Championship Play-Off Final: Michael Owen’s View
The Premier League looks increasingly like a two-horse race between leaders Liverpool and champions Manchester City after Spurs’ home defeat at the hands of a resurgent Manchester United last weekend.
Wolves came from 3-0 down at half-time to win 4-3 in the only previous Premier League game played at Molineux between the clubs back in 2003, but I would be surprised if we saw a similar goal-fest in the opening game of the weekend.
Wanderers were, arguably, the better side – they hit the woodwork three times – despite losing the reverse fixture 2-0 at the King Power Stadium earlier in the season and I feel they will gain their revenge against a Foxes’ side who have lost three of their last four in all competitions.
Wolves to win 13/10
Correct Score: 1-0 6/1
Both sides have scored in all five games these clubs have played at Bournemouth and I feel there will be opportunities at both ends at the Vitality Stadium.
The Cherries may feel they deserved a point at Goodison on Sunday and they certainly had their moments especially in the opening 45 minutes. West Ham have won three of their last 4 away league games, but I feel it will be honours even on the south coast.
Game to finish in a scoring draw 17/5
Correct Score: 1-1 13/2
Palace have won three of their last four PL games at Anfield but did the Reds a favour when gaining a famous 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium last month.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have kept a clean sheet in 12 of their last 16 home PL games and I feel it will be difficult for the Eagles, managed by former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson, to create goalscoring opportunities. Another Liverpool home win for me.
Liverpool to win to nil 19/20
Correct Score: 3-0 13/2
Manchester United continue to go from strength to strength under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer although they rode their luck in the second period, and were grateful for the brilliance of David de Gea, at Wembley on Sunday.
United have never lost a home game against Brighton in any competition (W8 D2) and I expect history to be made at Old Trafford with Solskjaer becoming the first manager of the club to win his first six league games in charge.
United -1 31/40
Correct Score: 3-0 15/2
No team has lost more home league games (8) than Newcastle United in the four divisions of English football, and they continue to struggle in front of goal having scored just five times in their last nine PL games.
Cardiff have failed to score in more games than any other team in the division this season (10) and those statistics would suggest we are likely to see a tight, tense affair at St James’s Park with opportunities at a premium.
Under 1.5 goals 2/1
Correct Score: 0-0 7/1
Southampton have won four of their last five home league games with Everton, but the Saints have lost their last couple of home league games and I feel we will see goals at St Mary’s at the weekend.
The Blues have not won on the south coast – also at Brighton and Bournemouth – since beating the Saints back in August 2015 and have lost five and drew three times since that 3-0 victory. That sequence may continue in an open, entertaining game.
Over 2.5 goals 37/40
Correct Score: 2-1 9/1
Watford have lost just one of their last seven while Burnley have won their last three PL games. Fair to say two in form sides will go head-to-head at Vicarage Road.
None of the previous 19 league meetings between the clubs at Vicarage Road has ended goalless and I expect to see goals at the weekend with the hosts edging an open contest.
Watford to win 13/20
Correct Score: 2-1 15/2
Arsenal have won just one of their last 14 league games against Chelsea although it should be noted that the Gunners have a good recent home PL record in London derbies – unbeaten in their last 12 at the Emirates.
Gunners keeper Bernd Leno has only kept one clean sheet in his first 15 PL starts (v Huddersfield H). I would be surprised if the hosts kept their north London rivals at arm’s length given the Blues have won their last three away PL starts. Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard might be the difference.
Hazard to score at anytime 23/20
Correct Score: 1-2 17/2
Town parted company with David Wagner earlier in the week and, at the time of writing, it is unsure if the Terriers will have a new manager in place for the visit of Manchester City.
The hosts have not won in their last nine games although they did at least pick up a valuable point at Cardiff last weekend. Hard to look past a comfortable win for Pep Guardiola’s inform side.
City to lead half-time/full-time 4/7
Correct Score: 0-2 5/1
Spurs have won more away games than any other side in the PL (10) this season and I would be surprised if they didn’t add to that impressive record at Craven Cottage. Mauricio Pochettino must do without the injured Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, who is on Asian Cup duty, but they have a strong enough squad to cope.
Fulham did win their last home league game, but they have lost nine of their last 10 PL games with Spurs. I expect the visitors to take all three points – even without the England skipper.
Spurs to win and both teams to score 13/5
Correct Score: 1-3 15/1
Weekend Wager: Watford, Manchester United and Spurs all to win 3/1