Chelsea v Manchester United
There was a time when Jose Mourinho was the king of the Kings Road. Around 2006, with Chelsea having not lost at home during a two-year stretch that yielded back-to-back Premier League titles, he was arguably the world’s most charismatic and fascinating manager. But much has changed since those heady days of domestic domination. Mourinho is now boss of Manchester United and wears the look of a disgraced geography teacher. A man at odds with the world who is close to the point of no return at Old Trafford. And I cannot think of one logical reason to suggest the Red Devils won’t get battered at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s early kick off. United fans chortled when Chelsea sold them Nemanja Matic. But the sniggering has now well and truly stopped and they’ll be wondering, like the rest of us, how Jose’s bus stops ‘Sarriball’ this weekend. I’ll give you a clue. It doesn’t.
Betting: Chelsea to win at 3/4 (bet365)
Bournemouth v Southampton
No win in five for the Saints, who face a daunting trip to the Vitality Stadium to face a Bournemouth side who’ve won their last three and scored nine goals during that period. Only one winner here, surely?
Betting: Bournemouth to win at 21/20 (bet365)
Cardiff City v Fulham
Cardiff will have been glad the international break came when it did to give them a bit of respite after a run of damaging losses. This is a real opportunity once again to kickstart their season and get some points on the board as Fulham have been poor themselves in recent weeks. Perhaps the percentage call is to punt the draw though as surely both managers will send their respective teams out with a ‘win if you can boys but don’t dare come back into this dressing room having lost’ mentality.
Betting: Draw at 12/5 (888 Sport)
Manchester City v Burnley
City are surely going to do some real damage to Burnley and we like the 4/5 price about the first half at the Etihad producing more than a solitary goal. I’m still absolutely f**king devastated with that Riyad Mahrez penalty miss at Anfield having thrown the kitchen sink at Pep Guardiola’s men the other week at 15/8. Such is life however and here’s hoping Raheem Sterling – a player who should be full of swagger after that Spain display and who is faster than a Biafran ferret – can help deliver a first half goalfest against the Clarets.
Betting: Over 1.5 first half goals at 4/5 (bet365)
Newcastle United v Brighton
Newcastle United, the only club in Europe with more takeover rumours than points, need a win. No wins in eight so far. In fact, dating back to mid April and last season, it’s one victory in 14 games. And 11 defeats during that sequence. The Toon board seem to have developed a rare case of s**tzopherenia – abnormal behaviour and a decreased ability to understand reality. On recent evidence we are unsure why they start as favourites here against a Brighton side who are not complete no-hopers on their travels.
Betting: Brighton to win at 27/10 (888 Sport)
West Ham v Tottenham
Harry Kane has scored seven goals in his last seven games against West Ham and he looks a temper to score first at the London Stadium. After leading Spain’s defence a merry dance in Seville he should be feeling bullish and can get Spurs up and running this weekend.
Betting: Kane to score first at 29/10 (888 Sport)
Wolves v Watford
The Hornets went into the international break on the back of a 4-0 walloping against Bournemouth, and could struggle to contain a technically excellent Wolves side. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men look right at home at England’s top table, and should be too savvy for Watford.
Betting: Watford – Watford Half-Time Full-Time at 7/4 (bet365)
Huddersfield Town v Liverpool
Liverpool didn’t emerge from the international break unscathed and have fitness concerns over Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita. With this in mind I don’t think I could smash them at 1/3 here but 5/6 about them winning to nil looks much more appealing. The Terriers are averaging 0.5 goals per game so far while the Reds have the joint best defensive record in the top flight. Whammy.
Betting: Liverpool to win to nil at 5/6 (bet365)
Everton v Palace
As Paul ‘The Magic Man’ Merson is forever pointing out, ‘Everton are literally a bag of Revels’. They’ve been involved in some stinkers at home so far (the Huddersfield and Southampton games at Goodison immediately spring to mind) so I would be loathe to smash them here at odds on. A speculative tenner on Dominic Calvert-Lewin at 13/2 to score first looks a much better shout. The youngster led the way as England’s impressive record of Under-21 European Championships qualification was extended by blasting past Andorra last week, and he should get the nod up front for the Blues.
Betting: Calvert-Lewin to score first at 13/2 (888 Sport)