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)
Newcastle United versus Tottenham Hotspur, Sunday, May 15
Win, lose or draw, Tottenham are guaranteed to finish at least third in the Premier League and Newcastle could already be relegated, if Sunderland beat Everton on Wednesday, so this fixture could turn out to be something of a non-event. However, the Magpies lacked ambition during the 0-0 draw with relegated Aston Villa at last Saturday and, frankly, cannot be recommended whether or not they have anything left to play for. The spirit and desire they displayed when winning the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane, under former boss Steve McLaren, appears long gone and it could be a long afternoon for Rafa Benitez. Spurs may have missed out on their first league title since 1961, but can still secure their highest finish to a Premier League season, so let’s have a decent bet at 13/10 with BetVictor, Coral or Paddy Power that Mauricio Pochettino’s side end the season on a high.
Selection: Tottenham Hotspur to win (13/10 with BetVictor)
Manchester City versus Arsenal, Sunday, May 8
Manchester City have the little matter of a Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Wednesday before they face Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Neither side has exactly been pulling up any trees lately, but the Sky Blues can take a seven-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United by beating the Gunners and look worthy favourites to do so.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini made eight changes from last Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Los Blancos for the 4-2 defeat by Southampton at St. Mary’s last Sunday, but is unlikely to take such a ‘cavalier’ approach to the two remaining Premier League fixtures, against Arsenal and Swansea City.
The Gunners lack of firepower was, once again, evident during the 1-0 defeat of Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium last Saturday, when Danny Welbeck’s 59th minute winner was their first shot on target. The fact that they won the reverse fixture against the Sky Blues 2-1 in December, with a performance characterised by drive, cutting edge and resilience, only really serves to demonstrate how disappointing they’ve become.
Let’s take Manchester City to drive another nail in the coffin of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger by hammering his team 4-0 at 55/1 with BetVictor.
Selections: Manchester City to win 4-0 (55/1 with BetVictor)
Leicester City Win the Premier League!
The wait is over and due to a 2 – 2 draw for Tottenham Hotspur against Chelsea (despite being 2-0 up after half time), Leicester have been crowned Premier League 2005-16 champions. The dream scenario that only a handful of lucky punters got in on at 5000-1 at the start of the season, has become a reality. The public love an underdog story and we’ll all be in for a long wait to find one to top this. Well done the Foxes. Now it’s finally time to get out to the shops and buy that reduced price Spurs celebration cake!
What a bargain!