Cards on Merseyside and clean sheets at Eastlands: Our weekend picks

The Premier League is back and it’s back with a bang this weekend, with Manchester United rocking up on Merseyside to face Liverpool.

Cards on Merseyside and clean sheets at Eastlands: Our weekend picks

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October 14th, 2011

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Of course, all of the talk in the build-up to United’s short trip down the M62 has focused on Wayne Rooney, the striker who will now be enjoying a prolonged summer break thanks to the suits at UEFA and his act of idiocy in Montenegro.

The upshot of it all is that every PR manager at every bookie has been drafting up a “Wayne Rooney to be sent-off” special for this weekend’s clash, possibly in an attempt to blindside punters who might have otherwise noticed some far more worthy candidates to end up getting a ticking off from referee Andre Mariner.

Take, for example, Nemanja Vidic, a player who has plenty of form in this fixture. Whilst the Serbian missed all three meetings between the sides last season, he has received a card each of his last four starts against the men from Anfield – three of those being red cards. In total, Vidic has five yellows and three reds to show from his nine starts against Liverpool, making the 5/4 on him being shown a card of any colour a tempting proposition.

Generally speaking, these sorts of games offer few opportunities to make a quick buck so let’s move on to United’s noisy neighbours.

On the face of it, this should be an intriguing clash, with two unbeaten records on the line at the Etihad Stadium. However City, very much on form in the league, are very much fancied to take all three points against a Villa side that has yet to face what you would consider to be a “stern” test.

Villa will be organised but City, yet to concede a league goal at Eastlands this term, should have more than enough for Alex McLeish’s men and so we’re backing the 6/4 available on a home win “to nil”.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, we think that we’ve spotted something of an over-price on an undefeated home side to win at home to a team that has yet to win on their travels. The home side in question happens to be Stoke City and they can be had at a very generous 6/4 against a Fulham side without an away league win. Granted, Martin Jol’s men have hit some form (not least with a 2-2 draw with Man City and a 6-0 thumping of QPR), but we think that the 6/4 is too generous from the layers to pass up.

Further down the leagues, we’re backing “top-of-League One” Charlton at 6/4 against “lost each of the last four” Stevenage Borough. The Addicks have picked up 15 from 18 points on their travels so the trip to Stevenage shouldn’t frighten them too much.

Elsewhere in League One, we’re taking advantage of Leyton Orient’s price of 6/5 at home to Bury, which we think is based largely on a very false looking league position.

Besieged by injuries at the start of the season, Orient have hit some form in recent weeks with wins over Scunthorpe and Preston, as well as a point at high-flying Huddersfield. They’re much better than their 23rd place placing would have you believe.

The last pick from us comes from Griffin Park, where we have Brentford hosting Scunthorpe. This match sees a side that has conceded ten goals in their last four home games against the only side in League One that has yet to keep a clean sheet. The 3/4 on offer for both teams to score is too good to pass up on that front.

Our picks:

Liverpool vs Manchester United: Nemanja Vidic to be shown a card @ 5/4

Stoke City vs Fulham: Stoke to win @ 6/5

Manchester City vs Aston Villa: Manchester City to win “to-nill” @ 6/4

Leyton Orient vs Bury: Leyton Orient to win @ 6/5

Stevenage Borough vs Charlton Athletic: Charlton to win @ 6/4

Brentford v Scunthorpe: Both teams to score @ 3/4

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