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United Look to Exert Pressure on Rivals


Manchester United can keep the pressure on their title rivals by beating West Ham at Upton Park in the early kick off this Saturday afternoon.

United can move, temporarily at least, eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table by taking all three points from fourth-bottom West Ham. However, the Hammers are one of the league’s form teams and have enjoyed a resurgence of late making victory far from a formality for the Red Devils.

In fact there will be concerns for United fans regardless of West Ham’s form as the league leaders have won just four of their 15 Premier League away games this season. With Arsenal and now Chelsea breathing down their necks Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will be hoping to address their away day blues sooner rather than later.

United have won their last five Premier League fixtures against the Hammers and therefore unsurprisingly go into this one as betting favourites at odds of 4/5. The home side can be backed at 7/2 to continue their run of good form with a victory and are 5/2 to do so with a draw.

Later in the day Arsenal will have the chance to either re-establish a five-point gap at the top or perhaps close in on the leaders if United drop points at Upton Park. The Gunners host relegation-threatened Blackburn in the day’s evening kick off looking for their first win in four.

Arsenal are quoted at odds of just 1/4 to pick up the three points with a draw priced at 9/2 and an unlikely win for Rovers is 10/1.

Before that though Chelsea will also have an opportunity to crank up the pressure when they visit the Britannia to take on a Stoke side that they have had the better of in their previous seven meetings. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are priced at 8/11 for the win.

At the other end of the table Birmingham, West Brom and Wigan all have home fixtures as they look to stave off the threat of relegation.

Carling Cup winner’s Birmingham are priced at 8/5 to beat Bolton, the Baggies are 11/5 to beat to beat Liverpool and bottom-of-the-table Latics are 9/4 to defeat Tottenham.

There will be many more twists and turns to come regarding issues at both the top and bottom of the table before this season is out. But with every passing week the fate of those challenging for the title and battling to avoid the drop becomes a little clearer.

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