by Rob Shepherd.
Gary Neville angered Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal when he suggested Sunday’s meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford will resemble a pub match.
In the wake of United’s laboured 2-1 win at Southampton and Liverpool’s lifeless 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland on Saturday Neville likened what traditionally is one of the great rivalries in the English game akin to the Dog & Duck playing the Red Lion.
It was, in itself, a bar room comment rather than erudite opinion from ex-professional turned Sky Sports pundit Neville, who of course was a United legend and who manages to combine multimedia work with a role as part of the England management setup – Although the damning jibe does highlight the erratic football both teams have been playing this season.
United though have moved into third place and are not viewed with quite such disdain by the bookies. After their stumbling start their odds have been cut back to 12/1 for the title.
Meanwhile, Chelsea who were 1/7 on with some bookies are now back to 1/2 with Paddy Power who basically see it as two horse race with Manchester City at 9/4.
Liverpool, who came so close last season are a massive 200/1 while Arsenal are 66/1. Tottenham are also 200/1. The two surprise teams in the mix thus far, Southampton and West Ham, are 300/1 and 750/1 respectively with Paddy Power.
But for Hammers fans who are prepared to dream and want a punt then Sportingbet offer an incredible 3000/1 for West Ham to win the title. Worth an each-way £1 maybe…?
And after West Ham’s 3-1 win over Swansea which lifted them to third – they dropped back to fourth after United’s win – target man Andy Carroll claims the Hammers can go all the way in the title race.
Carroll said: “We have a great squad and I can’t say we are going to give up now we are in the top three. We have got a great team and we can go all the way. With the team we have got, and the manager, the way he is coaching everyone, it is fantastic, and I don’t think we will be giving up at all. I think there is no limit. We can go all the way to the top.”