Date published: Friday 23rd November 2018 8:59
Brighton v Leicester City
The Premier League makes a triumphant return this weekend and not before time. It’s been a mad week on the betting front with Mick McCarthy now 1/10 in places to be Republic of Ireland boss. Just let that sink in. Not only that, ‘Arry Redders is now clear favourite to win I’m a Celeb and it seems he loves wife ‘My Sandra’ even more than Niko Kranjcar. Anyhoo, Brighton will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats to Everton and Cardiff away from home against the Foxes. They are a much stronger side at home but Leicester are unbeaten in their last three so the draw looks the shout at the Amex.
Everton v Cardiff City
Cardiff bagged a priceless win before the international break but it’s tough to see them getting anything from this trip to Goodison. Everton were brilliant defensively against Chelsea last time out and if they put in a similar shift here they’ll grab the three points with minimal fuss.
Fulham v Southampton
Fulham have lost nine of their 12 matches so far and have turned to ‘The Tinker Man’ in a bid to stop the rot. The Londoners spent heavily in the summer and have the talent up top to get out of this mess, so ClAudio Ranieri’s first task will be to plug that leaky defence. Something has got to give here as while no side has failed to score in more Premier League games than Southampton this season (6), Fulham are the only team yet to keep a clean sheet. Preference is for Fulham, after a bit of subtle tinkering, to shade it.
Manchester United v Crystal Palace
Despite some genuine ballers in their ranks, Palace have found the net just eight times this season. And just to depress Eagles fans a bit more they’ve failed to score on each of their last five visits to Old Trafford. The Red Devils won’t keep many clean sheets this season with their unique brand of comedy defending but probably won’t get a better chance than on Saturday.
Watford v Liverpool
The corresponding fixture last season finished 3-3 and was an absolute thriller. The stats point to more goals this weekend though the difference between Liverpool’s defence now and the last time they went to Vicarage Road is night and day. Liverpool should get over the line this time round but Watford have enough quality to give them a stern argument.
West Ham v Manchester City
That 3-1 derby success against Manchester United was City’s seventh straight win and they’ve been scoring goals for fun in November. Pep’s side are a joy to watch and can give us another glimpse of the depth of their talents by crowing to victory here. Conditions should suit them as well at the London Stadium so even the possible return from injury of Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere won’t save the Hammers from a naughty hiding here. The Hammers have lost all three of their meetings with the Citizens at the London Stadium so far, scoring just once and shipping 13.
Tottenham v Chelsea
Tottenham and Chelsea clash at Wembley on Saturday and Dele Alli looks interesting at 10/1 to open the scoring. The England midfielder was in the news this week after being filmed at 5am in conversation with reception staff at the Mayfair Hotel. Now let’s have it right. Him and Ross Barkley will never be mistaken for Oliver Reed and Keith Moon when it comes to hell-raising now will they? In fact the only thing I found offensive was that Dele, who is on £100k a week and clearly not short of a few quid, seemed to be dressed as a pirate. He has scored five goals in Spurs’ last four meetings with Chelsea so quotes of 10/1 look big.
Bournemouth v Arsenal
The Cherries have stunned pundits with their superb start to the season and are up to sixth in the table on merit. However Arsenal have won nine of their last 12 and look so strong up front. Matches involving the Gunners this season have seen an average of 3.42 goals a game so if this ends 0-0 I’ll get ‘HARD BREXIT’ tattooed across my testicles.
Wolves v Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield have taken four points from their last two matches to give them renewed hope but Wolves have been decent at home so far and have the best defensive record of teams outside the top four. They claimed a point against Manchester City and gave Spurs a real argument so should be too hot for a Terriers sure who’ve claimed just one clean sheet in their last nine games.