With Manchester Utd already looking out of the title race, the last thing they currently need is a trip to Stanford Bridge where in-form Chelsea lie in wait. John Newsome believes the Red Devils can leave with a share of the spoils, however.
CHELSEA v MAN UNITED
What a cracker of a game to kick start the Premier League proceedings after the International break. This first match of Game Week 9 live on Sky Sports sees a vibrant Chelsea take on a beleaguered Manchester United who were on the ropes at half-time in their previous game.
Chelsea beat Southampton 3-0 at St Mary’s in their last match prior to the break to take them joint Top of the Premier League on the same 20 points as Man City and Liverpool. Eden Hazard opened the scoring in the first half from an excellent through ball from Ross Barkley. Barkley added the 2nd himself before Alvaro Morata completed the scoring in the final minutes. After a slow start to his Chelsea career, Ross has blossomed under Maurizio Sarri and has forced his way back into the England team, putting in a superb midfield display in the drab 0-0 Draw against World Cup Finalists Croatia. Ross has always had the potential but like a lot of youngsters as to produce the goods on a consistent basis. If he stays fit and continues to learn under Sarri, having Hazard, Kante, Kovacic and Jorginho at the side of him, Ross could become a great English player for a good few years.
Manchester United were down and out at half-time against Newcastle and the United players were giving Jose a great send-off, however, in the dressing room something must have happened and been said as the Red Devil’s came out in the 2nd half a completely different side. Jose had already replaced Eric Bailly after just 19 disastrous minutes for Eric and brought on Juan Mata. At half-time, he replaced Scott McTominay with Marouane Fellaini and then replaced Marcus Rashford with Alexis Sanchez. The 3 changes made a real difference to United with Mata scoring United’s 1st, Anthony Martial scoring the 2nd and Sanchez endearing himself to the United faithful grabbing the winning goal with time running out. There was talk before the game that Jose Mourinho was a dead man walking and was about to be sacked. At half-time Jose must have feared the worse as United were simply woeful and probably rang The Lowry up to check out. Something clicked in the 2nd half and that is the way United should play but maybe Jose will refer to type against his old club Chelsea as he certainly won’t want to lose to the Blues. Take the shackles off and let the players play. That’s what the United faithful want and demand and it was clear to see at the final whistle that they are still behind Jose. The question is ‘for how long ?’ This early Saturday afternoon kick-off against Chelsea will be a good yardstick as to how United are going to move forward from now on. Maybe the Sanchez goal is the turning point in Jose’ career at Old Trafford, maybe this is his ‘Mark Robins’ moment. Only time will tell, but what’s certain is Chelsea won’t lie down and will want to continue their great start under Sarri so will match United all the way.
This game last season was played on Bonfire Night and Chelsea beat United 1-0 with Alvaro Morata getting the solitary goal. The same score was repeated in the FA Cup final in May. Like all of this weekend’s Premier League games, team selection is key and it’s who has come back after the International Break fit and raring to go.
Bet 365 have Chelsea at 4/6, the Draw at 11/4 and United at a massive 4/1 to come away from Stamford Bridge with the Win. United at 4/1! Bet 365 offer 13/2 that the score is a repeat of last season and the FA Cup final of 1-0 and 16/1 that United can win 2-1.
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WEST HAM v TOTTENHAM
West Ham had a brief revival after a woeful start to the season and were 4 games unbeaten before being brought back down to earth in their loss Away at Brighton on Friday Night Football prior to International Break. That 4 game unbeaten run included an excellent win over Manchester United and an even more impressive draw against Chelsea considering the position Chelsea find themselves in.
Tottenham are on a 3 game unbeaten run in the Premier League after earlier losing a couple of games in a row. Tottenham still have no definitive date as to when their new stadium will be open but the pitch is currently being laid and there is talk that the Burnley fixture on December 15th could be the first one.
Tottenham beat Cardiff 1-0 last time out with Eric Dier getting the solitary goal early on in the game. Cardiff played most of the 2nd half with 10 men after Joe Ralls was sent off for a professional foul. Going back to stadium news the significant fact about that Cardiff win was Tottenham only managed to get 43,268 fans through the door at Wembley. It appears the Tottenham faithful are becoming bored with Wembley and it’s becoming too much of a day out.
This game last season was played in late September and was a bit of a goal fest with Tottenham coming out 3-2 winners. The Hammers 2 were scored by Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez and Cheikhou Kouyate. Harry Kane got a couple and Christian Eriksen got the Spurs goals. The interesting fact of that match was that Tottenham were 3-0 up.
