A quiet start for Mourinho
Back 0-0 Half Time Score in West Ham v Tottenham @ 11/4
Live on BT Sport 1
As not enough has been written about Jose Mourinho replacing Mauricio Pochettino in the lead role in the Amazon movie on Tottenham's season, I thought I'd add my two pennies' worth.
Spurs have been backed in on the Exchange since Wednesday and are trading at an extremely short 1.84/5 at the time of writing. While I agree with the Football...Only Bettor panellists who are laying Spurs at that price (see latest episode of the podcast below), the price on a goalless first half has grabbed my attention.
Defence would have been Mourinho's focus in the short time he's had at the training ground and, with West Ham in poor form and desperate not to lose in what is always their biggest game of the season, I'm anticipating a slow start.
Add in the early kick-off to the mix and 11/4 on 0-0 at the break looks a tasty price.
Dan Thomas 2019-20 P/L: +£94.20
Blades can blunt Ole's progress
Back Sheffield United @ 3.7511/4 to beat Manchester United
Live on Sky Sports Football
Sheffield United have undoubtedly been the surprise package of this season's Premier League so far. Chris Wilder's men sit fifth in an admittedly congested table, but I fancy they'll consolidate that position with a famous victory of Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
In all honesty, if this match came down to ability then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men should prevail. United produced their best performance of the season just before the international break when beating Brighton 3-1 at Old Trafford in a game where they could easily have scored six.
But those kind of performances have been few and far between for the Red Devils this season. In fact, in some games away from home they've been absolutely dire. And now they face one of the hardest working, most organised teams in the division.
Wilder's men might not have the ability of some of their opponent's star names but what they lack in that department they more than make up for in courage, team spirit, morale etc. And if the game is decided on those factors then I fancy Wilder massively to get the better of Solskjaer.
That's not to say the Blades can't play some lovely football themselves. They've already proved in some fabulous wins this season - and in defeat - that they can play some good attacking football, and they go into this game having recorded back-to-back home wins against Arsenal (1-0) and Burnley (3-0), proving they can get the better of quality teams and hard-working teams alike.
Mike Norman 2019-20 P/L: +£12.80
Believe in Potter magic
Back Brighton or Draw Double Chance and Neal Maupay to score anytime @ 3.95 (around 3/1) in v Leicester (Same Game Multi)
Leicester are the team nearly everyone backed to break up the obvious Top Four (and Top Six) suspects this season. They've been achieving that by winning six of their last seven Premier League games (L1), most recent four of which was by an aggregate score of 15-1 and keeping a clean sheet in their last three. Our previous battle bet, which was a winner, came in the the game before the international break- a 2-0 win over Arsenal.
So why on Earth am I siding with Brighton?
The layers have underestimated Graham Potter's side. His style of play, which has been more attacking, has suited the team and he's creating a strong foundation at the Amex Stadium. In what has been a competitive and unpredictable season, they're only two points off fifth-placed Arsenal even though they're 11th in the table.
They've won their last three home games, including Tottenham and Everton. There's no reason why they shouldn't cause Leicester problems and at least go toe-to-toe with them. I will be backing them in the Home or Draw double chance market but to bolster this price, I'm also backing Seagulls attacker Neal Maupay to score in a Same Game Multi on the Betfair Sportsbook.
He's Brighton's top scorer with four goals to his name (double of any other player), with three in his last eight.
Jasmine Baba 2019-20 P/L: +£8.80
An Everton win, and a clean-sheet
Back Everton to win to nil vs Norwich @ 2.526/4
This is a huge game for Everton. A must win for Marco Silva.
After this game, the face Leicester (a), Liverpool (a), Chelsea (h), Manchester United (a) and Arsenal (h) as their next five league games... not the sort of schedule you want if you are already under pressure.
That run makes this game against bottom side Norwich must win.
The Toffees have been one of the most unfortunate teams in the league this season based on xG, as while they sit 15th in the table, they rank as the 5th best team according to expected goals, with a very impressive process (1.63 xGF, 1.17 xGA per game).
Recent home games against West Ham (xG: EVE 2.63 - 0.63 WHU) and Tottenham (xG: EVE 1.10 - 0.53 TOT) were good performances against better teams than Norwich, so I think this could prove to be a comfortable win for the hosts.
Norwich are in freefall, and their underlying process is the worst in the league (1.14 xGF, 2.29 xGA per game), with the attacking style and quality we saw earlier in the season seemingly vanishing, and their defensive frailties only getting worst.
They have failed to score in six of their last nine Premier League games, and I think they will fail to do so again here against a decent Everton back-line.
Everton to win to nil is hugely appealing in this one at a big price (2.54), so that will do me nicely.
Jake Osgathorpe 2019-20 P/L: +£2.90
Back a Saturday night spectacle
Back Man City win/Both teams to score double v Chelsea @ 6/4
Manchester City and Chelsea have scored 62 goals between them already this season and it's no surprise to see a chunky over 3.5 goals bet paying at a just a touch over even money on the Betfair Exchange.
The pair are great upfront but not the finest defensively - they've conceded a combined 30 goals in the top-flight so far - and, clearly, everyone expects to see the net bulging repeatedly on Saturday evening. I certainly do.
What is the best way to play it then? I'll take City to bounce back to winning ways but concede against a Chelsea side enjoying an impressive first season under Frank Lampard.
Put simply, City are the defending champions and know that more slip-ups simply cannot happen if they are to put up a successful defence.
And losing to a fellow top-four rival would be doubly bad news so I have to back them for a fifth home win from seven but succumbing to the away attack at least once.
Joe Dyer's 2019-20 P/L: +£2.90
For more tips and insight on the weekend football, check out the latest episode of Football...Only Bettor