Manchester United effectively saved their season on Wednesday as they completed a dramatic turnaround in their Champions League clash with Olympiakos.
However, that result won’t necessarily be the catalyst to revive their fortunes domestically even though bookies expect a victory at West Ham this weekend for David Moyes’s men, Boylesports’ 10/11 favourites.
The champions will have spent plenty of energy getting things right in midweek and there’s not really very much for them to play for in the Premier League now so it’s mystifying as to why anyone would wish to back them at odds-on prices, especially any punters that saw Sunday’s shambles against Liverpool.
Add to this the fact that the Hammers have won three on the spin on their own patch and have Andy Carroll nearing full fitness and Sam Allardyce’s boys look huge at 19/5 (BetVictor).
Nevertheless, it’s still worth treading carefully so the hosts might be better value ‘Draw No Bet’ at 12/5 via bet365 while Carroll is a generous 11/4 with Coral to follow his strike at Stoke last week, with a goal at some stage in this one. United’s defence has been unconvincing at the best of times this term and at Upton Park they’ll be without the physical presence of the suspended Nemanja Vidic.
Pundits and bookmakers alike seemed to upgrade Liverpool’s title hopes from slim to realistic following the stunning victory over United at Old Trafford, a result that saw the Reds slashed to just 10/3 by bet365 to top the pile.
Just four points adrift of the summit with a game in hand over leaders Chelsea, Brendan Rodgers’s rampant side are expected to collect another maximum haul this weekend as they head to struggling Cardiff, BetVictor installing them as 9/20 favourites.
Indeed, in-form Liverpool are capable of dominating so they might be worth an interest at 9/10 in Stan James’s handicaps, when starting a goal in arrears or alternatively, Paddy Power price the Reds at even money to be in front at the end of each half.
Manchester City, can also enhance their chances in the race for top spot, this time against Fulham. Manuel Pellegrini’s team are 1/7 (Stan James) to send the rock-bottom Cottagers home empty-handed and 15/2 with bet365 to notch twice without reply at the Etihad Stadium.
Everton maintained their pursuit of a Europa League berth with a hard-fought 2-1 success over Cardiff at Goodison Park last time out and they’re strong favourites at 3/5 courtesy of betway to get the better of more Welsh opposition as they entertain Swansea this weekend. A victory could take them above Tottenham into fifth too as Spurs may have to settle for a point at home to Southampton, an outcome William Hill quote at 12/5.
Down at the bottom, Paddy Power offer 23/10 about Norwich and Sunderland dividing the points at Carrow Road, Hull (11/10, Skybet) can nick it against West Brom at the KC Stadium and it’s 17/20 with Winner.com for Newcastle to plunge travel-sick Crystal Palace deeper into trouble. Finally, on Sunday, Aston Villa are 23/20 (Ladbrokes) to overcome Stoke.
West Ham to beat Man Utd ‘Draw No Bet’ – 12/5 (bet365)
Andy Carroll to score at any time – 11/4 (Coral)
Liverpool/Liverpool in HT/FT betting – evens (Paddy Power)
Treble on Everton, Hull & Newcastle – 6/1 (Paddy Power)
Spurs and Southampton to draw – 12/5 (William Hill)