Don’t take the Little Pea out of Man United

MANCHESTER UNITED vs TOTTENHAM

TOMORROW, 5.30PM, ESPN

JAVIER HERNANDEZ’S late goal against Stoke could be the first of many turning points in the Premier League this season. His first half back header was an unbelievable piece of skill, but the three points were all that mattered for Sir Alex Ferguson and they now have Chelsea back in their sights.

Although Manchester United have had some disappointing results in the past month, they are the only unbeaten team in the top flight and have taken 10 points from a possible 12 at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney is still injured but Dimitar Berbatov and Hernandez – nicknamed Chicharito, meaning Little Pea – are building up a strong partnership and they will be hoping to continue that against Tottenham tomorrow evening.

Spurs have made a decent enough start to the season, but I get the impression that the Champions League could be taking its toll on Harry Redknapp’s squad. They had a tough battle against Inter Milan last week and looked tired against Everton on Saturday. A trip to Old Trafford wouldn’t be top of Redknapp’s fixture wish-list, especially as they have the return game against Inter on Tuesday.

The gaffer will also be concerned that his team have a terrible record against United. They haven’t beaten them since 2001 and their last victory at Old Trafford was way back in 1989. United won both games last season 3-1 and they should be able to make it eight victories from their last 10 against Spurs, who will understandably have one eye on next week’s Champions League match. The home win is 8/13 with Paddy Power and that is not a bad price for a team that has won 19 of their last 23 league games on home soil.

Spurs have been involved in some high scoring games recently – there have been at least three goals in six of their last seven trips to Big Four teams and in seven of 10 against all sides. Old Trafford sees its fair share of goals too with 10 of United’s last 13 against top-six outfits producing a minimum of three and six of those seeing four or more. The +2.5 goals market has also been settled in all of their last 15 home games.

This should be a lively contest, as Spurs rarely shut up shop on their travels, so I expect both goalkeepers to be kept busy. It would be no surprise to see both teams score and that can be backed at 3/4 with 888sport. I’ll also be buying goals at 2.8 with Sporting Index – there have been 11 goals in the last two league games between the sides at Old Trafford.

POINTERS...

Man United to win at 8/13 with Paddy Power
Both teams to score at 3/4 with 888sport
Buy total match goals at 2.8 with Sporting Index

NEWCASTLE vs SUNDERLAND

SUNDAY, 1.30PM, SKY SPORTS

THE TYNE-WEAR derby always creates one of the hottest atmospheres of the season and Sunday’s game promises to be no different. Just one point separates these sides in the table and a win for either team would mean a huge amount to their supporters.

Sunderland have looked solid this

campaign, losing just the one game at West Brom. However, they have been particularly strong at the Stadium of Light where they beat Manchester City and held both Arsenal and Manchester United. They are the draw specialists and prior to last weekend’s somewhat fortunate win against Aston Villa, they had drawn their previous five league fixtures.

Newcastle have been nowhere near as consistent as their rivals, frequently flip-flopping between win and defeat. They showed great character to come from a goal down to beat West Ham at Upton Park last weekend, though, and they should have enough to stay in the division.

Goals have been a feature of the Magpies’ season – there have been at least three in six of their nine games so far. They have conceded two goals in each of their last three home games against Wigan, Stoke and Blackpool, so their defence isn’t the strongest. That said, Chris Hughton’s side have scored in seven of their nine league games so it’s fair to expect some goals on Sunday.

Sunderland’s recent games have been exactly the opposite. Richard Dunne’s own-goal for Villa is the only time the deadlock has been broken in their last three games, but there are reasons to expect things will change this weekend. There have been three or more goals in five of their last six away games at promoted sides and four or more in three of their last six trips to middle-third opponents.

The draw looks the safest option in this match and can be backed at 23/10 on Betdaq. The 2-2 scoreline is an attractive price at 15/1 with Extrabet, while spread bettors are again advised to buy goals at 2.7 with Sporting Index.

POINTERS...
Match to be drawn at 23/10 on Betdaq
2-2 correct scoreline at 15/1 with Extrabet
Buy total match goals at 2.7 with Sporting Index

BOLTON vs LIVERPOOL

SUNDAY, 4.00PM, SKY SPORTS

ROY HODGSON was a mightily relieved man last weekend when Liverpool registered only their second win of the season against Blackburn. That may give them the impetus they need to kick-start their campaign and everyone associated with the Reds will have been delighted to see Fernando Torres find the net.

Bolton, similarly to Sunderland, have a tendency to draw, tying six of their nine games this season. They’re unbeaten at the Reebok, but it has to be a worry that they’ve lost their last seven league encounters against Liverpool and eight of their last nine home games against Big Four teams since 2008/09.

Roy Hodgson has a decent record against the Trotters, recording two wins and three draws against them from his five games as Fulham manager. His side have only picked up one point from their opening four away games, but the win against Blackburn must surely have given them some much needed confidence.

It’s risky backing the Reds in any game at the moment but, at 5/4 with William Hill, I think it’s worth taking a chance that they’ve turned a corner. There have been less than three goals in four of Bolton’s last eight home games against the Big Four and in 13 of Liverpool’s last 17 away matches. I’ll therefore be selling goals at 2.4 with Sporting Index and will also have a small bet on the 1-0 scoreline at 6/1 with Paddy Power.

POINTERS...
Liverpool to win at 5/4 with William Hill
Liverpool to win 1-0 at 6/1 with Paddy Power
Sell total match goals at 2.4 with Sporting Index