Dale Tempest: Take on United
Dale Tempest looks ahead to the weekend's Premier League games and thinks Manchester United will again struggle.
Former professional footballer Dale Tempest has turned bookie - he's now Sky Bet's public relations director.
A 16-year career saw him play for the likes of Fulham, Huddersfield and Colchester so he knows exactly how the game is played and these days he's very much got his finger on the pulse of the markets as both a punter and a bookie.
His regular Friday column explores the mindset of players and bookies and highlights the best bets for the weekend's action.
This week his focus is on Super Sunday and a fascinating game between Spurs and Liverpool, but first it's to Turf Moor where Manchester United are surely too short.
All eyes will be on Manchester United's new £60m man Angel Di Maria as he makes his Manchester United debut at Turf Moor on Saturday.
But to be honest, any odds-on price against United - regardless of the opposition - just has to be avoided. Most teams, managers, coaches build a side from the back but Louis van Gaal is doing the opposite and that spells danger.
United now have van Persie, Mata, Rooney and Di Maria to fit in to some sort of system. Yes, it's a nice problem to have, but all success is built on a rock-solid defence and a midfield that can dominate games before the star men can go off and work their magic. For now I don't see that at United and they simply can't be supported until the market reflects their problems.
"United now have van Persie, Mata, Rooney and Di Maria to fit in to some sort of system. Yes, it's a nice problem to have, but all success is built on a rock-solid defence and a midfield that can dominate games before the star men can go off and work their magic."
Dale on United
Burnley conceded only 14 times at home last season, which is an incredible record in a tough league and it shows how hard they will be to break down. Rather than back them for the win, then, I'll take under 2.5 goals at 5/6.
Manchester City fans must be laughing at United's problems and I'm sure they'll be smiling again on Saturday evening after Stoke visit the Etihad Stadium.
The last six Stoke trips have created a 15-0 scoreline to City and Mark Hughes's side have been nothing short of woeful in two Premier League games so far this season.
It's not easy to get a grip on such one-sided games but maybe a draw at half-time/City full-time bet will reap rewards. Realistically you're betting on Stoke keeping a clean sheet for 45 minutes and the price looks fair.
Anyone who reads my column will know that I've been wondering where Newcastle's goals are going to come from. Even against Crystal Palace, you look at the first goalscorer options and nobody from Newcastle stands out. Alan Pardew's side have managed to score just once in three games and that was an own goal at Gillingham.
The under 2.5 goals is 4/6 here and that looks a very solid play, but a bet on no goalscorer is also worth adding to the plan of attack given that Palace aren't exactly reliable going forward and start another new period under Neil Warnock.
It looks like it'll be a long season for Harry and his QPR team and I like Sunderland at 11/10 draw no bet at Loftus Road - that's certainly one of the better bets on the weekend coupon.
Swansea have beaten West Brom in four of their last six meetings and have started with six points from six, but the Baggies have shown they're capable and having had 15 draws last season - more than any other side in the division - that could be an angle to exploit.
It's been doom and gloom in pre-season at Upton Park but Big Sam has his team fit and firing now that the campaign is under way. With Southampton struggling for a serious goal threat followint their summer departures, the Hammers look a fair price at 7/5 to take all three points.
Everton have won four of their last five against Chelsea, but showed a real defensive weakness in the first two games of the season, leading and conceding twice at Leicester and surrendering a 2-0 lead against Arsenal. Chelsea have conceded just nine goals in 2014, a simply incredible record, and I like draw half-time/Chelsea full-time at 4/1.
Onto Sunday and Aston Villa against Hull. The latter are out of the Europa Leage - something which may be good news long-term - while I'm not sure what to make of Villa. However they've won five of their last six against Hull and I can see this being six from seven.
Tottenham v Liverpool will be a cracking start to the Super Sunday show - one of those fixtures you need to watch, especially to see where Tottenham fit in the hierarchy of the Premier League.
I'm going to sit on the fence and side with the draw at 5/2, as Pochettino has shown that his Spurs side won't be easy to beat while Liverpool showed on Monday that bringing in new signings means time is needed to get things to click.
Long-term, Moreno and Markovic will be two excellent signings - as for Mario, who knows? But for now, there's little to split these sides.
Finally, anybody who saw Arsenal beat Besiktas in midweek and the full-time collapse of the players simply won't be backing the Gunners at 4/5 at Leicester.
Arsene Wenger has injuries to contend with and while Ramsey is back, Leicester will be no pushovers at home. They've scored in each of their last 16 in front of their own fans and I think Wenger would take a point given the timing of this game.