Struggling Spurs fear fired-up Reds
This looks, on the face of it, to be a no-brainer. Spurs, slammed 6-0 by Manchester City last weekend, now face United, who routed Bundesliga highflyers Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 in midweek. Coral go 13/8 United – shouldn’t we just be filling our boots?
Of course it’s not quite as simple as that. It rarely is. Let’s start with Spurs. Were they really so bad against City? Are they really on the verge of sacking manager Andre Villas-Boas? Are they really lost causes in front of goal?
The thrashing they took at the Etihad was really bad, but look beyond the bare scoreline and it’s fair to say that Spurs played quite well at times – they actually had the majority of possession – but a silly goal down after just 14 seconds, they then went on to endure ‘one of those days.’
Villas-Boas shouldn’t be fired after all the good work he has done at White Hart Lane since succeeding Harry Redknapp in July of last year, but he is 7/4 with Coral to be the next manager to go, behind only beleaguered Fulham boss Martin Jol (5/4) and you can never be really sure how these things pan out.
Spurs’ lack of potency up front is baffling – just nine goals in 12 Premier League games. The stats say that they have actually created more chances per game this season than last and have roughly had the same shots on target, but the conversion rate is dismal – more than 50% down.
AVB has brought in a number of creative midfielders, but the man he paid big bucks for to put the ball in the net, Roberto Soldado, just hasn’t delivered yet.
United are understandably cock-a-hoop after mauling Leverkusen on Wednesday, but this isn’t a result to take at face value, either. Yes, they were good, especially going forward, but their German opponents were awful.
But having said all that, we shouldn’t underestimate either the traumatic effect a 6-0 drubbing will have had on Spurs or the confidence that a 5-0 Champions League away victory will have given United.
So expect the Reds to have the edge on Sunday: 3-1 (22/1) or 3-0 (33/1) to the visitors are quite feasible outcomes.
Wayne Rooney (7/1 to score first or last, 2/1 at any time) is playing so well at the moment and will be particularly eager to get on the scoresheet again after making do with four assists in midweek.
But, two days after his 40th birthday, what are the chances of Ryan Giggs finding the net in a First Division/Premier League match for an incredible 23rd season in a row? Coral go 7/1 he obliges during the 90 minutes and you wouldn’t put it past him at a ground where he has scored some memorable goals down the years.