The Punter: Van Persie’s golden boot will win the title for Manchester United
It's a case of deja vu as far as the destination of this season’s Premier League title is concerned.
This time last year, Manchester United held a comfortable lead over blue rivals City, only to see the crown snatched away on a dramatic final afternoon.
And so here we are again. United have a healthy points advantage turning into the New Year, but this time they have two things in their favour that won't see them lose out come May.
The first is that they have a superior goal difference which last season favoured City. Secondly — and probably most importantly — they have the best striker in the country in Robin van Persie.
The Dutchman will ensure the title is back at Old Trafford come May in what's certain to be a Manchester one-two, only in reverse. United are now 1/3 and City 7/2.
Van Persie, with his 17th goal of the season, left Liverpool pointless on Sunday and demonstrated once more why he's only evens for the Golden Boot award for the second successive year with different teams.
He totalled 30 with Arsenal and is well on his way to beating that. He's also a certainty to retain the Player of the Year crown at odds of 2/5.
His ratio of goals is also impressive, scoring with more than a quarter of his efforts on goal and in turn his finishing has gained United 21 points — without which they would only be in seventh spot.
But that's why Sir Alex Ferguson signed him in a £22.5m deal last summer, making it the best piece of business this season.
Sunday’s strike saw Paddy Power return all losing stakes on first goalscorer and correct score bets.
Arsenal fans must be hurting as they watch RVP doing what he did with aplomb at the Emirates.
Would anyone be confident about taking 5/4 the Gunners finishing in the top four without him?
Not recommended as the Gunners too often shoot themselves in the foot.