Manchester United v Manchester City
The 172nd Manchester derby takes place on Saturday lunchtime and has there ever been a bigger one in terms of media hype? Pep v Jose. Stones v Ibrahimovic. Fellaini v Vidal Sassoon. It’s nailed on to be f*cking mega and the eyes of the footballing world will be on Old Trafford. Both protagonists come into the game with 100% records while United are slight favourites in the betting (top price 11/8). I’m having that purely because Sergio Aguero is such a big miss for City. It will quite possibly be cautious and niggly early on though so odds against quotes about the scores being level at the break should be snaffled up.
Betting: Half time draw at 11/10 (bet365)
Arsenal v Southampton
Mesut Ozil showed just what Arsenal had been missing as he started for the Gunners for the first time this season against Watford and helped them wrap the game up before half-time. It was a vintage Arsenal display against the Hornets and I fancy them to kick on from that by putting Southampton to the sword. The Saints have been busy in the transfer market again over the summer but in truth look as weak as an OAP’s fart up front so the bet here is Arsenal to win to nil.
Betting: Arsenal to win to nil at 17/10 (Bet Victor)
Bournemouth v West Brom
The Cherries have gone 13 top flight games without keeping a clean sheet and on top of that they’ve managed just one clean sheet in 12 league meetings with West Brom. With this in mind I wouldn’t be smashing the home win with any confidence here and if anything the Baggies make some appeal at the prices. They remain such a threat at set pieces and my gut feeling is Bournemouth might struggle this season after doing so well last term.
Betting: West Brom to win at 7/2 (Coral)
Burnley v Hull City
Huge game at the bottom between two of the relegation favourites. Despite a threadbare squad Hull have been terrific so far and will graft away at Turf Moor. Goals should be at a premium and with neither side wanting to give anything away I can’t see it being anything other than a dogfight.
Betting: Half-time draw at evens (bet365)
Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace
Palace have been pretty sh*t so far so I was surprised to see the Boro chalked up as big as 13/10 for this. They are unbeaten in the league and look really organised under Aitor Karanka. It’s a home win for me, unless Christian Benteke goes balls out and has a worldy.
Betting: Middlesbrough to win and both teams to score at 19/4 (Stan James)
Stoke v Tottenham
I’m sure you have all seen that video on YouTube of the young geezer who dresses up as an old man, hobbles onto a five-a-side pitch, then runs amok with his tekkers and leaves the crowd all flabbergasted? Well it’s dawned on me that someone has done this – but in reverse – to Harry Kane. Watching him breathlessly shuffle about against Slovakia last Sunday I became convinced that an old wrinkly has actually dressed up as Kane – face mask the lot – and started playing professional football. He has gone to absolute sh*t in recent months and I’m not sure he would get a game for The Princess Helena (my local pub team) on current form. Bearing in mind the centre forward for the Helena has just got 20 months for growing cannabis that’s quite a statement.
Betting: Draw and both teams to score at 4/1 (Betfred)
West Ham v Watford
Watford have looked pretty dire so far and were run ragged by Arsenal last time out. Walter Mazzarri might be bombed out by Christmas if things don’t improve and with fit again duo Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini set to feature for the Hammers I am all over Coral’s 10/11 about them winning at the London Stadium.
Betting: West Ham to win at 10/11 (Coral)
Liverpool v Leicester City
Nobody has conceded more Premier League goals than Liverpool this season and while they are a joy to behold at times going forward Jurgen Klopp will be having sleepless nights about their inability to defend. Riyad Mahrez – who has yet to scale the dazzling heights of last season – looks big at 100/30 to score in front of a brand spanking new main stand at Anfield, where the atmosphere will be bouncing.
Betting: Mahrez to score anytime at 100/30 (Betway)
Swansea v Chelsea
The Blues are a top price 4/6 to win at a ground where they lost 1-0 last season. The price looks about right though given Antonio Conte’s battlers have won three out of three so far and looked decent. Swansea meanwhile have offloaded some of their biggest players and I am not sure those brought in to replace them are actually up to scratch. Eden Hazard at 9/5 to score? Yes please.
Betting: Hazard to score anytime at 9/5 (Paddy Power)