Our footy scribe previews round nine of the 2016/17 English Premier League season.
There were a lot of upsets last weekend as Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham all dropped points, while victories for Liverpool and Chelsea closed the gap at the top of the table to just one point. The highlight of the weekend saw Jose Mourinho humiliated on his return to Chelsea as his Manchester United side were thrashed 4-0 at Stamford Bridge. Gameweek 10 has some exciting matches lined up such as Tottenham at home to reigning champions Leicester and Chelsea travelling to Southampton.
Saturday 29 October
Sunderland 6/1 | Draw 4/1 | Arsenal 4/10
We kick Saturday’s action off with a tie between bottom-placed Sunderland and title-chasing Arsenal. The Black Cats were beaten 1-0 at West Ham last Saturday, with a last-minute winner by Winston Reid. The pressure is mounting on David Moyes as that was Sunderland’s seventh defeat of the season. They’re the only team yet to win a match in the league and it only gets worse as they host Arsenal.
The Gunners were left frustrated after they were held to a goalless draw at home to Middlesbrough. The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil all came close to scoring, with Ozil denied by the offside flag. Prior to that result, Arsene Wenger’s side were riding a six-game winning streak in the league. Back Arsenal to return to winning ways at 4/10 – the best bet of the weekend.
Man United 2/11 | Draw 52/10 | Burnley 16/1
Jose Mourinho endured a nightmare return to his old stomping ground as his side were thrashed 4-0 by Antonio Conte's charges at Stamford Bridge – his heaviest Premier League defeat. United were simply never at the races with the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic woeful. The Red Devils are seventh on the table with 14 points, six behind the leaders. Mourinho will be hoping to bounce back strongly against newly-promoted Burnley, who have lost all three of their away games.
The Clarets come into this game off an impressive 2-1 victory over Everton, thanks to a last-minute winner from Scott Arfield. They’ll be looking to build on that result and pile further misery on United, but their away form doesn’t bode well. I think United will win here, but I’m going for Both Teams To Score at 17/10.
Middlesbrough 15/10 | Draw 21/10 | Bournemouth 39/20
Middlesbrough did extremely well to hold Arsenal to a goalless draw and take a point at the Emirates last Saturday. They defended very well, with goalkeeper Victor Valdes making some fine saves, while Adama Traore showcased his pace and power to cause the Gunners some problems. If Boro build on this display and start finding the net, then they might avoid a relegation battle at the end of the season.
Bournemouth also come into this game off the back of a 0-0 draw at home to Tottenham, which extended their unbeaten run to four games. The Cherries are yet to win on the road this season, but they’re looking very good. I’m going with Bournemouth on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 5/10.
Tottenham 13/20 | Draw 29/10 | Leicester City 17/4
Tottenham are the only undefeated team in the league, but back-to-back draws against West Brom and Bournemouth have seen them slip to fourth in the table. Mauricio Pochettino was left frustrated with his side and will hope they can return to winning ways. Harry Kane is still out injured, while Toby Alderweireld remains a doubt and Moussa Sissoko faces a ban from the FA for elbowing Bournemouth's Harry Arter.
Leicester come into the clash with two wins on the spin, beating Copenhagen 1-0 in the Champions League and Crystal Palace 3-1 last time out. The Foxes haven’t won two games in a row this season and have lost all four of their away games, shipping 13 goals while scoring three. I’m backing the home win at 13/20.
Watford 15/20 | Draw 26/10 | Hull City 37/10
Watford’s well-earned point away to Swansea stretched their unbeaten run to three games, and lifted them one place up to ninth on the table. Walter Mazzarri’s men have now kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this year. They’ll be looking to pick up all three points against basement-dwellers Hull City.
The Tigers are on a seven-game winless run having suffered six defeats, including five on the trot. They’ve shipped 22 goals already this season – no team has conceded more. The home win is tipped confidently.
West Brom 6/1 | Draw 34/10 | Manchester City 9/20
West Brom’s four-game unbeaten run came to an end as they suffered a 2-1 loss away to Liverpool. Tony Pulis would have been disappointed with the lackluster first half at Anfield, with a number of underwhelming individual displays. Pulis will demand better from his players and look to frustrate Pep Guardiola’s side, who are now winless in three league matches.
After the fabled 10 wins in a row in all competitions, Manchester City have now amassed no wins in five – at the time of writing. City will be going all out to win and with their record of nine straight wins against West Brom, I think they’ll have enough to edge it.
Crystal Palace 38/10 | Draw 29/10 | Liverpool 7/10
Crystal Palace’s 3-1 defeat away to Leicester City – their second straight defeat – stretched their winless run to three matches. Alan Pardew will now face a stern test against Jurgen Klopp's in-form Liverpool side.
Christian Benteke will come up against his former club with something to prove and look to extend his tally of three league goals. The Reds are unbeaten in seven matches in the Premier League, winning five times. With the likes of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana all in good form – get on the away win at 7/10.
Sunday 30 October
Everton 15/20 | Draw 28/10 | West Ham 33/10
Following their 2-1 defeat at Burnley last Saturday, Everton are now winless in five matches in all competitions. In that run, they’ve suffered three defeats having scored three goals while conceding seven. Ronald Koeman’s men will face a stern test against a West Ham side on the up.
The Hammers are unbeaten in three matches, having won back-to-back games against Crystal Palace and Sunderland. They’ve kept clean sheets in both of those wins. Away from home, Slaven Bilic’s side have been poor, losing three out of four games, however, they’ve scored in all of those. Both Teams To Score is my tip at 13/20.
Southampton 21/10 | Draw 47/20 | Chelsea 5/4
Southampton and Chelsea lock horns in a Sunday humdinger which promises to leave us at the edge of our seats. Chelsea have won their last three Premier League games without conceding, while Southampton are on a run of five games without defeat, winning three of those.
Both teams certainly know how to defend, but its goals that win you games. Just who will have that extra cutting-edge up front on the day to claim maximum points?
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Monday 31 October
Stoke City 1/1 | Draw 5/2 | Swansea City 11/4
Stoke City ran out 2-0 winners away to Hull City last Saturday as Xherdan Shaqiri scored twice, including a stunning 25-yard strike. Stoke’s first away victory of the season also brings them back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since March – and moves them to 16th place on nine points.
Mark Hughes will be targeting a third straight victory against a Swansea side languishing in 19th place. The Swans are winless in eight league matches following their goalless draw at home to Watford. In those games, they’ve suffered six defeats – three coming away from home. Get on the home win at 1/1.
TREBLE @ 3/1
Arsenal Win 4/10
Watford Win 15/20
Liverpool Win 7/10
Written by Chadley Nagel @Hollywoodbets