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Premier League weekend preview: Spurs vs Man City & more


Premier League weekend preview: Spurs vs Man City & more

Premier League weekend preview: Spurs vs Man City & more

Newcastle United vs Chelsea

Chelsea have lost one game all season, and have won their last four matches in all competitions, scoring 14 goals in that run and conceding once. Full disclosure, the beaten teams included Burnley, Sheffield United, Rennes and Krasnodar; but if those sides are hardly the greatest opponents the Blues will face this season, nor are Newcastle.

Steve Bruce’s plan will obviously be to frustrate, but the Magpies were beaten handily 4-1 at St James Park by Manchester United last month, and it’s not hard to see the Blues inflicting a similar defeat, even if they’ve struggled in this fixture in recent years. Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals can be combined for an 11/10 shot.

Timo Werner looks to have rediscovered his eye for goal; he scored twice for Germany against Ukraine last week, and has five goals from his last four Chelsea appearances.  Werner is 17/5 to score the first goal.

Aston Villa vs Brighton

Last time out Villa turned over Arsenal 3-0, and since then Jack Grealish has been hailed as the new Paul Gascoigne, which might be overstating things. Still, Villa should generally be optimistic going into this one; for all the good things about Brighton, they’re still looking for just their second league win of the season. Even the return of captain Lewis Dunk may not be enough to save the Seagulls here.

Villa have tended towards goals in this campaign, with six of their ten games in all competitions this season seeing them score at least three goals. With that in mind, another double looks a decent shout; back Villa to win and over 2.5 goals at 9/4. Grealish scored in all three encounters between these two sides last season – if you like him to continue that streak, he is 5/2 to score at any time.

Tottenham vs Man City

If Spurs are genuine contenders for the Prem this season, you’d think a bullish Jose Mourinho might be looking to win this one; but against City’s abundant attacking talent, you can’t help suspect Mou will revert to pragmatic type. A low-scoring draw seems the likeliest result.

City are unbeaten since they lost to Leicester in late September, and they held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw in the last game before the international break. In fairness, Spurs did win this fixture last season – but the game was goalless before Oleksandr Zinchenko was sent off for City in the second half.

Pep Guardiola has just extended his contract with City, agreeing to stay in Manchester until 2023 – so the mood is presumably upbeat around the club at the moment. But while the visitors might carry more attacking ambition than their hosts, Spurs have conceded one or fewer goals in five of their last six league games, and should make it tough for City. The draw is a 3/1 shot, and backing under 2.5 goals gets you 7/5.

Man Utd vs West Brom

Man United are still (still!) looking for their first league win of the season at Old Trafford. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team has sometimes struggled against sides playing the cagier brand of football the Baggies must surely call upon on Saturday.

Does that mean another frustrating afternoon for United fans here? Erm, probably not. That  failure to record a home win has to end at some point, and Slaven Bilic’s side look prime victims; the Baggies are still searching for that first league win, and have mustered one goal in their last five outings. Still, it would be remiss not to point out that West Brom did win this fixture 1-0 when the two sides last met in the Prem in 2018.

Man United are an unappealing 3/10 to win, with the Baggies available at 10/1 and the draw a 9/2 shot. Marcus Rashford may not be available for the home side, having suffered a shoulder problem that forced him to quit the England squad early – and there are unconfirmed reports that Edinson Cavani may have contracted COVID19.

Cavani would have been my go-to bet here for goal scorer, but since he may not feature, let’s fall back on Bruno Fernandes – the Portuguese star netted twice against Everton before the international break, and is 15/4 to open the scoring on Saturday.

Fulham vs Everton

Are Everton in danger of collapsing in on themselves like a dying star?  The Toffees have lost their last three games on the bounce, but if Carlo Ancelotti is hoping for a reset after the international break, Fulham seem like perfect opposition to restore the confidence.

Fulham coach Scott Parker’s sole win in the league has come against West Brom, and the Cottagers have lost three of their four home games so far in this campaign. Everton are understandably well-fancied to rediscover their mojo here, and Fulham will surely be outclassed if the visitors show a hint of that early season form.

The one negative for the Toffees is the potential absence of Richarlison, with the Brazilian injured on international duty. Superstitious punters, look away now – since Richarlison joined the club, Everton haven’t won any match where the striker has been absent.

Forget tossing salt over your back though – with or without Richarlison, the visitors should have the beating of this Fulham team – assuming James Rodriguez can improve on recent form. J-Rod’s midweek appearance for Colombia saw one newspaper review award the star just 3/10, calling it Rodriguez’ worst performance for his country. Let’s hope he can bounce straight back for his club – based on Fulham’s haplessness, I’m sticking with Everton at 10/11 for the win.

Sheffield United vs West Ham

West Ham are 31/20 to win this match – that seems an overly generous price for a side that held Spurs and Man City last month and beat Leicester 3-0. And that’s before even considering Sheffield United’s failure to win a single league game yet this season.

The rock bottom Blades have one measly point and seven losses from eight matches, and there’s no reason to believe David Moyes’ team can’t take all three points here.

Tomas Souchek scored a last gasp winner for the Irons before the international break, and found the net for the Czech Republic during the international break too. Souchek is a 10/3 shot to score at any time here and the midfielder may be worth a small dabble.

Leeds United vs Arsenal

After a couple of sobering 4-1 defeats for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, do Leeds rein in their attack-at-all-costs mentality against Arsenal? It’s not really Bielsa’s style to compromise.

Maybe the Argentine doesn’t need to fret about the Gunners’ attacking intent, anyway. Before the international break, Arsenal suffered a stinging 3-0 defeat to Villa at the Emirates. And Mikel Arteta’s side have scored just one league goal (a penalty) in their last four matches.

Of course, the floodgates could open here. Four of the eight league matches Leeds have played this season have featured five or more goals, so whoever ends up winning, backing over 3.5 goals at 33/20 could be worth considering. Both sides have iffy recent form, but Leeds may be the likelier to take something from this game, considering the gloom around the Gunners; the home side are 43/20 to win.

Liverpool vs Leicester City

Not since 2017 have Liverpool lost a league game at Anfield, but that run could come to an end this week against league leaders Leicester. Liverpool’s already depleted side have racked up more problems, with Joe Gomez the latest injury casualty and Mo Salah still absent after testing positive for COVID19.

The Foxes are 27/10 to win this one, and Brendan Rodgers would surely relish the opportunity to get the better of his former team here. Jamie Vardy has scored in his last four games, and seems the man most likely to make a shushing gesture on Sunday, albeit to an empty stadium. Vardy is 59/50 to score at any time.

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