Manchester United v Arsenal
Before we analyse Saturday’s massive lunchtime kick-off, a word on Wayne Rooney. Have the press gone too far in demonising him following the hotel high jinks of last weekend? I mean, hand on heart, who reading this column has not got absolutely battered on red wine then staggered into a random wedding reception while dressed in full England clobber? I think the furore has been a bit over the top, and I cannot accept rumours that the knee problem that kept the England skipper out of Tuesday’s friendly with Spain was actually caused by busting crazy dance floor moves to ‘I am the Music Man’ at said wedding.
Arsenal have not beaten United in the league at Old Trafford for a decade but might not get a better chance than this. The Gunners are purring having not lost since the opening day of the season. They have goal threats all over the pitch and the Red Devils could struggle against their lightening quick forward line.
Betting: Arsenal to win (Draw no Bet) at 11/10 (Bet Victor)
Crystal Palace v Manchester City
There should be plenty of goals at Selhurst Park but when the dust settles one would expect Pep Guardiola’s men to emerge victorious. Their draw against Boro the other week left me eating Smartprice super noodles when I should have been snacking on caviar and Waitrose quinoa but Palace have lost four on the spin and look booked in for another defeat this weekend.
Betting: Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 2/1 (Bet Bright)
Everton v Swansea
Bob Bradley’s reign as Swansea boss has been inglorious to say the least to this point and I don’t see things getting much better on Merseyside. Everton have fallen away a bit in recent weeks after a fine start to the season but should have too much at HQ against a team that have now gone ten league games without a win.
Betting: Everton to win 2-1 at 8/1 (bet365)
Southampton v Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been on fire in recent weeks and probably could have done without the recent international break. I was surprised to see them chalked up at odds against to win here against a Saints side last seen losing to Hull City. The Reds will have a bit too much movement and quality in the final third for them on the south coast and 6/5 looks an absolute gift from the punting Gods.
Betting: Liverpool to win at 6/5 (bet365)
Stoke City v Bournemouth
Stoke have turned the corner brilliantly in recent weeks and won both Premier League meetings against the Cherries last season. Bournemouth can actually f**k off anyway after their inability to beat a 10-man Sunderland the other week ruined a four-fold of mine paying the thick end of £400. W**kers.
Betting: Stoke to win to nil at 14/5 (Stan James)
Sunderland v Hull City
How big is this relegation six-pointer on Saturday? I’ll tell you how big. A lad at work called Darren who follows the Black Cats said if it was a straight choice between Sunderland winning and his dog dying he would take the three points. “No bother like, and ah love me dog”. Random fact #1: 60% of Hull’s goals this season have come from set pieces. Random fact #2: The lifespan of a squirrel is about nine years.
Betting: Sunderland to win at 23/20 (Ladbrokes)
Watford v Leicester City
With another round of Champions League fixtures around the corner will Leicester look to rest players again? I certainly wouldn’t fancy putting my mortgage on the Foxes here at 7/4 after their recent 2-1 home reverse against West Brom.
Betting: Both teams to score at 4/5 (Coral/Hills)
Tottenham v West Ham
Spurs are still unbeaten but six draws from 11 matches mean they are five points off the pace at the top of the Premier League and need a win here against London rivals West Ham. Their current winless run now actually stretches to five matches and so Mauricio Pochettinho will need to get them revved up for a massive game on Saturday. The good news for Spurs fans is that the Hammers have won just one of their last 14 Premier League visits to White Hart Lane.
Betting: Tottenham to win and both teams to score at 11/5 (Coral/Hills)
Middlesbrough v Chelsea
Chelsea have looked different gravy since switching things to 3-4-3 and are now no bigger than 3/1 to win the league. Antonio Conte’s men have won five on the bounce and he’s somehow transformed Victor Moses from bang-average forward to peerless wing-back in just a few short weeks. Boro have an ugly recent record against the Blues, losing their last five without troubling the scorers. However the Teessiders clearly relish these games against the top flight elite and have pulled off some stunning results in recent weeks away to Arsenal and Manchester City. With this in mind they could be good enough for a share of the spoils here.
Betting: Draw at 16/5 (Paddy Power)