Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces his first big test as the caretaker manager of Manchester United. He takes his side to London on the back of five straight wins and a record of scoring 16 goals and conceding three. There is a subplot to the Premier League fixture against Tottenham at Wembley.
MAURICIO POCHETTINO is the favourite at 7/4 with Betfair to be the next permanent Manchester United manager and SOLSKJAER is the second favourite at 4/1 with Betfair. The combined odds of the two market leaders are 10/11 which means one of the two contenders are more likely to get the job than not. It will be interesting to see how the betting market reacts if United beat Tottenham.
As a United fan who will always be in debt to Ole for scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final there is a heart over head scenario. However, it would be remiss of me not to examine the facts logically and the conclusion is that the run under Solskjaer will come to an end at Wembley. United’s wins have come against much weaker opponents.
Tottenham have won 15 of their 18 fixtures this season and have not conceded in five of their last eight matches. Tottenham are 10 points ahead of United and can still be backed at a decent price to win a home match. TOTTENHAM will be playing at Wembley until March at least but their recent record means they must be backed at Evens with Paddy Power to beat United.
Bournemouth and Everton have both won 27 points from 21 matches but on home and away scoring stats Bournemouth are about a half goal favourite. Only one team has conceded more goals on the road than Bournemouth but they are playing Everton at home. They are the seventh highest scorers on their own ground and Everton are not prolific scorers on the road. BOURNEMOUTH -0.5 is 17/5 with bet365.
The Grade 2 novice hurdle over two miles at Punchestown (2.50) has a history of producing leading contenders for the Supreme Novice Hurdle which is the Cheltenham Festival openor. Willie Mullins usually runs one of his best young horses with the potential to win at the highest level. HARRIE fits the bill in today’s race so is the selection at 7/2 with Paddy Power.