Skysports 2 & ESPN: Sat 12.45 & 17.30: Man United are 5/6 (Blue Square) to beat Liverpool and 11/4 to win by 1 goal; Spurs play Newcastle.
It’s been a tough start to 2012 for Manchester United, who have faced five of the top seven in all competitions since the turn of the year while the tough fixtures keep coming thick and fast for Liverpool too, the Reds having tackled the Premiership’s top three in their last four league and cup outings.
The middle one of those fixtures saw the Reds overcome United 2-1 in the FA Cup at the end of last month but Sir Alex Ferguson’s men haven’t had to wait long for the opportunity to gain revenge, and they’re 5/6 with Blue Square to get it as the pair renew hostilities in yet another tough assignment, at Old Trafford.
Liverpool are Stan James’ 7/2 outsiders to again have the measure of their rivals and after the pair’s league meeting at Anfield finished one-each, Partybets’s 6/1 for this one to follow suit and Skybet’s quote of 13/5 for the pair to share the spoils are bound to be popular.
However, on their own patch the champions should enjoy the upper hand and bet365 make them 11/4 to shade it by a one-goal margin while elsewhere, Blue Square chalk 15/2 against a 2-1 success for United, who are 7/2 courtesy of Paddy Power to shade it after a level first period and odds of 7/10 are available at William Hill for both teams to find the net.
All eyes of course, will be on Luis Suarez, as he comes face-to-face with Patrice Evra for the first time since the controversial Uruguayan was banned following the pair’s altercation in October. The Liverpool man is 7/1 with bet365 to let his boots do the talking this time and bag the opener but following his brace of penalties at Stamford Bridge, Wayne Rooney is a better first goal bet at 4/1 (BetVictor).
Victory would take United into top spot but if that happen current leaders Manchester City should reclaim the summit by seeing off Aston Villa, a result Blue Square offer at 8/11, although the home side are stubborn enough to restrict Roberto Mancini’s side to a victory by a solitary goal (13/5, BetVictor).
Staying in the top four, injury-hit Tottenham showed their battling qualities to snare a point at Anfield and they’re 4/9 courtesy of Skybet to build on that result by beating fifth-placed Newcastle in a contest that tempts at 10/11 with Boylesports to produce three or more goals. Chelsea meanwhile, are Betfred’s 13/10 favourites as they head to Everton but after the Toffees conquered Manchester City in their last home match, they look huge at 23/10 (bet365) to do likewise to the Londoners and Sunderland also seem overpriced, at 5/2 via Partybets, as they entertain Arsenal.
At the other end, the bottom half-dozen all face fellow strugglers in a weekend of six-pointers. At Molineux, Boylesports rate Wolves and West Brom at 9/4 to be inseparable, Blue Square offer 12/5 for the scores to be level as Blackburn tackle QPR and William Hill mark even money against a Bolton triumph against Wigan.
Finally, Swansea’s resilience at the Liberty Stadium lends appeal to Ladbrokes’ 10/11 for them to overcome Norwich and Stan James quote a stalemate at 12/5 at Craven Cottage, where Fulham and Stoke lock horns.