The Premier League returns from the international break with the first kickoff being the most-anticipated as Manchester United host Arsenal. League leaders Liverpool have a potentially tricky tie at Southampton whilst Manchester City are widely-expected to beat Crystal Palace.
Chelsea have been handed an extra day’s rest in comparison to their title contenders as they don’t play until Sunday when they travel to Middlesbrough. On Monday, West Brom host Burnley in a relegation clash.
Here are this week’s Premiership Tips:
Manchester United vs Arsenal
Arsenal head to Old Trafford with only one win in their last 10 Premier League trip. However, Arsene Wenger’s side head into this weekend’s fixture unbeaten in their last 10 league games, winning seven, whilst Manchester United have only won one of their last five.
Jose Mourinho’s side have a large number of first-team absentees for this fixture – Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia are all ruled out indefinitely, Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini are both doubtful and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended.
In comparison the Gunners are only missing Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla – the latter can be replaced by Aaron Ramsey or Granit Xhaka. Alexis Sanchez is expected to be good to start after scoring a brace against Uruguay earlier this week. The Chilean has been on fire as the starting striker for Arsenal this season.
I certainly don’t see Arsenal losing this game and I’m leaning towards an away win too.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
Crystal Palace have conceded 10 goals in their last three Premier League games and lost their last four. Alan Pardew’s side are now playing as many expected at the start of the season and are good value for relegation.
Manchester City’s odds are surprising to me, probably just because they drew with Middlesbrough last time out, which came a couple of days after facing Barcelona in the Champions League.
Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan are all fit so I cannot see anything but City putting up a number of goals and coming away with all three points from their trip to Selhurst Park.
Middlesbrough vs Chelsea
Chelsea start the weekend second in the Premier League and will be hoping Liverpool slip up at Southampton on Saturday before they face Middlesbrough the following day.
An extra day’s rest for Antonio Conte’s side after the international break could be a massive advantage to his side. This also means an extra day to prepare for Middlesbrough.
The Blues have won their last five Premier League games without conceding a single goal and although Boro are unbeaten in three themselves, Chelsea look a class above the newly-promoted side.
Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Pedro all have the ability to unlock the Middlesbrough defence based on recent form, whilst no one has broken down the Chelsea defence since September. With this in mind I cannot see anything but an away win.
Dead cert: Chelsea to win is 1.59 with Betfair