Blogs & Opinion


Strike it hot

Ed tips up Man United-Liverpool and Arsenal-Man City

Features - Ed Chamberlin Posted 10th January 2013 view comments

The first Super Sunday of 2013 should be an absolute belter.

We start with the classic Premier League fixture that is Manchester United v Liverpool, and that is followed by Arsenal against Manchester City. New year, old rivalries.

There has been no greater rivalry in the Premier League than Manchester United and Liverpool and for 2013's first edition Sky Bet have United as hot favourites at 4/5, Liverpool a 10/3 chance and the draw at 13/5.

Van Persie: has netted 16 of Man United's 54 Premier Leage goals

Van Persie: has netted 16 of Man United's 54 Premier Leage goals

It's hard to oppose United in their current relentless form; they have won 40 points from a possible 45 and have now scored 54 Premier League goals, the most United have netted at this stage in the top flight since 1907/08.

Robin van Persie has scored 16 of those and on a day packed with superstars, our first game sees the Premier League's top two strikers this term going head-to-head.

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
QPR v Tottenham
12pm, Sat, Sky Sports 2 HD
Man United v Liverpool
1pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 HD
Also showing in Sky 3D
Arsenal v Man City
3.30pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 HD
Also showing in Sky 3D
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

Free £10 bet
New to Sky Bet? We're offering all new customers a free £10 bet. Claim now

Van Persie and Luis Suarez have 31 goals between them and both are sure to attract plenty of money. Van Persie heads the first goalscorer market at 10/3 (he's only 16/1 to score a hat-trick), with Suarez a 6/1 chance.

In September, RVP scored from the penalty spot as United came from behind to win 2-1 at Anfield; Jonjo Shelvey's sending off proving pivotal, what with it coming after 39 minutes with the score at 0-0.

There have now been six red cards in the last 10 Premier League meetings and a total of 14 reds in this fixture - only the Merseyside derby (20) has seen more.

United have had the better of this fixture of late, winning the last four meetings at Old Trafford in all competitions and going further back, eight of the last nine - and on Sunday they have the chance to go ten points clear at the top, which would be a bigger gap than at any stage last season.

Sky Bet's Premier League Title odds: 1/3 Man Utd, 3/1 Man City, 14/1 Chelsea, 66/1 bar

It was on Super Sunday at the Emirates in April that United went eight points clear after they won the early kick off, City lost to Arsenal and we all thought the title race was over.

Tight

I'll be back at the Emirates on Sunday as Arsenal (6/4) meet Man City (17/10) again. It's no surprise that Sky Bet have struggled to separate the two sides this week as when Arsenal meet City these days it's always an attractive game to watch but usually a very tight encounter and short on goals.

The last five meetings in all competitions have produced just five goals and the last three League games at the Emirates have produced just one, including two goalless draws. It's easy to see the draw being popular at 12/5 and also less than 2.5 goals at 11/10.

Question: who was the last Man City player to score at the Emirates in the League? Answer: USA international DaMarcus Beasley in April 2007.

Incredibly, Arsenal have not conceded in the last five Premier League home games against City and it's now been eight hours and 19 minutes of football at the Emirates since Beasley's strike.

Arsenal's Achilles heel of late has been defending against sides with top class wingers; the Gunners' formation under Arsene Wenger (4-3-3) has been set in stone for years, but has often come unstuck against top class sides with orthodox wide men.

Arsenal's system gives their own wide players plenty of freedom to attack but often leaves their full-backs exposed.

Manchester United have exploited this ruthlessly but City prefer to attack through the middle with David Silva and Samir Nasri buzzing in the gaps behind the strikers rather than taking on the full-backs.

Test

Arsenal have a decent record against City in the Premier League, taking more points off them than any other side (69). Key to the home side's hopes on Sunday will be Theo Walcott who has done well since Arsene Wenger let him loose through the middle.

Walcott is 7/4 to score again on Sunday and 6/1 to score the game's first goal. It won't be easy though. He's looked impressive in open games against Reading and Newcastle but City will be a totally different ball game. Will he be able to hold the ball up and how will he fare against Vincent Kompany? This will be his first big test.

Other things to look out for this weekend: Everton (4/7 with Sky Bet) have won all three Premier League meetings with Swansea without conceding and never lost to them in any competition - 16 games, 12 wins.

Fulham (10/11) have won the last four meetings at Craven Cottage with Wigan, while Norwich could be a good bet to beat Newcastle at 23/20.

The Canaries have lost their two home games by a single goal to Chelsea and Man City, having won five in a row before that, but Newcastle have lost their last five Premier League away games, conceding 11 in last two, and lost on their last three visits to Carrow Road.

Finally, Chelsea (10/11) have never lost to Stoke in the Premier League (nine games, seven wins). Chelsea are unbeaten in the last 13 League meetings against Stoke, who last beat Chelsea in the League 18 years ago.

Click here for more Sky Bet odds.(17/10)

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Chelsea go three points clear

Chelsea will be top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day after beating Stoke 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium.

Hyypia quits as Brighton boss

Sami Hyypia has left Brighton after the club accepted his resignation as manager.

Monday Night Football

Reaction to Chelsea's win at Stoke, which takes the Blues three points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Neville: Reds are miles away

Liverpool and Arsenal can forget about winning trophies until they learn how to stop the opposition, says Gary Neville.

Board heckled at Rangers AGM

Rangers chairman David Somers struggled to make himself heard amid boos and heckles as he addressed the club's AGM.

Features

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Five talking points from Anfield

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Five talking points from Anfield

"It was a bizarre game and lots of unusual things happened." That was how Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith summed up Liverpool and Arsenal's thrilling 2-2 draw on Super Sunday.

Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Reshuffled defence stand firm for visitors at St James' Park

Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Reshuffled defence stand firm for visitors at St James' Park

Adam Johnson once again grabbed the headlines in the Tyne-Wear derby, finding the net at St James’ Park for the third season in a row to help Sunderland to a record fourth-straight victory over arch rivals Newcastle in the Premier League.

Where does Thierry Henry rank among Premier League forwards?

Where does Thierry Henry rank among Premier League forwards?

Thierry Henry should be regarded as the greatest centre-forward of the Premier League era, writes Adam Bate...