In the first of a regular series, we scrutinise Man Utd’s start to the season to identify potential money-generating recurrences…
Season So Far
Unsurprisingly for a club with a new manager and a brutal starting sequence, Man Utd’s first few games didn’t follow a clear pattern. After overcoming Wigan for the Community Shield, they won 4-1 at Swansea on the opening day, before being held at home by Chelsea then losing 1-0 at Liverpool.
Backing visitors at Old Trafford guarantees juicy odds but rarely produces a profit. Man Utd have won 14 home league games in 17 dating back to last October, the only defeats inflicted by Man City and Chelsea once the title was effectively secure. All four of David Moyes’ competitive matches have been notable for mirror outcomes at half-time and full-time. It is 4/7 that they lead Crystal Palace at the end of both halves.
The Sir Alex Ferguson era ended with an epic 5-5 draw at West Brom, but there has been a low-key infancy to Moyes’ reign. Three of the four fixtures limited the goal count to under 2.5. The anomaly, the 4-1 fine-finishing exhibition at Swansea, was also the sole 2013/14 encounter in which both they and their opponents netted. Both teams to score can be opposed at 8/11 against Palace.
The early indicators are that Robin van Persie goal bets will be more popular and successful than even the past two prolific seasons. The Dutch destroyer, 5/2 to join Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry in being Premier League top scorer in three straight campaigns, has fired four in four outings. He has also broken the deadlock twice, a tally that he didn’t reach until November 28 last term.
Other Notable Trends
There are signs that late drama won’t be as much of a signature for the champions under Moyes as it was with Fergie. The Swansea game was the only one of their initial four to feature any notable action after the hour mark, continuing a theme from the Scottish tactician’s final months at Everton. The Toffees didn’t notch after the 60th minute in any of his last nine contests, conceding just twice in that period too.