MM’s weekend wager: Easy wins for Manchester United and City but Luis Suarez to stall Wigan’s recovery

By Jeremy Culley

We hope you all lined your pockets with Oldham’s cup exit and Craig Dawson’s winner for Bolton in midweek. MM are back with another punter-friendly guide to the weekend’s footy.

United are set to continue their march to a 20th league title as they face Norwich, while City are at struggling Aston Villa and Wigan host Liverpool in a tasty tea-time clash on Saturday.

Manchester United v Norwich City, Old Trafford, Saturday 3pm

Manchester United (4/11, William Hill); Draw (9/2, Betfred); Norwich (11-1, StanJames)

Norwich inflicted a rare defeat on United in Norfolk earlier this season, but will not do so again, despite Sir Alex Ferguson’s team having to cope with the distraction of a looming Real Madrid clash.

The Canaries are virtually safe from relegation after last week’s win over Everton, which will have left them in good spirits but may lead to their intensity dropping slightly.

United will be all the more confident when Norwich’s recent away form is considered – they have won only one of their last eight and were recently stuffed 5-0 at Liverpool.

The hosts have won ten on the spin at Old Trafford, which will become 11, most likely by a 2-0 or 3-1 margin, priced at 15/2 and 11/1 with BetVictor respectively.

With Real in mind, and a mysterious knock last week at QPR, Robin Van Persie may be rested so expect Javier Hernandez or Danny Welbeck – both 9/2 with Bwin to score first – to get a start.

Tip: First goal to be scored between11-20 minutes (7/2, PaddyPower).

Wigan Athletic v Liverpool, The DW Stadium, Saturday 5.30pm

Wigan (7/2, StanJames); Draw (14/5, BetVictor); Liverpool (17/20, Bet365)

Roberto Martinez’s men looked to have started their annual spring climb out of trouble last week by blitzing relegation rivals Reading.

Liverpool – a wounded beast after recent Europa League heartbreak – will provide an altogether sterner test and are in form, with eight goals in their last two matches.

The draw market gives positive Latics fans the best chance of a good result AND a betting win – 2-2 is 12/1 with Bet365.

Luis Suarez, at his mesmeric best against Zenit St Petersburg, could be in for a hatful in this one – Wigan rarely compromise their attacking instincts despite their league position – and is a good call at 28/1 with Bwin to bag a hat-trick.

Latics do carry a goal threat and Arouna Kone is widely available at 15/2 to add to his brace at Reading by opening the scoring in this clash.

Tip: Liverpool to win by two goals (9/2, Ladbrokes).

Aston Villa v Manchester City, Villa Park, Monday 8pm

Aston Villa (13/2, Boylesports); Draw (18/5, BetVictor); Manchester City (8/15, Coral)

There was just a hint last Sunday that Manchester City are reawakening from their slumber.

The title is gone, but in their win over Chelsea – albeit devalued by all the ‘facts’ released by Rafa Benitez subsequently about his untenable position at Stamford Bridge – they showed enough to suggest a strong season climax awaits, starting with victory at Villa.

The Birmingham club are in dire relegation trouble, meaning you get poor value on the City win, so Roberto Mancini’s men to win both halves is a decent shout at 2/1 with Ladbrokes.

Alternatively the turnaround market – always a favourite – is enticing, with Villa having a tendency to let leads slip – they led United 2-0 at Villa Park in November and lost 3-2.

Villa half-time, City full-time is 30/1 with BetVictor, while will give you 13/5 on Villa to score first.

City should win this comfortably, though, and Pablo Zabaleta – in good goalscoring form – is 33/1 to open the scoring and 12/1 to score anytime with Bwin.

Villa needed a penalty to win their last home game with West Ham, while Joe Hart’s rash foul on Demba Ba last Sunday saw City concede one against Chelsea.

Another penalty in this match is a decent little bet at 3/1 with William Hill.

Tip: City to win to nil (13/8, BlueSq).

Football league fourfold: Bolton and Bury to draw, Rochdale and Oldham to lose (65/1, Bet365)

Bolton have won two at home on the bounce but have tended to draw on the road recently. With their hosts this weekend, Barnsley, having had an upturn in fortunes, another stalemate for Wanderers looks likely.

After their cup exploits, Oldham will find promotion-chasing Sheffield United a tough proposition, while Rochdale will struggle at Morecambe, whose form has improved of late.

Meanwhile, despite a sensational win at Swindon in midweek, Bury’s recent home struggles make a win over Crawley hard to envisage.

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