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 this afternoon 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 matches, firing in a staggering 18 goals in the process and their form has been so stunning that they’re actually odds-on at 5/6 with Ladbrokes to send last season’s runners-up home empty-handed.
Chelsea are as high as 7/2 via Sportingbet 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, 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 while punters 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 can be backed at 9/2 (Betfred) to break the deadlock.
Also firing on all cylinders are United’s neighbours City and Roberto Mancini’s charges are 4/7 via Partybets to maintain their hundred percent record against Fulham. Solid City are a 6/1 chance at to grab the only goal at Craven Cottage, where Paddy Power offer 8/5 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. Skybet for example, quote both sides at 13/8 and although Totesport make Liverpool slight outsiders at 9/5, in the circumstances it could be prudent to plump for the draw at 3.4 (12/5) with Betdaq or alternatively opt for a small flutter on a 2-2 scoreline at 14/1 (Boylesports).
Finally in the Premiership today, Stoke are overpriced at 21/10 (Stan James) as they visit hapless Sunderland, who have lost eight of their last nine at home.