Liverpool head for London having won 4 out of 4, in the league although they have not looked convincing in all of those games. Tottenham have benefited from the form of Moura, but defensively they have lacked their usual assurance. John Newsome assesses a tricky match for punters, along with this weekend’s other top-flight contests.
TOTTENHAM v LIVERPOOL
What a cracker of a game to kick-start game week 5 of the Premier League after the International break. This game is the early Saturday afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports and should have been the first game at Tottenham’s brand new White Hart Lane Stadium, however, the electricians didn’t put enough bulbs in the floodlights so the stadium isn’t ready yet. What Tottenham’s hierarchy should have done is taken another year out and said the new stadium will be ready for the start of the 2019/2020 season. No doubt Mr Levy will have had some money saving scheme in place to save a couple of quid here and there. Tottenham got a very good and very rare away win at Old Trafford on the Monday Night Football but then followed that great result up by losing to Watford. In the game at Vicarage Rd, Tottenham were outfought and outmuscled by Watford who deservedly got the win. Harry Kane did manage to score in August, something he’s not done before, but looks jaded and the games for England may be taking its toll on Harry.
Liverpool currently sit at the top of the Premier League on the same points as Chelsea and surprise packages Watford having won all 4 games. They beat Leicester 2-1 last time out again away from Anfield. The Reds conceded for the 1st time this season against the Foxes but goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool all 3 points and maintained their 100% start. Sadio has scored 4 goals this term and the front 3 for Liverpool, Sadio, Roberto and of course Mo Salah are all in fine goalscoring form.
This game last season was played in late October and Tottenham hammered Liverpool 4-1 with goals from Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli and a brace from Harry. Mo Salah got Liverpool’s consolation that day. A quick word on Son, he’s just helped South Korea win the Gold Medal at the Asian Games which not only is a great achievement for SHM but now gives him exemption from Military Service in South Korea and he can return to Tottenham to continue his brilliant playing career. Bookmakers Bet 365 have this pretty even with Tottenham slight favourites at 7/4, the Draw is 12/5 and Liverpool are 29/20. Bet 365 are offering 2/1 for Liverpool to score in both Halves, which is worth a look at. Liverpool shouldn’t get hammered this time.
Away Win 1-3
CHELSEA v CARDIFF
Chelsea are the 2nd of 3 teams to make a 100% start to the season winning all 4 of their games. The slight concern for the Blues faithful is they haven’t looked convincing at the back and have conceded 3 goals in their 4 games. Jorginho looks a great player and knows how to take a penalty. Chelsea beat Bournemouth 2-0 at Stamford Bridge prior to the International break. Pedro and Eden Hazard getting the goals. Eden is in great form at the moment and had a couple of great games for Belgium over the break. Pedro has himself been in fine form and the goal against the Cherries took his tally to 3 for this season.
Cardiff have found life in the Top Flight very difficult and have not managed a win yet. They were beaten 3-2 last time out against Arsenal. Whilst the result wasn’t great, the good thing about that game is the Bluebirds managed to get their 1st goals in the Premier League having failed to score in their previous 3 games. Spanish midfielder Victor Camarasa got the 1st goal and Danny Ward got the 2nd. Ultimately it was a loss but they now know they can score goals. It should be interesting in the dugout with Italian Smoker Maurizio Sarri up against the legend that is Neil Warnock. It’s a Premier League tradition for away managers to bring a bottle of wine for the opposing manager, maybe Big Neil should bring Maurizio a 200 sleeve of Benson and Hedges. Bet 365 have Chelsea as clear favourites at 1/6 and Cardiff at a massive 16/1 which in a 3 horse race is way too big. For the Bluebirds to manage a draw at Stamford Bridge, Bet 365 offer 11/2. That’s not beyond the realm of possibility for Mr Warnock to stop Chelsea getting their 5th win. However, bookmakers are seldom wrong. Bet 365 offer 3/1 for Chelsea to score a penalty, which, with Eden running at the Cardiff back 4, is definitely on the cards.
