Dimitar Berbatov: Fans and player at fault in painful Xhaka incident

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka
Will Grant Xhaka (above) play for Arsenal again?

Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov discusses the big talking point of the week as well as predictions for the weekend action...

"All footballers know how much effort it takes to keep performing at the highest level in your 30s. But Vardy is playing like a 26-year-old and I expect him to fire Leicester to another victory on Sunday."

Xhaka incident was painful to watch

Arsenal fans were wrong to boo their captain Granit Xhaka against Crystal Palace last weekend but the player's reaction was unacceptable. It's not the first time Arsenal fans have booed their own players as I remember it happening to Emmanuel Eboue in 2008. It's not pleasant at all and I found it painful to watch the Xhaka incident.

For a player, it dents your pride if fans boo your contribution or cheer that you're going off. You want to defend yourself but no player - especially the club captain - should ever react like Xhaka. When he took off his shirt, I was thinking: "Please don't throw your shirt down, because if you do that you're finished at the club."

Hossam Ghaly.jpg

I was playing for Tottenham in 2007 when Hossam Ghaly (pictured above) threw his shirt to the ground after being substituted. It is terrible for a team when that happens. Fortunately, Xhaka stopped short of doing that, but it will still be difficult for him to come back from this unpleasant incident. Unai Emery has a challenging job if he's to mend the relationship between Xhaka and the Arsenal fans.

United can sustain winning run at Bournemouth

Manchester United put in a great team performance to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday and make it three away wins in a row. Brandon Williams was excellent again in defence, Scott McTominay had an outstanding match in midfield and every United player was fighting for the team.

Marcus Rashford's brilliant free-kick meant it's now four goals in four appearances for him. I'm delighted for him. United's improved performances will give this whole young team the confidence they need to keep building.

Eddie Howe - 1280.jpg

On Saturday, United travel to Bournemouth for the early kick-off. The hosts haven't won since September but Eddie Howe's (above) men are always well organised and, even though they've struggled to score recently, they're still in the top half of the table, just two places below seventh-placed United.

Momentum is so important in football. It can get a team over the line for a narrow win even if they're not performing at their best. Of course, pundits are fickle and, as soon as United lose, they will say that nothing has changed and the club are doomed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, so United have to keep winning. I think they'll edge this tricky game.

Chelsea to bounce back and win at Watford

I like the way this Chelsea team play. Frank Lampard is giving chances to young players and, even though they lost to United, it's paying off. Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and the rest of this Blues team are playing good football.

Watford, on the other hand, are in trouble. Since returning as manager, Quique Sánchez Flores has tightened up the defence and made them more competitive, but they still desperately need to get their first league win of the season. I don't think that'll happen on Saturday and Chelsea will continue their form at Vicarage Road.

Top four finish is realistic goal for phenomenal Leicester

Brendan Rodgers is doing a phenomenal job at Leicester and, even though last week's 9-0 away win at Southampton was a freak result, it showed how devastating the Foxes are in attack. Leicester are a joy to watch, I would like to see their form continue and earn them a top four finish.

As for Palace, they showed great character to come from behind to get a draw at Arsenal last weekend. I expect Leicester to have too much for them, though, and the defence will struggle against the in-form and on-fire Jamie Vardy.

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The ex-England man (above) turns 33 in a couple of months and all footballers know how much effort it takes to keep performing at the highest level in your 30s. Vardy is playing like a 26-year-old and I expect him to fire Leicester to another victory on Sunday.

Underachieving Spurs and Everton set for draw

Tottenham were unlucky against Liverpool but the way the Reds came from behind to win underlined the differences between the teams. Jurgen Klopp's men didn't panic after Harry Kane's early goal and they didn't give up in pursuit of the win.

It helps when you have players as talented as Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino but they still chase everything and try to force their opponents into mistakes. That's how the winner came about, with Mane turning so quickly that Serge Aurier conceded the penalty. Mo Salah was never going to miss.

Mauricio Pochettino stares moody 1280.jpg

Spurs surrender leads far too often but they should learn an important lesson from Liverpool: great teams never give up. Mauricio Pochettino (above) remains an excellent manager and he has the players to be challenging at the top of the table but they lack concentration.

Spurs cannot be happy about being 11th in the table and a win at Everton on Sunday would be very important for them. But Goodison Park is a horrible ground for away teams because the fans are close to the pitch, always in your face and trying to bully you.

Everton are in a mess though, languishing just two points off the relegation zone. Every season is supposed to be the one when they kick on but it never happens. Both teams desperately need a win but I think the points will be shared.

The Betfair Trader's View - Alan Thompson

Betfair trader Alan Thompson is here with his best bet of the weekend as well as the best chance of landing a 'back-to-lay' trade on the Exchange...

Back Brighton/Brighton in the HT/FT market v Norwich @ 9/52.8
Saturday, 15:00

Brighton may have left it a bit late last week, scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to secure a win against Everton, but that victory made it three games undefeated at the Amex, and six scored in the last two.

The Canaries, in contrast, are in free fall, collecting just one point from their last five games after a 1-3 reverse to Man Utd.

Graham Potter's men will be looking to get all three points here with a tough run coming up: Manchester United away, then Leicester City at home followed by away trips to Anfield and The Emirates.

Norwich have failed to find the back of the net in three of their last five games and scored just twice in that spell. They are averaging 2.4 goals against this season and their four road defeats have all been by a margin of at least two goals.

The Seagulls are in great form, especially at home, and I think they will continue their winning sequence comfortably. I will be backing Brighton/Brighton at anything over 9/52.8 in the Half Time/Full Time market.

Back Under 1.5 Goals in Sheffield United v Burnley at 2/13.0 and lay for double the stake at 1/12.0

A home win against Arsenal and draws against Watford and West Ham in their last three have seen the Blades reach a fully deserved top half of the table. Chris Wilder’s team are certainly well organised, they have the joint best defensive record in the league, conceding just eight in their ten starts. However, only Newcastle and Watford have scored fewer goals than the Blades and, with just three home goals, this could be another low scorer.

It’s not surprising to see that eight of their opening ten league matches have produced fewer than 2.5 goals while their last seven in all competitions at Bramall Lane have averaged 1.2 goals per game.

Burnley could also be even more defensive than usual on the road in this game as they uncharacteristically shipped four goals at home last week to Chelsea. Despite still looking for their first away win of the season, I am sure Sean Dyche will be more intent on keeping the home side out.

I don’t fancy an early goal in this one so I will be trying a little trade here. I will be backing Under 1.5 goals at around 2/13.0 for two points (so twice a typical stake) but then also placing a three-point lay at 1/12.0 hoping to get matched in-play.

If both bets get matched - this should happen if it's goalless after around half an hour - then you should have a one-point 'green book' (guaranteed profit).

But if there is an early goal I would be looking to get out without a loss, by laying my stake back at my original price 2/13.0 hoping to get matched before a second goal.

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