ARSENAL vs MANCHESTER UNITED
SUNDAY – 2.05PM SKY SPORTS 1
THINGS were starting to go a little pear-shaped for Manchester United with their defeat to local rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup followed by a goalless draw at Newcastle. However, Javier Hernandez once again proved what an outstanding signing he has been for the club with a vital late winner against Everton at Old Trafford last weekend.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side then travelled to Germany on Tuesday and quite simply demolished Schalke in the Champions League semi-final. They could have won by four or five goals, but the tie is surely over now and they can start looking forward to another trip to Wembley in May.
Arsenal have blown their title chances over the past few weeks and although it is still mathematically possible for them to win the league, they have won just one of their last seven. The turning point was surely the late penalty against Liverpool and they then threw away a two-goal lead against Tottenham before losing at Bolton last Sunday.
Arsene Wenger will be desperate for his young troops to show some character and end the season in style, but they looked absolutely deflated at the Reebok. Their record at home hasn’t been great this season, either, and they have drawn their last three against Liverpool, Blackburn and Sunderland.
This game would have been very interesting if the points gap had been narrower, but United will have taken great confidence from their win over Schalke and they are the value bet at 15/8 on Betdaq. They have won six of the last seven meetings against the Gunners, including two 3-1 victories in their last two visits to the Emirates. It’s true that United have been poor on the road this season, winning just five of their 17 games, but this is the time of the campaign when they traditionally excel.
Bettorlogic.com analysis reveals an interesting trend that points to these sides going in level at the break. Arsenal have drawn the first half of nine of their 17 home games, while United have also been level at the interval in nine of their 17 away matches. The HT draw/ FT United double result can be backed at 6/1 on Betdaq and that looks a very decent price.
Spread bettors are advised to buy total goals at 2.8 with Sporting Index. The last five meetings between these two at the Emirates have produced a minimum of three strikes and Arsenal’s defence has looked increasingly shaky of late.
Manchester United to win at 15/8 on Betdaq
Draw HT / Manchester United FT at 6/1 on Betdaq
Buy total match goals at 2.8 with Sporting Index
CHELSEA vs TOTTENHAM
SATURDAY – 5.30PM SKY SPORTS 2
CARLO Ancelotti must be very frustrated that his Chelsea side are finding their form slightly too late. They have won their last four league games and are now just six points behind United. A win against local rivals Tottenham on Saturday would put pressure on United ahead of their game at the Emirates on Sunday and these two then meet at Old Trafford the following weekend.
Chelsea have won their last five home league games and have also won eight of their last nine at Stamford Bridge against top-six sides with seven wins-to-nil and five by at least two goals.
They have a bad record at White Hart Lane but they have bossed recent encounters at the Bridge against Spurs, winning four of the last five in the league.
Harry Redknapp’s side have a terrible record away to the Big Four, trailing at
the break in six of their last eight and losing by two or more goals in seven of those games.
They did well to salvage a point from their game against Arsenal recently, but it was a major disappointment to only draw at home against West Brom at the weekend. We’re not going to get rich backing Chelsea at 1/2 with Victor Chandler, but the 23/20 on offer with William Hill for the HT / FT double result appeals.
Fernando Torres finally got the monkey off his back against West Ham and that will have done him the world of good. He’s 9/2 with Paddy Power to score the first goal in this and that is worth taking.
I can actually see Chelsea going to town in this game – they have scored three goals in each of their last three matches – so a buy of their supremacy at 1.3 with Sporting Index looks the right call.
Chelsea HT / Chelsea FT at 23/20 with William Hill
Fernando Torres first goalscorer at 9/2 with Paddy Power
Buy Chelsea supremacy at 1.3 with Sporting Index