Ahead of their showdown at the Stadium of Light, the term ‘club in crisis’ has been used to describe both Sunderland and Manchester United, who have made unsatisfactory starts to the Premier League campaign.
The Black Cats currently prop up the rest having taken just one point from their opening six fixtures while the champions, perhaps more surprisingly, are in 12th following their three defeats in half a dozen outings and both teams are in desperate need of the boost that victory this weekend will provide.
Understandably, bookies expect United to be the team that kick-starts their season, William Hill installing them as 3/5 favourites, bet365 chalk the hosts up at 11/2 and it’s 3/1 (Skybet) to finish all square on Wearside, a wager that might lure some given the failure of David Moyes’s men to beat West Brom last Saturday.
However, despite their inconsistency, the visitors should have too much for managerless Sunderland and Winner.com quote odds of 15/2 for United to finish on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline. Alternatively, BetVictor offer 13/5 about an away success by a one-goal margin, Stan James make Moyes’s faltering troops 7/2 to only rubber stamp their triumph in the second period, following a level first, and it’s a 4/1 shot at Coral for fit-again Robin van Persie to put Manchester United 1-0 up.
West Brom silenced Old Trafford at the weekend, beating champions Manchester United 2-1 but they’re as high as 10/3 with betway to frank that form by dishing out similar treatment to league leaders Arsenal. The Gunners, odds-on at 5/6 via Stan James, have carded five wins on the spin since losing on the opening day and they’re a generous 4/1 (Stan James) to shade this one after a level first period, just as they did at Swansea last time out.
At Carrow Road, Chelsea are just 3/5 with Winner.com to overcome Norwich, Tottenham are 9/20 at BetVictor to triumph in the London derby against West Ham and high-flying Liverpool are home bankers at 2/9 (William Hill) as they entertain struggling Crystal Palace. BetVictor combine that trio in a safe-looking treble at 17/10.
Finally, boosted by a late winner at Fulham, Cardiff (7/5, Stan James) get the nod as they host Newcastle, the Cottagers are an appealing 23/10 with Ladbrokes to succumb to another home reverse, this time at the hands of Stoke while bet365 rate Southampton’s clash with Swansea at 5/2 to be inconclusive and it’s 12/5, this time at Skybet, for Hull to divide the points with Aston Villa.
Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool treble – 17/10 (BetVictor)
Stoke to beat Fulham – 23/10 (Ladbrokes)
Robin van Persie to score first – 4/1 (Coral)
Draw/Arsenal in HT/FT betting – 4/1 (Stan James)