Betfair Premier League Betting: Manchester United v Aston Villa On The Score. Kickoff is at 11EST


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Dec 2, 2008
Premier League Betting: Manchester United v Aston Villa

Richard Walker just cannot see anything other than a humiliating afternoon for Villa at Old Trafford.

Best Bet: Back Over 2.5 goals @ 2.0.
Recommended Bets: Back Over 2.5 goals @ [2.0]; Lay Draw/Man Utd HT/FT @ [4.6]; Back Any Unquoted (Correct Score) @ [7.4].
Poor old Villa, eh? Just two wins in their last 10 games, a good drubbing at Liverpool before the international break and who do they get a fortnight later? Manchester United away, thanks very much.
Villa are 10.0 Match Odds outsiders for this, with The Draw 4.4 and hosts United 1.46 making up the back/lay options as we look ahead to 4 o'clock on Sunday.

Approaching 50 games for the season now, Martin O'Neill's team at Anfield reminded me of a punch-drunk boxer who couldn't resist getting back into the ring for one last fight. They've had enough, frankly, and the manager himself was readily conceding that to win back fourth place will be unlikely.

They've badly missed skipper Martin Laursen in the heart of their rear-guard and he's rated less than 50/50 to return for this, the most testing examination available in the Premier League. Emile Heskey's continued absence won't help either - he's the sort of presence you need at Old Trafford if you're intent on playing a lone striker with faster players in support.

I suggested Villa could earn a draw at Anfield a fortnight ago but, having seen them, I'm now plumping for Manchester United goal fest so get all over Any Unquoted in the Correct Score list. At 7.6 to back, it's not a lot to ask for four goals or more from the champions elect - fully refreshed and always a devil of a proposition on the rebound from poor results such as they had before we broke for World Cup qualifying.

The likes of 3-0 United 11.0, 2-0 7.0 or even 2-1 9.4 are all eminently possible, I'll grant you, but I've got my heart set on a Cristiano Ronaldo-led demolition of a team whose bolt is well and truly shot.

Talking of the Portuguese pest, he'll be around 2.18 To Score at any time and, since we were backing him at less than evens last term, come the business end of the campaign we're at now, I'm expecting him to step up to the plate and make that look like good value. Without the injured Dimitar Berbatov and the suspended Wayne Rooney, other goalscoring options for you to consider include Carlos Tevez, Ryan Giggs and Villa's Ashley Young: priced at 6.6, 14.5 and 20.0 respectively in the

First Goalscorer market.
The fact I expect United to run in a few goals without Rooney or Berbatov is more a sign of how I feel Sir Alex will have them stoked up for this run-in. It's rare for them to lose two in a row so to think they could go three without a win in the league is just too impossible.

I reckon they'll be dominant and ahead by the break, so lay Draw/Man Utd in the HT/FT Result section with a confidence that belies your 4.6 liability in doing so. Man Utd/Man Utd is 2.28 to back if you prefer it that way round. Draw/Draw is a more unlikely 7.2 while Villa/Villa rates a 19.0 chance.

I can only assume that the 2.0 about Over 2.5 goals reflects United's key goalscoring absentees. Perhaps I'm also not paying due deference to stats or trends when I make this the bet of the match, for I think it's not a lot to ask for three goals all told. It shines out to me but you may see it differently; it's 1.97 to back Unders in this ever-popular market.

I see this as Manchester United's statement of intent for the run-in. I hope they feel the same!

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