too well what sort of battle he has on his hands to keep West Brom in the Prem, and playing Stoke will not make it any easier.
The former Fulham and Liverpool boss will have his new team defending better because that is what he does. But scoring goals may become a problem, although 3 against West Ham proved they could do it. Stoke though are tough at home and I feel that they are likely to win the game (19/20, ) with it all square in first half and then Stoke scoring winner in the second – a 4/1 shot with Coral.
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