Liverpool the value to upset United’s title bid

LIVERPOOL vs MANCHESTER UNITED
SUNDAY – 1.30PM SKY SPORTS 1

ALL of a sudden everything isn’t quite as rosy as it was in the Old Trafford garden. Manchester United were as short as 4/9 to win the Premier League last weekend, but their second defeat in their last four league games at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night has opened the door for Arsenal.

Victor Chandler have United at a standout 8/11 to win the title and that price could be odds against on Sunday night if they come a cropper at Anfield. Sir Alex Ferguson has to make do without defensive lynchpin Nemanja Vidic after his sending off against Chelsea and that could pose big problems for the Red Devils.

Liverpool have improved under Kenny Dalglish, underlined by their impressive performance and victory at Chelsea last month. However, they disappointingly drew at home against Wigan in their next game and were terrible at West Ham last weekend. That said, they have a habit of raising their game against the top sides and would love to put another dent in United’s title challenge.

There’s an argument that, with neither side firing on all cylinders at the moment, the draw is the value at around 23/10. However, there has only been one stalemate in the last 21 league meetings between these two and Liverpool have won the last two at Anfield. I think they have a great chance of making it three in a row and are available at 15/8 with Victor Chandler. Dalglish’s first game back in charge was at Old Trafford in the FA Cup and his side performed well, especially seeing as Steven Gerrard was sent off in the first half. He will be desperate to record a win against old adversary Ferguson and with a vociferous Anfield crowd behind them, I fancy his side to penetrate what could be a very weak United backline.

A worry is that Liverpool have hardly been prolific in front of goal this season; they’ve only found the net six times in their last six games. A single strike could be enough, though, and I wouldn’t put anyone off backing the 1-0 home win at 15/2 on Betdaq. Liverpool are not as

strong as they were a few seasons back, but there still isn’t a lot between the best teams and home advantage can give them the edge.

There were five match goals in the game at Old Trafford back in September, but I’d be surprised if this contest is anything like as open as that. There have been two or less goals in four of Liverpool’s five home games against the Big Four since the start of last season, as well as in four of their last five matches overall.

United have been poor on the road this campaign and nine of their last 14 away matches against top-half opponents have produced fewer than three goals, with four of their last six such meetings producing one or no goals. It therefore seems sensible to sell Sporting Index’s total goals quote at 2.4.

POINTERS...

Liverpool to win at 15/8 with Victor Chandler
Liverpool to win 1-0 at 15/2 on Betdaq
Sell total match goals at 2.4 with Sporting Index

ENGLAND vs SOUTH AFRICA
SUNDAY – 4.00AM SKY SPORTS 2

FEW gave the Associate nations a chance before the World Cup, but England are handing them every opportunity. As if beating Netherlands by the seat of their pants wasn’t embarrassing enough, defeat to Ireland has left Andrew Strauss and co in a right old mess and with their tails well and truly between their legs.

Again they encouraged an opposition batsman to make a name for himself. This time it was the swashbuckling Kevin O’Brien, who England allowed to bosh the quickest ever century in tournament history. It didn’t need to be like this. England could – and should – have been out of sight, but as demonstrated when time elapsed against India, they lack a finisher in Eoin Morgan’s absence to accelerate the run rate at the death. Then numerous opportunities were once more passed-up to take wickets at vital stages as, like their catching attempts, England let commanding positions slip through their fingers. They were backed in-play at 1/100 on Betdaq and the Irish were turned over at a high of 399/1 before securing their place in the record books.

With just a single victory so far, England surely need another two to progress. But South Africa are likely to keep them waiting for the first of those.

The Proteas brushed aside West Indies and Netherlands and are the team to back at 4/7 with Victor Chandler. Buying India’s runs with Sporting Index at 290 was a tasty earner last week with a makeup of 338 and there’s every reason to think Graeme Smith’s men will make hay too against a side which has haemorrhaged 959 runs in three outings.

Spread punters should consider buying South Africa runs at 283 if batting first and AB de Villiers can be his side’s top runscorer at 4/1 on Betdaq. Last year he gathered 964 at an average of 80.33 and de Villiers has reached triple figures in each World Cup game.

POINTERS...

South Africa to win at 4/7 with Victor Chandler
Buy South Africa runs with Sporting Index at 283
AB de Villiers to be top South Africa batsman at 4/1 on Betdaq