Smart money is on North End to win the Lancashire hotpot

32Red’s betting expert Jack Milner takes a look at this weekend’s big Lancashire derby between PNE and Blackburn, plus the odds on Manchester United winning the Champions League

Friday, 8th March 2019, 9:09 am
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 10:13 am
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The biggest game in the Championship from a rivalry perspective comes from Ewood Park, when Preston take their nine-game unbeaten run, and 7,500 fans, to Blackburn for a mouth-watering Lancashire Derby.

PNE are marginal 13/8 favourites to earn local bragging rights, Rovers 9/5 and the draw 9/4.

North End were unlucky not to claim all three points last weekend, drawing 1-1 with Bristol City, at Deepdale as Alex Neil bemoaned his side’s lack of finishing in the final third.

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Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring his side's third goal against PSG on Wednesday night

Nevertheless, it shows just how far PNE have come under the gaffer, whereby the squad and the fans are disappointed in taking just a point from a side ranked sixth in the table.

PNE are 4/9 with 32Red to extend their unbeaten run to double figures at Rovers, but I expect them to claim all three points.

They won the reverse fixture 3-1 at Deepdale in the first-half of the campaign and are 28/1 for a repeat scoreline, and 4/1 to win and both teams to score.

Rumours of Hot Chocolate being played on loop in the Manchester area midweek has yet to be confirmed by GMP however, Red Devils fans must now certainly believe in miracles after the 3-1 defeat of PSG to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champion League. An injury-time penalty from United striker Marcus Rashford saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side qualify on away goals and, with Ole at the wheel after that historic night in Paris 32Red have cut them to 10/1 from 40s to claim a third European Cup success. Without tempting fate, should United fans start to look at comparisons between this year’s side and the class of 99’?

Preston North End's Alan Browne vies for possession with Blackburn Rovers' Richard Smallwood during the first meeting between the teams this season at Deepdale

That side netted umpteen late winners to land a famous treble and it must surely inspire the side to have the man that famously scored the winner in Barcelona.

A treble is impossible given the club’s league position however, the FA Cup, Champions League and a top-four league finish remains a distinct possibility, which is 80/1 with 32Red. Stranger things have happened! We are 10/11 for an English side to lift the trophy the season and with favourites Man City, not to mention Spurs and Liverpool, it looks likely that an English name will be on the trophy for the first time since Chelsea in 2012.

Champions League Outright prices from 32Red: Manchester City 13/5, Barcelona 4/1, Atletico Madrid 8/1, Liverpool 9/1, Man Utd 10/1, Bayern Munich 10/1, Spurs 14/1, 18/1 Bar

Defeat of Arsenal on Sunday will go a long way to securing Champions League football next season and, after knocking out The Gunners in the FA Cup last month at The Emirates, United will fancy their chances of inflicting further misery on Unai Emery’s side in North London; Arsenal 11/8 favourites on home soil, United 2/1 and the draw 12/5.

Arsenal themselves, could achieve success in Europe this term and are a solitary point behind United in the Premier League table. The Gunners were unlucky not to beat North London rivals Spurs last weekend, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side needing a late equaliser from talisman Harry Kane to draw 1-1 at Wembley. Prior to that, Arsenal had won their last three games on the spin in all competitions, and were awesome in last week’s 5-1 defeat of Bournemouth.

I think the ‘Both Teams to Score’ bet looks banker material for punters at 8/13, with the Over 2.5 Goals bet likely to prove just as popular at 4/6. United won the midweek game in Paris, and the corresponding cup fixture, by the 3-1 scoreline and are 4/1 to win and both teams to score.

Marcus Rashford, who is amazingly still just 20, netted the winner midweek and looks full of confidence under his new manager. I expect him to continue his thriving partnership with Romelu Lukaku in the final third, and think he represents excellent value at both 11/2 to break the deadlock, 2/1 to score anytime and 9/2 to score in an away win.

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