Bet 365 have West Ham at 10/3, the Draw at 13/5 and Tottenham as odds-on favourites at 4/5. Bet 365 offer 7/2 for West Ham to score in both halves and 6/4 for Tottenham to do likewise and offer 7/2 for there to be 5 goals or more which happened twice last term when West Ham beat Tottenham 3-2 in the Carabao Cup and in the Premier League 2016 game at White Hart Lane when Tottenham won 3-2.
Away Win 1-3
WOLVES v WATFORD
Wolves have moved up to 7th in the Premier League and are currently on a 6 game unbeaten run which includes draws against both Manchester clubs. Last season’s Championship winners have only lost once in their return to the Top Flight and beat Crystal Palace 1-0 Away last time out prior to the International Break. Probably the surprise in that win was the goal scorer. Defender Matt Doherty got the all-important winner to continue Wolves fine start to the season. Wolves have a big Portuguese influence in the squad but they do have a few homegrown lads who make a big contribution to the team. Conor Coady won’t be far from Gareth Southgate’s plans, Ryan Bennett too and of course, Matt who plays for Martin O’Neil’s Republic of Ireland and played in both games for Ireland over the break.
Watford have hit a bit of a bad patch and after initially winning their opening 4 games have collected only 1 point out of their other 4 games of the 8 played so far. Their last game prior to the International Break was a real eye-opener for the Hornets faithful and they were subjected to
4-0 hammering against Bournemouth. The only solace that can be taken from that loss against Bournemouth is the Hornets had to play for the last hour with 10 men after Christian Kabasele was given a 2nd yellow card in the 32nd minute and had to take an early bath. Javi Gracia has had 2 weeks to get the boys back on track and Big Troy Deeney will want to get Watford firing again in this tough game against Wolves.
Bet 365 surprisingly have Wolves as odds-on favourites at 5/6, the Draw at 13/5 and Watford at a massive 16/5 (over 3/1) to come away from Molineux with all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 11/4 for Wolves to win and under 2.5 goals which basically means Wolves to win 1-0 or 2-0.
Home Win 2-0
CARDIFF v FULHAM
Cardiff are rock bottom of the Premier League without a win in any of their 8 games so far and have not won any game of football since a pre-season friendly in July. Apart from a 5-0 loss against Man City and a 4-1 loss against Chelsea, Neil Warnock’s men haven’t been hammered and the losses to City and Chelsea are no disgrace so the Bluebird faithful shouldn’t get too down heartened just yet. Tottenham beat Cardiff 1-0 last time out and Cardiff had to play the majority of the 2nd-half with 10 men after Joe Ralls was sent off. Neil did have a moan but when he looks at the incident in the cold light of day will know it was correct.
Fulham come into this game against their fellow Championship promoted side just 3 points above the Bluebirds. Prior to the International Break, the Cottages were humbled in front of their faithful fans 5-1 against a vibrant Arsenal side. Andre Schurrle got the Fulham goal and did make it 1-1 going into the halftime break. However, the Gunners came out in the 2nd half and blitzed Fulham taking the points. Like Cardiff, Fulham will find life hard in the Top Flight and it just shows the gap between the Championship and the Premier League is massive.
This game last season was played on Boxing Day and Fulham ran out 4-2 winners, however, that wasn’t a Premier League game, that was played in the hustle and bustle of the Championship as both teams were on their way to Promotion to the Promised Land. The Cardiff goals that day were scored by Kenneth Zohore and Callum Paterson. With Fulham’s winners coming from Tim Ream, Floyd Ayite, Ryan Sessegnon and Stefan Johansen who are still all at their relevant clubs and should all feature in this Premier League game.
Bet 365 have Cardiff at 11/8, the Draw at 9/4 and Fulham at 2/1. Bet 365 offer 12/5 for Cardiff to score in both halves and 3/1 for Fulham to do the same.
Bet 365 offer the same 10/11 that there will be Over 2.5 goals and Under 2.5 goals.
BOURNEMOUTH v SOUTHAMPTON
Bournemouth got arguably the result of Game Week 8 with a fine 4-0 win against Watford away at Vicarage Rd and would probably have not wanted the International Break to interrupt their brilliant start to the season. They took the lead again through a superb David Brooks goal just as they did in their previous game against Crystal Palace. Josh King added a couple before the half-time break including a penalty and Callum Wilson scored the 4th just after the break. Probably the surprise is the Cherries couldn’t add to the 4 goals considering the 4th was scored so early on in the 2nd-half. That moved Bournemouth up to 6th in the Premier League table and they will look to this South Coast Derby as very winnable to continue the run.
