Jim Knight is previewing how the Manchester clubs will fare as the title race intensifies and the value in FA Cup semi-finals plus there are three Money Back Specials on offerWhat seemed like a gentle stroll through the final five fixtures of the season has suddenly been given extra impetus by Manchester United’s 1-0 shock defeat at Wigan and Manchester City’s 4-0 hammering of West Brom.
With just five points between the sides and the Manchester derby to come on April 30th, City will be praying that the red half of Manchester slip up at home to Aston Villa this Sunday.
They will then have to do the business away to Paul Lambert’s Norwich side first though, who have taken everyone by surprise this season.
Both Manchester clubs are odds-on with Paddy Power, United are 1/4 (1.25) to beat 12/1 (13.0) shots Aston Villa, with the draw a 9/2 (5.50) chance while City are 4/7 (1.67) away to 5/1 (6.0) chances Norwich with the draw 3/1 (4.0).
Wayne Rooney was hauled off against Wigan and manager Alex Ferguson will look for a reaction. The United striker is 5/2 (3.50) favourite with Paddy Power to score the first goal on Sunday.
Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Wolves on Wednesday night seems to have cemented third-place for the Gunners after their early-season wobble. That recovery was based on the rich vein of scoring form Robin van Persie struck and the Dutch striker got the opener against the Premier League’s bottom side mid-week and now face United’s conquerors Wigan, on Monday night.
Wigan have in their last three matches, beaten Liverpool away, were cruelly denied away to Chelsea in injury time, beaten United at home and must now perform another magic trick to get a result away to Arsenal. The 9/1 (10.0) about Wigan reflects their chances, with the Gunners at 2/7 (1.29) and the draw priced at 9/2 (5.50).
Paddy Power will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score & Scorecast singles on the match, if Robin van Persie scores the last goal in this game.
There’s also the small matter of two FA Cup semi-finals this weekend as Liverpool face Everton at Wembley in an early Merseyside derby on Saturday while Tottenham take on Chelsea in an all-London affair on Sunday night.
The Dublin bookie can’t split the Londoners and go 13/8 (2.62) for both Chelsea and Spurs with the draw at 23/10 (3.30) while Liverpool shade favouritism at 6/4 (2.50) in the first semi-final with Everton at 15/8 (2.88) and the draw at 9/4 (3.25).
Derby ties are normally tempestuous affairs but with an FA Cup final at stake expect the heat to be turned up a few notches in these high-octane clashes.
With that in mind, Paddy Power is offering a Money Back Special and will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score & Scorecast singles on the match if any player is shown a red card during their respective game.
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Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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