The weekend kicks off with an intriguing contest at Stamford Bridge where Champions Chelsea take on Liverpool. Chelsea have found themselves languishing in 14th place, with doubts over Jose Mourinho’s future at the club, they need a win to kick start their season.
Liverpool are unbeaten in 10 games although they have drew 8 of them but the morale will be boosted by a timely win in midweek in the League Cup against Bournemouth.
In team news, Chelsea look set to be without their main talisman Diego Costa, whilst Liverpool welcome back Christian Benteke to the fore, which could prove to be the pivotal point.
Personally I think talk of Mourinho being sacked is ridiculous, football is a crazy game at times and it’s amazing how much confidence makes a big difference, I’m still amazed with the form of Eden Hazard who looks a shadow of the player from last season, which highlights his confidence issue but football can turn in an instant so I for one would not rule out a Chelsea victory.
It is however a game with a large amount of risk so from a betting front I will be leaving it alone, however if pushed my prediction would be a 1-1 draw.
Dave’s Betting Tips for this weekend’s Premier League;
Harry Kane 1st Goalscorer – 1pt win @ 10/3
West Hame/Arsenal/Southampton/Tottenham – 1pt win @ 11.36/1
An interesting game also awaits us at Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace face Man Utd, both clubs have hit a minor rocky patch with no win in their last three games in all competitions.
I have been critical of Louis Van Gaal throughout this season and I’m not looking to stop now, his tactics against Everton bamboozled Roberto Martinez as it did most of us, using Anthony Martial out wide paid dividends, however he has since stuck to that formation and although it did work on a small compact pitch, it has not worked since and I just feel Martial is wasted in that position, especially when he has been by a country mile their best player this season.
I have been that impressed with Martial that I would go as far to say that if he plays upfront then I feel Utd will win this, if he plays out wide I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole, I may be wrong but he for me is vital to Utd’s chances this season, surely you play your best players in their best positions.
The banker of the weekend surely has to be at the Etihad where leaders Man City host Norwich, the home side are still without Sergio Aguero but they have plenty of options in his place, including the in form Kevin De Bruyne.
De Bruyne is my first goalscorer bet for this weekend at an attractive 5/1, yes there are plenty around him who also look good for it, but he is for me a real quality player and one who won’t be void of an attempt on goal.
Stoke were a bit of a disappointment last time out against Watford but they have been pretty consistent on the road, therefore I feel they will prove too strong for a Newcastle team that are up and down like a yo-yo, putting more pressure on the under fire Newcastle manager.
Swansea take on 2nd place Arsenal tomorrow who have been in hot form of late, however the home side will be buoyed by Arsenal’s growing injury list.
Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined a whole host of stars on the injury list in midweek so Arsene Wenger’s options are becoming lighter, neither started in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Everton and it would be foolish to back against them at home or on the road in their current form.
West Ham are another team that it would be foolish to back against at the moment, the return of Andy Carroll resulted in him scoring the winner against Chelsea last week, I wouldn’t put it past him to score again against derby rivals Watford. At 2/1 they have to be part of my weekend Acca.
West Brom face Leicester at the Hawthorns with both teams in a nice bit of form and it’s tough to predict which way this one will go, both have a good strike force and a consistent defence, I would predict a draw here.
Everton take on Sunderland at Sunday lunch time and this time two weeks ago I wouldn’t have hesitated in suggesting a home win, however Sunderland’s confidence will be boosted by a derby day win last weekend and the big Sam factor will make the away side a different proposition, despite this I feel Everton have the stronger side and I believe they will just edge this one.
The penultimate Acca inclusion is Southampton who play Bournemouth at St Marys on Sunday, Ronald Koeman’s side have been in good form of late and should prove too strong for their rivals.
The final Acca selection will be Tottenham, Spurs host bottom of the table Aston Villa who recently sacked Tim Sherwood and are still to replace him.
Tottenham had a much needed win against Bournemouth last time out and even more so Harry Kane was back among the goals, I simply can’t see Villa turning their form around and for those reasons I will be adding Tottenham in to my Acca, also backing Harry Kane for 1st goalscorer.