Southampton were well beaten last time out against Chelsea. Chelsea eventually ran out 3-0 winners however, that doesn’t tell the full story. Whilst still 0-0 Danny Ings missed an absolute sitter and if scored, could have put a completely different outlook on the game. It would have finished 3-1. The Saints lie just above the relegation places and need to start picking up points to avoid another relegation battle where the manager is sacked and the club look for another saviour like maybe Mark Hughes. That’s for the Southampton board to worry about.
This game last season was played on the first week of December and finished 1-1. Ryan Fraser got the Cherries goal just prior to half-time with Charlie Austin replying for the Saints midway through the 2nd-half. Bet 365 have Bournemouth clear favourites at Evens 1/1, the Draw at 23/10 and Southampton at 11/4. Bet 365 offer 11/5 that there are over 3.5 goals, which considering the Cherries games this season have produced lots of goals, isn’t a bad bet.
Home Win 3-1
MAN CITY v BURNLEY
Peps High Flying City have quietly made their way back to the Top of the Premier League and have 20 points the same as Liverpool and Chelsea. City got a great point Away at Anfield last time out which stopped the losses suffered in their previous 4 games against Liverpool which included a pre-season friendly and the quarter-final of the Champions League. What’s annoying for the Blue Mooners was they were awarded a last-minute penalty and with Sergio Aguero off the pitch Gabriel Jesus wanted to take the spot-kick but was overruled by Riyad Mahrez who took the ball off the Brazilian star. Unfortunately for Riyad, he smashed the ball over the bar, over the stand and out over the Anfield Rd where The John Lennon Airport staff had to put out an emergency warning to their incoming flights. It happens and Riyad will move on from this. He would have been the hero and will know what he’s done. This won’t be the defining moment in Citys season and the 2 points dropped won’t be the reason they miss out on the title. The Citizens should have plenty in the bank before the end of the season.
Burnley were held at home 1-1 to a struggling Huddersfield side after 2 impressive wins to drag the Claret and Blues out of the bottom 3 and up to the lofty highs of 12th in the table. Sam Vokes put Burnley in front against Huddersfield but the Terriers got an equaliser midway through the 2nd half to take a share of the points. After the exit from the Europa League, Burnley are now back on track and should be safe, however, this game against City will be tough and it will be a battle to keep the scoreline respectable.
This game last season was played at exactly the same time on the 21st of October and finished 3-0 to High Flying City. Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane got the goals 12 months ago and should all feature this time around. Bet 365 understandably have City as clear odds-on favourites at 1/14
( yes 1/14! ) the Draw is 10/1 and Burnley are a massive 33/1 to get a win at the Etihad which is worth a pound of anyone’s money. Bet 365 have City at 11/8 to Win and for there to be Under 3.5 goals which is real value and City at 12/5 to score a penalty.
Home Win 3-0
NEWCASTLE v BRIGHTON
Newcastle were 2-0 up and cruising against a poor Manchester United at Old Trafford. The 2nd-half fight back by United sort of ruined the Toon Army’s night out in Manchester but the ones who stayed over will have had a good night on Deansgate or in the Printworks. Newcastle completely outplayed United for the first 20 minutes scoring 2 goals through Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto resulting in Jose Mourinho taking off Eric Bailly on 19 minutes. Newcastle were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when a cross appeared to have struck Ashley Young’s arm but the referee waved play on. The Magpies were overrun in the 2nd-half and ultimately lost a tight game but did show spirit in their fight to get out of the bottom 3 and will definitely target this game against Brighton in front of their loyal fans as a must win.
Brighton beat West Ham prior to the International Break at the Amex and have performed pretty well overall this season. The superb Glenn Murray scored the goal in the 1-0 win against the Hammers on Friday Night Football and just gave a little reminder to Gareth that, although 35 now, if Harry and the Youngsters get injured, Glenn will step in and would not look out of place in an England shirt. That win against the Hammers took Brighton to 13th in the table and the loyal Seagull fans will relish this long away trip to St James Park. They will probably think they are in a different Time-zone and will be constantly checking their watches.
This game last season was played the day before New Year’s Eve and finished 0-0.
Bet 365 have Newcastle at 23/20, the Draw at 11/5 and Brighton at 5/2 to make the long trip North worth it. Bet 365 have this at 6/4 for there to be Over 2.5 goals this time around.
Home Win 2-1
HUDDERSFIELD v LIVERPOOL
Late Saturday afternoon kick-off live on BT Sports sees a struggling Huddersfield entertain Liverpool at the John Smith Stadium.
