Champions League Gameweek 1: PSG Will Feel the Full Force of Anfield
After the international break let’s take a look at the fourth round of Premier League fixtures and on England’s recent internationals.
Gareth Southgate’s side were made to work hard for both victories over both Malta and Slovakia, and needed to come from behind to beat the latter 2-1 at Wembley on Tuesday night. I notice BetVictor have left the Three Lions unchanged at 16/1 for World Cup success next summer, despite looking certainties to top Group F, and it’s easy to see why.
Man for man, there is little difference between England and world football’s heavy-hitters and individually I think our players are up there with the likes of France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Argentina.
Collectively, however, we seem to have suffered some kind of a mental block at the highest level – and that was evident once more at last year’s Euros. We have players with the ability to go far in international tournaments but, as much as I’d love to celebrate an England World Cup, I, unfortunately, cannot see it happening.
It looks a game for the neutrals at the Etihad with the Premier League’s two most attack-minded sides meeting in Saturday’s early kick-off. Liverpool’s record against top-six opposition is different class under Jurgen Klopp and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Reds get a result at City. It looks too close to call however, with goals the only thing guaranteed in this one!
Tip: Over 3.5 Goals and Both Teams Over 3.5 Corners at 5/2 with BetVictor’s #PriceitUp market
Another big game that is surprisingly being played in the traditional 3pm slot. Spurs will want to bounce back from their disappointing results against Chelsea and Burnley prior to the international break but The Blues are very solid on home soil and, with a partisan Goodison crowd behind them, can earn a share of the spoils at the very least.
Tip: Both Teams to Score at 7/10
The Gunners look the most likely of the top six, if any, to lose their position amongst the top sextet nevertheless Arsene Wenger’s side should have too much quality in the final third when hosting Bournemouth at the Emirates. It will be fascinating to see how the crowd reacts if Arsenal go behind early, with the crowd getting on the backs of both the players and the manager early in the Gunners’ recent defeats at Stoke and Liverpool.
Tip: Arsenal to win and both teams to score at 6/4
It’s hard to assess both teams after just three games of the new season but, after failing to score a goal in the top-flight, it’s understandable to see the Seagulls as one of the market leaders for the drop. Albion boss Chris Hughton failed to sign a striker on Deadline Day and I think they deserve their position as the 10/11 favourites for relegation. Nevertheless, the international break probably came at the right time for them and with another likely buoyant crowd behind them, should be good for a point against an inconsistent Baggies side.
Tip: Draw at 2/1
Another game that looks a big one for a Saturday 3pm KO, with the last two winners of the Premier League Title meeting at the King Power. Danny Drinkwater made the move to West London on Deadline Day and looks sure to have the crowd on his back when returning in a game that should have plenty of fireworks.
Tip: Over 2.5 Goals at 20/23
I’ve been very impressed with Watford in the opening trio of PL games this term and think they can push for a top-half finish under new boss Marco Silva. The Hornets showed character to rescue a point against Liverpool on the opening day of the new season and improved their defending to keep back-to-back clean sheets against Bournemouth and Brighton. I think they warrant supporting at 7/2 with BetVictor to finish in the ‘right’ half of the PL table come May, and at 5/4 to avoid defeat at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Tip: Watford in the double chance market at 5/4
As impressive as Watford have been, Manchester United have been even more so and have been the biggest movers in the betting for the Premier League Title. United are 8/15 to maintain their 100% start to the season in the Potteries and should shorten further from their current price of 2/1 with BetVictor to be crowned Champions in May.
Tip: Manchester United to win to nil at 6/4
Super Sunday kicks-off with Burnley hosting Crystal Palace at Turf Moor and I expect the hosts to make home advantage count. Sean Dyche continues to work wonders with the Lancashire outfit and after turning Turf Moor into something of a fortress last term, can claim a precious three points against an out-of-form Palace side.
Tip: Burnley to win at 11/8
I really fear for Newcastle this season and the signs from manager Rafa Benitez aren’t good. Rafa doesn’t sound happy with the club’s hierarchy and he looks a fair price at 4/1 with BetVictor to be the first manager to walk this season. I expect the Magpies to struggle at the Liberty Stadium, with Paul Clement doing brilliant work in the closing stages of the summer transfer window. Both Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony look great additions to the Swans’ squad and they can make an immediate impact for the South Wales club at the weekend.
Tip: Swansea to win at 29/20
— BetVictor (@BetVictor) September 4, 2017
Slaven Bilic is another manager under pressure. The Hammers missed out on William Carvalho in the closing stages of Deadline Day and they could struggle with expectations high after over-achieving the season before last. Huddersfield meanwhile, have impressed since gaining promotion to the top-flight and are just the second promoted club to keep clean sheets in their opening trio of PL games. That run should come to an end on Monday however, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Terriers were to nick a point.
Tip: Both Teams to Score at 3/4
Michael Owen’s Weekend Wager: Burnley, Swansea and Man Utd all to win at 8/1.