Premier League preview: Sunday’s action including Chelsea vs Man Utd
Brentford vs Everton
The perception is that the Bees have had a pretty great start to life in the Premier League – but for all that, they haven’t won at home since their opening game against Arsenal.
Thomas Frank’s side also lost four games on the bounce before earning a point against Newcastle last week. So can Brentford build on that performance against a Toffees side that give the impression Rafa Benitez has bitten off more than he can chew?
Like Brentford, Everton have lost four of their last five; they haven’t managed an away win since August either, which has to be a concern. But with both teams struggling to get a victory, this one could end up in stalemate – the draw is a 47/20 shot.
Burnley vs Tottenham
Less than a month into his new job as Spurs coach, Antonio Conte is already making some quietly alarming comments, using the dread phrase “I am happy to stay here but…” in the wake of Spurs loss to NS Mura on Thursday.
Tottenham did beat Leeds last weekend, but Burnley showed plenty of spirit last week too, fighting back against Crystal Palace to earn a draw, with Maxwell Cornet scoring the decisive equaliser for the Clarets.
Cornet has five goals in his last six league appearances, and the Ivory Coast striker is 13/4 to score at any time here. Against a Tottenham side still adapting to their new coach, the possibility of Burnley earning a third consecutive draw seems reasonable. The draw is a 5/2 shot.
Leicester vs Watford
It can be a mistake to get too excited about Watford on the strength of one good performance. Last week the Hornets obviously benefitted from a Man United at their nadir, but still – Leicester are on a ropy run, with two defeats and no wins in their last three league games.
Does Claudio Ranieri have a chance of getting something against his old team, then? It’s not unthinkable, and the Watford win is 9/2 if you like the sound of an upset.
Another decent option might be to back Emmanuel Dennis to provide an assist; the Nigerian has five assists so far this season, producing two against Man Utd last week – and another two last month, when Watford beat Everton 5-2. Dennis is 5/1 to give an assist here.
Man City vs West Ham
As good as West Ham have been this season they looked flat against Wolves last week, and even if that’s just one bad day in the office, David Moyes’ side are a chunky 9/1 to win this one. City are huge odds-on favourites, and why not?
Aside from the penalty shoot-out defeat in the Carabao Cup earlier this season, the Manchester side have never lost to the Irons during Pep Guardiola’s time at the club. That’s not to say this will be a cakewalk – West Ham rarely get battered under Moyes – but this one should still end in a victory for the hosts. City to win 1-0 is 15/2, and the hosts to win 2-0 is a 6/1 shot.
Chelsea vs Man Utd
I guess it’s possible that Manchester United could spring a surprise here. On some level, caretaker boss Michael Carrick brings a factor of the unknown, though the fact he’s long been involved in the set-up of this side under Solskjaer rather undercuts that argument.
Still, earlier this week Carrick won his first game in charge against Villarreal – even if the Spanish side were hardly played off the park.
In any case, Chelsea have barely put a foot wrong under Thomas Tuchel. It seems naïve to think the German arch-strategist could be caught out by a United team that were demolished by Watford a week ago.
There will be no Harry Maguire for United – who knows if that will impact the visitor’s defensive solidity for good or ill, but whoever lines up for United, the Blues can surely come out on top here.
The last two encounters between these sides has yielded precisely zero goals, but this one seems set to be livelier. Chelsea’s habit of winning without conceding a goal may not hold here, though – United might be a bit of a mess, but they have enough talent to find the net, even against Chelsea.
Trouble is, any goal here for the visitors is likely to be a consolation; Chelsea to win and Both Teams To Score is a 47/20 shot. Meanwhile, backing over 3.5 goals is 39/20 – and is a bet that has come in during three of United’s last five league games.
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