Betting: United v Fulham
If Sir Alex Ferguson could have handpicked United’s next fixture after the opening league defeat at Everton, a home game against Fulham would surely have been near the top of his list.
Not out of any disrespect towards the Cottagers – who remain a well-established mid-table club and are making great progress under Martin Jol – but simply because history shows that Fulham have a dreadful record at Old Trafford. United have played the Londoners 36 times in all competitions on home soil down the years and have emerged victorious on an impressive 31 occasions, with three draws and just two defeats.
Since the most recent of those losses, a shock 3-1 league reverse in October 2003, United have reeled off nine successive triumphs, scoring 23 goals in the process. Little surprise, then, that we price the Reds up as 7/25 favourites for the three points on Saturday, with the draw available at 17/4 and Fulham rated as 9/1 long shots. But considering how short United are in the match odds market, it is certainly worth inspecting that superb record against the Cottagers in more detail in order to extract greater value from this clash.
For example, the Reds have now won six consecutive games against Fulham at Old Trafford without conceding a goal, so a repeat performance should find plenty of support at 19/20, while 6/4 about a 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 victory also looks decent.
Elsewhere, there will be a real buzz if, as expected, Robin van Persie makes his first start for the Reds. The Dutchman is 3/1 to break the deadlock and 17/20 to score at any time, but the smarter money in the goalscorer markets is on strike-partner Wayne Rooney. Just like United, the England hitman loves playing against Fulham, having fired four goals in his last three home games against them. Rooney is available at the same prices as van Persie and with his starting place assured, he’s the superior bet to star in a comfortable United win.
bwin’s featured odds
7/25 – United win
17/4 – Draw
9/1 – Fulham win
19/20 – United to win to nil
3/1 – Robin van Persie to score first
3/1 – Wayne Rooney to score first
Odds correct at time of writing. For latest prices, see ManUtd.com/bet.