This weekend sees one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the Premier League season and one that is sure to have a real bearing on the title race.
Manchester United V Chelsea
As with any top four clash, the outcome of Manchester United’s game against Chelsea is almost impossible to predict.
Manchester United are always strong in the title run in and after losing 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this season they will be determined to settle the score when the two sides meet at Old Trafford.
Although United have the home advantage, the much reported loss of Wayne Rooney is of course a massive blow for the champions.
With Dimitar Berbatov likely to play as a lone striker in United’s, now mandatory 4-5-1 formation, the lack of firepower up front will surely be a concern for United fans.
Chelsea will be brimming with confidence after their 7-1 demolishing of Aston Villa last weekend, and with United still licking their wounds from a mid-week defeat to Bayern Munich in Germany, this, for me might just tip the balance.
Bearing in mind that these big games are notoriously difficult to predict, I would back Chelsea to win on the basis that they have had a clear week to prepare for this clash without the distractions of an away day in the Champions League.
However, at odds of 7/4 for an away win, backing Chelsea to win the game 2-1 at 10/1 represents better value.
Bet: Chelsea to win 2-1 (@ 10/1)
Best of the rest:
Birmingham City V Liverpool
Birmingham have been strong against the top teams this year, especially when playing at home. I fancy them to give Liverpool a real game on Sunday. Why not have a punt on a 1-1 draw at St Andrews at odds of 6/1.
Bet: 1-1 (@ 6/1)
Fulham V Wigan
Fulham are without a win in their last six league games and have lost three on the bounce since their outstanding comeback against Juventus in the Europa League. With Roy Hodgson looking to rest his big players ahead of the return Europa League leg against Wolfsburg on Thursday, they may struggle again this weekend.
But, in Wigan Athletic they face a team who have been difficult to predict this season. Despite the decision to rest key players, I still fancy Fulham to build on their success from mid-week and with odds at 17/2 for a 2-1 win, there is some good value.
Bets: Fulham to win 2-1 (@ 17/2)