After an interesting week in the Carabau Cup containing its fair share of upsets, it’s now time to turn our attentions once more to the upcoming Premier League weekend, the last before the first international break of the season.
My prediction of a Liverpool win on Sunday came through just not the Van Djik prediction to score, not all bad though as I backed Leeds and Liverpool.
The sporting highlight of not only the weekend, but without doubt the year and possibly longer, was that Ben Stokes innings for England on Sunday at Headingley, the likes of which I doubt I will see again in my lifetime. It was a superhuman performance I couldn’t move from in front of the TV, it was amazing.
I went to the second day on Friday and watched England spectacularly capitulate for 67 all out, so what was to follow could never have been predicted. Worth noting as well was the supporting innings Jack Leach played in helping England to victory and I thought it was a brilliant touch by Specsavers to give him free glasses for life!
Anyway, back to the weekend ahead, it starts with a potentially tricky trip to the south coast for an out of sorts Manchester united to take on a resurgent Southampton who had an excellent win away at Brighton last weekend and knocked an in-form Fulham out of the cup midweek.
United have to bounce back quickly after a very disappointing home defeat to Palace. Trying to predict what this United team will do even after just three games has become a somewhat tough task.
Solskjaer’s men clearly have the quality see off the Saints but if they play and approach the game the same way they did against Palace by expecting Southampton to let them play on the counter and rely on sheer pace they could well come away disappointed.
Taking everything into account, I do think United will win, but after last week’s performance I am not confident they will keep a clean sheet, the bet here for me is a United win and BTTS.
Chelsea and Manchester City both have very winnable home games against Sheffield Utd and Brighton respectively. Another team that has impressed me this season so far is Brendan Roger’s Leicester. They sit 4thin Premier league having amassed 5 points after 3 games and also have a very winnable home game against Bournemouth.
My old team Burnley have a very tough test in the last game of the day 17.30 kick off against Liverpool. Burnley were unlucky last week to concede a 97th minute equaliser from the penalty spot after a very good performance away at Wolves.
Burnley are sitting 6th in the table and will prove a tough test for Liverpool with Sean Dyche’s style of mixed football. I’m going to stick my neck out and back the Clarets for a hard-fought home point.
Sunday brings us the North London Derby, a game I always loved playing in, even with limited success! Both teams suffered defeats at the weekend, Spurs being the more surprising loss against Newcastle.
Spurs, to me, seem very out of sorts and with the manager admitting he is working with the most unsettled group of players he has had since taking over. Not all seems well. The ‘is he/isn’t he’ saga surrounding Cristian Eriksen hasn’t helped with this and has unfortunately made for a very out of sorts Spurs team and squad.
Arsenal’s tactics were brought into question versus Liverpool last week, suffering a heavy defeat. Prior to this game, I had been impressed with them going forward, their front three and in particular their new signing Dani Ceballos.
I think he and Pepe will prove to be very astute signings. Arsenal’s usual frailty at the back are clear to see but hasn’t been helped by the introduction of David Luiz who cost them the game last week.
It’s the first time in a couple of years that I’ve been slightly anxious about Spurs going to the Emirates. They haven’t played particularly well yet this season, struggling to beat Villa and taking a point off Man City even though their performance may not have merited one.
I can see another North London classic with neither side particularly solid at the back. The safest bet for me is BTTS and I’m going for a high scoring draw.
Enjoy the weekend and bet sensibly!
*Odds subject to change
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