Following this week’s Champions League action, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the current crop of English sides in Europe. However, they return to domestic action this weekend, with a huge weekend of top flight fixtures. This weekend’s four live matches feature five of this season’s European entrants, including Saturday’s opening game, Manchester United v Liverpool.
We have a huge round of matches, which could be potentially defining come the end of the campaign. Not only do two of the top three meet, but Chelsea have a crucial game in their push for the top four on Saturday evening. Arsenal need to get their season back on track this weekend, while Tottenham will be aiming to avoid a shock on the south coast, something their neighbours couldn’t do last weekend.
Saturday 10th March 2018
Manchester United v Liverpool (12:30) – Mo Salah to score (24/13 with Coral)
There’s little doubt that this is the game of the weekend, although shunting it in to the early kick-off on Saturday isn’t likely to do the game any favours. The fixture lands in an awkward position; coming between Liverpool’s Champions League clash on Tuesday and United’s upcoming European clash this week. However, both sides should be going full tilt in this game, although we’re not quite sure just what that says about a Jose Mourinho team, given his safety first nature. Will Mourinho find a way to stifle Liverpool’s great attacking talents?
While the Reds are coming off a midweek Champions League game, they did give a break to Egyptian Mo Salah. The forward has been fantastic for Liverpool, as he is pushing Harry Kane in the Golden Boot race in the top flight. Despite that, Salah is really well priced to score any time, coming in at 24/13 with Coral. That feels big for a player who has 24 league goals in 26 starts, having scored in nine of his last 11 outings in the Premier League. We see him finding the net against United, as he’s just too hard to pin down. On top of that, seeing him flourish against the manager who let him leave English football would be an interesting twist.
Chelsea v Crystal Palace (17:30) – Both Teams to Score (11/10 with Betfred)
Chelsea have slipped further away from the Champions League spots following last weekend’s loss at Man City. However, the quality of that performance has also been called in to question, meaning the champions have to produce a strong attacking display when they take on Palace this weekend. Given that the Eagles threw away a 2-0 lead against Man United at home on Monday, Antonio Conte’s side should be expected to get forward and grab a goal or two at Stamford Bridge this week, as they look to get back on track in the top four race.
However, the issue for the Blues is that they aren’t defending all that well right now, which has played a part in their slump in the league. We think Conte could see his side struggle at the back this weekend too, especially as N’Golo Kante is a doubt in midfield. The visitors have scored in their last seven games on the road, while they have won three of their last five meetings with Chelsea, including the last two. We think this game is shaping up to be an entertaining one, so both teams to score is a great value bet at 11/10 with Betfred.
Sunday 11th March 2018
Arsenal v Watford (13:30) – Under 2.5 Goals (17/10 with Betfair)
Arsenal just can’t seem to catch a break in the Premier League, and as a result their hopes of finishing fourth are basically over. While that famous fourth placed trophy continues to elude them, the Gunners need a strong finish to the season in order for Arsene Wenger to hang on to his job. However, the way that Arsenal are playing at the moment doesn’t exactly convince us that they can return to winning ways in Sunday’s clash with the Hornets.
Confidence around the Arsenal camp just isn’t high, and the Gunners really need to shake things up in attack in order to turn their form around. Unfortunately, the Hornets are looking much more solid at the back under Javi Gracia, so that could turn this game in to a pretty dull affair. The visitors haven’t scored in their last four away, while they have two goals in their last eight on the road, so we can’t see them racking up any kind of high score at the Emirates. We expect a close game when these two meet, so we’re going with under 2.5 goals at 17/10 with Betfair.
Bournemouth v Tottenham (16:00) – Bournemouth Double Chance (6/4 with Coral)
Tottenham have stolen a march on Chelsea in the race for the top four, and they could be looking to challenge United and Liverpool after their meeting this weekend. Spurs have a tricky fixture themselves, as they head for the south coast to take on Bournemouth on Sunday. The Cherries were close to a victory at Leicester which would have seen them basically safe from the drop. However, can the hosts build on their draw last weekend by getting something off a Tottenham side who are likely to be leggy after their European exploits this week?
We can see the Cherries securing a result, since they’ve picked up their form at home. The hosts are unbeaten in their last six at this ground, scoring at least twice in each of those matches. Meanwhile, Tottenham have been struggling a little on the road. They won their last trip with an 88th minute goal at Crystal Palace, which came after five straight draws away from home. We see Spurs huffing and puffing on their travels yet again, so we think high scoring Bournemouth are great value on the double chance market at 6/4 with Coral.