This is a huge clash at Anfield on Saturday evening. Liverpool have managed to power their way to a six-point lead at the top of the table over Christmas. Now the task is to maintain their advantage. This is a tough game for them as they welcome the Gunners to Anfield. Arsenal are pushing for a top-four spot and could have the attacking threat to rattle the Reds.
Still, it is Liverpool who are the favourites. The Odds on Liverpool to beat Arsenal are 1/2* (betting odds taken on December 29th, 2018 at 2:49 pm)
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 29th, 2018 at 6:35 p.m.)
What a season it has been for Liverpool. They collected a 4-0 home win over Newcastle on Boxing Day and that moved them on to an eight-match winning streak in the Premier League. They are showing no sign of slowing up at all. With the form of Manchester City falling away through December, Liverpool now hold a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League heading into the final weekend of 2018.
But it’s a lead not over the reigning champions Man City, it is over Spurs. So will the Reds be able to continue their positive momentum as they play host to Arsenal on Saturday evening? The Reds earned a point from a 1-1 draw when they took a trip to North London to face Arsenal earlier this season. They have fantastic home from going against the Gunners though.
Liverpool have remained undefeated in their last five home games against Arsenal now, winning four of those. They have scored at least two goals in each of those five games in that sequence. In total Liverpool have come up with seventeen goals in their last five Premier League home fixtures against Arsenal. With the Reds averaging almost 2.5 goals per home this season in the top flight, will that be too much for Arsenal to handle?
It may not even be so much about stacking up the two powerful attacks against each other. There is a clear difference in the defensive strength of Liverpool over that of Arsenal. Liverpool have conceded just two home goals this season in the EPL having taken a clean sheet in 78% of fixtures at Anfield. Arsenal meanwhile are still looking for their first away clean sheet this season in the top flight. There should be chances for the Reds.
It’s not as if Arsenal are a bad side. But their form on the road just isn’t there lately. They have failed to win any of their last three on the road (D2 L1) after playing out a draw at Brighton on Boxing Day. They have the goals in them without question, having scored at least two goals in every road fixture. But their defence has remained vulnerable and that could be the advantage that Liverpool needs.
Liverpool have the edge at the moment. They are confident, they have tremendous momentum behind them and they are on home soil. Arsenal have the scoring power to threaten the defence of the Reds, but of the two defences, Liverpool’s is clearly superior. That could be very telling and Liverpool are strong enough to expose Arsenal’s weaknesses at the back. The Odds on Liverpool to beat Arsenal are 1/2* (betting odds taken on December 29th, 2018 at 2:49 pm) and that looks a strong proposition.
Manchester City v Manchester United Preview – November 11th, 2018 – 4.30 pm
The first Manchester derby of the new Premier League season will kick off at 4.30 pm on Sunday, November 11th. While the old rivalry between the two clubs will be ramped up again, there is a big three points on offer.
The Citizens will be looking to consolidate their spot at the top of the table, while Manchester United need maximum points to try and haul themselves a bit closer to the top four.
Man City 2/5
Man Utd 8/1
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 8th, 2018 at 5:15 p.m.)
So can the Red Devils pull off a shock win at the Etihad? Well even though they haven’t been at their best this season, there have been some clear signs of resilience about them recently. In four of their last five league games, they have conceded the opening goal of a game. But they have managed to show character and togetherness to fight back to a W3 D1 record in their last four league outings. They seem to only be raising their game when their backs are against the wall and that’s usually in the second half of games.
They did it again in midweek as they looked to be on course for a defeat out at Juventus in the Champions League. But somehow they came up with two late goals from two free kicks to pull out a shock win. That pretty much sums them up. They aren’t playing great, they don’t really have anyone producing stand-out performances, but they are finding ways to get themselves back into games and get results. It is that grit which they will need an abundance of at the Etihad on the weekend.
You only have to look back at last season’s corresponding fixture to see what United are capable of. They produced a 3-2 win which was totally against the odds. That was after having been trailing 2-0 at the halftime break as well. They were heavily outclassed in the game, could barely get their foot on the ball but still produced the three points out of nowhere. Both teams to score is at 4/6 odds for this weekend’s top clash* (Betting Odds were taken from November 8th, 2018 at 5:15 p.m.). If they were to pull off a repeat win they would cut the gap to City to six points.
The Red Devils are actually W2 D1 in their last three trips to the Etihad in the Premier League. That is in spite of the power that Manchester City have been showing in the league the last few seasons. The Red Devils seem to find a way to rise to the occasion. Things are even between the two over the last six league meetings with two wins each and two drawn fixtures. So the Red Devils have given as good as they have gotten really.
