We may be entering that time of the football season when cliche-starved commentators love to trot out the infamous Sir Alex Ferguson quote about squeaky bums, but one thing punters can be assured of in the final months of the campaign is that they can wear their y-fronts with a sanguine confidence.
The reason? Well, just as the autumn months carry a whiff of unpredictability, there is a certain inevitability about how results will transpire in the final weeks of the season. For proof, look no further than the 1/5 on offer for Manchester United to defeat Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon. Mark Hughes' side might have enjoyed a noticeable upturn in fortunes with victories over Liverpool and Arsenal at Loftus Road in recent weeks but few, least of all the bookies, are expecting anything other than a United win here.
A further sign that things are in rude health round Salford way – and that it's the business end of things – is Wayne Rooney's inexorable goalscoring form.
The Tenner Bet will readily admit to having slept in on this one. Just over a month ago, the England striker was consistently even money to score anytime for Sir Alex Ferguson's side and that was right at the start of one of his red hot streaks. He has subsequently scored seven goals in nine to take his tally to 31 for the season. He has already scored against QPR this season too and with United flying there is every confidence that he will do so again. At 8/13 it's a price that is a good bit skimpier than four weeks ago but it's also the closest bet to buying money (save for a lump on United but for much better return) in football.
A few years back, the Tenner Bet had considerable success by recommending a regular double on Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Torres to score any time. For Ronaldo and Torres then, read Robin Van Persie and Rooney now.
The Dutchman has gone three games without a goal – the longest barren run he has endured this season – and while Arsenal are tasked with further derailing Manchester City's title bid, I can't help but shake the nagging feeling that they will do just that to bolster their own claims for automatic Champions League qualification by finishing in third spot.
Just over 24 hours earlier, Tottenham Hotspur have the opportunity to overtake their north London rivals when they travel to the Stadium of Light to take on a Sunderland side who have been in indifferent form despite positive recent results against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. Spurs have not had a happy time of it on their trips to Sunderland but they did manage a win there last season and if the evidence of their 3-1 win over Swansea is anything to go by, there is confidence to suggest that given their easier run-in they are best equipped to take third and that Arsene Wenger's side – who have Chelsea to come – may be the ones worried most about succumbing to the aforementioned squeaky bums.
That said, the draw looks the safest bet at the Stadium of Light this afternoon and is available at a general 12/5.
Selections Wayne Rooney to score anytime against QPR (8/13, Coral), Robin Van Persie to score anytime against Man City (5/4, StanJames). Double 2.65/1
Sunderland and Tottenham to draw (5/2, general)
Season's total -£29.63