Manchester United hosts Newcastle United on Monday as both teams kick off their 2010-2011 campaigns. Kick off is at 3:00 PM EST at Old Trafford. After finishing second to Chelsea by only one point last season, the Red Devils are once again a favorite for the championship. Wayne Rooney will be looking to build off of the best season of his career, and the Newcastle defense does not have enough to prevent Rooney from picking up where he left off at the end of last season. Along with returning most of the first team from 2009-2010, Manchester will also depend on several strong off-season acquisitions. In addition to the already established offense, the addition of young players like Mexican striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will improve what was already one of the most devastating attacks in the Premiership.
Following the team’s relegation after 2008-2009 season, Newcastle made several changes to their roster and was dominant in its one season in the English Championship (English Second Division). The play of new additions Sol Campbell, Dan Gosling, and James Perch will provide the squad with solid play, but Newcastle still does not have the game-breaking players necessary to seriously challenge Manchester. Although Newcastle does have a solid enough team to aim for a respectable performance during the upcoming season, the team is still missing the on-field talent to be a top-flight team and should not be a serious threat to any of the Premiership’s top teams.
Despite Newcastle’s personnel changes, they do not have enough power up front to break down Manchester, which will once again have one of the most solid defenses in the league. At best, Newcastle will leave Old Trafford with a respectable outcome. The best they can hope for is a draw.
After Chelsea’s devastating 6-0 win over West Brom to open their season, the Red Devils have even more reason to come out and produce a convincing win. Also, with Didier Drogba’s hat trick for Chelsea to open the season, Rooney will come into Monday’s game immediately looking to keep pace in the goal scoring column. This should all lead to an especially inspired Manchester attack in their season opener, and they should produce plenty of goal-scoring opportunities against a game but undermanned Newcastle defense.
Newcastle has not earned a victory against Manchester in over five years, and have managed only two draws in that span. This matchup should continue that trend. The odds on Manchester do not offer enough value given how heavily favored they are for the win. Although the value on Newcastle odds are enticing, Newcastle is realistically too much of a long-shot for the upset, or even a draw, so bets on these results are also not worth the risk.
For those English Premier League Betting today, the best bets for this match are on total goals and goal differential. Bodog and Bookmaker have Manchester at -1½ with the total goals over/under at 2½. The best bets for this match are Manchester United at -1½ and the over.