Everything points to one last win for Fergie's United

17May 2013

England - Premier League


Swansea were nearly the party poopers at Fergie's Old Trafford farewell party, but United came through in the end and the Red Devils now go to the Hawthorns for the  final goodbye. Andrew Atherley has looked at the stats and he's sweet on one last victory for Sir Alex as Manchester United manager...


How determined are the Manchester United players to give Sir Alex Ferguson a winning send-off when he sends out his team for the last time at West Brom on Sunday?  That's one of the key questions on a Premier League programme with few make-or-break games on the last day of the season.


The Premier League is renowned as the most competitive in the world but Sunday's finale has nothing to rival the dramatic conclusion to last season when Sergio Aguero  snatched the title for Manchester City in the dying seconds and the relegation battle also went down to the wire.


This year's relegation issue was settled on Tuesday when Wigan lost at Arsenal and the title has been United's for weeks, leaving only the final Champions League  places to be settled.


United may be more motivated than most teams, as they have the opportunity to finish in style for Ferguson. Victory at West Brom would equal their manager's best  points haul in a 38-match season, alongside the 91 points of an even more runaway success in the 1999-2000 season.


The final game hasn't always been crucial for United but Ferguson's standards are so high that it is rare for them to ease off before the official start of their  holidays. United have won 15 times on the final day in 20 Premier League seasons.


That 75 per cent win rate should convince punters to put their faith in Ferguson's team for one last time, with win odds of 1.81 and plenty of form factors in United's favour.


United are the best away team in the Premier League and have won 10 out of 13 on the road against teams below sixth place (a 77 per cent win rate). The top six overall  also happen to be the top six on home form, which means United's away win rate is the same 77 per cent against teams that rank lower on home form. West Brom, eighth  overall in the table, are ninth on home form.


It is questionable how much should be read into West Brom's high standing, which owes much to their excellent form in the first half of the season. After the first 19  games, the Baggies were in sixth place with 33 points at an average of 1.74 points per game. In the second half of the season, however, West Brom have been the third- worst side in the Premier League (only QPR and struggling Stoke have performed worse, and then only marginally).


The Baggies' points average in that period has slumped to a measly 0.83 points per game, with 11 defeats out of 18. More to the point, they have lost seven out of nine  against top-half teams in the second half of the season, starting with a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford.


United, meanwhile, have been ruthlessly efficient against teams who are struggling for form. In 10 matches against the worst 10 form teams in the second half of the  season (West Brom, remember, rank 18th), United have won nine and drawn one.


All nine of United's wins were to nil - at an aggregate of 20 goals to nil - and the sole draw came last month when West Ham managed to breach their defence twice to  force a 2-2 result.


Other figures to note are that eight of the nine wins were achieved win-win for United on the half-time/full-time and United won both halves in five of them.


A United win-win at 2.78, and a United win to nil, look good options.


United's form chance is clear; their motivation less so. But at the odds it's worth the risk that Sir Alex goes out on a high.


Recommended Bet

Manchester United to beat West Brom @ 1.81



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Keywords: Fergie, United, Red Devils, Hawthorns

Source: Betfair

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