Liverpool versus Arsenal, Saturday, March 4
With Chelsea not playing until Monday, their nearest rivals in the Premier League, Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal, have an opportunity to make some headway against the Blues, albeit temporarily. Fifth-placed Liverpool versus fourth-placed Arsenal at Anfield looks the tie of the weekend and, having won five and drawn two of their last eight home matches in the Premier League, the Reds are clear favourites at 2.05. The return of Senegalese striker Sadio Mane, who scored twice in two minutes against Tottenham at Anfield, is a godsend for Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp and, with the Gunners’ title aspirations effectively ended by the 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge two outings ago, Liverpool may just have the edge. Interestingly, Liverpool have scored in 92% of their home matches in the Premier League, while Arsenal have scored in 92% of their away matches, so let’s try both teams to score and Liverpool to win at 3.95 with 188Bet.
Selection: Both teams to score and Liverpool to win (3.95 with 188Bet)
Chelsea versus Swansea City, Saturday, February 25
Swansea City have won four of their six Premier League matches since Paul Clement replaced Bob Bradley on January 2 and currently lie 15th in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone. However, Clement, who spent two spells on the coaching staff at Stamford Bridge, acknowledges that his side faces a ‘big task’ on his return to his former club.
The Blues’ have been beaten just once at home in the Premier League this season, scoring 33 goals and conceding just seven. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Pedro have contributed 31 goals and 13 assists between them, home and away, it’s not hard to envisage a torrid afternoon for the visiting defence.
Swans’ chairman Huw Jenkins recently revealed that the club rejected “substantial offers” for the influential trio Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente and Federico Fernandez in the January transfer window but, while the Jacks should continue to improve under Clement, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge may be a step too far at this stage. Let’s try a routine 2-0 home win at 6/1 with bet365, William Hill or BetVictor.
Selection: Chelsea to win 2-0 (6/1 with bet365, William Hill and BetVictor)
Chelsea versus Arsenal, Saturday, February 4
Arsenal may have dismantled Chelsea in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium in September, but the Gunners’ 3-0 victory proved a road to Damascus moment for Blues’ boss Antonio Conte. His subsequent switch to a 3-4-3 formation, with Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso operating as wing-backs, has seen his side beaten just once since and they are currently nine points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Second-placed Arsenal are no mugs, of course, but having won just one of their last four away matches in the Premier League, not to mention a shock home defeat by Watford in midweek, this is a make or break fixture for Arsene Wenger’s. Defeat on Saturday would leave the Gunners 12 points behind Chelsea with 14 games – including trips to Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane and Anfield – left to play and, with Wenger once again banished to the stands, the pressure is all on the away team.
Diego Costa wasn’t at his best against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday, including missing a late penalty, but expect the Blues’ top scorer to be back to his snarling best for this crucial tie. For a spot of value, let’s try Chelsea to win 3-2 at 28/1 with bet365.
Selection: Chelsea to win 3-2 (28/1 with bet365)
Manchester City versus Tottenham Hotspur, Saturday, January 21
Everton managed to score four goals from four shots on target against Manchester City at Goodison Park last Sunday, effectively ending the Sky Blues’ Premier League title challenge, if manager Pep Guardiola is to believed. Centre half John Stones continues to carry the can for City’s ragged back four, but Nicolas Otamendi, Gael Clichy and Yaya Toure all made individual mistakes that cost their side dearly against Everton.
Spurs, on the other hand, arrive at the Etihad Stadium on the crest of a wave, having won all six Premier League fixtures since a 1-0 reverse against Manchester United at Old Trafford in mid-December. Mauricio Pochettino’s side has scored 19 goals and conceded just three in that period and can, once again, expose the Sky Blues’ defensive frailties and lack of threat going forward.
Tottenham make no little appeal at 3.6 with Bet365, but Pep Guardiola has questions to answer, so let’s try Tottenham -1 in the handicap market at 8.0 with Ladbrokes.
Selection: Tottenham -1 (8.0 with Ladbrokes)
Manchester United versus Liverpool, Sunday, January 15
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp freely admitted that his side was lucky to come away from St. Mary’s with just a 1-0 deficit after a shocking performance against Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday. That said, the Reds have lost just twice in the Premier League all season and currently lie second, five points ahead of sixth-placed United. Indeed, both sides have been in cracking form in the Premier League in recent weeks; United have taken 24 points out of the last 30 available, including 18 out of the last 18, while Liverpool have taken just three fewer.
