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Antony Heath 21st Apr 2012 - 13:28

Dive in on Young!

Manchester United v Everton

12:30 - live on Sky Sports 1

Manchester United will head in to this as overwhelming favourites as this is the time of year when Alex Ferguson's men always seem to flourish. They will be eager to get 3 points safely on board to at least maintain their lead ahead of next week's huge Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium. Any slip-up followed by a Man City win at Wolves would give City a huge psychological boost heading into the clash.

Manchester United (4/11) have been playing like champions for the past month or so, with just the defeat at Wigan the only blip on their record over the past 10 games. They have excelled defensively over that span conceding just 1 goal over the past 7 games and with no injury worries they will be able to field the same settled defence that Everton will have a tough job breaking down. Manchester United to keep a clean sheet is 8/11 and to win to nil is 23/20 and both offer good value.

The Reds have been dominant at home winning 7 straight since the shock defeat against Blackburn and the visiting Toffee's have had a torrid time at Old Trafford - you have to go back 20 years to find the last Everton win in this fixture so a decent win for the hosts would appear to be the pick of the results. A 3-0 win is priced at 15/2 and a repeat of the 4-0 win that they handed to Aston Villa would be a 12/1 shout.

Ashley Young has received a lot of bad press over his recent "theatrics" and has received a stern talking too from Sir Alex about staying on his feet which should see him get a few extra opportunities to get a shot or two off. He is 5/1 to score first/last and 5/4 to score anytime and should find plenty of opportunities coming his way. Rooney has had his shooting boots on of late and is 9/4 first/last and 1/2 anytime but better value can be found with Javier Hernandez who is 7/2 first/last and 10/11 anytime.

David Moyes will be looking to see a reaction from his Everton (8/1, Draw 7/2) side that will be keen to put the FA Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Liverpool behind them. They took the lead through Nikica Jelavic (10/1 first/last, 7/2 anytime) and he would have to be at his best along with Aussie midfielder Tim Cahill (11/1 first/last, 4/1 anytime) if the Toffee's expect to get a result. They do have the motivation of securing the points to try and finish above the red half of their city.

Everton played well against Liverpool and had it not been for a few individual errors then the course of their season could be looking a lot different. They will be without the injured Leighton Baines while on loan Royston Drenthe (16/1 first/last, 6/1 anytime) may return after missing out on a Wembley appearance due to "discipline problems". They face more than an uphill task and I fully expect their long wait for an Old Trafford victory to continue.

On a stats front over 3.5 goals @ 13/8 looks the pick in the goals market as Manchester United should ease to a comfy win and take the momentum into next week's crucial derby clash. Manchester United can usually be relied on for a late goal, especially at Old Trafford, and a goal in the 76th minute - full time is price up at a very tempting 10/11, while between the 86th minute and full time is 21/10. With recent events at Old Trafford a penalty to be awarded is a 3/1 shot and sure to tempt a few.

Top Bets

Manchester United -1 @ 5/6

Ashley Young anytime @ 5/4

Worth a punt

Manchester United 4-0 @ 12/1

Penalty Awarded @ 3/1


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