Home Win 2-0
NEWCASTLE v ARSENAL
Newcastle are on a terrible run at the moment and are in the bottom 3 having lost 3 out of their 4 games so far this season. The only point they have is from a 0-0 draw away at Cardiff. In between the Premier League games, the Magpies were knocked out of the League Cup losing 3-1 away at Nottingham Forest. Maybe the one thing the Toon Army can take from the games is they are not getting hammered and have only lost by the odd goal in the Premier League games. They lost 2-1 away at High Flying Man City last time out and were matching the current Premier League Champions until a thunderbolt from Kyle Walker gave City all 3 points. American DeAndre Yedlin got the Newcastle goal against City. They are scoring goals and striker Joselu has managed 2 up to now.
Arsenal lost their 1st 2 games under New Boss Unai Emery and finally got off to winning ways against West Ham. They followed that up with a resilient 3-2 away win against Cardiff. Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette getting the Gunners goals. No Arsenal player has yet to score more than 1 goal this season which could be their downfall going through the season. However, the opposite could be taken from that in that a few players are contributing to the goalscoring and not just relying on one man. This game last term was played towards the end of the season in mid-April and Newcastle got an all-important 2-1 win. Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie getting the Magpies goals and Alexandre Lacazette with the Gooners consolation. Bet 365 have Newcastle at 10/3 for a Home Win and Arsenal at 5/6 to get the Away Win. The Draw is priced at 5/2 which is too big and can give the Toon Army a bit of spending money for them to shop in Sports Direct. Bet 365 offer a massive 25/1 for Newcastle to miss a penalty. Considering Kenedy missed a vital spot-kick against Cardiff, 25/1 is worth a pound.
Newcastle shouldn’t lose.
BOURNEMOUTH v LEICESTER
Bournemouth take on the Foxes at the Vitality after both teams have made a decent start to the new campaign and only a point separates them. The Cherries did lose their last game 2-0 away at Chelsea but won their opening 2 games and drew the 3rd. Callum Wilson has managed 2 goals so far, 1 of them was an excellent solo effort against West Ham where he went on a mazy run through the Bubbles defence before coolly slotting home. If Callum can stay fit he will show his real class this season after coming back from injury. Despite the loss against Chelsea, not many teams will get a result at Stamford Bridge, the Cherries faithful will be buoyed by their start and will put that game to bed and concentrate on this fixture against Leicester.
Leicester have won twice and lost twice this season, significantly the losses came in their 1st game against Manchester United and their last game against leaders Liverpool. So no disgrace in those 2 results and both came by way of the same 2-1 scoreline. The wins came against newly promoted Wolves and Southampton so a mixed start for the Foxes and the faithful will look at this long trip to the South Coast as a game that is winnable. New signing James Maddison has been a revelation since joining from Norwich and managed a goal in the win against Wolves. The youngster will not be far off getting a call from Gareth Southgate after his performances this season in the Premier League. The Foxes have another Algerian coming through the ranks after the departure of Riyad Mahrez. Having signed for Leicester in the summer from Monaco Rachid Ghezzal scored in the 2-1 loss against Liverpool and will want to become the next Algerian superstar for Leicester. This game last season was played at the end of September and finished goalless.
Bet 365 have Bournemouth favourites at 11/8 and Leicester are 2/1 to get the Away Win. The Draw is priced at 11/5. There should be goals today and Bet 365 offer 4/6 for Both Teams To Score.
MAN CITY v FULHAM
Man City are in the unusual position of not being top of the table and are currently 4th behind Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford. They beat Newcastle 2-1 before the International Break, Raheem Sterling finally scoring a goal. The winner came from an unlikely source after Kyle Walker hit a speculative shot giving City all 3 points. Kyle doesn’t score many goals so will have been delighted with that thunderbolt. Maybe that might be the start of a goalscoring career for Big Kyle. City are in 4th spot due to the Draw with newly promoted Wolves but will look at this game against another newly promoted team as very winnable and maybe Fulham might be in for a long afternoon.
Fulham have started life in the Top Flight fairly well and after the initial losses to fellow Londoners Crystal Palace and Tottenham they beat Burnley at Craven Cottage and got a great point down at Brighton. Aleksandar Mitrovic has continued his fine goalscoring form getting 4 goals in the 4 games so far. It’s a mystery why Rafa Benitez didn’t want him at Newcastle but obviously, something was amiss between the two and its Fulham’s gain and Newcastle’s loss. No surprise that bookmakers Bet 365 have City as very long odds-on favourites at 1/10 to beat Fulham, the Draw is 9/1 and Fulham are a massive 16/1 to get the win at the Etihad. Bet 365 are offering 21/20 for Both Teams To Score and although City should win, Mitrovic can sneak a goal so 21/20 is worth a look.
