Southampton vs Wolves
Having briefly climbed to the pinnacle of the Premier League before going on to flirt with the relegation place, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s current plan – apart from wearing waistcoats, like that ever worked for anyone – is to draw every game he’s involved in.
With that goalless draw against Man City last week, Saints have now drawn four of their five league games – and also drew 2-2 against Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup earlier this week.
Wolves have lost four of their five games – but they have landed a victory too, which is more than Ralphie’s managed. Ominously, neither of these sides seem to be able to score; Saints have drawn blanks in their last two outings (most recently against City, admittedly) and Wolves have failed to find the net in four of their five league matches.
Southampton may find the net before their opponents though, who simply don’t seem to have a reliable source of goals right now, however many chances they carve out. Southampton are 13/8 to win; Saints to win 1-0 is a 7/1 shot.
Arsenal vs Tottenham
The significance of this north London derby is somewhat diluted by the fact both teams have had less than stellar starts to the season. More precisely, Tottenham started the season in fine style – but life has come at Nuno pretty fast, with Spurs losing their last two matches and looking pretty hapless in the process.
With the manager’s defensive style and Harry Kane’s apparent (temporary?) loss of mojo, supporters may already be mentally preparing themselves for another so-so season – but can an encounter with the bitterest rivals Arsenal can rouse Kane and co from their current malaise?
Arsenal have won their last two games, perhaps restoring a little confidence in the process – so can the Gunners’ upward swing continue? Is Arteta ready to rule the roost at the Emirates on Sunday?
Perhaps, but I can’t help thinking his may be the occasion to reinvigorate the England captain, even if he’d clearly rather be playing football for another club at this point. The England captain has scored a total of 11 goals across previous north London derbies. Kane is 15/8 to score at any time, and having found the net against Wolves midweek in the Carabao Cup, the striker might be ready to return to something like his best here. Meanwhile, with both team’s confidence understandably fragile, a point a piece may be acceptable for these two sides; the draw is available at 47/20.
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