Our weekend picks, including an understated meeting in Manchester

Apparently there’s quite a big match on in Manchester this weekend, so we thought it best to take a look and see just what the excitement is all about.

Our weekend picks, including an understated meeting in Manchester

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October 21st, 2011

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Old Trafford hosts the first Manchester derby of the season and we’re in for a cracker as, for the first time that this tipster can remember, City could make a claim to be the favourites in this one.

It’s second vs first in the Premier League as by far the two form teams of the season so far face off in not only a battle for local supremacy, but also for the upper hand in what is in all probability going to be a two-horse title race.

From a tipping perspective, we normally avoid these sorts of games as the markets are typically bereft of any sort of value, but we feel that we ought to on this occasion.

And to maybe go against the grain somewhat, with Man Utd getting most of the attention in the betting market, we like the look of the 7/4 being offered by William Hill on the draw no bet.

It has been a case of so close but yet so far for City on recent trips across the City, with injury time goals a prominent feature between the two in recent meetings – four of the last eight seeing at least one goal scored in the 90th minute.

But we think that this City side is made of sterner stuff. The mid-week victory over Villarreal showed that they can grind out results and there is a definite edge to this side that hasn’t been there in recent years, despite the spending. We think that you can do a lot worse in backing the visitors at 7/4 with the security of the draw no bet.

So that’s the derby covered – where now? How about to Fulham, where the Cottagers host Everton on Sunday.

Strong at home, woeful on the road is one way to sum up Fulham’s tough season. Martin Jol’s team have clocked up more air miles than any other so far this season, with a Europa League schedule worthy of anyone’s sympathy, and it has shown in the league.

However, at the Cottage, Fulham are quite formidable. In fact, they’re unbeaten on their own patch in all competitions, with a 2-2 draw with Man City and a 6-0 thumping of QPR amongst the highlights.

Everton head to West London in poor form, with three defeats on the bounce and although we’ll forgive them slightly given that those three games have been against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea, we think that Fulham at 7/5 is one of this weekend’s real value bets.

Into the lower leagues, Ipswich at even money at home really did catch our eye, with the Tractor Boys set to play Crystal Palace – the Championship’s surprise package so far.

Palace’s survival in recent years has been down to a pretty formidable record at Fortress Selhurst Park but this season, they’ve managed to carry that form on the road.

Recent victories on the road at Brighton and Watford have propelled Dougie Freedman’s side to fifth in the league, but we’re taking the generous offer of evens on Ipswich to end that run.

Paul Jewell’s men have won their last four at home and they’ve also managed to pick up five points from tough trips to West Ham, Middlesbrough and Cardiff in recent weeks. After a slow start, this side have started to gel and we think they’ll have overtaken Palace in the table by 4:45 tomorrow.

Also in the Championship, our “banker” is for plenty of goals at London Road where Peterborough “not kept a clean sheet all season” United host Leeds “only two clean sheets all season” United. Even at a paltry 8/15, we can’t turn down the chance to back both teams to score.

A quick look into League One and two home sides which we think are priced very temptingly. Firstly, after backing Leyton Orient last week against Bury, we’re putting our cash behind the O’s again as they host Sheffield United. At 11/5, we think that the bookies are still falling for Orient’s false position of 20th in the table but with wins in their last three and a draw at Huddersfield on top of that, they won’t fear the Blades.

Finally, we’re backing Chesterfield at 7/5 to get a desperately needed home win against an out of form Hartlepool. With three defeats in a row and seven goals conceded in those three, has the early-season bubble burst for the Monkey Hangers?

Our Picks:

Manchester United vs Manchester City: Man City (Draw no bet) – 7/4 (William Hill)

Fulham vs Everton: Fulham – 7/5 (William Hill)

Ipswich Town vs Crystal Palace: Ipswich – evens (Bet365)

Peterborough United vs Leeds United: Both teams to score – 8/15 (Coral)

Leyton Orient vs Sheffield United: Leyton Orient – 11/5 (BlueSQ)

Chesterfield vs Hartlepool United: Chesterfield – 7/5 (BlueSQ)

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