Manchester United begin 2013 with a short journey to Wigan and – given their status as league leaders not to mention their recent record against the Latics – Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will be extremely confident of picking up another three points.
William Hill price them at 8/15 (1.53) to record a victory, with Wigan offered at 9/2 (5.50) and the draw available at 5/2 (4.50).
The Reds’ aforementioned record against Wigan has seen them win six of the last seven encounters between the two sides scoring 25 goals in the process and conceding just one.
That solitary Wigan goal was an important one though as it gave them a 1-0 victory in this fixture last season, with Roberto Martinez’s side producing a stunning escape to avoid relegation from the Premier League once more.
A repeat of the same scoreline is offered at 18/1 (19.00) and while United have been conceding goals this season (keeping just two clean sheets in their last 18 games) not many people will be rushing to put this bet on.
Indeed, United’s defensive ineptitude is probably a contributing factor to the seemingly small price of 13/20 (1.65) for both teams to score, a bet that has failed to pay out in any of the last seven meetings between the two sides.
What looks a more much appealing option is to back United to score in both halves which is offered at a tempting 11/10 (2.10).
This bet has paid out in four of the Reds’ last five matches, as well as in four of the previous six games between the sides and with Wigan keeping just one clean sheet in their last 10 competitive fixtures, United will be confident of finding the back of the net in both halves.
For a value bet trying backing a high scoring second half with the price of 11/4 (3.75) for over 2.5 goals to be netted looking like an excellent option.
This has proved to be the correct selection on 12 occasions this season in all competitions for United and against a Wigan side whom they have a history of beating convincingly, there is every chance it will pay out once again.
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.