Red Devils’ boss Jose Mourinho should be able to welcome back top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic so, hopefully, a repeat of the uneventful goalless draw at Anfield in the reverse fixture back in October seems unlikely. Interestingly, United have conceded just six goals in the first half in their 20 Premier League fixtures so far this season so, for a little variety, let’s try Draw/Manchester United at 5.8 with 188Bet in the Half Time/Full Time market.
Selection: Draw/Manchester United (5.8 with 188Bet)
Premier League: Mid Season State of Play
How time flies! We’re now almost at the half way point in this year’s premier league season and so are starting to get a firm idea of who’s in the running for the title this year. Chelsea have to be please with their performance so far this year, with a very competitive goal scoring record and superb defense. Things are also looking good for Liverpool (with an impressive scoring record), Manchester City and to a degree Arsenal. The current Premier League winner odds are Chelsea 4/6, Liverpool 5/1, Manchester City 5/1, Arsenal 10/1 . Manchester United are just about in with a shot at 20-1 and Tottenham at 40/1.
Manchester City versus Chelsea (Saturday, 12.30)
Following consecutive defeats by Liverpool and Arsenal in September, the switch to a 3-4-3 formation was a stroke of genius by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. The Blues have won their last seven matches in the Premier League, scoring 19 goals and conceding just one, and are in the best possible form ahead of their trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime. Manchester City are unbeaten at home this season, having scored at least once in all six home matches, but have managed just one clean sheet. Sergio Aguero remains in fine goal-scoring form for the Sky Blues so, in a (hopefully) exciting encounter, let’s try Aguero to score the first goal and Chelsea to win 2-1 at 33/1 with BetVictor.
Selection: Sergio Aguero/Chelsea 2-1 (33/1 with Bet Victor)
Chelsea versus Tottenham Hotspur, Saturday, November 26
Since a harrowing 3-0 defeat by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium at the end of September, Chelsea have won all six Premier League matches, scoring 17 goals and conceding none. Blues’ boss Antonio switched to a 3-4-3 formation for the game against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium and his side hasn’t looked back, with Victor Moses, in particular, enjoying a new lease of life at right wing-back. Back-to-back matches against Tottenham and Manchester City will test the Blues’ resilience, but they could be playing the Lilywhites at the right time.
Tottenham have the not insignificant distraction of a crucial Champions’ League against Monaco at the Stade Louis II on Tuesday, which could see them eliminated from the competition if they fail to win. Spurs’ boss Mauricio Pochettino was due to make late decisions on the fitness of Harry Kane, Delle Alli and Moussa Dembele and may be forced into changes of personnel on Saturday. In any case, Chelsea are on the crest of a wave at present so, with home advantage, let’s try the Blues to win 2-0 at 17/2 with bet365.
Selection: Chelsea to win 2-0 (17/2 with bet365)
Manchester United versus Arsenal, Saturday, November 19
Arsenal missed their previous chance of leading the Premier League at home to Tottenham a fortnight ago, but have another shot at doing so, at least for a few hours, at Old Trafford on Saturday. The Gunners lost to Liverpool by the odd goal in a seven-goal thriller at the Emirates Stadium on the opening weekend of the season, but are unbeaten since and have scored 12 goals in five away games, while conceding just three. The Red Devils have been beaten just once in five Premier League home games this season, going down 1-2 in the Manchester Derby, but manager Jose Mourinho has exhibited distinct signs of uneasiness in recent weeks.
The ‘Special One’ was charged with misconduct and fined £50,000 over comments he made about referee Anthony Taylor prior to the game against Liverpool at Anfield and was sent to the Old Trafford stands by Mark Clattenberg during the 0-0 with Burnley after an altercation in or around the tunnel area at half-time. He served a touchline ban against Swansea and was fined a further £8,000 for the latter offence. More recently, he has expressed his dismay at the culture he has inherited at Old Trafford,
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has urged Chile not to risk striker Alexis Sanchez, who picked up a low grade muscle injury on international duty, in their World Cup qualifier against Uruguay on Tuesday but, with or without the 27-year-old, Arsenal are probably playing United at just the right time. Recent form suggests that the respective defences will have the upper hand, though, so let’s try a 1-1 draw at 6/1 with William Hill.
Selection: 1-1 Draw (6/1 with William Hill)