Home Win 4-1
HUDDERSFIELD v CRYSTAL PALACE
Huddersfield haven’t had the best of starts this season but have collected 2 points out of their 1st 4 games. After losing their opening 2 games, admittedly against Chelsea and Man City, the Terriers picked up a valuable point in a 0-0 draw against Cardiff then followed that up arguably with a better result in a 1-1 draw away at Everton. Danish midfielder Philip Billing scored the Terriers goal in that draw at Goodison.
Crystal Palace have actually had a worse start then Huddersfield yet have a point more. They won their opener 2-0 against Fulham but then have lost their last 3 games against Liverpool, Watford and surprisingly at home against Southampton. Star player Wilfried Zaha has scored 2 out of the 3 goals Palace have managed up to now and is continuing his fine form from last season which resulted in the Eagles failing to win a single point when Wilfried wasn’t in the side, which really does indicate how valuable he is to Crystal Palace.
This game last season was played in March and Crystal Palace ran out 2-0 winners. Palace goalscorers that day were James Tompkins and Luka Milivojevic. Bet 365 have Huddersfield at 2/1 to get the Home Win and Crystal Palace at 29/20 for the Away Win. The Draw is 21/10. Bet 365 offer 5/4 that there will be over 2.5 goals which basically means there will be 3 or more goals and 8/1 for both teams to score a penalty.
WATFORD v MANCHESTER UNITED
The final game on Saturday sees Watford entertain Manchester United in front of the BT Sports cameras. Watford are this season’s surprise package matching Liverpool and Chelsea in winning all of their 1st 4 games. Having beaten Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace probably the best result came in the 2-1 defeat of Tottenham. Tottenham actually took the lead in that game via a scrappy Abdoulaye Doucoure own goal. What they did against Tottenham may be a yardstick for other teams and it will be interesting to see how Liverpool get on against Tottenham in the early kick-off. Watford simply outfought and outmuscled Tottenham and showed who wanted the win most. Watford legend Troy Deeney who noticeably looks leaner and fitter worked his socks off against the Spurs back 4 and was rewarded for his hard work getting the Hornets 1st goal. Big defender Craig Cathcart got the winner and the 3 valuable points against Tottenham to maintain their 100% start to the season. Can they do a ‘Leicester’? The formation Javi Gracia ( Gracia not Garcia) plays is sort of 4/2/2/2 and gets the best out of Big Troy.
Manchester United got back to winning ways last time out against Burnley after a bit of a slump. They won their 1st game against Leicester, then suffered successive defeats to Brighton and Tottenham. Jose wasn’t happy and made a couple of changes against Burnley notably bringing in Marouane Fellaini to bolster the midfield. Marouane has his critics but you certainly know what you will get from him and he does cause problems to the opposition. The thing for United fans is can they realistically hope to win the Premier League with Big Marouane in the side. This will be a good test for Jose up against Javi and will show where United are at the moment as although they beat Burnley, Burnley are poor at present and a game away at Vicarage Rd will be the real test for the United faithful. Romelu Lukaku scored twice against Burnley and continued his goalscoring form for Belgium. If only he had put the early chance against Tottenham away, that game could have finished differently. This game last season was played in late November and finished 4-2 to Manchester. Ashley Young got a couple and Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard got the other 2. United were 3-0 up before Troy Deeney and Abdoulaye Doucoure gave Watford a glimmer of hope scoring to make it 3-2. Lingard put the game to bed late on with a brilliant solo effort. Bet 365 surprisingly have United as 10/11 favourites to get an Away Win. Watford are 3/1 to continue their winning run and the Draw is 12/5. 3/1 is way too big for an inform Watford side at home. Bet 365 offer 14/1 for Watford to repeat their result against Tottenham and come from behind to win.
Home Win 2-1
WOLVES v BURNLEY
New boys Wolves take on struggling Burnley at Molineux live on Sky Sports in the early Sunday afternoon kick-off. Wolves have started life in the Premier League very well getting a Win, 2 Draws and a Loss. Noticeably one of the draws was against Champions Man City. The Win came last time out away at West Ham with new signing Adama Traore coming on as a substitute and getting a very late winner in the 93rd minute to snatch all 3 points. They are scoring goals. One of the hardest things to do in the Premier League as a newly promoted side is score and Wolves are doing that.
