Championship Play-Off Final: Michael Owen’s View
The Manchester Derby is the big game this weekend. I scored the late winner in a 4-3 win for United – one of the most famous games between these two great clubs – back in 2009. Once again, I’ve shared my thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the weekend action.
Cardiff played their part in a poignant and fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragic helicopter accident at the King Power Stadium last month, when Leicester City were the visitors to the Principality last weekend.
The Bluebirds are struggling to keep a clean sheet whilst the Seagulls have only won one of their last 19 away PL games. I fancy a low-scoring draw.
My recommendation: Game to finish in a draw at 21/10
Huddersfield gained a thoroughly deserved first win of the season when beating Fulham at the John Smith’s Stadium on Monday, but West Ham are likely to be a different proposition at the weekend.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side were good value for their 4-2 win over Burnley at the London Stadium on Saturday and they may just have that additional touch of quality that the Terriers lack.
My recommendation: West Ham draw no bet at 3/5
Leicester’s first game back at the King Power Stadium since last month’s tragedy and I am sure it will be another emotional and difficult game for all involved at the club.
Burnley have conceded four or more goals in their last three PL games and I expect the hosts to keep the points.
My recommendation: Leicester to win and both teams to score at 5/2
A welcome win for United against Watford on Saturday, but I feel they may have to settle for a draw against a Bournemouth side who are looking for three successive PL away wins for the first time in their history.
The Magpies were not at their best against Watford last weekend but, with that elusive win in the bag, they can gain confidence from taking all three points and I hope to see the hosts play with a bit more conviction against the Cherries.
My recommendation: Game to finish 1-1 at 11/2
These are worrying times for Southampton who are struggling for goals and have not won at home so far this season. The Saints were two-down at the Etihad after 10 minutes on Sunday, so it was always going to be a very long way back for Mark Hughes’s side, but they are struggling for goals with only seven from their 11 PL games so far this term.
Javi Gracia and all Hornets’ fans will think they did enough to get at least a point at St James’s Park last weekend, but they could not find the goals to match their impressive build-up play.
I think they will return to winning ways on the south coast.
My recommendation: Watford to win at 85/40
Palace have lost their last six PL games against Spurs and have yet to win at Selhurst Park in the league so far this season.
Spurs have won more away league games (11) this calendar year than any other side and they have won their last five London derbies – I feel they can make it six against Roy Hodgson’s Eagles.
My recommendation: Spurs to win at 4/5
Fulham have only scored four times in their last 17 visits to Anfield whilst Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 26 home PL games. You could argue that both sides – Liverpool in Belgrade and Fulham at Huddersfield – were disappointing earlier in the week, but I fully expect the Reds to bounce back and go into the last international break of the year with an emphatic win.
The Cottagers have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and have a poor record against the “big six” with just one point from their last 18 games against these clubs. I would be surprised if they improved on that moderate record against a wounded Liverpool.
My recommendation: Liverpool -2 at 8/11
Everton have not won at Stamford Bridge since November 1994 and have not enjoyed their recent visits to the capital losing their last four. I’m looking forward to seeing the competitive debut of Colombian centre-back Yerry Mina for Marco Silva’s side with Kurt Zouma ineligible against his parent club.
Chelsea are in Europa League action in Belarus on Thursday, but they have coped admirably with their Thursday-Sunday routine so far this season and they have the strength in depth to keep the points from what promises to be an entertaining clash.
My recommendation: Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 7/4
After going six-games without defeat Wolves have lost their last three in the PL and have not won in their last 19 games against the Gunners in all competitions.
Arsenal have picked up 59 points from the last 63 available at home against newly promoted sides and Wolves – for all their fluent football – are struggling in front of goal on the road with only three goals scored in their five away games so far this season.
I don’t expect to see many goals at the Emirates
My recommendation: Under 2.5 goals at 7/5
City’s title celebrations had to be put on ice when United came from two-goals down to win 3-2 at the Etihad back in the spring, and I expect to see both sides find the back of the net in Sunday’s Manchester derby.
United cannot afford to be slowly out of the blocks again this weekend, and I feel it will be Pep Guardiola’s side who win the last game before the international break.
My recommendation: City to win and both teams to score at 8/5
Michael Owen’s Weekend Wager: Leicester, Spurs and Chelsea at 11/4