Manchester United are starting to look the real deal as title contenders, but their credentials face another serious test tonight against Blackburn. Below-par results in north-west derbies held United back last season - a factor that was most evident against Blackburn, who beat United home and away in the league. In all, United dropped 15 points in 12 games against north-west rivals, compared to a loss of just 16 points from their other 26 league matches. United have made a good start in this season's north-west derbies, beating Liverpool at home and Wigan and Bolton away. Those results were mirrored last season, however, and tonight's visit to Blackburn will be a better indicator of whether United really can improve their derby results. United haven't won at Ewood Park in their last six league visits (three defeats, three draws) but they can take heart from Blackburn's slow start to the season. Rovers have won just two of their first five home games - both against bottom-half teams. In three home games against top-half opposition, Rovers have managed only one goal and one point (against Everton). United's standout away result this season was the 4-0 win at Bolton and a repeat of that performance would give them their first win at Ewood Park since April 1998. United should win in any case, but their odds are too short. Tomorrow night's big match is Arsenal v Liverpool, with the Gunners expected to come out on top. Arsenal (four wins and two draws from their last six at home to Liverpool) are not bad odds, though their high draw rate at home is a worry. Wigan and Manchester City are worth considering for home wins, but the best-value home bet in the Premiership is Middlesbrough, who host West Ham. Boro are prone to disappointing results at home to the lesser sides, but they have plenty in hand over West Ham, who have scored only two goals in five away games. Bolton rate the best handicap bet for their visit to Sheffield United. Bolton rank third on away form, while United are bottom of the home league table. Bordeaux are the best bet in France at home to Auxerre. They have been below-par on the road, but their only dropped points at home came in a defeat against champions Lyon. Admittedly, four of their five home wins have been against current bottom-five teams, but Auxerre are sixth-bottom and struggling for form. Real Madrid are the best away bet in Spain. They travel to Osasuna, who are struggling to reproduce last season's form. Homes: Middlesbrough, Bordeaux. Aways: Real Madrid. Handicap: Bolton.