By By Sunil Singh @ GamblingKingz
The upcoming Premier League weekend has a number of enticing matches as Manchester United try to hunt down rivals Manchester City at the top of the table.
A 7-2 thumping of Stoke City demonstrated City are going to take some stopping this season, especially as it came shortly after United had parked the bus at Anfield. Jose Mourinho may have been happy with a 0-0 draw away to Liverpool for the second season in a row, but his side must be wary of dropping too many points with City in such fine form.
Burnley are the latest team to head to the Etihad Stadium and the Clarets have a fine away record this season, unbeaten in four on the road despite having visited champions Chelsea, second-placed Spurs, Liverpool and Everton already this season.
The Clarets have also drawn on two of their last three visits to City, but few will be giving them much chance of success on Saturday – they are as big as 28/1 to win at the Etihad.
Huddersfield Town are similarly unfancied for their hosting of United, David Wagner’s men available to back at 11/1 despite being at home to the Red Devils.
City and United will be on a lot of accumulators this weekend, but what are the other big matches to look out for in the Premier League? Let’s take a look at three top clashes.
Chelsea v Watford
The Premier League champions look vulnerable for this weekend’s match, with surprise high-flyers Watford the visitors to Stamford Bridge.
Watford are actually above Chelsea going into the weekend, the Hornets sitting in fourth place after a stunning start to the season under new head coach Marco Silva. Chelsea are a place and two points behind Watford, having lost back-to-back matches against Manchester City and Crystal Palace, yet are strong favourites with the bookies here.
Odds of 1/3 look far too short on the Blues for Saturday’s match, even if it is over 30 years since Watford won at the Bridge. The Hornets are a whopping 11/1 to win on Saturday and their double chance price of 3/1 has to be worth considering given their strong run of form.
Watford have made a habit of scoring late goals in the early weeks of the campaign so even if they are trailing they will fancy their chances of fighting their way back into the match. Nathaniel Chalobah, who left Chelsea for Watford in the summer transfer window, has plenty to prove.
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Everton v Arsenal
The first game of Sunday’s double-header in the Premier League sees struggling Everton welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park.
Both teams have made a below-par start to the campaign, with the Gunners sixth after surrendering a lead at Watford last time out, while Everton are performing even worse.
After spending heavily in the summer transfer window – although, crucially, they failed to replace United-bound Romelu Lukaku – many were tipping Everton to push for a place in the top four.
Instead, the Toffees are only two points above the relegation zone after taking eight points from their first eight games of the season, piling pressure on manager Ronald Koeman.
Koeman has insisted he is not concerned about his side’s poor start, believing it will take time for new signings such as £45 million buy Gylfi Sigurdsson to adapt to his tactics.
But Everton can take heart from the fact they won this fixture in the Premier League last season, a late Ashley Williams goal securing a 2-1 win despite his defensive partner Phil Jagielka being sent off in injury time.
An added complication is that both teams were in action in the Europa League on Thursday night, with Everton perhaps in a slightly better position as they played at home, whereas Arsenal had to travel to Belgrade in Serbia to take on Crvena Zvezda.
Everton’s poor form – they lost their last home league game 1-0 to Burnley – has persuaded the bookmakers to price Arsenal up as the favourites here and they are offered at around evens.
Arsenal are as big as 3/1 but the Gunners have not won any of their away Premier League games this season, taking only a single point from those fixtures, a 0-0 draw at Chelsea.
Perhaps the draw is therefore the most likely outcome for this clash between two of the Premier League’s out-of-form sides, with this option available to back at odds of around the 5/2 mark.
Tottenham v Liverpool
Wrapping up another exciting weekend in the Premier League will be Tottenham v Liverpool at Wembley in a game that promises thrills, spills and plenty of goal action.
Tottenham are undefeated in 22 of their last 23 home matches in the Premier League despite struggling to get to grips with their temporary home of the English national stadium, where they have been held by both Burnley and Swansea City already this season.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are one of a cluster of clubs on 13 points from their eight matches in the Premier League to date and Jurgen Klopp faces a battle to secure Champions League qualification for his side.
The German is starting to come under the spotlight for the Reds’ continued defensive deficiencies, with the failure to complete the signing of highly-rated Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk starting to look like a colossal mistake from the club.
There are also plenty of question marks about Liverpool’s goalkeeping options, with Loris Karius seemingly no better than Simon Mignolet and Klopp unsure which to select as his number one.
While problems at the back have been a feature of Klopp’s time at Anfield, difficulties in attack are a new problem he has had to get to grips with over the course of this season.
Roberto Firmino’s loss of form coupled with a crisis of confidence for Daniel Sturridge and the disruption of Barcelona’s attempts to sign star man Philippe Coutinho have all had a destabilising impact on Liverpool’s effectiveness in front of goal.
Coupled with the fact key forward Sadio Mane is on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and it is not looking good for Liverpool, who can be backed at around 5/2 to win at Wembley on Sunday. Liverpool have won only one of their last five Premier League games, although three draws in a row means they are not losing games either.
While Liverpool have issues, all is not quite as it should be at Tottenham – who are offered at about evens to beat the Reds – either. While Harry Kane is largely regarded as being on fire for club and country this season – at least since his annual barrel August was out of the way – one surprising statistic will trouble Mauricio Pochettino.
Kane has yet to score in four Premier League games at Wembley this season, netted a late winner against Slovakia to seal World Cup qualification for England when he played there.
There has been a lot of debate about whether or not Kane should be considered in the world-class bracket of top quality footballers and this is the sort of game in which he needs to prove himself if he is to join the elite.
The forward is the 5/6 favourite in the any time goalscorer market to bring that unusual drought to an end, but he has never tasted victory in five games in this fixture, scoring just twice.