A DOOZY DOUBLE
Admittedly this will not be the most outrageous of double bets, but it is better to win some money than none and with two giants being placed at home this weekend, this might be one of the simpler punts that you’ll make over the festive period.
First up, is Manchester City playing home to Newcastle and although Pep Guardiola’s men have been rather shy of goals (or at least not thrashing teams as before), they should have enough firepower to deal with Newcastle.
The Magpies have been solid but not spectacular this season and with Steve Bruce’s men lying relatively comfortable in mid-table, there should not be that many complaints regarding the team’s performance.
Then again, there will always be complaints when it comes to Newcastle and when you consider this was a club that was bracing itself for a takeover in the off-season, more of the same is a difficult pill to swallow.
While a day later, Liverpool play host to West Brom and although Big Sam has taken the reigns with the relegation threatened side, his magic touch was not on show in the Baggies 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.
Of course, the fixture computer has not been kind to West Brom and with Liverpool putting seven past a hapless Crystal Palace last weekend, Jurgen Klopp will be expecting his charges to put another team to the sword.
Therefore, backing Liverpool and Manchester City to win at home this weekend, will be as simple as you like. It may not make you rich, but if you are looking for a bankroll builder, then it would make sense to put the house on this pair.
Summary: Back Pep and Klopp to oversee a double at 1.21
CAPITAL CARNAGE FOR ARSENAL
Can Arsenal stoop any lower? To be honest, they certainly can and when you consider that the Gunners have not won any of their last seven league outings, the dreaded ‘r’ word is being mentioned with a lot more regularity as of late.
A month or so ago, if anyone mentioned that Arsenal would be relegated, it would have been met with comments such as “yes they are struggling, but they still have enough about them to avoid the drop”.
Now though, such confidence has been eroded and after defeat to Everton at the weekend, the relegation zone is edging even closer and could be appearing in their rear-view mirrors by the end of the gameweek.
That’s because they play host to Chelsea and with Frank Lampard’s men getting the better of West Ham on Monday at Stamford Bridge, the West London outfit earned their first league win in three attempts.
Which will set them up rather nicely for this encounter and although they say that the formbook goes out of the window in derby meetings, it looks like the window might be locked shut for Mikel Arteta and his players.
Summary: Back Chelsea to win at 1.91
BLADES COVERED IN TOFFEE
While although Sheffield United showed some spirit in earning a draw away at Brighton on Sunday, a first league win of the season still eludes them and with Everton making a trip to Bramall Lane this weekend, it is a wait that may have to continue a while longer.
Because Carlo Ancelotti’s men are upwardly mobile at present and after winning their last three league outings and picking up 10 points from the last 12 on offer, the Toffees find themselves back in the top four.
A run of results which signifies just how important consistency will be this season and when you consider the fluid nature of the league table at present, being able to string a winning streak together can quickly change the complexion of your season.
With Sheffield United having only scored eight goals to date – the joint lowest figure of the season, Everton should not have to worry too much about the Blades’ goal threat and if they can open proceedings for themselves, then victory should all but be assured.
There does seem to be patience from the Sheffield United board, as Chris Wilder’s managerial toil increases. However, if they suffer another defeat, a pertinent question will be asked and Everton look likely to be the team that prompts such a discussion.
Summary: Back Everton at 1.75