After a lot of Cup nonsense over the past week, the Premier League is back, lads and lasses.
Here we’re going to preview the two live Sunday games (both on Sky) and try to dig out a bit of value.
First up at 13:30, is Bournemouth vs Arsenal. As followers of this column are well aware, Arsenal are our great friends away from home. Arsenal were a best-priced 3/4 to beat West Brom away. They are the same price to beat Bournemouth away, and we can’t work out why. Bournemouth are a better side than West Brom (5 points better this season), particularly at home.
Arsenal are certainly no better now than they were a fortnight ago when they drew at the Hawthorns, in fact there’s a fair argument to say they’re a bit worse. Since that night they’ve drawn 2-2 at home with Chelsea, been dumped out of the FA Cup 4-2 by Forest, and drawn 0-0 away in the Carabao Cup (again with Chelsea).
In addition to Arsenal’s scratchy form, there are reports of unrest in the camp, with an Alexis Sanchez to Manchester move looking increasingly on the cards.
Bournemouth’s recent form? 3-3 (H), 2-1 (H), 2-2 (A), 2-2 (H)
Arsenal’s? 3-3 (H), 2-3 (A), 1-1 (A), 2-2 (H), 0-0 (A).
So in the last few weeks, these sides have been featured in 7 draws from their 9 respective games. Two Desmonds, two 3-3 thrillers. You can see where this is going.
We are laying Arsenal again at anything shorter than 4/5. They’ve won 3 out of 11 away games this season and Bournemouth, who are by no means safe, never lie down at Dean Court.
The draw is 100/30 with Black Type and is well worth an investment.
For the more adventurous, 2-2 is 12/1 (general) and 3-3 is a whopping 45/1 with BetVictor.
Hopefully, if Arsenal can stay true to form, we’ll have some winnings to spin up in the second game- clearly the biggest game of the weekend- Liverpool v Man City, which is live on Sky at 16:00.
You aren’t going to get many chances to back Man City at odds-against this season (or next season for that matter). Sure, Liverpool are a good side and are always dangerous going forward, but surely that defence isn’t going to cope with the marauding City front line. It’s not just the back four who are a concern for Liverpool- it’s their keeper, Simon Mignolet. If he does manage to get in the side, is a liability, pure and simple.
Virgil van Dijk has been heralded as their saviour- and for £75m he really should be- but he’s not had time to gel with the other defenders yet and they are by no means a cohesive unit. And whilst he certainly makes them better at the back, Liverpool are inevitably going to suffer at the other end of the pitch after the recent loss of Philippe Coutinho. You don’t want to run into Man City when your side’s not settled.
Let’s turn our attention to goals for a moment. Eight of Liverpool’s last nine games have had at least three goals. With City it’s only six of their last nine- but the three unders came away against bus-parking opposition. Liverpool simply aren’t capable of shutting up shop and we all know how City play. Whilst 8/15 over 2.5 might appeal to the big hitters, when you consider all of the above, William Hill’s 21/10 that City win and 3 or more goals in the game looks like the bet to us.
Mohamed Salah, who’s been utterly magnificent this season, is an injury concern for Liverpool but is expected to recover in time for Sunday. 13/10 Man City win the match (general) is definitely too big if Salah stays on the bench, so check the team news before you get involved.
Gabriel Jesus is missing for City but is far less of a loss when they have Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané, and Sergio Agüero with David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne offering plenty of goal threats from midfield.
Daniel Sturridge, Alberto Moreno, and Jordan Henderson are also injury concerns for the Reds. If Liverpool end up fielding a weakened team, we’ll definitely bet on City.
Whatever you’re backing, best of luck and enjoy the games.
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