It's Round 8 in the Editors' Premier League Betting Battle, as the boys lock horns again trying to seek out profit in England's top flight...
"United's last away game resulted in a 5-3 loss to Leicester and the four matches they've played since the transfer window closed have averaged 4.5 goals per game."
Mike Norman says:
Back The Draw @ 4.1 in Southampton v Sunderland
I can understand why Southampton are fancied to get the better of Sunderland but I don't understand why the draw price is so big and I think it's a value bet on what looks a tough punting week in the Premier League.
I rather regret writing a pre-season piece suggesting Saints were worth a bet in the relegation market, principally because I look like a massive doofus now! The south coast side have completely exceeded expectations in Ronald Koeman's first season. Most of the crown jewels were sold in the summer but the replacements have slotted in straightaway and after seven games Southampton occupy third place in the league, beaten only by Liverpool and Spurs. Impressive.
Sunderland are the absolute kings of the draw, five of their seven have ended with points shared and manager Gus Poyet has installed a resilience that has been missing for a few years at the Stadium of Light side.
Betfair customers have been keen to back Southampton but I really think the draw should have received more attention. Sunderland come into this on the back of their first win and will make it very competitive. A decent formline comes from recent games against Swansea - Saints won 1-0 playing against 10 men for nearly an hour, Sunderland drew 0-0, unable to make their numerical advantage count once Angel Rangel was sent off in the 80th minute. Like those games I think this will be close - and far closer than the prices suggest.
Joe Dyer 2014-15 P/L +£5.90
Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.89/5 in West Brom v Man Utd
Live on Sky Sports 1
Both Premier League games between the Baggies and the Red Devils last season went over 2.5 goals and the season before that we witnessed a 5-5 draw in this very fixture. So I really don't think it's asking a lot to hope for at least four goals scored now that United can't defend but have the firepower to score a hatful against any side in the country.
United's last away game resulted in a 5-3 loss to Leicester and the four matches they've played since the transfer window closed have averaged 4.5 goals per game.
West Brom have improved of late too, recording back-to-back victories over Tottenham and Burnley, the latter a 4-0 win, then taking the game to Liverpool at Anfield before going down 2-1.
Striker Saido Berahino has been in great form this term and I can see the home side going all out for the win while United take their time to hit top gear under Louis van Gaal. I'd be amazed if this game isn't an end-to-end encounter with plenty of goalscoring chances on offer.
Mike Norman 2014-15 P/L: +£3.40
Back Chelsea/Chelsea in the HT/FT market v Crystal Palace at 2.265/4
Chelsea head to Selhurst Park looking to banish the memories of last season's painful 1-0 defeat, when John Terry's own goal inflicted a huge blow on their title hopes and saw Gary Cahill in tears at the final whistle.
Opta tell us that another win for Palace would mean their first back-to-back league victories against the Blues since March 1982 but it's hard to envisage a repeat with Jose Mourinho's men in such fine form - eight wins and two draws from their last 10 league games.
The Opta stats also reveal that Chelsea's record in London derbies - often cited as a hindrance to capital sides - is superb with just one defeat in the last 15, so it's easy to see why they trade at just 1.444/9 for the win, with the Eagles at 9.28/1.
But a 1.444/9 winner isn't going to do me any good, so to get some more juice in the price I'll back the Blues to be leading at half-time and full-time at better than evens. They have been ahead at the interval in four of their seven games - more than any other side - and gone on to win all of those.
Dan Thomas 2014-15 P/L: -£15.30
Back Chelsea-1 to beat Crystal Palace at 2.3411/8
Chelsea have been absolutely imperious so far this season, the addition of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa has seen them go from title contenders last season to overwhelming favourites this, and I can't see Crystal Palace offering enough to stop them on Saturday afternoon.
The gulf in class between these two sides is absolutely enormous, and although Palace actually won this fixture last year, that was a different Palace side and, possibly more importantly, a different Chelsea side. The home team don't look anywhere near as solid under Neil Warnock as they did under his predecessor Tony Pulis and Opta tell us that Mourinho's men have a remarkable clean sheet record: 21 in total since he took the reins again, more than any other side in the top flight.
I was pleased to see this trading at an odds-against price, chiefly because the straight win for Chelsea in the Match Odds market is a slim 1.444/9. The discrepancy is too great, and for that reason I'm happy to take the Blues with a handicap attached.
Luke Moore 2014-15 P/L: -£18
A £10 bet is placed on each selection on Betfair's Exchange. Profits are calculated before commission.
Editors 2014/15 Season P/L
1. Joe Dyer: +£5.90
2. Mike Norman: +£3.40
3. Dan Thomas: -£15.30
4. Luke Moore: -£18.00