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Andy Gray exclusive: United’s leaky defence will tighten up against Arsenal

by Josh Powell | November 2, 2012

Andy Gray blog bylineExpert football pundit and analyst Andy Gray has joined Paddy Power to give his insight on the best of the Premier League betting.

Andy Gray’s weekend treble: Tottenham, Manchester City and West Brom to win: 7/2

Manchester United v Arsenal, Live on Sky Sports 2,
Saturday 12.45pm

Manchester United and Arsenal are suffering from the same problems. They’re both scoring goals but they both look vulnerable at the back. Sir Alex Ferguson’s problems are probably more severe in that respect, as it is unlike United to be conceding as many as they are. Maybe they are being too adventurous. It has made for an interesting opening to the season though, that is a certainty.

The games in midweek won’t affect the attitude or the confidence of either team. Arsenal beat Reading and Manchester United lost at Chelsea but I don’t think that will have an influence on the weekend. More relevant is last weekend. United beat Chelsea and Arsenal scraped through against QPR. Look at that form and United’s recent record at Old Trafford against Arsenal and that is why United are the worthy 8/11 favourites.

In my career I went back to a club I’d left a few times and you always want to do well. Regardless of how fond you are of your old club and your old team mates you want to remind them of what they’re missing and Robin van Persie will be no different. It would be no surprise to see him score at the weekend at 10/11 anytime.

Arsenal are good going forward and are a threat but United at some point will find their defensive form and it might be this weekend. United can keep a clean sheet this weekend and win the game to nil at 23/10. The correct score of 2-0 at 17/2 is a great bet.

Tottenham v Wigan, Live on Setanta Sports,
Saturday 3.00pm

Like a lot of the top sides Tottenham are very good going forward but they a susceptible at the back. They are strong fancies this weekend at 4/9 and after the disappointment at Norwich they’ll come into this game more determined. Wigan went out to Bradford at home and that is a tough pill to swallow.

Roberto Martinez has got his team playing quite well but look at the fire-power Tottenham have. They will be too strong for this Wigan side on Saturday.

What Andre Villas-Boas does is quite like Mourinho, who in his time at Chelsea if they got to 2-0 would shut up shot. AVB is similar. When Spurs get into the last 15 minutes of the game two goals ahead he decides enough is enough and makes changes that are quite negative. Wigan don’t have the quality to score and Spurs will get a couple but probably not any more. The correct score of 2-0 is worth backing at 7/1.

West Ham v Manchester City, Live on ESPN,
Saturday 5.30pm

4/6 is a great price for Manchester City. They played with 10-men against West Brom and were magnificent. They were totally different at Ajax four days later and that is their problem. One day they can be sensational, another day not so good, like they were against Swansea.

The beauty of the Champions though is even when they’re not playing very well they can turn to so many players. It was Carlos Tevez against Swansea, it was Edin Dzeko against West Brom and it could be Sergio Aguero or Mario Balotelli against West Ham. It could be Yaya Toure or Samir Nasri or David Silva. They have so many great players that even when they’re playing badly they can still provide the moment of magic and win the game and that is their strength.

Even though they’re the home team Sam Allardyce will set West Ham up as if they are away and hope that they can counter attack. They won’t open up against City in case the Champions pick them off.

City have been behind in every away game so far this season and they could go behind again. They’re vulnerable from set pieces and that’s where West Ham can take advantage. The Hammers will grab a goal but the Champions are worth a punt to win 2-1 at 13/2. Both teams should find the back of the net at 8/13.

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