Huddersfield come into this game off the back of a great Draw away at Turf Moor last time out. The Draw stopped the rot of 3 straight defeats and gained an excellent deserved point. Big German defender Christopher Schindler scored the Terriers equaliser against Burnley who have struggled to score this season. There must be a list of Huddersfield goal scorers somewhere and Christopher is certainly on that list now. This will be a tough game in front of the cameras for Huddersfield and they will be lucky to get anything today.
Liverpool played out a 0-0 Draw with High Flying City at Anfield just before the International Break and in the end, were lucky to come away with a point after a late City penalty was awarded for a rash challenge by Virgil Van Dijk. No argument in the award of the penalty but the Anfield faithful must have feared the worse until Riyad Mahrez smashed the penalty- kick high, wide and handsome into the Liverpool night sky. The game finished 0-0 and the points shared to keep both teams on 20 points and Top of the Premier League along with Chelsea.
This game last season was played at the end of January and finished 3-0 to Liverpool. Liverpool’s goal scorers that day were Emre Can, Roberto Firminho and Mo Salah. One things for certain Emre Can won’t score today. He’s moved on to Juventus.
Bet 365 understandably have Huddersfield as massive under-dogs at 11/1, the Draw at 9/2 and Liverpool are Odds on at 1/4 to come away from West Yorkshire with the points. Bet 365 offer 7/4 that there will be Over 3.5 goals and 4/1 that there are over 4.5 goals. Bet 365 offer just under Evens, 10/11 for Liverpool to score in both halves.
Away Win 0-2
EVERTON v CRYSTAL PALACE
Sunday afternoon football live on Sky Sports sees the Toffees entertain the Eagles at Goodison Park.
Everton come into this game after the International Break off the back of a superb 2-1 win away at Leicester. Richarlison opened the scoring for the Toffees and although Leicester equalised, Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a superb individual goal which was worthy of winning any game. Marco Silva has divided opinion from so-called pundits as to whether he is the real deal after failed managerial terms with Hull and Watford. Time will tell whether Marco can take the Toffees on but if the football is good to watch after Big Sams tenure then surely the Everton fans will be patient with the Portuguese man.
Crystal Palace have lost their last 2 Premier League games and will want to bounce back in this tie at Goodison Park. The last time out before the International Break, Palace lost to newly promoted Wolves at Selhurst Park. That would have irked the Eagles faithful and will want to put on a show against Everton. Wilfried Zaha has had 2 weeks rest from being kicked so should be on top form and Palace certainly need a fit and fresh Wilfried to get anything up on Merseyside.
This game last season was played in the cold of February and finished 3-1 to Everton. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Oumar Niasse and Tom Davies got the Toffees goals that day and Luka Milivojevic got a late penalty for Crystal Palace.
Bet 365 have Everton as Odds On favourites at 10/11, the Draw is 5/2 and Crystal Palace are 3/1 to come south with all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 2/1 that Everton will score in both halves and 9/2 for Palace to do likewise.
Home Win 3-1
ARSENAL v LEICESTER
Monday Night Football live on Sky Sports. This is the final Premier League game of the weekend. Arsenal are on a 6 game Premier League winning streak after losing their opening 2 games. They smashed Fulham 5-1 last time out with a superb 2nd-half demolition job on the Cottages. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who had been a 2nd-half substitute, got 2 each and sandwiched in between their efforts was possibly the goal of the season up to now from Aaron Ramsey. Aaron was on his own goal-line and was involved in a superb team goal all the way up to the Fulham goal and backheeled the ball into the net. A superb individual and team goal. Aaron is stalling on his contract and if the Gunners don’t sort things out soon, will lose a superb talent. Any of the Top teams will swoop for Double-A Ron and he will enhance whoever he decides to play for.
Leicester were surprisingly beaten at the King Power last time out. Ricardo Pereira got the Foxes goal in the 2-1 loss to Everton and after a good start to the season, this was a surprise loss to the Toffees. Leicester are the only team this term to beat newly promoted Wolves and then beat Wolves again, knocking them out of the Carabao Cup on penalties. Wes Morgan was sent off in the 2nd-half against Everton for 2 Yellow Cards so will miss this trip to the Emirates. With a fit Jamie Vardy, the Foxes will always be there or thereabouts and should give the Gooners a good game.
This game last term was the first game of the 2016/17 season and played on a Friday Night. It finished 4-3 to the Gunners with goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud. The Foxes replies were Shinji Okazaki and a couple from Sheffield boy Jamie Vardy. At one point Arsenal were 3-2 down before rallying and getting 2 late goals to take all 3 points.
Bet 365 have Arsenal favourites at 4/9, the Draw is 7/2 and the Foxes are a massive 11/2 to take all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 66/1 that this will be another 4-3 to Arsenal and 12/1 that there are over 6.5 goals.
Home Win 3-1