Chris Hutcheon preview’s this weekend’s Premier League action, including Manchester United’s huge showdown against Chelsea.
Andre Villas-Boas has made a solid start to life at Stamford Bridge but we’re set to find out much more about the extent of the Chelsea boss’ tactical nous on Sunday as the former Porto coach is tasked with applying the shackles to a rampant Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The champions have won all four of their matches, firing in a staggering 18 goals in the process and their form has been so stunning that they’re actually odds-on at 17/20 with Paddy Power to send last season’s runners-up home empty-handed.
Chelsea are as high as 7/2 via Boylesports to halt United’s momentum, odds far bulkier than the 2/1 posted against the Blues ahead of the corresponding fixture last term and Stan James post 14/5 against the draw, however, while Villas-Boas’ men should at least put up more of a fight than some of the hosts’ recent opponents, given current form, it’s hard to see past Sir Alex Ferguson’s buoyant troops, who are 11/4 courtesy of bet365 to shade it by a one-goal margin.
Ladbrokes chalk 9/1 against United registering a 2-1 triumph, as they did when the pair last met, in May and Skybet price the home side at 7/4 to be in front at the end of each half. Punters meanwhile, will be queuing up to get their cash on Wayne Rooney in the first scorer betting. The United hotshot has eight league goals to his name already, including back-to-back hat-tricks and will be well backed at 9/2 (Betfred) to break the deadlock.
Also firing on all cylinders are United’s neighbours City, the only other Premiership team with a hundred percent record and Roberto Mancini’s charges are 1.6 (3/5) via Betdaq to make it fives win from five as they head to Craven Cottage to face Fulham. Solid City are a 6/1 chance at Totesport to grab the only goal in west London, where Partybets offer 6/4 for an away win ‘to nil’.
At White Hart Lane, two teams with top four aspirations lock horns and bookies aren’t sure who will strike a blow in the race for a Champions League place. Bet365 for example, quote Tottenham at 7/4 but chalk identical odds against Liverpool and in the circumstances it could be prudent to plump for the draw at 12/5 with Skybet or alternatively, to opt for a modest flutter on a 2-2 scoreline at 14/1 (Sportingbet).
At Ewood Park, Arsenal should see off Blackburn although Boylesports’ market-leading 10/11 doesn’t set the pulse racing and Stoke (21/10, Stan James) can also pick up three points on the road at hapless Sunderland, who have struggled at home in recent games.
Elsewhere, Paddy Power make resilient Newcastle a tempting 5/2 to secure a point at Aston Villa, Wolves and QPR are 5/2, this time with bet365, to be inseparable at Molineux and Skybet’s draw quote of 23/10 is the stand out wager at the Liberty Stadium where Swansea entertain West Brom. Everton and Bolton meanwhile, are 8/13 (Boylesports) and 8/11 (Totesport) respectively, to overcome Wigan and Norwich.
Man Utd to beat Chelsea 2-1 – 9/1 (Ladbrokes)
Tottenham and Liverpool to draw – 12/5 (Skybet)
Treble on Man Utd, Everton and Bolton – 4/1 ()
Man City to beat Fulham ‘to nil’ – 6/4 (Partybets)