Everyone expected champions Manchester United to be formidable foes this season but few could have anticipated them making such an incredible start, winning all five matches and averaging more than four goals per game in the process.
Sunday’s 3-1 success against Chelsea took them two points clear at the top of the Premiership and saw them go odds-on for the first time at 4/5 via Ladbrokes to defend their title but they face a slightly different challenge this weekend at rugged Stoke. Tony Pulis’ charges will aim to put United under pressure, forcing Paddy Power’s 8/15 favourites out of their comfort zone and the Potters’ more physical approach can reap rewards – but only to the extent that they can stay in touch with the visitors, who are 14/5 with Partybets to shade it by a one-goal margin.
Wayne Rooney will be well backed at 10/3 (Boylesports) to break the deadlock but following his impressive performance in that Chelsea win, Nani is more alluring alternative, especially as bet365 rate him at 8/1.
Looking to bounce back from consecutive league defeats, Liverpool are a home banker at 2/5 with Paddy Power as they entertain Wolves and on Sunday Neil Warnock’s buoyant QPR (11/8, Skybet)can inflict a first defeat of the season on Aston Villa.
In the Championship, Victor Chandler’s 6/4 for a Derby triumph is simply too big as the Rams host Millwall, who arrive at Pride Park without a goal in four outings and Watford tempt at 8/5 (Stan James) as they take on Nottingham Forest.
In League One, leaders Charlton are 8/13 with Sportingbet at home to Chesterfield, Huddersfield are 1/2 (Totesport) to extend their unbeaten run to a remarkable 35 by beating rock-bottom Leyton Orient and Stan James mark 8/13 against Sheffield Wednesday retaining their 100 per cent record at Hillsborough, as they meet Exeter.
Cheltenham are the eye catching bet in League Two; the Robins 1.83 (5/6) via Betdaq to see off hapless Hereford.
Man United, Liverpool, Derby, Charlton, Sheff Wed, Cheltenham (23/1, Betfred)
QPR, Watford, Huddersfield (8/1, Victor Chandler)
Nani (8/1, bet365)
n Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com All odds subject to change