Premier League Tips: Everton and Fulham can cause upsets in 23/1 four-fold

Graham Potter
Chelsea should not be favourites to beat Everton...

Alex Keble looks at four tactical battles from the weekend action and builds a 23/1 accumulator that includes Fulham's ability to knock Man Utd out of the FA Cup...

  • Newcastle to expose Aurier

  • Dyche will make life tough for Potter

  • Fulham can knock Man Utd out of FA Cup


  • Wider Howe wingers can hurt full-backs

    Nottingham Forest v Newcastle
    Friday, 20:00
    Live on Sky Sports Main Event

    There is an on-going problem for Steve Cooper albeit one that only tends to rear its head in away games: his full-backs are not good enough to be defending the flanks on their own.

    Yet Forest's 4-3-2-1 formation is so narrow that this is often the case once the ball turns over. This is a serious issue for the visit of Newcastle United, who adapted their method to return to winning ways against Wolves.

    Eddie Howe's team are usually extremely narrow, but for this match Allan Saint-Maximin and substitute Miguel Almiron hugged the touchline, giving Newcastle the width they have been lacking since opponents started to become wary of their attacking threat and dropped into narrower blocks.

    Given that Newcastle are still keen to play in the transition - attacking quickly after winning the ball back - this newfound width can hurt Forest.

    Serge Aurier is going to come under serious pressure from Saint-Maximin, while Renan Lodi faces a rejuvenated Almiron, back to his best with a winner against Wolves.

    The natural conservatism of Howe's Newcastle will allow Forest to keep the ball for long periods, exacerbating the issue when Newcastle find chances to counter.

    Back Newcastle to win @

    4/6

    Midfield aggression can halt Potter progress

    Chelsea v Everton
    Saturday, 17:30
    Live on Sky Sports Main Event

    Chelsea have had an excellent week, winning three consecutive matches to stabilise Graham Potter's position.

    It is worth noting that Leeds United, Leicester City, and Borussia Dortmund all play an expressive pressing game that will have helped Chelsea play through the lines and add purpose to their possession.

    This weekend is a return to breaking down a low block, which is when Potter's slower build-up play becomes a problem.

    SeanDychePointing1280.jpg

    We saw that most notably in a 1-0 defeat to Southampton at Stamford Bridge, a game Sean Dyche will have studied in advance of Saturday's meeting.

    Saints were deserved winners by aggressively closing down Chelsea's midfield, squeezing in the middle third but refusing to press Chelsea's defenders. This forced Potter's forwards to increasingly come towards the ball, leading to a flat game in which Chelsea just could not break through the 4-4-2.

    Everton's midfield three have not been very good away from home under Dyche, yet they have an advantage here due to Potter's awkward midfield configuration.

    It will be fairly easy to surround Enzo Fernandes and Matteo Kovacic, while Joao Felix's roaming means there is no obvious forward pass for Chelsea. This will be Potter's Chelsea back to their worst and, most likely, a big result for Dyche's Everton.

    Back Everton/Draw Double Chance

    17/10

    Martinelli-Trossard swaps will target Clyne

    Arsenal v Crystal Palace
    Sunday, 14:00

    Fulham were appalling in their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal last weekend and we should not get carried away with the fluency in the league-leaders' performance.

    Crystal Palace's 1-0 defeat to Man City, courtesy of a late penalty, and recent 0-0 draw with Liverpool are evidence that Patrick Vieira's side work a lot harder to close space between the lines and snap into challenges; this will be a very tough game, even though Palace have not won in 11.

    trossard-arsenal.jpg

    Ultimately the hosts should find the breakthrough down their left wing, where right-back Nathaniel Clyne has consistently been an issue for Palace. The penalty last weekend came from an attack built down that side, as did the first Man Utd goal in a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

    Arsenal, likely to labour against a stubborn resistance, can ultimately win if they keep pummelling this area of the pitch.

    Fortunately for Arsenal fans this is already their best area of attack at the moment. Leandro Trossard's excellent form is characterised by frequent position swapping with Gabriel Martinelli, something that will trouble Clyne.

    One moment he will face a player cutting inside, with the other darting behind him for the pass, and the next Martinelli will be squaring him up as Trossard hovers infield. Arsenal will be too strong here.

    Back Arsenal to win-to-nil @

    10/11

    Palhinha v Sancho to settle tight game

    Man Utd v Fulham
    Sunday, 16:30
    Live on ITV1

    The only all-Premier League FA Cup game is unlikely to be full of goals. The most important feature is the suspension of Casemiro and the return from suspension of Joao Palhinha.

    The two number sixes are their respective sides' most important players, and as Fulham return to their stoic selves Man Utd could crumble at the base of midfield.

    This is made more likely by Erik ten Hag's desire to play two eights ahead of Casemiro, with Jadon Sancho a key figure on Sunday.

    Palhinha and Harrison Reed should be able to keep a lid on Sancho and Bruno Fernandes, the Brazilian midfielder generally tackling anyone in his path and Sancho only excelling as a ten when given space to run into.

    If Fulham can shut down this midfield area - and things ought to be a lot slower and more easily contained without Casemiro or Christian Eriksen playing vertical passes - then they have the foundation for victory.

    Aleksandar Mitrovic will be instructed to move onto the smaller Lisandro Martinez, which gives Fulham another minor advantage, although at Old Trafford Ten Hag's side rarely concede goals. There is unlikely to be more than one goal in it, and with United's absentee list now much worse than Fulham's, we could see another of the 'Big Six' fall.

    Back Fulham/Draw Double Chance @

    17/10

    Back all four bets in an acca @

    23/1

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