Even taking into account how poorly they performed for large swathes of last season, it’s rare to see Manchester United chalked up as outsiders for a match at Old Trafford but that’s the case this weekend as Louis van Gaal’s side, at odds of 7/4 with bet365, entertain Premier League leaders Chelsea.
The Dutchman insists his side can still catch the table-topping Blues in the race for the title but a defeat in Sunday’s showdown, priced at 8/5 by BetVictor would see United fall 13 points behind Jose Mourinho’s troops and surely send their odds to be crowned champions drift from their current marker of 25/1 (Skybet).
Given their defensive frailty, which was precisely what prevented them taking all three points at West Brom on Monday, it’s easy to see the hosts suffering a reverse at the hands of in-form Chelsea, especially if Diego Costa is declared fit for the visitors. That’s a big ‘if’ though and as United have looked reasonably effective on their own patch this term, betway’s stalemate quote of 12/5 is about the best match bet.
Goals certainly look likely so a score draw at 7/2 courtesy of BetVictor isn’t without appeal and bolder punters, sensing a match tally of more than 2.5 goals (4/5, Stan James) might also fancy Winner.com’s 14/1 about it finishing two-apiece.
The prolific Costa meanwhile, is generously marked up at 11/2 (Stan James) to break the deadlock but the Spaniard’s ongoing hamstring issues mean it would be wise to see the starting line-ups before taking the plunge.
At Anfield, Liverpool tackle Hull just a few days after taking on slightly more decorated opponents in the shape of Real Madrid. Brendan Rodgers however, shouldn’t have too much trouble raising his players now they’re on the fringes of the top four and they look a safe bet at 4/9 (Paddy Power) to bounce back from their midweek defeat to collect maximum points.
Sunderland are refunding supporters that made the trip to the south coast for that 8-0 drubbing but the best compensation they could provide for Black Cats fans would be a success against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light (9/2, bet365). Sadly, the Gunners get the nod in this one at 4/6 with Stan James and Ladbrokes’s 5/6 jollied Everton also look set to collect three points on their travels, as they go to Burnley.
Elsewhere, Tottenham are one to include in an accumulator, Stan James rating them at 8/11 to see off Newcastle, Skybet quote QPR at 6/4 to record a much-needed success at the expense of freefalling Aston Villa and Ladbrokes chalk West Brom up at 19/20 to overcome Crystal Palace at the Hawthorns. Swansea and Leicester meanwhile, are 13/5 (BetVictor) to be inseparable.
Man Utd v Chelsea score draw – 7/2 (BetVictor)
Treble on Liverpool, Southampton and Spurs – 3/1 (bet365)
Double on Arsenal and Everton – 2/1 (Stan James)
Swansea v Leicester draw – 13/5 (BetVictor)