Burnley are in terrible form but can take solace from the fact they have had a 2-week break and are no longer playing Thursday nights in Europe after being eliminated from the Europa League. Now they have had a break they should come back stronger and will relish this trip to Molineux. The strange thing is for every team in the Premier League is you fight and fight to gain as many points as you can to finish as high up in the league as you can in the hope you can get into Europe then once in Europe it becomes detrimental to your next season. Strange how Football works, but that’s why we love it. Bet 365 have Wolves as favourites at 4/5, the Draw is 12/5 and Burnley are 15/4. Bet 365 are offering a massive 33/1 for Burnley to miss a penalty. With the break and not being in Europe, Burnley can get at least a Draw.
EVERTON v WEST HAM
Late Sunday afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports sees Everton entertain West Ham at Goodison Park. Everton, under the guidance of Marco Silva, have started the new season pretty well and are unbeaten going into this game. The downside to that unbeaten run is there is only 1 win out of the 4 games played, the other 3 being draws. They beat Southampton at the beginning of the season at Goodison but haven’t won since. The Toffees do score goals though and Richarlison and Theo Walcott have contributed well up to now. The problem seems to be conceding goals and have been leading in a couple of games but have been pegged back to share the points. West Ham are in a dreadful run of form losing all 4 of their games so far and sitting rock bottom of the Premier League. Last season Crystal Palace got rid of Frank De Boer after losing the 1st 4 games but the Hammers board have stood firm in their allegiance to Manuel Pellegrini. They did manage a win in the League Cup but then lost again in front of the Hammers faithful in their last game against Wolves. The annoying thing for West Ham in that game was they thought they had held on for their 1st point but conceded a late goal in the 93rd minute gifting all 3 points to Wolves. Marko Arnautovic has scored a couple of goals this term so all is not lost at the London Stadium but he does need support up front and appears too isolated. Bet 365 have Everton as odds-on favourites at 17/20. West Ham are 3/1 to get the Away Win and the Draw is offered at 13/5 which might be value. West Ham are 8/1 to score a penalty which Marko Arnautovic has already done this season. That said West Ham need to have improved dramatically to get a win at Goodison Park.
Home Win 3-1
SOUTHAMPTON v BRIGHTON
Monday Night Football live on Sky Sports sees this South Coast Derby between Southampton and Brighton. There are just 65 miles between these 2 football clubs and both sit on 4 points, both with a win and a draw. Southampton started slowly but got their 1st Win last time out gaining a 2-0 Away Win against Crystal Palace. New signing Danny Ings who has just joined from Liverpool scored the 1st against Palace and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg got a very late 2nd to give the Saints all 3 points. Danny is a top player and if he can stay injury free, will be a great signing for Southampton considering the experience he has gained whilst at Liverpool playing with the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and of course Mo Salah so surely Danny will have picked up a few tips to pass onto his new teammates.
Brighton drew last time out against Fulham and got their win against Manchester United. The 2-2 draw with Fulham saw a couple of goals from the reliable Glenn Murray. The 2nd being a penalty. The surprise in that is that Brighton had been awarded an earlier penalty which Glenn didn’t take. Pascal Gross was on penalty taking duty after his spot-kick against Manchester United was coolly slotted home. Unfortunately, Pascal missed against Fulham so Glenn took over when the Seagulls were awarded a 2nd penalty late on to gain Brighton a well-deserved point after being 2-0 down against Fulham. Glenn has now got 3 and Brighton will need his goals to stay in the Premier League. Last season this game was played on the last day of January and finished 1-1. Defender Jack Stephens got the Saints goal and Big Glenn scored another penalty for the Seagulls. Southampton are Even favourites with Bet 365 to get the Home Win and Brighton are 3/1 to get the 3 points. The Draw is 11/5. Bet 365 are offering Brighton up at 10/1 to score a penalty and 28/1 to miss a penalty which considering they have been awarded 3 penalties so far this term is worth a look at.
Contact John Newsome, with your own predictions, requests and feedback, at this address: email@example.com