Manchester United head into the FA Cup third round in fine fettle as they travel to Upton Park to take on West Ham.
It was not the easiest draw for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, but there will be plenty of punters backing the Red Devils to come out on top at 4/6 (1.66).
That price might seem a touch short for an away win at a ground that saw Rafa Benitez’s resurgent Chelsea comprehensively dispatched 3-1, but on current form there only looks one winner in this match.
The Hammers have won just two games from their last nine outings, the victory over Chelsea and most recently a 2-1 win at home against Norwich.
That result on New Year’s Day ended a winless spell of four games in December for Sam Allardyce’s side, and they are priced at 4/1 (5.0) to record back-to-back triumphs for only the second time this season.
West Ham did hold United’s title rivals Manchester City to a 0-0 draw earlier in the campaign, and another stalemate in this match can be backed at 11/4 (3.75).
However, considering the form of the travelling outfit, it looks worth lumping on the Red Devils to make it four wins on the bounce.
Top scorer Robin van Persie has four goals from his last three games, and is always a good bet to strike anytime at 4/6 (1.66), but he could be rested for this one.
Javier Hernandez bagged two along with Van Persie against Wigan, and the Mexican is slightly further back at 13/10 (2.30) to strike during the 90 minutes, the same price as England forward Danny Welbeck.
For the hosts, Carlton Cole has stepped into the striking breach left by Andy Carroll’s injury, and is 11/4 (3.75) to score at any time.
Mohamed Diame is also missing for the Hammers, a double blow that lessens their chances of progressing in the competition dramatically.
Selecting the correct score is always a bit of a punt, but 2-1 to United looks like a decent shout for the value bet at 7/1 (8.0).
Jamie Dickenson is a 22-year-old freelance journalist who specialises in football, sports and betting.
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