New Kids on the Block to Hang Tough

Dan Roebuck, football odds expert, previews the PL post-deadline day.

Deadline Day Over. Jim White’s gaudy yellow tie mothballed for six months. Time to find out which, if any, new signing can make an impact for their new club in the first February fixtures of 2018.

I’ve struggled to think of any January signings that have been immediate successes in the Premier League era. Sure, the likes of Luis Suarez and Nemanja Vidic both went on to make a huge impact for Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, but neither really hit the ground running.

Will this year’s intake be any different…?

Burnley v Man City | 3 Feb 12:30

New And Old In Sync For City

Aymeric Laporte did something that none of John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi or Eliaquim Mangala achieved on their Manchester City debuts, and that helps his new employers to a clean sheet.

The champions elect, helped by their new £57million signing, are a decent price at evens to ‘win to nil’ away at Burnley at lunchtime on Saturday – Sean Dyche’s side have scored just once in their four games against top-six opposition this term at home (losing them all).

Pep Guardiola missed out on Riyad Mahrez if we believe the Sky Sports News yellow ticker, but with Sergio Aguero in such outstanding form – nine goals in his last seven games – there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the tried and tested.

Back the Argentine to net the opener at 5/2 (7/10 any time).

Arsenal v Everton | 3 Feb 17:30

Arsenal Busted By Walcott’s Return

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to score on his debut for Dijon, Lille, Monaco, Saint Etienne and Borussia Dortmund.

Why, then, should we punt the Gabon striker at 13/20 to mark his maiden outing for Arsenal with a goal against Everton (or take the 49/20 he grabs the first goal of the game)?

The Gunners problems this season have come away from home, so Arsene Wenger’s team are justifiable 1/4 favourites to beat Sam Allardyce’s side, which will include Arsenal old boy Theo Walcott in its ranks.

And potentially, it’s the new Toffees winger who represents the value to get on the scoresheet. He’s 19/5 to find the back of the net, which looks fair given his double against Leicester in midweek. Also, back both teams to score at 11/10, a bet that’s paid dividends in nine of last 10 Gunners’ fixtures.

Liverpool v Tottenham | 4 Feb 16:30

New Edition Not Required For Merseysiders

Liverpool’s record signing, Virgil Van Dijk, might not even start in the marquee match of the weekend, as Tottenham visit Anfield on Sunday.

Would it make any difference to the odds if he did? I doubt it, with Liverpool favourites at 27/25 and both the draw and Spurs trading at 5/2. They’ll be no new recruits in Mauricio Pochettino’s line up I’m almost certain – Lucas Moura, a deadline day capture from PSG, surely won’t be thrown into such a fixture for his debut in English football.

If the visitors play as they did against Manchester United in midweek, they could claim a rare win in front of the Kop.

But therein lies the issue, Tottenham have lost on five of their last six visits to this particular part of Merseyside, while they’ve also suffered defeat away from home in every one of their games this term against fellow top six sides.

Liverpool haven’t lost a home league game against a top-six club since January 2016. Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal football makes the most noise in the fixtures that really matter it seems.

Since Christmas, Liverpool have averaged three goals per game at home, so back them to score at least twice at 7/10.

Elsewhere, Mo Salah, now on penalty taking duty following Phillipe Coutinho’s departure, looks sure to continue his sensational form. The Egyptian is 17/4 to register the final goal of the game – something he’s done in his last two outings.

Watford v Chelsea | 5 Feb 20:00

Latest Blue Stung By Hornets

The Premier League weekend is wrapped up at Vicarage Road on Monday night when Olivier Giroud could make his debut for Chelsea.

The French striker skipped across the capital from Arsenal hoping for top-flight starts – and he might get one with Alvaro Morata struggling with a back issue.

Truth is, though, Giroud has been one of the most effective substitutes the Premier league has ever seen, with his 17 goals from off the bench bettered only by Jermaine Defoe (23).

The former Gunner is 7/2 to net the first goal of the game (23/20 anytime), but with the Blues troubles running a little deeper than just finding another forward, it might pay to back Javi Gracia’s men on the handicap market.

The Hornets are 31/20 to win with half a goal start.

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