Man United v West Ham 27th September 15.00 Old Trafford

Sky Sports 1

‘The future’s bright, the future’s Orange.’

That’s the famous slogan of one of the UK’s biggest mobile phone networks, and it’s a saying that has been adopted by Manchester United fans too ever since the managerial appointment of Dutchman Louis Van Gaal back in the summer.

Unfortunately the future looks a bit bleak right now for the Red Devils, as two losses from their first five Premier League games this campaign – including Sunday’s 3-5 crushing at the hands of newly-promoted Leicester City – have highlighted some very serious flaws in the normally resilient United back line.

Having spent a small fortune assembling a dreamy creative pivot that includes Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera and Falcao, it’s the youthful central defensive partnership of Tyler Blackett and Chris Smalling that is giving the men from Old Trafford nightmares at the minute.

Meanwhile, down in the nation’s capital, a very quiet revolution is taking place….

West Ham gaffer Sam Allardyce has been tasked with bringing sexy back to Upton Park, and it’s so far, so good for a team known more for its, shall we say, direct approach to the beautiful game. A win and a draw in their two away days so far this season show that the Hammers are comfortable on the road, and a 3-1 victory over Liverpool on Saturday showcased some very attractive football.

Big Sam? More like Sexy Sam.

So to Saturday’s game: Thus far both Manchester United and West Ham have identical goal records – scored nine and conceded eight from five games. So you can expect to see both goalkeepers spending a bit of time fishing the ball out of their respective nets in this one. Some interesting wagers to look out for include:

Both Teams to Score  (a great addition to your accumulator) Get the best odds at Bet365.

Over 3.5 match goals – 6/5 (tasty odds on their own or again as part of an accumulator) Get the best odds at Betfair.

Whilst we expect West Ham to give this United side a thorough examination, you can’t see Van Gaal’s men making the same mistakes as they did against the Foxes. And they haven’t got the pesky distraction of a midweek Capital One Cup fixture to get through either. For those reasons, the Man United -2 goal Match Handicap (2/1)’ represents tantalising value.

A market that remains a firm fan favourite is First Goalscorer. Finding that gem of an outsider is always a bragging right for a punter, and we think that this game serves up a couple of blinders. Ever since Manchester United let Nemanja Vidic slip through their fingers they’ve been crying out for a defensive leader, and this is never more evident than when balls are crossed into their box. Now Sexy Sam’s men love a good set piece, so why not have a look at a pair of brutish centre-backs in the form of James Tomkins and Winston Reid (both are 50/1 First, 12/1 Anytime).

From a Red Devils perspective, Robin Van Persie (First Goalscorer 3/1) offers just enough value to help you cover your other bets.

If you fancy a wager on the Correct Score market, we can offer you one solid gold bit of advice: there WILL be goals in this one. So why not have a look at Manchester United to triumph 3-1 (10/1) or 4-1 (14/1). If you think a draw is on the cards then 2-2 looks seductive at 18/1, and if you fancy the Hammers to bang another nail into the United coffin you could try 3-2 to Allardyce’s men at a rousing 50/1.  Get the best odds.

Fun Fact: West Ham United haven’t claimed a single point at Old Trafford since 2007. 

Back Man United at Betfair and get a £20 free bet.

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