Six successive Manchester United wins to sign off on 2013 have been expelled to the remote parts of the memory by the trio of defeats that the Red Devils have ushered in 2014 with, cranking the pressure up to 11 ahead of Swansea’s second Old Trafford sojourn in a week.
The south Wales side provided the gristly meat in David Moyes’ misery sandwich with a 2-1 win on the Theatre of Dreams’ stage and can be backed at 9/2 to claim the spoils once again.
United will kick off the game with odds of 1/2 hanging around their neck, though few punters will be weighing in with heavy fiscal support given such dreary form, especially with shared spoils offering steadier footing at 7/2.
Once upon a time, an almost even money price for the Red Devils to win at home against mid-table opposition would be gobbled up with the same fervour as the family dog takes to Sunday dinner leftovers.
Their Old Trafford Shangri-La now stands a cold, windy shell of its former formidable self and bettors tread with unfamiliar caution when it comes to backing the champions to record formerly routine home wins nowadays.
They’ve now been bettered in four of their previous six home outings and with the Moyes naysayers in full voice after this recent bout of losses, another away game would surely be preferred.
The Swans are fairly poor travellers though, failing to win nine of their last 11 outside of the principality and, if United are to exact revenge over Michael Laudrup’s men, scoring first will be absolutely vital.
In each of the Swans’ losses this term they have given up the first goal of the contest, recovering to claim points from going behind on just three occasions. The best they’ve mustered once allowing their foes to take the lead is a draw, so breaking the deadlock is key if the hosts are to avoid further embarrassment in this one.
They’re 2/5 to score first, though United’s lack of recent clean sheets at home – they’ve managed just one in their previous six – makes their price to win combination with both teams to bag the way to go here at 12/5.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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