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Another Premier League weekend ahead and the first real test for Solskjaer’s Manchester United who are visiting Tottenham in the game of the weekend.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 11 away games against West Ham in all competitions, but if there is to be a winner at the London Stadium I feel it will be the hosts as I still have my reservations about the Gunners defensive capabilities.
Yes, the hosts have conceded at least once in their last eight home PL games and I would be surprised if the Hammers kept a clean sheet this weekend, but Manuel Pellegrini has never finished on the losing side against Unai Emery in six previous home league games (W4 D2).
A cracking London derby to look forward to with opportunities at both ends.
West Ham draw no bet at 8/5
Correct Score: 2-1 12/1
Liverpool have won all three previous PL games between the sides by an aggregate score of 10-1 although I don’t think the Reds will run away with the game at the Amex.
Liverpool’s 21-match unbeaten run came to an end at the Etihad last Thursday, but they lost little in defeat and matched the champions toe-for-toe in an epic PL game between two of the best sides in Europe.
This was written before the Reds’ 3rd Round FA Cup tie with Wolves and much has been made of Jurgen Klopp’s poor run of form in January in previous years. That will mean nil, however, when the players cross the white line. It might be tight and tense but Liverpool to return to winning ways for me.
Liverpool to win to nil at 6/5
Correct score: 0-1 7/1
Burnley have won their last two PL games which has eased any relegation fears they may have had, but they lost the reverse fixture with Fulham at Craven Cottage and I think the London side will pick up a hard-earned point.
The Cottagers penalty-kick woes continued against Oldham in the FA Cup last weekend, but they can take a point at Turf Moor in a low-scoring draw.
Game to finish in a draw at 11/5 8/5
Correct score: 1-1 11/2
Huddersfield have lost their last eight league games and I fear things are going to get worse before they get better for the Terriers when they visit south Wales at the weekend.
The Bluebirds are unbeaten in their last 10 games against Town in all competitions and I feel they will gain a valuable three points in their bid to maintain their PL status.
Cardiff to win at 5/4 5/4
Correct score: 1-0 11/2
Watford have gained 13 points from their 10 away league games this term and, if there is to be a winner at Selhurst Park, I feel it will be the Hornets.
It is obvious where the Eagles’ problems lie – only two sides (Liverpool 7 & Chelsea 5) have kept more home clean sheets in the PL than Roy Hodgson’s side (4), but no team has failed to score as many times in front of their own supporters (7).
I expect to see both sides find the back of the net at Selhurst Park with the visitors just shading it.
Watford draw no bet at 29/20
Correct score: 1-2 12/1
The last three games between the sides at the King Power Stadium – including this season’s League Cup tie – have finished goalless and I feel we will see another draw between the sides this weekend.
Claude Puel’s side were dumped out of the FA Cup at the hands of Newport on Sunday and will be desperate to bounce back to winning ways, but this is an improved Southampton side. The Saints have picked up four points from their last two away league games which included a goalless draw at Chelsea last time.
Tips: Game to finish 1-1 at 6/1
Chelsea have scored 18 times in their last six home league games with Newcastle who have only scored twice in reply. The Blues have failed to score in their last two home league games, but I just can’t see United keeping the hosts at arm’s length.
The Magpies continue to struggle for goals – just four in their last 8 league games – and I expect the hosts to win a low-scoring affair.
Chelsea to win and under 2.5 goals at 12/5
Correct score: 2-0 11/2
Everton have lost four of their last five PL games, but they have won all five home games against Bournemouth in all competitions and I feel they will keep all three points at what is likely to be a tense and nervous Goodison Park.
Both sides are struggling to keep a clean sheet and I would expect to see goals and opportunities at both ends, but Everton are better than their recent performances and results would suggest.
Everton to win and both teams to score at 11/5 11/5
Correct score: 2-1 15/2
This is the acid test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s new-look Manchester United and the Norwegian is looking to emulate the legendary (Sir) Matt Busby and win his first five league games.
Spurs won the reverse fixture 3-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the season, but this is a United side playing with pace and flair and not lacking in confidence.
United have lost their last three league games at Spurs and they could lose a fourth – but what I do expect is to see chances and goals at both ends in what promises to be a cracking game and a true barometer of where this new United are in relation to the other elite PL sides.
Over 3.5 goals at 13/8
Correct score: 3-2 21/1
City haven’t kept a home clean sheet in their last six home PL games and Wolves are one of only two sides that Pep Guardiola has faced more than once and failed to beat (L0 D2).
That said City were irresistible against Liverpool and ruthless against Rotherham in the last week. I expect them to have too much for a Wolves side who have a good record against the “big six” so far this season.
City have scored at least twice in their last 12 home PL games and expect them to maintain that sequence against the Molineux outfit.
City halftime/fulltime at 8/15
Correct score: 2-0 6/1
Weekend wager: Everton, Cardiff and Chelsea at 4/1