AFC Bournemouth versus Tottenham Hotspur, Saturday, October 22
Bournemouth made it three home wins in a row with an impressive 6-1 victory over Hull City last Saturday, despite the absence of Brad Smith, Lewis Cook and Max Gradel, who all returned from international duty with significant injuries. Unbeaten Tottenham Hotspur, on the other hand, relied on a late equaliser from Dele Alli to rescue a point against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, despite enjoying more than 70% of possession.
Spurs’ striker Harry Kane was originally ruled out for eight weeks after injuring his ankle on September 18, but could be in contention for the trip to Dean Court, but defender Toby Alderweireld is unlikely to feature in Saturday’s match after being carried off on a stretcher at the Hawthorn. Nevertheless, Mauricio Pochettino’s side displayed admirable determination against what Baggies’ goalkeeper Ben Foster called “a classic Tony Pulis team” last Saturday and look bona fide title contenders.
In terms of betting opportunities, let’s not over-egg the pudding and go for Tottenham to win at even money with Betfred, Sporting Bet or plenty of others.
Selection: Tottenham Hotspur to win (1/1 generally available)
West Bromwich Albion versus Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion have made fair, if unspectacular, start to the Premier League season, but face bona fide title contenders, in the form of Tottenham Hotspur, for the first time at the Hawthorns this Saturday. The Baggies played with width and pace when beating West Ham 4-2 at the Hawthorns three starts ago, but proved less effective in subsequent 1-1 draws against Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium and Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and may find themselves firmly on the back foot against an unbeaten Tottenham side.
Spurs’ high-octane brand of football proved too much for Premier League leaders Manchester City at White Hart Lane a fortnight ago, despite the absence of first-choice striker Harry Kane, and a repeat performance must surely be good enough. Touted as the first high-profile casualty of Spurs’ collapse at the end of last season, revitalised South Korean striker Son Heung-min has scored six goals and assisted two more in his last seven Premier League games and made a major contribution towards the Lilywhites’ best ever start to a Premier League season.
Even if Baggies’ manager Tony Pulis decides to ‘park the bus’, the home defence could be in for a torrid time, so let’s try a sporting wager on Son Heung-min to score two or more goals at 8/1 with William Hill.
Selection: Son Heung-min to score two or more goals (8/1 with William Hill)
Swansea City versus Liverpool, Saturday, October 1
Liverpool are the only team currently in the top four of the Premier League without the distraction of a midweek European fixture and can take full advantage when they face struggling Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. The Reds continue to gather momentum after convincing wins against Leicester City, Chelsea and Hull City in recent weeks and, in fact, have scored more goals than any other team in the Premier League since Jurgen Klopp took over last October.
Swansea, by contrast, have accumulated just a single point in five games since beating Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor on the opening day of the Premier League season and the pressure is mounting on manager Francesco Guidolin. No decision has yet been made to replace Guidolin but, with former United States coach Bob Bradley, Ryan Giggs and Gianfranco Zola linked with the job, the Swans face difficult fixtures against Liverpool, followed by Arsenal, at just the wrong time.
Expect another spirited display from the hosts but, for betting purposes, let’s try Liverpool to score in both halves at 2.1 with Stan James.
Selection: Liverpool to score in both halves (2.1 with Stan James)
Manchester United versus Leicester City, Saturday, September 24
Leicester City were outplayed during their 4-1 defeat by Liverpool in front of a sell-out crowd at Anfield on their penultimate outing in the Premier League – a fact fully acknowledged by manager Claudio Ranieri – but responded by outclassing newly-promoted Burnley at the King Power Stadium last Saturday. Record signing Islam Slimani not only scored twice on his Premier League debut, but linked up well with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy during the 3-0 victory and could be destined for further success against a United side lacking in confidence.
Successive defeats by Manchester City and Watford have left the Reds in seventh place, already six points behind the pace set by their Manchester rivals. Even with Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic restored to the side, United were ineffective against Watford, particularly in the first half, with Paul Pogba playing in a deep midfield role alongside Marouane Fellaini. The “Special One” clearly still has tactical problems to solve, so there may be some value in backing the Foxes at 22/5 with BetVictor to record their first away win of the season.
Selection: Leicester City (22/5 with BetVictor)
Hull City versus Arsenal, Saturday, September 10
Tigers’ caretaker manager Mike Phelan did his chances of being appointed on a permanent basis by winning the Barclays Premier League manager of the month award for August and will be hoping that his side continues its remarkable start to the season against Arsenal at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.
Two wins and a draw from four Premier League games leaves the former relegation favourites in eighth place, on level points with Arsenal, and anyone who takes the 3/5 available for an away win could be in for a nervy afternoon. The Gunners struggled in front of goal on their last Premier League outing against Southampton at the Emirates and may do so again in the face of determined, spirited defending from Curtis Davies and company.
At the other end of the pitch, a rejuvenated Robert Snodgrass, who spent 16 months on the sidelines after dislocating his kneecap, has been a key figure in the Tigers’ success. Snodgrass has scored three goals and assisted two more in his last eight league appearances for Hull City, not to mention scoring a hat-trick for Scotland during their 5-1 defeat of Malta in the international break, so looks cracking value at 11/2 with Paddy Power to get his name on the scoresheet at some point during the 90 minutes.