The problem with them is that they have been conceding a lot of goals and do only have the one clean sheet this season in the league. But they have come up with at least two goals in each of their last four Premier League fixtures. They do have an injury doubt over Romelu Lukaku but they have managed without him fine in their last two league games. Anthony Martial has been in good scoring form and he is at 3/1 in the anytime goalscorer market* (Betting Odds were taken from November 8th, 2018 at 5:15 p.m.).
Will Manchester United be the ones to defy all of the odds and be the first to beat Manchester City this season? Yes, the Red Devils are facing a formidable side, but look at last season when City posted a W16 D2 L1 record at home in the Premier League. Who were the only visitors to win at the Etihad? Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. They have to defy massive 8/1 odds-against* (Betting Odds were taken from November 8th, 2018 at 5:15 p.m.) to do it.
How will Manchester United handle this kind of pressure? After a shock loss out at Brighton last weekend in what was a really disjointed and poor performance, the pressure will be on them to avoid back to back defeats so early in the season.
With the other front-runners in the league title like Man City and Liverpool getting off to 100% starts, United can’t afford to drop further back. This is a tough game for them against a Spurs side who have also come out of the block strongly for the season. But the Red Devils will be banking on their strong home form over the Lilywhites.
Manchester United 6/4
* (Betting Odds were taken on August 23rd, 2018 at 11:32 p.m.)
This is where Manchester United need to step up to the plate. After opening with 2-1 home success over Leicester on the first weekend of the new season, there were enough bright moments in that game from the Red Devils to suggest that they were going to be alright. However, they were rocked to their core as they suffered a 3-2 defeat down at the Amex against Brighton in their second fixture of the season.
Manchester United looked disjointed, lacked any urgency and the body language of a lot of the players looked off-key. There was a lot of unrest in the summer at Manchester United, stemming from the top in Jose Mourinho. He has been playing up to the media and painting the picture of someone who is very unsettled and perhaps even getting set to make an exit strategy from the club.
However, the Red Devils could put all those stresses behind them with a strong performance at home on Monday night against Spurs. It is certainly one that they can’t afford to lose as that would leave them six points adrift of the Lilywhites after just three games of the season. So this is where Mourinho’s resolve and the resolve of his players has to all come together to produce a win. Manchester United are at 6/4 odds to beat Tottenham* (Betting Odds were taken on August 23rd, 2018 at 11:32 p.m.).
Manchester United we’re strong on home soil posting a W15 D2 L2 record for the season and conceding just the nine goals along the way. That was a powerful output. They want out of their five home games against the other top-six finishers from last season as well, the only exception a defeat against Manchester City. There was a trend in those home wins for United, as they were all by a one-goal margin only. Each of United’s last three home wins in the league have been by a one-goal margin.
Both Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have opened their accounts this season. Manchester United to win by a one-goal margin is at 3/1 odds* (Betting Odds were taken on August 23rd, 2018 at 11:32 p.m.). There have been positives from them this season even if their opening win over Leicester was not totally convincing and their loss against Brighton was a setback. They have netted two goals exactly in each of their games so their attack in some regard is working. So that should offer them a glimmer of hope back on home soil in this one.
In the bet365 correct score market a Manchester United 1-0 result is at 9/1 odds* (Betting Odds were taken on August 23rd, 2018 at 11:32 p.m.) and that will probably have a bit of appeal to punters. Jose Mourinho generally is a pretty reliable source when it comes to these top clashes. He is not afraid to shut up shop or park the bus when those things are necessary. It will be interesting to see what he does because his defensive partnership of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof were so bad last week against Brighton, that Mourinho could drop them both and switch to a back three.
United are undefeated in 35 of their last 37 home games and they have also been winning at both half time and full time in all but one of their last six home games as well in the top flight. Manchester United can’t afford for this downtrodden attitude to affect them, certainly not in this first really big test of the new season. Who would put it past Mourinho producing the goods when it matters most once again?
We can see Manchester United doing enough on home soil to collect a win in this one. Mourinho is great at these big games, especially at home and they don’t need a great performance, they just need to shut down the threat of Spurs and go from there. They can spoil the afternoon of the visitors. Home win.
Chelsea v Arsenal Premier League Preview – August 18th, 2018
The highlight match of this weekend’s Premier League round of action is the London derby at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Arsenal. The Blues will be looking to build on the positive result that they earned out at Huddersfield last weekend, giving new head coach Maurizio Sarri his first Premier League success.
As for Arsenal, they will be feeling the pressure if they don’t get anything out of this game having lost against Manchester City on the opening weekend. But the Gunners are underdogs for the match with the odds on Chelsea to beat Arsenal at 4/5 with bet365* (Betting Odds were taken on August 15th, 2018 at 11:36 p.m.).
