After Liverpool’s sensational start to the season, which includes six straight wins in the Premier League and an opening Champions League win over PSG, this was always going to be a tricky period for Jurgen Klopp’s squad. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether they can bounce back from a home defeat to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup this week and extend their winning Premier League run by exacting their revenge in the rematch at Stamford Bridge this Saturday.
Meanwhile, after West Ham’s confidence boosting 8-0 win over Macclesfield, The Hammers will be fancying their chances of recording a second Premier League win of the season as they host a Manchester United team that was dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Derby this week.
Other big matches this weekend see fourth placed Watford travel to sixth placed Arsenal, whilst Tottenham will be hoping to maintain their title challenge by picking up three points when they travel to the bottom placed club Huddersfield on Saturday. Meanwhile, Manchester City could be the beneficiaries if Liverpool fail to win this weekend, as City are just a best-priced 1/10 to beat Brighton.
West Ham vs Manchester United (Saturday 12.30)
West Ham’s win over Macclesfield in the Carabao Cup in midweek was certainly no surprise, but West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini will have been delighted that six of his new-look West Ham side got on the scoresheet in their 8-0 win. The Hammers have been struggling for goals this season so far and they may well use this win as a platform to achieve the top-half finish that many pundits predicted they would at the beginning of the season.
The Carabao Cup was a different story for this weekend’s opponents Manchester United who, after scoring in the third minute, paid the price for failing to kill the game off in the first-half. Even a 95th minute goal by Fellaini couldn’t save United as they lost 8-7 on penalties. Despite the contrasting fortunes of the two teams, the bookies are still taking no chances on Manchester United, with Jose Mourinho’s team priced-up at a shade of odds on. However, a weaker West Ham side held Man United to a draw last season, and West Ham look value to get at least a draw, after a draw against Chelsea and a win over Everton in their last two Premier League matches.
Arsenal vs Watford (Saturday 3.00)
After opening losses to Manchester City and Chelsea, Unai Emery has steered Arsenal to six straight victories in all competitions, suggesting the Gunners will be challenging for a place in next season’s Champions League come the end of the season. If that’s to be the case, a win against this weekend’s opponents Watford would be a step in the right direction, as it would see them leapfrog Watford in the Premier League table.
Watford shouldn’t be pushovers though as they’ve bounced back well from their defeat to Manchester United with a draw at Fulham, before only losing to Spurs on penalties in the Carabao Cup. You have to fancy Arsenal now they’ve hit form but I’m not sure I’d be rushing to take the best-priced 7/15 about an Arsenal win. However, with Arsenal keeping just one clean sheet in eight games and Watford just two clean sheets in eight games, slightly bigger prices about both teams to score may be a popular bet.
Huddersfield vs Tottenham (Saturday 3.00)
Tottenham probably need Harry Kane to discover his best form quickly if they’re to maintain their title challenge, even if Eric Lamela is trying his best to make up for Kane’s current shortcomings. However, Kane should be relishing the chance to get amongst the goals against a Huddersfield side that may need a miracle to avoid the dreaded drop this season.
Huddersfield have scored just three goals in seven games this season and, despite Tottenham failing to keep a clean sheet in their last four games, it could be another blank day for Huddersfield. That’s also backed-up with the results from last season between the two teams, with Tottenham winning the corresponding fixture 4-0 and their home game 2-0. Therefore, a Tottenham win to nil could be the bet.
Manchester City vs Brighton (Saturday 3.00)
If last season’s results are anything to go by, Manchester City are a certainty to beat Brighton this weekend after beating them 3-1 in last season’s corresponding fixture and 2-0 in the return match. Brighton are also struggling at the back this season and have failed to keep a clean sheet so far, which should be music to the ears of the City players who have scored eight goals in their last two games without reply.
However, just like last season, it could be worth backing City to win and both teams to score, as Brighton have at least scored five goals in their last three games, even though they’ve failed to win any of them. Meanwhile, City have already conceded goals to Wolves, Newcastle, and Huddersfield.
Chelsea vs Liverpool (Saturday 5.30)
It’s fair to say that Chelsea won’t be Jurgen Klopp’s favourite team, as his Liverpool side have failed to win any of their last three matches against them. The score was 1-1 when the two teams met at Anfield last season, whilst Chelsea won their home match at Stamford Bridge last season 1-0. Of course, Chelsea have changed manager since then. However, new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has made an instant impact since his move from Napoli. Chelsea have taken 16 points from a possible 18 in the Premier League so far, whilst Sarri would have been pleased to see his side battle back from 1-0 to win their Carabao Cup match against Liverpool at Anfield in midweek.
Therefore, it’s a little surprising to see Liverpool put in as slight favourites for this match. However, it will be interesting to see what team Jurgen Klopp stars with on Saturday, as the trio of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah, and Jordan Henderson where only used as subs in the second-half and they failed to have much impact on the game. All three players may start on Saturday, whilst Klopp is also likely to reunite Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez in the heart of defence. Therefore, a full-strength Liverpool side could be too good for Chelsea.
Of course, if you think picking the winner might be too hard, it could be worth backing over 3.5 goals. Recent matches between the two sides don’t support this theory, but Sarri’s sides are more attacking than those of his predecessor’s Antonio Conte. Sarri is also likely to start Eden Hazard on Saturday after the Belgian came off the bench in midweek to score a stunning winner. That means that both teams could have their best attacking options on the pitch from the start – so, hopefully, the match will be a high-scoring thriller.