By Aidan Elder | Chief sports writer
The league title is in the bag for United, but judging by Sir Alex Ferguson’s almost obsessive words about setting a new Premier League points record, his team won’t be freewheeling their way to the season’s end.
It seems to have convinced the betting public because even though they’ve basically nothing to play for and Arsenal are desperate for the ‘trophy’ that Arsene Wenger likes to think of as more Champions League football, a Manchester United win has been heavily backed all week, with 55 per cent of match bets going in their direction.
But once the dust settles after the most discussed ‘guard of honour’, the Gunners will be highly motivated, in part due to wanting to make some sort of irrelevant point to RVP, but mainly because Spurs’ slip up at Wigan has given them a gilt edged chance to move a step closer to the Champions League cash cow for next season. They’re not without support, with 40 per cent of bets going on the home win. The draw would be about as welcome as a Piers Morgan’s opinion on anything for punters with just five per cent of bets anticipating a stalemate.
It’s all about the not especially treacherous ‘traitor’, Robin van Persie in the First Goalscorer betting. The Dutchman is by far and away the most popular option in the market with lots of people imagining just how smug he’ll look if he gives his new team the lead today. Wayne Rooney is the second most popular choice, but some distance behind RVP. Without the suspended Olivier Giroud, there’s a difference of opinion about where an Arsenal goal might come from with Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla all well backed.
Will RVP rub salt into the wounds? Is he going to turn to Just For Men anytime sooon? Will someone try to trip him up during the guard of honour? We’ll find out very shortly.