Liverpool FC: Christmas Crack Me Up Challenge
The Premier League returns after the international break and what a first fixture of the weekend we have as Tottenham entertain a Liverpool side who have yet to drop any points this season.
Elsewhere, Watford, who also boast a 100% record so far, will face a stern test against Manchester United at Vicarage Road and West Ham will be looking to pick up their first points of the season when they travel to Goodison Park.
This is a real test of Liverpool’s title credentials and a win at Wembley will go a long way to proving their doubters wrong. With a star-studded side full of attacking options the Reds are almost always guaranteed to score and will look to heap more misery on the hosts who were beaten at Watford last time out.
.@JamesMilner putting it on a plate for the Reds. 🔥🔥
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 10, 2018
Dele Alli hopes to be fit for the Londoners after missing England’s game with Switzerland and although Harry Kane was quiet against Spain he is still the go to man for his club. Whether Spurs can stop a rampaging Liverpool forward line looks unlikely, however, and five wins on the bounce for Jurgen Klopp’s side beckons.
Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 3/1
Bournemouth were well beaten at Chelsea before the international break but are a much tougher opponent on home soil. There is usually a partisan atmosphere and the tight little Vitality Stadium generates a terrific atmosphere.
Leicester should welcome back star striker Jamie Vardy from suspension and after tough games with Manchester United and Liverpool the Foxes will fancy themselves on the South Coast. They should be looking for maximum points if they wish to challenge for a top six berth but just look a little short of squad depth to perhaps make that leap at present. Sitting on the fence I envisage a share of the spoils.
Game to finish in a draw at 12/5
Maurizio Sarri is certainly changing the way Chelsea approach their football and his refreshing attacking attitude is already making him a fans’ favourite at the Bridge. Indeed, Chelsea have attempted and completed more passes than any other side in the Premier League so far this season.
Their perfect start to the season is likely to be maintained on Saturday against a Cardiff side without a win in six in all competitions. The Bluebirds did well to reach the top-flight, but the truth is they look set for a quick return and it is likely to be a long afternoon for Neil Warnock’s side at the Bridge.
Over 3.5 goals at 11/8
Without the injured Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace suffered a surprise home reverse against Southampton in their last game and have failed to build on an opening day win over Fulham. The Eagles are likely to have the Ivorian international available for their trip to Huddersfield, however, and it should be noted that they have won all three top-flight away games between the sides without conceding a goal.
Huddersfield are yet to taste victory so far this term but picked up a useful point at Goodison before the International break although scoring goals is likely to be a problem for the Terriers this term. I feel Palace will secure a narrow success.
Editorial note: Huddersfield are 2/1 favourites to be the lowest scorers in the Premier League
Palace Draw No Bet at 7/10
The Citizens will be looking for goals when they host new boys Fulham and there have been 16 goals scored in the Cottagers’ four Premier League games to date.
Fulham have already shipped nine times in those four games although in Alexsandar Mitrovic – who scored twice, one a cracker for Serbia midweek – they have a striker at the top of his game. Indeed, the Serb has scored 16 league goals since his Fulham debut in February – more than any other player in the top two divisions of English football.
GW2 – ⚽️
GW3 – ⚽️⚽️
GW4 – ⚽️
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) September 11, 2018
That said I expect City to put behind a couple of indifferent performances against Wolves and Newcastle and gain an emphatic success.
Over 4.5 goals at 17/10
Newcastle start the weekend in the bottom three and are yet to win, but the fixture list has not been kind to United and they look to have some easier looking fixtures after the visit of Arsenal. Indeed, I still believe The Toon will move clear of the drop zone and it would be no surprise to me if they again finished the season in the top half.
Editorial note: Newcastle are 3/1 to end the season in the top ten
Arsenal have yet to convince and often looked shaky at Cardiff despite running out 3-2 winners. Two defeats from four outings is hardly top 4 form, however, and the Gunners are already looking more like a top six outfit than one who will challenge for a Champions League spot – at least this season.
Newcastle won the corresponding fixture 2-1 last season and the Gunners have not won back-to-back away PL games since May 2017. I do not expect the Magpies to lose.
Newcastle and the draw on the double chance at 9/10
Watford couldn’t have wished for a better start to the season and manager Javi Gracia, who had been favourite to be the first PL manager to lose/leave his post, was a worthy winner of the Manager of the Month for August. Watford fans will be hoping that is not the kiss of death, but there looks no reason to desert the Hornets just yet.
United got a valuable win at Turf Moor last time but they won’t relish a trip to Vicarage Road and I expect the resurgent hosts to get at least a point from the game.
Watford Draw No Bet at 85/40
Wolves have made a good start to life back in the top flight and a late winner at West Ham has given them a platform to consolidate. They took a useful point at home to the Champions in their previous game at Molineux and they will be relishing the visit of Burnley at the weekend.
Wolves are without a win in their last 14 PL games at Molineux but have only lost two of 28 home league games under Nuno Espirito Santo and the Clarets have lost five of their last six away PL games. Things are likely to get worse before they get better for Sean Dyche’s side.
Wolves at 3/4
Everton were disappointing against Huddersfield last time when they missed the skills of the suspended Richalison who scored twice on his Brazil debut against El Salvador midweek. The Blues must again do without the exciting Brazilian against West Ham this weekend, but I feel Marco Silva’s side can keep the points.
— Everton (@Everton) September 12, 2018
Everton have won more PL games against the Hammers (24) than any other club and Manuel Pellegrini will become the first West Ham manager to lose their first five league games of the season in their history if they lose at Goodison.
With Chelsea to come next weekend this is a massive game for the Irons, but I feel the points will stay on Merseyside.
Everton at 37/40
These South Coast rivals look well matched and should provide an intriguing contest for Monday Night viewers to enjoy. The Saints took the bragging rights with a narrow 1-0 success away in the League Cup recently but will need to improve their home form to make an impact this campaign.
Brighton will be delighted with four points from a tough opening set of fixtures and after a tremendous comeback from 2-0 down at home to Fulham to rescue a point, look full of fight this time around. Glenn Murray bagged a brace in that stirring fightback and looks key to Albion’s hopes. I think they will do enough to add another point to their tally at St Mary’s.
Glenn Murray to score at any time at 21/10
My weekend treble: Chelsea, Wolves and Everton at 10/3