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Man United Need To Hang On

Manchester United are beginning to put a bit of an unbeaten run together, but punters are still unconvinced they have what it takes to defend their title.

Coral go 8/1 that David Moyes can lead the Reds to yet another Premiership crown, which is surprising when you consider that they are now only two points behind neighbours City, who share favouritism with Chelsea on 5/2.

But is not so much where they are in the table at the moment (eighth, eight points behind leaders Arsenal). If Sir Alex Ferguson were still in charge, that deficit would be seen simply as just another challenge.

No, it’s more the feeling that the squad just isn’t up to it this time. Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj have been definite pluses for Moyes, but the new boss is still looking for real creative drive from midfield and until he acquires it, United may have to settle for hanging on to the leaders’ coat tails.

They should beat an ordinary Fulham this Saturday (Coral go 8/13), but that will still probably leave them in eighth with City (2/9), one place above them, looking good things at home against Norwich.

Southampton are still not being taken seriously as title contenders – Coral go 250/1 – but Mauricio Pottecini’s men continue to impress everyone who sees them with expert defending and no little flair going forward.

They now have a very winnable (7/5) game at Stoke, who, despite also winning praise with some of the football they have played under Mark Hughes this season, now find themselves dangerously close to the relegation zone.

West Brom, too, have looked a really good side in recent weeks after a shaky start to the campaign and it will be a surprise if they can’t justify odds of 4/7 against Palace.

The Eagles are now propping up the table after Sunderland’s first victory of the season against fierce rivals Newcastle last Sunday. That was a most welcome result for new boss Gus Poyet, but there is still an awful lot to do to turn things around at the Stadium of Light and there’s every chance it will get worse before it gets better.

Certainly, they have their work cut out this weekend at Hull (11/10), who seemed most unfortunate not to get something out of their two games at Spurs (Premier League and Capital One Cup) this past week.