The Premier League is back this weekend, and there are more crackers in store than at your nan’s Christmas dinner…
Assuming, of course, that your nan buys two crackers for the big get-together. I count three decent-looking fixtures. The first of which is on Saturday lunchtime over in west London where Chelsea host champions Leicester. Chelsea are unbeaten at home so far this season, while the Foxes have lost all three of their games on the road.
Logic therefore tells me that Chelsea at 4/7 with both Ladbrokes and BoyleSports is a good leg to have in your acca. But do be aware of the early kick off syndrome that is sweeping through the betting world, and approach this one with extreme caution. If you want to avoid putting this one on your coupons for that very reason, take a first goalscorer punt on Eden Hazard. The Belgian is hitting a bit of form, and is 5/1 with BoyleSports to bag first.
Another interesting clash sees Everton travel to the Emptihad (not a typo) to take on top-of-the-table Manchester City. City looked vulnerable at the back to say the least when they were beaten comfortably by Spurs before the break. The Toffees also stalled before the two-week interval as they were defeated by Bournemouth before drawing with Crystal Palace. You can’t see City failing to win this one at home, but Everton should put up a fight. Pep’s side to win with both teams scoring is much more appealing at 9/5 than the 1/2 being offered for a straight up win.
The three o’clock kick offs offer plenty of hope to value hunters out there who are brave with their selections. Sunderland may be bottom of the league, but they’re travelling to face a Stoke side that have also failed to win so far this season, and have only lost once in six games against The Potters. 3/1 for a Sunderland away win has the look of a Moldova-esque upset. Check out what the hell I’m on about here.
If you’re like me and think West Ham have got to bloody win some time, then Selhurst Park could well be the place they do it. They’ve won 3-1 on their last two visits to Crystal Palace, and that’s what I’m going for this time round as well. Both teams to score is a certainty at 4/6. 5/2 for West Ham to win is too good a price to turn down, regardless of form.
Monday Night Football serves us up a belter between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield. United have only lost twice in their last ten games against their most fierce rivals, including victories in their last two visits to Merseyside. The bookies have worked out that games involving Liverpool are pretty much certainties for both teams scoring, so I’d probably avoid the 8/13 being offered. My gut is telling me this one will be a tense draw. Liverpool are unbeaten on their patch this season, and United are unbeaten away. Has something got to give? Not really. Knowing my luck, I’ll spend all weekend convincing the other half to let me watch it, only for it to be a drab 0-0. Put your house on it.
Time for a quick dip into the Championship to finish off for today. Three new managers take the hot seat for their first games in charge this weekend. Neil Warnock, Steve Bruce and Steve McClaren make their bows for Cardiff, Villa and Derby respectively. Fancy a tenner on the three of them to get home wins to kick off their tenures? It returns a rather tidy £93 with Ladbrokes.
El Capitano’s Tip of the Day: Sunderland to snatch an away win at Stoke at a massive 3/1.