Zaha and Palace can win again
Crystal Palace 2.186/5 v Newcastle 3.9; The Draw 3.45
We mentioned last week just how pivotal Wilfried Zaha is to this Crystal Palace team and he duly obliged, scoring the only goal of the game in a fortuitous victory.
I say that Palace were a tad fortunate for one reason, and that's because it highlights once against how crucial Zaha is to Roy Hodgson's team. Huddersfield were much the better side last week but couldn't break Palace down, and they paid the penalty by losing to the only goal of the game, a sublime Zaha effort.
I have little doubt that the Eagles would have failed to win that game seven days ago without Zaha in their side, which is backed up by the stats. Palace have lost their last 11 league games in which Zaha has failed to start. When he does start he can be a match winner, as he proved last week.
Back on home soil, and with Zaha again starting, I expect Hodgson's men to take all three points against winless Newcastle, and I have to admit to being slightly surprised that Palace aren't trading at odds-on in the Match Odds market.
True, the Magpies have had an extremely tough start to the season, having to face the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City in four of their first five league games. And to be fair they performed with credit in more than one of those matches. But losing can become one of the hardest habits to break in football, a winless run can go on and on even when games seemingly become easier on paper.
Rafa Benitez's men didn't exactly impress at Cardiff in their easiest task to date despite missing a late penalty, and a relatively strong starting XI were also defeated in the EFL Cup against Championship side Nottm Forest.
Palace can be really good on their day at Selhurst Park and I fully expect them to get the better of Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
Reds to win easily against Saints
Liverpool 1.222/9 v Southampton 18.5; The Draw 7.613/2
Southampton played quite well on Monday night at home to Brighton, but therein lies the problem, they conceded twice and failed to beat one of this season's relegation favourites in front of their own fans.
Mark Hughes covered over the cracks by insisting that if Southampton continue to play like they did to get to 2-0 then they'll be a decent side this term. I'm slightly more worried for the Saints than Hughes is it seems. Play like they did in the second half against Brighton against an in-form Liverpool side and they could easily lose by five or six.
The current Southampton squad just doesn't look strong enough to mount a top 10 challenge this term; they are a world away from where they were two or three seasons ago in terms of quality.
So it goes without saying, and as the odds suggest, Liverpool should be winning this encounter in front of their own fans in comfortable fashion. Jurgen Klopp's men were really impressive at Wembley last Saturday in term of chances created, and if they can play anything like they did against Spurs when they face Southampton this weekend then it's hard not to seem the creating lots of goalscoring chances.
If we can criticise the Reds so far this term - which seems a bit daft given they've won six out of six in the big competitions - then it's to say that they haven't been anywhere near as ruthless as they should have been in some games. Even against a decent Tottenham side they should have scored four or five.
Klopp's attack will click into full gear sooner rather than later I'm quite sure, and therefore I'm more than happy to be able to back them to beat Southampton by at least three goals on Saturday afternoon at around the 6/4 mark.
No shocks to be found at Old Trafford
Man Utd 1.625/8 v Wolves 6.611/2; The Draw 4.3100/30
I know quite a lot of good judges who fancy Wolves to cause a minor upset against Manchester United on Saturday by avoiding defeat, and some aren't ruling out the shock away win. But I just don't see it.
True, in their last game at Old Trafford the Red Devils were comprehensively defeated by three goals to nil. But that was against a very good Tottenham team, who on the night rode their luck in the first 45 minutes before playing really well in the second half and converting their chances.
I don't expect Wolves to be anywhere near as dangerous as Spurs were that night when they travel to the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon. And let's not forget that United go into this game on the back of three very good away wins, three victories that will do wonders for the confidence in United's team and hopefully - though not likely - bring a smile to Jose Mourinho's face.
On a serious note I just believe that United are a much better team than Wolves, and on home soil - where they have a terrific record under Mourinho in the league remember - they should have few problems securing three points.
Nuno Santo's men have been solid at Molineux this term, but away from home they've lost to Leicester and needed a last-ditch goal to get the better of an out-of-form West Ham side. I just feel that a trip to Old Trafford is a big step up in class and I won't be surprised at all if they lose by two or three.
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