* (Betting Odds were taken on August 15th, 2018 at 11:36 p.m.)
Maurizio Sarri would have been pretty happy with his first Premier League game in charge of Chelsea as the Blues recorded a 3-0 success out at Huddersfield. It was fairly comfortable for them and even though you could see the players still working their way into the system, it was a confident start and there should be much better to come. The only thing lacking from the whole performance really was an assured performance from a striker, that being Alvaro Morata who looked wholeheartedly out of place again.
It was N’Golo Kane, new summer signing Jorgniho and Pedro who got the goals for the Blues. Morata is up as the 7/5 joint anytime goalscorer favourite for this game alongside teammate Olivier Giroud who was on the bench last weekend, but given the extra rest after the World Cup, not getting into the game* (Betting Odds were taken on August 15th, 2018 at 11:36 p.m.). Sarri’s style is all about powerful and clinical attacks and goals is what we can expect from the Blues this season, even more so when players get used to this new system.
However for this first London derby of the season between Chelsea and Arsenal the temptation is to look under 2.5 goals is at 11/10 odds* (Betting Odds were taken on August 15th, 2018 at 11:36 p.m.) for the game. The reasons behind that would be the fact that Chelsea’s last three home games in the league have gone under the goal line, and they have earned a clean sheet in five of their last six home fixtures against the Gunners in all competitions. Three of the last four at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Arsenal have ended under the goal line.
Chelsea did alright at home last season with W11 D4 L4 record but it was not as strong as they would have expected that record to be. Chelsea averaged 1.6 goals per home game last season at home, while they conceded an average of under a goal per game, taking a clean sheet in 53% of their league home fixtures. Looking back at the expectancy of this being a low-scoring game a Chelsea to win by a one-goal margin is at 11/4 odds* (Betting Odds were taken on August 15th, 2018 at 11:36 p.m.).
The Gunners did get a tough home opener against Manchester City last weekend, but even with that in mind, new season optimism over the new manager and new signings was quickly quieted as they lost 2-0. They only came up with the three shots on target during the nineteen minutes and while most sides are going to struggle to contain the reigning champions, a bit more was expected of Arsenal on home soil against them.
New boss Unai Emery wasn’t happy with his players as he said that they didn’t play the way that he wanted them too and they looked lost. They tried time and time again, largely unsuccessfully to get the ball played out from the back but it just kept putting them in further and further trouble. Chelsea will be expected to press high up the pitch and that will pile more pressure on the Arsenal back line.
The Gunners only managed a W4 D4 L11 record away from home last season in the Premier League. They have lost seven of their last eight away games in the Premier League and that’s another reason that punters may have trouble trusting them to win this one, even though they are undefeated in six against the Blues in all competitions.
The presence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is a 5/4 anytime goalscorer option for them* (Betting Odds were taken on August 15th, 2018 at 11:36 p.m.) will give them hope, but they didn’t do enough to get any kind of service to him in the game last weekend.
There has been little to choose between these two in recent season but Chelsea have remained unbeaten on home soil against the Gunners for some time now and we are going to back that to continue. We are going to fully back the 4/5 odds on Chelsea to beat Arsenal at bet365* (Betting Odds were taken on August 15th, 2018 at 11:36 p.m.). We are suggesting that it is only going to happen by a one-goal margin though.
Arsenal have big enough incentive to go out on Saturday lunchtime in Premier League duty and do Spurs over. After some really poor away form in the Premier League, this season (W1 D1 L4) they are trailing their North London rivals Spurs by four points already.They really can’t afford that to be opened up to seven points. The Gunners kick off in this one down in sixth place in the league having recorded a W5 D1 L4 record for the season and they have simply been propped up by their excellent efforts at home.
Arsenal 13/10, Tottenham 15/8, Draw 5/2
Despite a real scare against Leicester in their opening fixture of the season, Arsenal have remained perfect on home soil this season in the Premier League with five wins from five. That has been massively important for them. They have collected a clean sheet in three of their last four home victories as well and they need to use the inspiration from that great form to go and take the game to their rivals. Arsenal have just the one point from their three games so far this season against current top five sides and can’t afford another blowout.
Having earned a point against Chelsea and having suffered defeats against Liverpool and Man City, Arsenal’s strength has been called into question once again. But they do remain very strong on home soil where they are averaging 2.6 goals per game. This North London derby is likely to swing the other way and go under 2.5 goals which is a price of 13/10 at William Hill, just because six of the last eight league meetings between the two clubs have gone below the mark. Arsenal are running on a three match winless streak of form against Spurs at home as well in league competitions.
