When Manchester United last made the trip across the Pennines to face Newcastle United on their own turf, they were promptly turfed back across the A66 with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Alan Pardew’s team.
That was back in January, and although much has changed since then there is one similar trait nine months on, and that is that Ferguson’s team are again suffering a bit (well, more than a bit actually) of defensive angst. Believe it or not but Stoke, West Brom and West Ham United have all performed better defensively in the league than the Red Devils this season. The Magpies may not have yet fired to full potential, but they possess a killer attacking threat the envy of many a top-class side and any flaws in the United rear-guard are likely to be dealt swift justice by Ba, Cisse and co.
Whilst Sir Alex Ferguson will no doubt have his concerns defensively, he has no such worries up front. After all, he only has RVP and Rooney to rely on for goal threat. Man Utd have scored at least two goals in 24 of their last 30 league matches, and frankly you wouldn’t expect anything less. However, the continued absence of Jones and Vidic means United will continue to look vulnerable at the back. Four of United’s opening six league matches have gone over 3.5 goals with Wigan having been their only opponent who have failed to find the net.
Newcastle have taken nine points from their opening six league matches, and like Man Utd, have kept only one clean sheet. Three of the Magpies last four league matches have ended as score draws with 2-2 being the scoreline twice. Newcastle have lost only one of their last thirteen home league matches in the Premier League, and unlike his counterpart, Alan Pardew is blessed with an almost injury-free squad to choose from.
Given the quality of strikers available to both managers as well as defences that are far from bomb-proof, I am going for goals in this match. So much so that my best bet is over 3.5 goals at 21/10 with Sportingbet. I can also see neither side winning, so back the draw at 14/5 with BetVictor, and if you are feeling brave, you could do worse than have a few pounds on the 3-3 correct score at a whopping 66/1 with Coral.
Over 3.5 goals – 21/10 with Sportingbet
Draw – 14/5 with Bet Victor
3-3 correct score – 66/1 with Coral
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