The hallmark of a potential title-winning team, as Alan Hansen is often reminding Match of the Day viewers, is their ability to win games when they are not playing well.
Given this yardstick, Manchester United are well on the way to defending their Premier League crown given their recent performances.
Since their 6-1 drubbing by Manchester City at Old Trafford on 23rd October, United have won their subsequent three league games.
And in each case, the victory has been secured in unconvincing fashion by a single goal to nil.
With such questionable form behind them, a win for Man Utd against Newcastle, their opponents on Saturday, is far from assured despite odds of 37/100 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
This is especially true given the start made by Newcastle, who until a 3-1 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last week were unbeaten after the first 11 games of the season.
With this in mind, punters may be tempted to bet on a draw at 18/5 or a Newcastle victory at 29/4.
A successful £25 free bet on Newcastle to beat Man Utd would return £206.25, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that not many away teams come away from Old Trafford with anything to show for their efforts.
Man Utd have won 23 of their last 25 league games at home, meaning the smart money will be on another victory for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Not only that, but given United have been ahead at the interval in each of their three recent 1-0 wins, then a bet on the Red Devils to be ahead at half time and full time looks a good one at odds of 91/100.
But as United have had difficulty scoring of late don’t expect there to be too many goals – particularly as Newcastle had conceded just three goals in the five games on their travels before last week’s defeat to the league leaders.
With this in mind, a bet on Man Utd to win a game with under 2.5 goals could be the best bet at odds of 27/10.
Or, for even bigger returns, a fourth 1-0 Manchester United win in a row could be the way to go at odds of 25/4.
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