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Premier League movers & shakers – United out to 8/1 for glory

| 18.08.2014

It was supposed to be a season of upheaval at Manchester United. A new man in charge, with a new mentality, things were apparently on the up.

So where did it all go wrong on Saturday?

The Old Trafford outfit flattered to deceive against Swansea, with comparisons back to 12 months ago under David Moyes easy to make, as the Red Devils slumped to their first opening day home defeat since 1972.

Such was the poor first half performance that looked devoid of any ideas, Van Gaal ditched his favoured, and much revered 3-5-2 formation at the break, but even that was to no avail.

Those who had already taken advantage of Ladbrokes’ huge price boost on United to win the Premier League may have been having second thoughts.

The shock defeat saw the 20-time English champions pushed out from 5/1 on the morning of the match, to 8/1 to claim another title.

Wayne Rooney spoke of how they had perhaps gone into the match “over confident” after an excellent pre-season. It could be down to the new skipper to get the ball rolling at the Theatre of Dreams.

But it wasn’t just in the North West that there were some movers in the antepost markets.

Unlucky Hammers cut for the drop

It looked to be going so well for West Ham, as they chased a fourth straight match unbeaten against local rivals Tottenham.

And the last person they would have imagined to be one on one with Adrian in front of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand with 90 minutes on the clock would have been centre back Eric Dier.

But the new Spurs signing slotted past the Spanish keeper to get Big Sam’s quest for acceptance at Upton Park off to the worst possible start.

Things could have been so different had the normally ultra-reliable Mark Noble slotted home a first-half penalty.

The arrival of Enner Valencia with 10 minutes to go will have both excited and baffled the Hammers faithful in equal measure; happy that the new Ecuadorian arrival was on the pitch, but miffed at how late in the day his introduction was.

The Irons now face a trio of very winnable games, and Allardyce will be hoping his side, who are now 3/1 to go down (from 5/1) can get some early points on the board.

Aston Villa stake their claim for Midlands domination

It was a performance the Stoke of yesteryear would have been proud of, if only it wasn’t coming against the home side at the Britannia.

The Villans dogged and determined attitude, capped off with Andreas Weimann’s second half goal, gave Paul Lambert’s side their first victory as they look to solidify their Premier League status, with plenty going on behind the scenes.

But it was in the ‘Top Midlands Club’ market that the men in claret and blue saw the biggest move, going from 10/3 to 15/8 to finish above Saturday’s opponents as well as West Brom and Leicester.

With Christian Benteke set to return to the fore, Roy Keane prowling the touchline, and plenty of team spirit shining through, things could be on the up for Villa.

But like matters up and down the table, only time will tell whether a good start is the be all and end all.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.