Wednesday, December 30, 2009
WEDNESDAY EMAIL ..........
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 30TH
Back on track yesterday with three winners from three selections, most of you were fortunate to miss out on some late news I got for a non-league game, which was completely wrong, sometimes you can know too much !
I did look long and hard at the Rangers-Dundee United SPL game, the pitch is playable, but there could still be a problem with safety issues around the stadium. However, of bigger concern to me is the Old Firm game on Sunday, it is difficult not to see that being a major distraction to the Rangers players. Having said that, this is a match that nearly always produces goals, 12 of the last 14 have been "over" with seven producing four or more goals. The Gers could hardly be in better shape either, scoring 19 in five starts, including a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture just 15 days ago. They will be bouyant after a fine 4-1 come from behind win at third placed Hibernian over the weekend and would love to face Celtic with a seven point lead. United are now managerless after Craig Levein left to take up the national job and they could collapse, without a steadying influence on the bench if falling behind, but there are simply too many imponderables here.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
MANCHESTER UNITED - WIGAN ATHLETIC
Wigan do not match up well with their local rivals and have lost all ten meetings in the top flight , with a 30-4 goal difference, which equates to an average winning margin of 2.6 goals per game. Hopes were raised that things would be different under new boss Roberto Martinez, when United came a calling back in August and Wigan started well enough and were strongly in contention at the break, with the match scoreless. It took almost an hour before United make the breakthrough, but normal service was resumed with five unanswered goals and Athletic must travel tonight in great trepidation.The visitors last seven away matches have all been "over", with an average of 4.57 goals and they have scored in 11 of their last 12 starts.
This is a big game for United, three points would see them move to within two of Chelsea and put further pressure on the London side who will miss several key players to the ACN for the next month. They finally had a recognised backline with Evra, Vidic, Brown and Rafael on the pitch at the KC Stadium, but Hull still had plenty of joy and could have scored two,maybe three goals in a very open encounter. Of course this United side have goals in them, but defensively , they look a pale shadow of the side that has dominated the english game for 15 years. They have ridden their luck at times and have scored or conceded three or more goals in six of their last eight outings. CSKA Moscow and Fulham have both scored three times against United in the last two months and Portsmouth, Hull and Tottenham, could easily have followed suit, they certainly had enough chances to do so. The problem is deeper than simply who plays in the back 4 and will take longer to resolve.
Expect United to go all out for this and a 3-4 goal margin would certain help their goal difference, but given their defensive woes and the fact that Wigan do not simply sit back on the road, I much prefer the "over" option.
7 points "over" 3 goals 2.13 asian line.