What do you back when two decidedly dodgy teams meet at Old Trafford? If you’re Degsy you back the 3-2 home win at 33/1. He is also predicting Chelsea to win at Goodison…
Everton v Chelsea
It’s been a huge summer of spending with top-flight teams splashing out over £900million, but thank f*ck that pesky transfer window is now wedged firmly shut and clubs can now get on with the serious business of playing football. Chelsea of course have caught a bit of stick over the fact they have 6981 players currently out on loan, but the Blues are odds-against to beat Everton. And that’s not to be sniffed at. They did the double over the Toffees last season, including that famous 6-3 win at Goodison Park. Chelsea’s p*ss-poor start has been well documented, and defeat here (depending on what happens elsewhere) would put them out of the title race in the eyes of many. In September. I do fancy them to roll Everton again though, as the hosts have hardly started the season with a bang themselves.
Betting: Chelsea to win at 21/20 (Betfred)
Arsenal v Stoke
The Gunners have been absolutely mince at home so far, and need three points here to kick-start their title campaign. Stoke won’t just roll over though, and Mark Hughes’ men are far more than a big, hard, dirty long ball outfit these days. They have style. They have panache. They have a squad with serious talent and I fancy them to at least score in north London.
Betting: Arsenal to win and both teams to score at 11/5 (Boylesports)
Crystal Palace v Manchester City
The top two in the Premier League meet at Selhurst Park in Saturday. Hang on, just read that back. I know. Mental! But what can’t speak can’t lie kids and both of these sides have started their season with a bang. Citeh have been perfect. Four wins from four games. Scored ten. Conceded none. Yet in Yohan Cabaye the Eagles have surely pulled off the transfer coup of the summer? Again I smell goals here with the cash-rich boys from Manchester edging a thriller. And don’t bet against new boy Kevin De Bruyne having an immediate impact for his new club.
Betting: Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 21/10 (bet365/Hills)
Norwich v Bournemouth
Neither of these teams have started the season too well, but I fear for Norwich more than Bournemouth given that the former have not really inspired in the transfer market this summer. The Cherries though have been very shrewd, and the £3million they shelled out on Lee Tomlin could prove an absolute snip. Tomlin, who was once so overweight he was beginning to resemble a young Jocky Wilson in tight shorts, is a rare talent, and if he gets a gig here he could be worth a punt at double-figure prices to score first.
Betting: Tomlin to score first at 10/1 (Coral)
Watford v Swansea
The Hornets are battling gamely but look woefully short up front and Troy Deeney has looked unrecognisable from the bundle of energy who terrorised defences in England’s second tier last term. Under 1.5 goals looks tempting but I am going to have a more speculative punt here and take Swansea to claim this two zip.
Betting: Swansea to win 2-0 at 15/1 (Bet Victor)
West Brom v Southampton
The last four games between these teams has featured just three goals but I have a hunch Saido Berahino may mark his return to action with The Baggies with a goal. His Twitter outburst about never playing for club chairman Jeremy Peace again now looks a little embarrassing. But we’ve all done embarrassing stuff on Twitter. No one more so than me. My Twitter ‘breakdowns’ are legendary but I think the fact I have been blocked by Frankie Boyle tells its own story…
Betting: Berahino to score first at 7/1 (Sky Bet)
Manchester United v Liverpool
Absolutely huge game at OT with both bosses under fire after suffering defeats prior to the international break. LVG hasn’t helped himself by describing the fee HE paid for Anthony Martial as “ridiculous” either. But I reckon it’s Brendan Rodgers who could be feeling the strain the most. He’s spent big again in the summer and results so far have not been convincing. David De Gea should return for the Red Devils but of more significance is the fact that Phillipe Coutinho misses this gig through suspension. This, coupled with the fact ManYoo have won five of their last seven in the league against their arch rivals, sways me towards a home win here but I am loathe to dive in at odds-on so instead will have a few quid on them securing the three points via the odd goal in five.
Betting: Manchester United to win 3-2 at 33/1 (Bet Victor/Hills/Stan James)
Sunderland v Tottenham
Both of these sides have struggled so far and have recorded draws in each of their last two games. Another draw here looks a tempter at 11/4, though I doubt I’ll be watching the match given I’m set to take part in The Great North Run on Sunday morning. I’m touching 16st these days, have a dodgy ankle and may yet have to compete while wearing a sports bra. So if you see a confused fat bloke in a vest sporting the number 39248 in or around The Stadium of Light before kick-off, you know I’m lost.
Betting: Draw at 11/4 (Betfred)
Leicester v Aston Villa
A tasty Midlands derby completes the action on Sunday and Leicester will fancy this, sitting proudly as they do in third place in the Premier League. The Foxes are unbeaten so far and I wasn’t impressed with Villa as they laboured to a 2-2 draw with Sunderland who, let’s have it right, are simply dog sh*te. Leicester are a shade under even money but that looks a fair price to beat a Villa side who have a fragile look about them just now.
Betting: Leicester to win at 19/20 (Coral)