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Berbatov’s fine form means the pressure is off Wayne Rooney

| 20.09.2010

Dimitar Berbatov’s fine display in Manchester United’s clash with rivals Liverpool on Sunday has left the United faithful finally singing his praises after two inconsistent seasons.

Berbatov guaranteed his name in United folklore after his hat-trick, but it’s his performances since the start of the season that have got the Stretford enders waxing lyrical about their centre-forward.

Wayne Rooney is yet to find the form that saw him contribute 34 goals last season, and whilst United were so heavily reliant on the Liverpudlian forward last season, Berbatov’s form has seen the pressure eased on Rooney.

Sir Alex Ferguson left the Bulgarian out of the squad for their Champions League match with Rangers last week, and the 0-0 stalemate was crying out for a piece of Berbatov skill to hand United the edge.

“There was a lot of criticism of him last season from the media,” said Ferguson, “it happens when we buy someone for a lot of money, that’s the way of the world.

“But this season he has started off in the right fashion, he was good in pre-season and on tour and has carried it on.

“There has never been any doubt about the quality of the man.”

Berbatov’s overhead kick was a sublime effort that suggests the forward is in confident mood this season, and his six league goals this season indicate that a shot at the golden boot isn’t out of reach – he is 8/1 to be the Premier League’s top goalscorer.

However, Chelsea’s forward line is in formidable form at present and Florent Malouda also has six goals this season which has seen his price cut to 7/1.

Berbatov will be aware that Chelsea’s great start makes them United’s main challengers for the Premier League title – Chelsea are 8/11 whilst United are 5/2 to win the Premier League.

Liverpool are 3/1 to finish in the top four after a poor start to the season. See the latest Barclays Premier League football betting markets here.



Ed Needham