Man Utd v West Ham: hosts to maintain Premier League lead

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Manchester United face West Ham United at Old Trafford, with the hosts big favourites at 1/4 to claim all three points.

There is hope for the Irons though, with the Red Devils’ inability to start playing until they fall at least a goal behind becoming increasingly worrying for Sir Alex Ferguson.

They were poor for long periods against QPR at the weekend and, for the ninth time in the league this season, conceded the first goal of the game – a record matched only by the bottom-of-the-table Hoops.

With that in mind, it may be worth backing West Ham to win the first at 3/1 or for Man United to score more goals in the second half than the first at 1/1.

It’s also worth noting that the hosts have the fifth worst home defence in the English top tier so, if they are to concede and come from behind to win (as recent history suggests they will), then lumping on over 2.5 goals at 4/9 is a must.

However, West Ham have tended to roll over for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men at Old Trafford in recent years, with the Irons failing to score in any of their previous three visits, losing the last two 3-0 and conceding an average of three goals in their last four trips there.

Therefore, while over 2.5 goals looks a banker, it may also be worth sticking a couple of quid on over 3.5 goals at 11/10.

Finally, United are on the longest run without drawing from the beginning of a season since the Premier League began – they’ve now gone a total of 16 league games without sharing the points including last season’s games.

If you can see that run coming to an end then the draw is 9/2.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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