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Michael Taylor 7th Feb 2009 - 10:51

Vidic keeps champions rolling

Edwin van der Sar is making all the headlines at the minute for Manchester United but to see the real star of the champions' awesome show you have to look towards super Serb Nemanja Vidic - arguably the best centre back in the world!

Vidic has been breathtaking ever since Fergie shelled out £7 million to bring him to Old Trafford from Spartak Moscow and it is his partnership with Rio Ferdinand that has given United the foundation for Premier League and Champions League success.

And while the Serb's contribution has never been underestimated it is only this year that he has placed himself alongside the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo as one of United's untouchables.

Now, with United goal proof for 1,122 Premier League minutes, or twelve matches in other words, they go in search of yet another clean sheet against West Ham on Sunday, and with Vidic in the line-up few would bet against it...in fact you can back it at a healthy looking 8/11.

Man Utd head to Upton Park searching for their eighth straight league victory but may find life tougher than the betting anticipates with Gianfranco Zola's Hammers also in top form.

Fergie's title chasers are 8/13 shots to win, while a draw is 13/5 and a Hammers' win looks massive at 5/1 - although personally I wouldn't put my savings on it.

However, West Ham are unbeaten in eight matches and, following a shaky start, Zola has transformed his team into an attacking force suitable for one of the most gifted foreign players to hit British soil.

Carlton Cole (an enticing 9/1 first goalscorer chance) is fully deserving of Fabio Capello's call with five goals in the last six games and he has been ably supported from midfield by Mark Noble and Scott Parker while young Jack Collison has been one of the finds of the season.

The real issue though is how Matthew Upson and James Collins deal with Ronaldo, Berbatov and Tevez, and for me there is only one winner - the deadly United duo.

Ronaldo finally looks to be back in the mood for goals and the skilful Portuguese winger is 7/2 shot to score the first goal but I prefer the look of ex-West Ham boy Carlos Tevez at 9/2 who has the benefit of having fate, or is it sod's law, on his side.

The value bet I like though is Vidic at 20/1 to score the last goal of the game as the defensive stopper can top off his immense showings by becoming a match winner, and with his aerial threat from set-pieces it is not out of the question.

On the correct score betting market I believe 1-0 United could be realistic and at 5/1 definitely provides value but it is worth noting that Upton Park has been a predictably unpredictable stadium for United over the years.

Given United's stature of Premier League giants you would expect them to have racked up more than four wins in the thirteen league games since 1992 but as Sir Alex so eloquently states, United have never been better!

West Ham v Man Utd - view all betting

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