In partnership with SetantaBet, TalkOfTheDevils.com brings you “Tonge’s Tips”, a look ahead to the Premier League games in the 2012/13 season with a bit of a twist. Just like last season, Alan, the 7Cantonas team and the good fellows over at GGMU and United Rant are going head to head in their predictions, and want you, our readers, to join in.
Alan: Nothing whets the appetite quite like a Man Utd v Liverpool clash. In my humble opinion, this is still the number one fixture within the Premier League calendar.
After scratching a last minute replay against West Ham, we will be looking to turn the burners up here and dispose of a team who always seem to claim ‘this year will be our year.’
SAF has already stated that Mr Roo isn’t quite ready yet, so chances are RVP will be partnered by the little pea.
Conceding goals has been a big issue this season and I think we’ll see the strongest back four available with Raf, Rio, Nemanja and Patrice looking to throw water over the potential fire of Liverpool’s forwards.
We need to be passionate, intense, up for it, ready for battle and must definitely keep an eye on The Slippery Cheat. He is capable of anything, including causing a riot.
All things considered and weighing up the player v player scenario, we can win this comfortably if everyone is at the races. I am going to tip up:
For the bonus bet, I reckon Arsenal can sort out City to help us go clearer at the top of the PL. I thought long and hard about tipping the draw, but I’ll side with gut instinct and suggest:
Arsenal 2, Man City 1 (12/1 with Setanta Bet)
Mart One of the first games I look for when the fixtures are released is Liverpool at home. Despite Manchester City being more of a rival when it comes to the league title, the Liverpool game is still the biggest game in the Premier League.
We’re 21 points ahead of them, 7 league positions ahead. In recent weeks they’ve lost to Stoke and Aston Villa, all that goes out of the window on Sunday. It doesn’t matter that they’re struggling right now, they will be fired up for Sunday and we need to be either or it’ll end in disaster.
Ferguson today confirmed that Rooney is definitely out, he said Nani and Anderson are back in training, say what you like about Nani but he’s a better option than Valencia is at the moment and I’d love him to start Sunday, one of only a small number of players that can change a game out of nothing in an instant.
The crowd will be a big factor in this one, United atmosphere at home isn’t good as we all know but we’re pretty good for getting the atmosphere going for the big games, as I type I’m still trying to get a ticket but nothing doing….
We have Robin van Persie and if he is in form then we’ll win the game. I’m going to back us to pick up the win here and we’ll do it convincingly. 3-1 United (12/1 with Setanta Bet)
In the other big game on Sunday, Manchester City travel to Arsenal in a bid to reduce the points gap, which by the time they kick off could be as much as 10 points. City haven’t won at Arsenal in 37 years and they will be desperate to get the win but I think it’ll be a draw. 1-1. (11/2 with Setanta Bet).
Ed: After last season’s drama around this time of year, when Luis Suarez refused to shake Patrice Evra’s hand, and Kenny Dalglish lost the run of himself, this fixture was also going to feel relatively low key. Not that a United – Liverpool match is anything but pumped-up, but there is, after all, the rise and fall of tension between these two clubs.
Indeed, such is the apparent lack of relative animosity ahead of Sunday’s clash that rival fans may even collude in action against high ticket prices. Who’d have thunk it just a year on from shake-gate?
Perhaps, some might say, it is a measure of just how irrelevant Liverpool has become.
Still, with the Scousers in something approaching decent form, and the Uruguayan now find the net where once row Z was frequented, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side is in for a genuine test at Old Trafford. Not least because of the difficulty the Scot is still having in coaching his team towards a clean sheet or few.
Last weekend’s FA Cup fixture is a case in point, with United conceding two hugely sloppy goals.
There will of course be changes on Sunday, with, presumably, Robin van Persie restored to the starting line-up. But in Wayne Rooney’s probably absence, who will partner the Dutchman: Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez or Shinji Kagawa?
That is one of several key tactical and personnel decisions yet to be made.
And yet United should win this fixture. There is, after all, ample firepower available even without Rooney. Meanwhile, Liverpool continues to blow more cold than hot. 2-1 to United. (7/1 with Setanta Bet)
Elsewhere, City take on Arsenal at the Emirates in what should be a genuine test of Roberto Mancini’s outfit. The nightmare scenario for the Blues, in which United wins at Old Trafford, followed by City’s defeat in London is a solid punt. City’s form on the road has yielded nine less than United this season. 2-2 at the Emirates. (12/1 with Setanta Bet)
Setanta Bet are offering a £5 free bet to the first person who posts a prediction that beats the team, and the scoring is as follows :
*One point for a correct score
*One point for a correct result
*One point for a correct bonus prediction (the bonus prediction cannot be just a result)
The first reader, weekly, to post a set of predictions that score higher than Alan or the bloggers will win the £5 free bet with SetantaBet.
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Tonge’s Tips, presented by Setanta Bet & Talk Of The Devils
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