CAN you feel it? No, not the force reawakening. Unless, of course, the force reawakening sounds like a 47-year-old man gently weeping in despair at his lot.

This Tenner Bet larked seemed like a good idea as the ides of summer were upon us and Italy were sailing to Euro 2020 glory. Back then, the Tenner Bet felt invincible: there was an each-way winner at The Open, a couple of horse bets that yielded a healthy return and then came the fatal error – committing it all to print.

It’s a fairly well-worn maxim, you know the one that says you only ever hear about a gambler’s winners and not the multitudinous losers? Well here I am, looking right back at ye.

Miserable runs are part and parcel of any bettor’s experience, though, and it’s easy to become downcast especially when the run has extended to four weeks and we appear no nearer a pay out. In short, we’ve been here before.

Back when the Tenner Bet was in its infancy, the column had some success with a weekly Cristiano Ronaldo/Fernando Torres double.

The Spanish striker has long since departed the Premier League – and retired from football altogether – while the Portuguese five-time Ballon d’Or winner has only just returned but any sense of revisiting a bet involving him, no matter how plausible it seems, is immediately undermined by the price action.

Ronaldo is on the board at 7/20 to score any time against Newcastle this afternoon in a game he might not even start while in some places he can be found at 4/7, the same price on offer with some bookies for a Ronaldo goal/United win double.

Old Trafford is the place for today’s first pick, however. This feels like a game where goals will be plentiful. United, of course, have had two games on their travels to start the season, fixtures in which they have hardly been convincing following a 5-0 home win over Leeds United to kickstart the season.

Steve Bruce’s side will, one would imagine, set out to keep the score down but United have so much quality in attacking areas that a victory seems inevitable. The question is by how many? The -1 handicap would have paid out on three of the last four times the teams met at Old Trafford but the figure for over 2.5 goals sits at 100% so that’s the pick at 4/9.

West Ham have gone over 2.5 goals in each of their three games so far this season while Southampton are three from four. It’s a bet that would have paid out in eight of the last 10 meetings between the sides with the one caveat that the two times it would have lost Southampton were the hosts.

It must be said West Ham are in much better shape than they were on those two previous visits but those previous low-scoring affairs are a concern and so for that reason we’re taking the away win. At 14/9, David Moyes’ side are the value bet of the weekend.

In the Sky Bet Championship, Fulham are off to a flier – which stands to reason since they have the guts of a Premier League squad and a big-name manager – Marco Silva – now in his fourth spell in English football having enjoyed impressive spells at Watford and Hull City and a not so stellar time of it at Everton – in charge.

Today, they travel to a Blackpool side who have yet to win since their return to the division, a record of two draws and three defeats which also translates to their second worst start at this level – and on the previous occasion they started this badly they were relegated.

Selections Manchester United-Newcastle United O2.5 goals (4/9), West Ham (14/9), Fulham (3/5)

Treble pays 4.91/1

Season’s total -£40