With the first week of the season gone, what have we learnt about Aston Villa and Manchester United ahead of Friday nights game?
Aston Villa are an established Premier League side that managed to squeak past newly promoted minnows Bournemouth without looking terribly impressive. Bournemouth missed a couple of good chances and Villa went ahead thanks to a headed goal from a set piece. In short Villa's opening day win is hardly the stuff that anyone should be getting exited about.
Manchester United were similarly unimpressive is their rather laboured home win over Tottenham. In a match that was often played at walking pace Van Gaal's men went ahead through an own goal and failed to threaten the net for the rest of the game. Defensively the Red Devil's looked fairly solid even if new shot stopper Sergio Romero doesn't look to be the same quality as David De Gea.
I'm trying to imagine a scenario where I tip against Manchester United against Villa Park. This week isn't that scenario. Even at 5/1 I can't back Villa to pick up three points. At 4/6 though Manchester United are hardly an appetising bet we need to find value from elsewhere. In this case the half time/full time market is the ticket.
The second bet is Manchester United to win but both teams to score which is available at 3/1 with bet365. Although Van Gaal's men managed to keep Spurs out last weekend when the Londoners attacked there was always the sense that they were about to create an unmissable chance. The fact that they didn't was largely due to the imperious Chris Smalling playing centre back. As impressive as Smalling was though you can't believe that he is going to repeat such a performance every week. Especially, given that they are at home then Villa to grab a goal looks like a good bet.
The logical follow on to tipping Villa to score is to ask who is going to score it. Villa's biggest goalscoring threat is going to come from crosses and set pieces. The first player that springs to mind then was last weekend's match winning hero Rudy Gestede who, as you probably know, has scored more headed goals in the last two seasons than any other player in professional English football.
Gestede to score anytime though is priced criminally short at just below 3/1 with most bookmakers. Instead of going for the forward with the headed goal then I'm going to plump for the centre half to score with the headed goal from a set piece. Micah Richards is available to score anytime at 20/1 with bet365
How to get 6/1 instead of 4/6 for a Man Utd win against Aston Villa
2. Open a new account for free
3. Place bet on Man Utd to win (Max £!0)
4. Collect winnings