Clean sheet for Man U and a bore on the Mersey – Betting Previews
The transition from Sir Alex Ferguson to David Moyes, while still in its embryonic stages, has not gone as smoothly as Manchester United (1/4) may have envisaged. Sure, early results were good with Wigan defeated 2-0 in the season opening Community shield and Swansea put to the sword in a 4-1 away win, but a 0-0 home draw with Chelsea and 1-0 away defeat to Liverpool have shown punters that the Red Devils are not currently as trustworthy as they used to be.
Trust, of course, is something that's earned, and while Swansea and Wigan are the only evidence we have to work with since the changing of the guard, if we assume that they are better than or at a similar level to Crystal Palace (14/1), then we should be able to trust Moyes' men to defeat Holloway's side.
However, at 1/4 to win in 90 minutes, we're going to have to look elsewhere for a bit of value in our betting recommendation. Other markets that spring to mind are Man Utd to lead at half and full time (8/15), minus 1 goal (6/10) and over 2.5 goals (4/9), but they're also a little short priced for my liking and, with the latter in mind, the Premier League has been seriously lacking for goals in recent rounds.
Instead, with the reigning champions looking better defensively compared to going forward - coupled with the notion that if Chelsea can't score at Old Trafford why should Crystal Palace - I've opted for Man United to win to nil.
Sure, Palace have found the back of the net in a 2-1 defeat away to Stoke and 3-1 home victory over Sunderland, but scoring at Old Trafford is an altogether different matter and at 10/11 I think my bet is worth chancing.
Indeed, should you want to take another chance by betting on the first half of this game, then we offer a tempting Opta Offer of Man United's highest scoring half being the 1st at 17/10, based on the Red Devils scoring a league high total of 33 goals in the 1st half of their Premier League games in 2012/13.
Recommendation: Man United to win to nil (10/11)
Everton (23/10) have yet to record victory in the Premier League under Roberto Martinez - drawing all three of their games. One - against Norwich - was a high scoring 2-2 draw, while the other two - at home to West Brom and away to Cardiff - both finished 0-0.
Now, the short passing style that Martinez has brought to the Merseyside club ensures a lot of possession and, therefore, gives Everton's opponents less chance of scoring since they won't have the ball as much as they would do against more direct sides. But - at least for the time being - his team haven't been able to translate their high possession into scoring goals and winning games.
Of course, with 2-0 and 2-1 defeats of Hull and Aston Villa respectively, winning games is something Chelsea (5/4) boss Jose Mourinho does very well, but then he's also prepared to grind out 0-0 draws against teams of a similar level , like he did away to Manchester United a couple of weeks ago.
Statistically, with 2/3 of Everton's 2013/14 Premier League games containing less than 3 goals and 2/3 of Chelsea's the same, all of the above leads me to the conclusion that under 2.5 goals is the bet to take here.
Also, should you fancy an Opta Offer in Everton v Chelsea, then as no side conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League matches in 2012/13 than Everton, we offer Chelsea to score in the first 15 minutes at a special 4/1 price.
It's entirely plausible that Chelsea score in the first 15 minutes and go on to win 1 or 2-0, meaning that both the Opta Offer and the under 2.5 goals recommendation would yield profit, but whatever you choose I wish you the best of luck.
Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (7/10)