New United era to start in style

  • By: Dale Tempest
  • Last Updated: April 25 2014, 16:00 BST

Dale Tempest believes Ryan Giggs can bring the feelgood factor back to Old Trafford and Norwich could be on the receiving end.

Ryan Giggs talks with Robin van Persie on Friday
Ryan Giggs talks with Robin van Persie on Friday

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. Here's his take on this weekend's Premier League action with the title race hotting up.

This weekend's fixtures present us with one of the betting opportunities of the year.

Manchester United's interim manager Ryan Giggs has been in front of the cameras appearing relaxed but it's very obvious that if he has any ambitions or aspirations for the top job, then he needs an instant response from the players and that means a strong, confident and impressive display at home to Norwich City.

I've no interest in backing them at 4/11 but, at -1 on the handicap, they are even money.

All season, even at their worst moments, they've taken the points off the weaker teams in the division but have struggled against those above them in the table.

At Old Trafford on Saturday, there will be a huge sense of relief among players and fans and the stadium will be engulfed with the thought 'thank god that's over, let's move on'.

It sets the scene with Norwich as the opponents and represents the perfect opportunity for United to start the new era in style.

Norwich have lost their last seven away games and, in the process of losing 13 away games this season, have conceded six at Manchester City, five at Anfield, four at Arsenal and, on top of that, more recently, four at Villa and four at Southampton - two teams who have been struggling for goals throughout the season.

As well as backing United on the handicap, I'll be playing 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0 on correct score to small stakes as well and I think the feel good factor could be on its way back to Old Trafford.

If you were on Liverpool early for the Chelsea game then you will be delighted to see the reports of the numerous injury problems plus they have the focus of the Champions League early next week.

It does seem that the only thing capable of stopping Liverpool taking the title is themselves.

With 96 goals this season and a big chance that Sturridge could be back, it suggests that they could take some stopping although they have shown nerves in recent weeks and my bet of the game will be Liverpool to win by one at 11/4.

Amongst the other games, anyone who reads my column will know that in recent weeks I've been looking at games where draws suit both teams.

Swansea v Aston Villa and West Brom against West Ham are two matches where one point would be perfect for all four teams involved.

Swansea, Villa and West Ham aren't directly involved in the relegation dog fight but one more point benefits their cases immensely.

I'll be hoping my old team Fulham can take all three points at home to Hull while another team that looks like a home banker, Sunderland, won't be carrying a penny of my money.

They may have taken four points from Manchester City and Chelsea but all season they have failed to take advantage of weaker teams and have gained just eight points from a possible 45 against teams in the bottom half of the table.

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