Another weekend, another round of Premier League fixtures to get stuck into. With Saturday’s games slightly underwhelming (Sky are showing Burnley v Everton at lunch time with 2/9 shots Liverpool at home to Newcastle as the evening game), we’ll turn our attention to Sunday. Again, both games are live on Sky. Firstly, it’s Brighton v Arsenal at 13.30 before Man City host Chelsea at 16.00. That’s more like it.
Regular readers of this column will be able to guess our first bet- simply because Arsenal are playing away. Having just been completely outclassed twice in a week against City- shipping six goals without reply in the process- Arsenal’s confidence is as low as it’s been in the last twenty years.
Things really have got that bad for the Gunners. They seem almost certain to finish sixth in the Premier League- they are eight points behind Chelsea in fifth and another eight ahead of Burnley in seventh- and basically have very little to play for this season.
They simply shouldn’t be odds-on to win away from home in the Premier League at the moment, and certainly not against Brighton. The Seagulls are unbeaten in six and Chris Hughton is a belting manager. There has arguably never been a better time to play Arsenal than right now. We really fancy Arsenal not to win at Evens or better (Betfair Exchange) and William Hill’s 100/30 about Brighton winning certainly represents value.
Arsenal, who lost at home to Ostersunds just ten days ago, have won two away games in the Premier League all season. We’ll have a speculative flutter on 2-0 Brighton at 25/1 with Bet365, is that scoreline really less than a 4% chance? Here’s hoping the Gunners misfire again.
The game of the weekend, though, is surely Manchester City v Chelsea. It seems likely Spurs (1/5 shots to beat Huddersfield) and Liverpool (2/9 at home to Newcastle) will continue their excellent recent form and each pick up three points on Saturday. This means Chelsea will probably be five points behind Spurs and seven behind Liverpool come Sunday afternoon and will have no choice but to go at Man City. This means one thing, and one thing only- goals.
City have basically got the league wrapped up and if it’s going to be a season-defining game for anyone on Sunday, it’s Chelsea. They won’t want to return from Manchester pointless twice in a week, or fifth place for last year’s Champions becomes a very real possibility. Conte will have to have a go and Guardiola won’t mind that one bit.
There’s no point in shutting up shop at the Etihad- nobody keeps a clean sheet there anyway. If City do have a weakness, it’s at the back, and it’s very hard to see anything other than a high-scoring affair. Over 2.5 goals is 3/4 with Pinnacle and that looks the sensible wager on the game.
Six of Man City’s seven league games this year have had at least three goals in. Six of Chelsea’s last seven league games this year have had at least three goals in, too. That makes over 2.5 our bet of the weekend, as simple as that. Add in the fact that Chelsea really have to have a go and it seems to be over-priced.
Bet365 are a stand-out 21/4 on the away win and it’s probably a little big in what we’re expecting to be a high-scoring thriller. When you look at the head-to-head records, two names keep popping up- Sergio Aguero and Eden Hazard. Aguero has five goals in his last four league games against Chelsea, and is 7/2 with Coral to open the scoring. Hazard has had a hand in eight goals in his last seven games against Manchester City, picking up four goals and four assists.
If Chelsea are to get the job done, Hazard is the most likely man to do it for them. Bet365 make Hazard 6/1 to be Man of the Match and that’s probably worth a flutter when you consider the form he’s been in and his aforementioned numbers in the fixture.
We’ve laced them up for you, now all you have to do is fill your boots!
Best of luck and enjoy the games.
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