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Memorable Lane

It takes a brave punter to oppose United at 6/4, says Ed

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 1st March 2012 view comments

There have been some crazy days this season but none crazier than last Sunday.

I have been lucky enough to present some great games on Sky Sports including Manchester United 8 Arsenal 2, Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6, and Chelsea 3 Manchester United 3, but I think even those matches were surpassed by Super Sunday last weekend.

Old hands: Fergie and Harry have 62 years of management between them

Old hands: Fergie and Harry have 62 years of management between them

Arsenal's North London derby demolition job followed by Cardiff's Carling Cup Final heroics must have had people glued to their televisions all afternoon.

What a rollercoaster of emotions the Arsenal fans had to endure at the Emirates. Ian Wright was in the studio with me and was on the floor at 0-2 after 34 minutes yet bouncing off the walls only half an hour later.

The game threw up seven more goals in another extraordinary match between two of the country's top teams. There have now been a staggering 68 goals in the 14 meetings between the current top five Premier League sides this season.

Those 14 games have featured an average of almost five-goals-per-game (4.86) and there have only been two clean sheets from a possible 28. It was great entertainment but worrying from a defensive point of view and a possible explanation as to why our teams have struggled in the Champions League this season.

Sky Bet's title odds: 8/15 Man City, 8/5 Man Utd, 50/1 Tottenham, 250/1 Arsenal, 400/1 Chelsea, 750/1 Liverpool

Did Sunday's demoralising defeat mean the end for Tottenham's title hopes?

Sky Bet think so as Spurs have drifted to 50/1 from 18/1 to win the Premier League. Next up they have the small matter of their bogey team, Manchester United (6/4 to win with Sky Bet), who won easily earlier in season and have had the sign over Tottenham (13/8) for a long time now.

Man Utd are unbeaten in last 21 PL meetings with Tottenham, a run that spans almost 11 years (W16 D5).

Only twice in PL history has a team gone more than 21 games unbeaten against another club - Chelsea against Tottenham (28, 1992-2006) and Manchester United against Aston Villa (27, 1996-2009).

Tottenham have a poorer points record (0.4 points-per-game), have lost more games (28) and conceded more goals (74) against Manchester United than they have against any other team in Premier League history.

United have won more PL games (11) and points (38) at White Hart Lane than any other visiting team.

Tottenham's last win was on May 19th 2001 when Geri Halliwell was number one in the charts with 'It's Raining Men' and three days earlier, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was in the news for punching a protestor. Sir Alex Ferguson had just secured United's seventh Premier League title, while Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had just left his job at West Ham. Nowadays these are the two most experienced managers in the country with 2,718 English club games and 62 years of management between them.

I find it amazing that the champions only won five games away all last season, yet have been unstoppable on the road this term, with nine victories and the best away record in the League.

It's a fascinating game for any number of reasons and it brings to an end a really tough run of fixtures for Manchester United. At the start of the run that has seen them play Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, Gary Neville said that if they were still only four or five points behind Manchester City then they would be within striking range for the run-in. Sir Alex has talked about his team 'surviving' at White Hart Lane and if they do come away unscathed and only two points behind City then I can see Sky Bet shortening them significantly from 8/5 to retain their title.

It's been a key period of the season, Manchester United have risen to the challenge and it's a brave punter that opposes them on Super Sunday at 7/5

The Premier League weekend on Sky Sports kicks off with the small matter of Liverpool (20/21 with Sky Bet) against Arsenal (13/5). I will be at White Hart Lane for Super Sunday alongside Gary Neville and Graeme Souness and I hope you can join us from 1pm on Sky Sports HD1. Who knows what will happen next in this crazy Premier League season?

Super 6

Blackburn 2-1 Aston Villa - more misery for Villa

Man City 3-0 Bolton - another cruise for the leaders

QPR 1-1 Everton - hard fought draw

Stoke 2-0 Norwich - home side too strong

West Brom 2-1 Chelsea - West Brom in great form

Wigan 0-0 Swansea - 100/1 to be Football First's Game of the Day!

Cheltenham Countdown

I was delighted to hear this week that Darlan has shown no ill effects from his crashing fall at Newbury and he's on target for the first race of the meeting, the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. This is the horse AP McCoy told us to follow at the start of the season and he has already done us proud. He looks to have a massive chance at Cheltenham and big money has come for him this week with Darlan down to 6/1 now with Sky Bet, yet I can see him starting a good deal shorter on the day.

One of the great decisions this season must be Graham Wylie's choice of Willie Mullins to train four of his horses. It's a decision that has reaped major dividends. Boston Bob, Felix Younger, On His Own and Prince De Beauchene have won seven races between them and all hold chances at either the Cheltenham or Aintree Festivals with Prince De Beauchene favourite for the Grand National and Boston Bob shaping up as one of the Irish bankers in either the Neptune or Albert Bartlett. What a change of fortunes this is for Wylie, who endured a difficult couple of years with Howard Johnson. I hope they decide to run Boston Bob in the Neptune (10/3 with Sky Bet) as my Irish mole tells me this horse is very special.

The weights for the handicaps were released on Wednesday. You need so much luck, especially in the chases, at Cheltenham that most look a minefield to me. I have vowed to steer clear of the handicaps this year but I'm bound to tempted in once Sky Bet go non-runner no bet.

Ante-post fancies

Darlan

Montbazon (e/w)

Noble Prince

Boston Bob

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