Man. United vs Blackburn EPL 2011 Betting Picks + Odds
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Matchup: Manchester United v Blackburn
Date/Time: Saturday, May 14 2011 7:45 AM ET
Venue: Ewood Park, England
Spread: Manchester United -0.5
Money Line: Manchester United -150, Blackburn +400, Draw +250
Over/Under: 2 ½
BET ON Man U vs. Rovers HERE
Manchester United is just a single point from claiming its 19th English top-flight title when they roll into a nearly sold out Ewood Park on Saturday morning, with the Blackburn Rovers set to spoil their visit, as they themselves try to remain three points from the drop zone at the final whistle.
The spotlight on will be on United as they seek to seal a record-breaking championship, to move clear of Liverpool’s tally of 18.
The Red Devils have now picked up 13 points out of a possible 16, dismantling title challengers and defending champions Chelsea, 2-1 in their last league outing. Ryan Giggs helped open the scoring with a short pass to Park Ji-sung, who put it on the foot of a Javier Hernandez who stroked in a 36-second opener. Nemanja Vidic’s header at the 23-minute mark gave United a commanding 2-0 advantage until the Blues got one back in the 68th minute.
Meanwhile, the Rovers, who have turned somewhat of a corner after an 11-match winless run, seemed to have had secured a win, which would have practically had them safe when Jason Roberts struck early on in a 1-1 draw with West Ham Untied in their last match. The non-decicision left Blackburn’s relegation plight in limbo as they sit just three points out of trouble with two games remaining including their final match at 17th place Wolverhampton next Sunday.
United shelled Blackburn 7-1 at Old Trafford in November of last year, with Dimitar Berbatov bagging five goals. It took the Bulgarian striker just 71 seconds to find the back of the net for the first time since scoring a hat trick against Liverpool in mid-September as he carried his side through the difficult early weeks of the campaign during Wayne Rooney’s contract and transfer request drama. The 30-year-old leads the Premier League goal scoring charts with 21.
Rooney himself was held scoreless in the melee, but since has netted 10 goals and 11 assists in 26 appearances. This time around it is redemption for Rooney.
However, it will be interesting to see how much time the English striker sees on the pitch, as United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has a plethora of options on the selection table. With just Owen Hargreaves occupying their injury list, the Scottish boss will no doubt be wary of avoiding injuries in their last two league matches prior to the Champions League final later this month with Barcelona, but I still see Hernandez, Rooney and Berbatov all receiving ample playing time.
Away from home, the Red Devils have drawn nine out of the 18 away games they have played this season.
In contrast, Blackburn have only managed to pick up six points drawing three matches and losing twice with only a single win in their last six matches.
Rovers’ boss Steve Kean will have to do the roster rumba as his injury list consists of David Dunn, Michel Salgado, Ryan Nelsen, and Vinnie Grella.
Matt’s Free Prediction: Manchester United -Manchester United has been adding an average of one point a game to their league leading total, and while the Rovers will be no pushovers as they fight for their top-flight lives, United should secure enough points in this match to ensure the premiership title.
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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. “Football (soccer) is a game in which a handful of fit men run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise.”