Last weekend, we were left as distraught by the results of Playing Away as Ryan Giggs’ brother when none of our selections did the business for us, although with just two away wins in the Premier League – and one of them Wigan’s triumph at Tottenham – then it was always going to be a tough ask.
However, this week we fancy our chances of picking up a couple of results, with Swansea and West Brom well priced to win at Southampton and Wigan, while if Manchester United don’t win at Aston Villa we might as well pack in….
You can use the free £20 bet you get when joining bwin.com to bet on any of the teams in a single, or if you’re feeling adventurous, in a treble that returns £260.40.
Manchester United to beat Aston Villa @ 1/2
We may as well start with the banker away win to end all banker away wins – Manchester United to beat Aston Villa at Villa Park in the Saturday evening kick-off.
United went to the top of the league for the first time this season last weekend after an incredibly comfortable win over Arsenal at Old Trafford and Chelsea’s failure to beat Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, and it is a position they will be filling for another week at least.
For all their defensive issues, the Red Devils have won 13 of their 16 games in all competitions, scoring 41 goals in the process, and their record at Villa Park is excellent.
You have to go back to 1995 for the last time United lost away at Villa (‘you’ll never win anything with kids’ and all that), a run of 17 games that have brought 11 wins.
The Villans might be coming into this game on the back of two straight wins, but it will need more than victories over League One Swindon Town and a very poor Sunderland side to convince me that they aren’t a pretty poor outfit themselves, and they don’t have enough at either end to contend with United.
Swansea City to beat Southampton @ 9/5
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is hanging on to his job by the skin of his teeth and at 9/5, Swansea are well priced to push him closer to the exit door by winning at St Mary’s.
Adkins seems like a cracking guy, but his team have been so naive this season that it is as if someone needs to remind him that he is in the Premier League now and not League One. Just four points from ten games can happen to a promoted team at any stage of the year, but to concede 28 goals over that sequence is, as Adkins readily admitted this week, ‘shocking’ and there doesn’t appear to be a cure for their shambolic defending.
Swansea, on the other hand, are ticking along nicely having claimed 12 points from ten games and they are playing some good stuff under Michael Laudrup. The Swans have won three of their six away games in all competitions and their tally of 15 goals can only be bettered by six teams.
It means they have the tools to hurt Saints’ porous back line and the Welsh outfit are well worth a punt at 9/5 to make the most of the uncertainty at St Mary’s.
West Brom to beat Wigan Athletic @ 21/10
Steve Clarke has had a dream start to life in the managerial melting pot and his West Brom side look capable of keeping that up by winning at the DW Stadium against Wigan.
Clarke’s appointment was met with much scepticism, but the doubters look foolish now with the Baggies sitting in fifth place after ten games, level on points with Everton in the final Champions League position.
Only four sides have conceded fewer goals, while just six have scored more, and West Brom are well on course for a best ever Premier League finish.
Admittedly, most of their good work has been at the Hawthorns and Wigan are as unpredictable a side as you can encounter, so the bet isn’t five-star stuff.
But the Latics have won just one of their six home games this season and failed to beat League Two opponents in Bradford City in their last home outing. At 21/10, West Brom are worth a go here.