Sam Hendry previews the weekend’s football action
Manchester United have what, on paper, looks to be the perfect opportunity to bounce back from their defeat to Tottenham when they host Huddersfield Town.
Jose Mourinho was scathing in his assessment of his team’s midweek performance which saw them comprehensively outplayed and fortunate to escape with only a 2-0 defeat.
Extra motivation will be provided by the fact that Huddersfield were the first team to defeat United this season with a shock 2-1 triumph at John Smith’s stadium in October.
Wednesday was a tough night for Alexis Sanchez for whom, despite only being two games into his United career, a good performance is needed to ward off the many critics hoping for his Old Trafford move to fail.
I’m backing him to get it here against an out-of-form Town who have lost their last four games conceding 12 goals in the process. Sanchez to score two or more at 15/2 with Betfair is the bet for me.
Elsewhere, there is a huge match in the relegation battle when two of the current bottom three in West Brom and Southampton meet at the Hawthorns
Having compiled just seven wins between them all season, it’s no surprise that the two find themselves in this position.
The arrival of Daniel Sturridge on loan from Liverpool should provide a boost for the Baggies – providing he can stay injury-free of course – and their survival hopes could rest on a potential partnership forming between him and Jay Rodriguez.
Given they have home advantage here, Alan Pardew will not be looking for anything other than three points here and I’m backing West Brom to claim a crucial victory at 15/8.
Watford could be worth a punt to upset Chelsea when they host last year’s champions on Monday night.
They are strong outsiders and are worth backing at 11/2.
Chelsea’s recent struggles have been well documented, winning just one of their last seven league games and the battle between them, United, Liverpool and Spurs (and possibly Arsenal) for the three remaining Champions League spots behind City is one of the more intriguing aspects left of this season.
It could be that their 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth was the nadir and they will fight back to form with a win at Vicarage Road.
But Watford themselves are in desperate need of a win after a tough couple of months and could benefit from the ‘new manager bounce’ following the appointment of Javi Gracia.
Their results and performances since Everton’s failed pursuit of then-manager Marco Silva bore little resemblance to those which had come before, and if they can return to that form then they could pile further pressure onto Antonio Conte.