Selection: Anytime Scorer – Robert Snodgrass (11/2 with Paddy Power)
Manchester United versus Manchester City, Saturday, September 10
The Premier League season resumes following the international break, on September 10, with the pivotal Manchester derby at Old Trafford. Last season, both Manchester clubs were ultimately just bit part players in one of the most remarkable stories in the history of English football but, with new, ‘superstar’ managers in charge and both teams with 100% records after three games in the Premier League, a similar scenario seems unlikely this time.
The Red Devils (4/3) are probably justifiably favourites against the Sky Blues (29/12), who are without top-scorer Sergio Aguero, banned for three games after being found guilty of violent conduct against West Ham on August 28. Aguero has scored three goals in three Premier League games, not to mention a hat-trick (and two missed penalties) in the first leg of the Champions League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest, so he will be missed. That said, summer signing Manuel Agudo Durán, known as Nolito, has scored three goals and assisted two more in five games in all competitions, while a rejuvenated Rahim Sterling has scored two goals and assisted three more in four games.
City still have plenty of firepower so, in search of a little value, let’s try both teams to score and Manchester City to win at 11/2 with bet365.
It’s good to be back to covering the league this year. If you’re not spent after this week’s football feast, have a play on New GVG Slot games. It’s a good time waster and if nowadays there are so many slot machine options. Weirdly I tend to do best on the games I’m new to, rather that the ones that in theory I already know how to play. Bring on my oblivious riches!
Selection: Both Teams to Score/Manchester City to win (11/2 with bet365)
Transfer Deadline Day
So today is transfer deadline day and consequently, some would argue, when the season really starts to get into full swing. So far the transfers are coming in thick and fast, with bottom of the table (after 3 games) Stoke signing Wilfriend Bony on loan from Manchester City and Leicester accepting a record £29 million fee from Sporting for Algerian striker Islam Slimani. It’s all very much still playing out as I type, with an anticipated Premier League summer spend of over £1 billion.
Next week we’ll be getting back to taking a look at a game featuring one of the current top four (currently Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton. After three games you could argue that the season is looking a little more as you’d expect so far – though in comparison to last year that has to be the case really! Odds to win the league compared to pre-season haven’t really changed much so far, though Leicester are already out to 80-1 with some bookmakers from 30-1 before their first game. Lightning never strikes in the same place twice, right?
At the bottom of the table it’s much as you’d expect in that the likes of Watford and Bournemouth are struggling. Stoke will be looking to pick up the pace as they are currently bottom of the table with just one point from three games. It’s early days yet though. All of the newly promoted teams, especially Hull and Middlesbrough are more than holding their own.
Premier League 2016-17 : Teams in with a Chance
The Premier League 2015-16 was one hell of a season by anyones measure with Leicester City coming out of nowhere with a fairytale story that turned the game on its head. In anticipation of the 2016-17 season, I’ve up the achievements, history, notable stats, players and short review of their 2015-16 season for teams that I think are in with a shot this year (and yes I’ve included Leicester since they’re last years winner!). Alongside the team I’ve included their currrent betting odds, so you can get in the mood for having a punt of the upcoming season.
Arsenal – Current betting odds: 6-1
Chelsea – Current betting odds: 6-1
Leicester – Current betting odds: 30-1
Liverpool – Current betting odds: 8-1
Manchester City – Current betting odds: 2-1
Manchester United – Current betting odds: 7/2
Tottenham Hotspur – Current betting odds: 9-1
Click on each team for the write up. Let’s hope we have another amazing season ahead of us.
Premier League 2015-16 Top Four
Well what a thrilling season the 2015/2016 Premier League has been. We had one of the most unexpected league winners of all time (if not the most unexpected) with Leicester topping the table with 81 points. At one point they were even available at a staggering 5000-1 to win the league. If ever there was a chance to cash in on a big football bet that was the one. Unfortunately only a lucky few got on it!
Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City are perhaps of course more familiar faces in terms of finishes near the top of the table and Manchester United just missed out on goal difference in the end, finishing in fifth place on 66 points.
Between now and next season I’ll be sure to chip in with the occasional post and will be putting out some upates soon detailing teams I feel are in with a shot of winning the 2016-17 premiership title. Stay tuned!
Crystal Palace versus Manchester United, Saturday, May 22
As expected, Manchester United breezed past Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Tuesday to secure fifth place in the Premier League and European football – albeit in the Europa League – next season and are odds-on to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.
The Red Devils needed a replay to beat West Ham United in the sixth round and an injury time winner from Anthony Martial to beat Everton in the semi-final so, while manager Louis van Gaal says he’s confident of being in charge at the start of next season, his side remains largely unconvincing. However, the likes of Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard were a class apart when the sides met at Old Trafford in the Premier League last month and it’s hard to see the Eagles escaping with anything better than the 2-0 defeat they suffered on that occasion. United should, once again, be too bright, creative and energetic for Palace, so let’s try Manchester United -2 in the handicap market at 13/2 with Sporting Bet.
Selection: Manchester United -2 (13/2 with Sporting Bet)