The last three games between the two rivals at the Emirates have all ended in a 1-1 draw which is a price of 6/1 in the William Hill correct score market. While they have been poor this season at the back out on the road, they were actually competitive in a 3-1 loss at Manchester City just before the international break, but luck was really against them in the fixture and the Citizens made it count by taking advantage. But there were competitive positives that Arsenal could have taken away from the game and Wenger probably won’t be leaving Alexandre Lacazette out of the starting eleven for this one.
Strangely he left the summer signing on the bench, as he did for the game against Chelsea, which were really strange things to do. Lacazette is their top scorer, has the pace and finishing quality to trouble sides. He is a price of 11/8 in the anytime goalscorer market and it was he who got the consolation at Man City after coming off the bench. So Arsenal’s home form will be the indicator by which they will judge their chances in this one. They have scored at least two goals in each of their home games this season but will face a tough Tottenham defence.
Tottenham have had another great season in the Premier League and they have been firing along so well in the UEFA Champions League as well, with four points collected in two games against Real Madrid. But their character is going to be tested in this one because they lost their one big away game that they have played in the Premier League this season. They went down 1-0 at Old Trafford against Manchester United adding to their other defeat this season at home against Chelsea. So they have yet to beat a top four side which will give sixth-placed Arsenal a glimmer of hope in this derby atmosphere.
Yes Spurs have Harry Kane who has scored in each of his last six games against Arsenal in the league and the Gunners only have an even W3 D4 L3 record in their last ten league games against the Lilywhites. But the Gunners are unbeaten in their last six home games against their North London rivals in league contests and with them humming along in great form at the Emirates this season they aren’t bad value at 6/4 with Betfair to put the win on the board.
It is the third Manchester derby of the season. So far we have seen Manchester City claim a win at Old Trafford earlier in the season, but then fell in an EFL Cup tie at Old Trafford. That cup game can be written off because it really didn’t look as if either cared whether they won it or not with it coming so early in the competition. This is where it really counts and there could be a top four finish at stake riding on this Manchester derby of high, high pressure.
Man City 10/11, Draw 27/10, Man Utd 7/2
Manchester City have lost just the one home game in the top flight this season and have been a tough side to knock down at the Etihad, even when they haven’t been playing well. It hasn’t been the most convincing of season’s at home from them actually, but that is because teams have consistently shown up and just parked the bus at the Etihad. It has taken City a lot to try and break down visitors this season and they have often lacked a bit of a spark to do just that. City have Sergio Aguero and David Silva as doubts after being pulled off in their FA Cup loss to Arsenal on the weekend.
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There is a chance that both will be back for that though and even an outside chance that Gabriel Jesus could make some kind of appearance. But on the other side of the city, Manchester United have taken the massive hit of having had Zlatan Ibrahimovic ruled out for the rest of the season and that could be the one thing that tips the balance in favour of City in this one, because the Red Devils have relied on him so much this season to get their all-important goals. That will now fall on Marcus Rashford to deliver for the rest of the season. There haven’t been a lot of goals between these two recently (even money at Bet365 under 2.5 goals) and four of the last six have seen two goals or less.
If City can get Aguero fit (10/3 bet365 First Goalscorer), then that puts so much favouritism on City because he has scored eight goals in 10 competitive appearances for Manchester City against Manchester United and he is on a five-match scoring streak in the Premier League as well. Manchester City produced that win out at Old Trafford earlier in the season and considering that United are on a big stretch of unbeaten form, it just makes that win at Old Trafford from the Citizens even more impressive when you look back and consider the bigger picture of things. City needs this win, Pep Guardiola needs this win because failure to lock in a top four finish would be disastrous.
They hold a one-point lead over United going into this one so a win gives them a nice cushion and you would imagine that they will go hard at this one. City have won two of their last three at home against the Red Devils now and they may just have the extra quality to edge a win, because Mourinho’s men are likely to be sitting back because they will know the importance of not losing this game and aren’t likely going to be too open in it. So if Manchester City can find a way to keep the pace of Marcus Rashford out of the game, then the Citizens can deliver in what is likely to be a close game (Man City 2-1 correct score 8/1 at Bet365).
Then there is Pep Guardiola who could become the fourth manager to win both home and away Manchester derbies in a debut top-flight season after John Bentley, Sven-Göran Eriksson and Manuel Pellegrini and he has form against Mourinho. Guardiola has gone W8 D6 L4 in his previous eighteen managerial duels with Mourinho and on top of that, after winning six in a row against the Citizens in the Premier league, Mourinho has failed to beat City in the last four attempts now in the top-flight (D2 L2). This could be a defining moment for Manchester City’s season.