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Betting Blog: Manchester United are ripe for the picking by Burnley

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop weighs in on Manchester United's embarrassing 4-0 loss at the hands of MK Dons.

Hopefully you've got plenty of cash in your pocket after the midweek successes in the Champions League (thank you, Maribor at 7/1 and the draw/Porto at 3/1). And where better to invest it than on the Premier League this weekend?

Crisis or opportunity?

When does a problem become a crisis? That's the question surrounding Manchester United as they travel to Burnley this weekend searching for their first win of the season. Their second string got hammered in midweek in the Capital One Cup, knocking them out of one trophy before we're even in September, and now they go to face a hungry side, new to the Premier League. What could possibly go wrong?

One thing is for sure: it's very hard to get yourself out of a slump. Confidence and momentum are so important. However, the arrival of Angel Di Maria can only have a galvanising effect on those around him, and the Argentinian probably couldn't wish for a better debut than against a side who for all their efforts, are surely going to struggle to stay up.

United's problems are not really in scoring goals, at least not in the long run. It's in their leaky defence and poor midfield, which lacks invention, although that's something Di Maria should improve. It's tempting to suggest backing Burnley at 5/1 with bet365, but I doubt they have the strength to actually win it.

Outside bet

What could happen, though, is that they score first and United come back to win. That's on offer at 7/1 and one that's entirely possible. 

Safe bet

There will be plenty of people who will expect the arrival of Neil Warnock to lead to an upturn in fortunes for Crystal Palace. And it might, but not immediately. Statistics just don't back up the "new manager bounce" myth, certainly not in their opening match and even more so when they are away, as Palace are to Newcastle this weekend. From what I've seen of Newcastle so far this season, they look half-decent despite only picking up one point so far (their loss was to Manchester City, so no shame in that). Warnock will need time to lift his players, and Newcastle at home are always tough, so take the 8/11 with bet365 on a home win, as that's the safe bet.

Bet of the weekend

Of all the teams to have started with two wins, Swansea are the obvious surprise package, but anyone who's seen anything of them this season (and last) will know that they are a more than decent side. They take on West Brom this weekend and this is a match they should win, not least since the Baggies have begun the season slowly, barely finding the net. Swansea are not exactly banging in the goals either and West Brom did win there last season, but the home side have a clear edge and I like the look of bet365's offer of 3/1 for Swansea to win, with total goals at two or less.

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