MM’s Weekend Wager: City and United to sneak Manchester win double as Wigan grab vital point in Spurs goalfest

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson

Newly-crowned league champions Manchester United won both halves against Aston Villa on Monday, as tipped by Weekend Wager – we hope you cashed in.

This weekend sees three more cracking Premier League games involving Greater Manchester sides, with plenty at stake.

Manchester City, having now been put out of their title-chasing misery, take on West Ham as they hope to consolidate second place.

Wigan, three points from safety, host Champions League hopefuls Spurs, in a match which both sides can scarcely afford to lose.

And on Sunday, United visit third-placed Arsenal, with Robin van Persie looking to haunt his former club and keep the Reds’ record points haul chase alive.

Here’s MM’s betting guide to all three games.

MANCHESTER CITY vs. West Ham United, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 12.45pm

Manchester City (2/7, Bet365); Draw (21/4, BetVictor); West Ham United (11/1, Coral)

City should win this – but only big backers will be attracted to 2/7, in a match likely to be tighter than the odds suggest.

Sam Allardyce’s team are always battle-ready and will make City fight for the victory, despite West Ham’s poor record against the Blues.

Indeed, the scoreline should closer resemble City’s 1-0 Wigan win than the 4-0 Newcastle rout preceding it, and 1-0 (17/2) and 2-0 (7/1) both attract (BetVictor).

With goals predicted to be scarce, also consider BetVictor’s offer of 13/8 for fewer than 2.5 to be scored, or 19/4 for 1.5 or less.

Even better, however, is backing Roberto Mancini’s side to keep a clean sheet (51/50, YouWin) – they haven’t conceded in six of their last seven at home.

The Hammers have scored just nine goals in the last 16 league encounters with City, not netting more than once a game during that run.

They should again struggle to fire given City’s defensive strength, while losing seven of their last 11 Blues’ encounters doesn’t bode well for them.

Meanwhile, in the goalscorer market, focus is on in-form Samir Nasri and West Ham loanee Andy Carroll, who has a good record against City.

Coral quote Nasri, scorer of two goals in three games, 2/1 anytime goalscorer and 7/1 first goalscorer – poor, given he previously hadn’t scored in 20.

Carroll has scored four career goals against the Blues, and William Hill offer 5/1 he scores at any time and 12/1 he nets first.

Stay away from the England striker, though – City should win without conceding, and the 23/20 Betway offer for that is the best bet of the lot.

Tip: Manchester City to win to nil (23/20, Betway)

WIGAN ATHLETIC vs. Tottenham Hotspur, DW Stadium, Saturday 3pm

Wigan Athletic (14/5, Bwin); Draw (13/5, BetVictor); Tottenham Hotspur (21/20, Betfred)

At first glance, Spurs look cracking value here – especially given last week’s impressive 3-1 win against City and Gareth Bale’s comeback from injury.

However, perennial relegation candidates Wigan have an admirable habit of beating strong opposition when in desperate need of points.

Therefore, this one is a hard puzzle to solve, even accounting for the Latics’ record of just three victories in 15 against the Londoners.

Fence-sitting may be the best option at 13/5, though Roberto Martinez’s side in the draw no bet market seem worth a look at 7/4 (Bwin).

However, bigger likelihoods exist elsewhere – more specifically, in the overwhelming feeling this game will be full of goals.

Both teams have scored in 24 of Spurs’ league matches this season and, although odds-on, the repeat seems a shoe-in at 4/6 (888Sport).

For those attracted only to odds-against, over 3.5 goals (2/1, Coral) and over 4.5 goals (5/1, BetVictor) provide serious food for thought, particularly the former.

Elsewhere, Andre Villas-Boas’ team have led in 13 away games this season, making William Hill’s offer of 5/1 that they throw away a lead interesting.

Better is Ladbrokes’ offer that Wigan score more goals in the second half than the first (7/4) – 68% of their strikes this season have come during that period.

Meanwhile, the goalscorer market favours Spurs when looking at pointers, with Jermaine Defoe and Clint Dempsey both having superb scoring records against the Latics.

England forward Defoe has scored ten goals in 12 games against Wigan, and is 6/5 anytime goalscorer and 5/1 first goalscorer with Boylesports.

Ladbrokes offer 5/2 anytime goalscorer and 8/1 first goalscorer for Dempsey, who has netted six goals previously against the FA Cup finalists.

Finally, Footballer of the Year favourite Gareth Bale has scored two goals in two games – Ladbrokes offer 6/5 anytime goalscorer and 9/2 first goalscorer.

Tip: Over 3.5 goals (2/1, Coral)

Arsenal vs. MANCHESTER UNITED, Emirates Stadium, Sunday 4pm

Arsenal (5/4, William Hill); Draw (13/5, Skybet); Manchester United (12/5, BetVictor)

Champions United can accumulate the record Premier League points haul if they win their remaining four games – and can keep hopes alive by beating Arsenal.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have a superb recent record against the Gunners, winning six of their last seven league meetings.

Arsenal have taken just four points from seven matches against top-five opposition this season, and this poor return makes an away victory superbly-priced at 12/5.

United have the quality to punish Arsene Wenger’s side, who have kept just four clean sheets in 16 home league games this term, shipping 21 goals.

However, it should be an open contest, with the Gunners having more than enough ability going forward to ensure they get on the scoresheet too.

The over 2.5 goals (10/13, 32Red) seems a safe investment, with the over 3.5 goals (2/1, William Hill) worth considering at a slightly bigger price.

United have beat Arsenal 2-1 in their last two meetings, making the repeat decent at 12/1 (BetVictor), while the Reds winning by one goal deserves support (4/1, Ladbrokes).

Elsewhere, Ladbrokes’ offer of 17/20 that a goal is scored between 75-90 minutes looks good – both teams lead this season’s late goals table.

The headline act is former Gunner Robin van Persie, who returns to the ground where he scored 17 goals in his last 17 appearances.

He has scored three in three in this fixture – twice for Arsenal and once for United – and Bet365 offer 6/4 anytime goalscorer and 11/2 first goalscorer.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney has scored ten career goals against Arsenal, including his first Everton goal, first United league goal and 100th league goal.

Stan James quote 9/4 for him to net anytime, with Bet365 giving 15/2 he is first goalscorer.

Tip: Manchester United to win (12/5, BetVictor)

Treble: On the chance Wigan might sneak a surprise victory, go for the Greater Manchester treble – Manchester City, Wigan Athletic and Manchester United to all win (15/1, Bet365)

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