Manchester United in crisis? It’s certainly a break from the norm to see them lose on such a frequent basis, but whilst Ferguson (the ever stalking shadow) managed to keep Utd competitive even during transition seasons, this does have the feel of something different.
They knocked Liverpool of their perch, and it took a very long time, but now it feels like instead of being an unstoppable machine, they're actually letting others into the game.
One thing seems clear at the moment, Moyes isn’t Ferguson. In fact his nomination for the manager of the month award for December looks like it goes beyond sympathy and is actually taking the piss. His record for the month of P7 W4 D1 L2, doesn’t really stand up against Pellegrini’s unbeaten record for December, or indeed a lot of his rival managers.
Wherever you look there's bad news for Utd fans and records tumbling for the wrong reasons. The league does not make happy reading, and can you remember the last time they were nearer the bottom half than the top spot at this point in the season? We can’t. Nor, in all honesty, can we be bothered to find out, but that’s what could happen if they fail to beat Swansea.
This week saw United lose three games in a week for the first time in over a decade, and every team that turns up to Old Trafford at the moment seems to be winning for the first time in a generation.
Having already been beaten by Swansea in the FA Cup 3rd round last weekend, and being beaten by Sunderland in the League Cup just days later, this match does take on an added air of importance.
Swansea for all their possesion (highest in the league so far this seaon) are not cutting through teams as well as they did last year, and certainly aren't scoring goals in the same quantity. There is a goal threat though, and they've already proven they can beat Utd on their home turf so they, like so many other teams this season, will not approach Old Trafford with just damage limitation on their minds.
So what are the odds on Manchester Utd winning this match? Probably not much different to how they would’ve been last season, but that might just be because of the weight of money that will be placed on them. Do Swansea represent a better bet, even at the longer odds?
Manchester United are best priced at 8/15 on at WillHill.
Swansea are best priced at 13/2 at Bet365, pretty long given it’ll be less than a week since they beat United, at Old Trafford in the Cup.
Can’t really predict which way this one will go. Utd simply can't go on losing, for all the abuse their squad has received in recent weeks it was still good enough to win the title last season. In all honestly, we’d just lump as much as you can on Cardiff to beat at very sad looking West Ham team instead.
In terms of offers there are plenty of ‘if’ bets available
• There are money back on selected markets at UniBet and PaddyPower if Swansea win
• Ladbrokes have refunds for 0-0
• And there is double delight and hat trick heaven at BetSafe