Following the goal fest in the midweek fixtures, the Premier League returns this weekend as we approach the busy Christmas period.
In the standout fixture of the week, Chelsea play Manchester City at Stamford Bridge with Maurizio Sarri’s men looking to bounce back from their shock defeat to Wolves, while Cardiff host Southampton with new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl taking charge of his first game in the Premier League.
Our football expert guides you through the best bets from the upcoming fixtures.
Chelsea v Manchester City
Having started the season strongly, recent results now see Chelsea on the brink of exiting the top four following their defeat to Wolves in midweek.
Despite 17 attempts, Maurizio Sarri is still without a settled solution at striker with both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud failing to impress when given the chance.
City, meanwhile, seem to go from strength to strength winning yet again at Vicarage Road against a courageous Watford side. A win or a draw here would see the Citizens remain unbeaten despite having played Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal away from home.
Football fans may start to think that perhaps this City side can emulate Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ and remain unbeaten throughout the season.
Chelsea enter the contest 3/1 underdogs with Guardiola’s men odds on favourites at 5/6. Raheem Sterling is expected to start after being rested midweek and given his form, 11/2 to open the scoring looks good value.
Cardiff v Southampton
With both sides battling to avoid relegation, Cardiff come up against a Southampton side keen to impress new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Having watched his new side crumble to defeat against Tottenham, the Austrian will have his work cut out to try and get the best out of his players and push up the table. Cardiff face the Saints off the back of a defeat to West Ham which keeps them 16th, just two points above the relegation zone.
Having won their last two games at home, the Bluebirds will see this as a big opportunity to distance themselves from the drop zone and they go into this match slight favourites at 15/8, whilst Southampton enter at 7/2.
I can see Southampton improving on previous performances, but not enough to overcome Warnock’s men and a 1-1 draw at 5/1 is my tip for this one.
Bournemouth v Liverpool
In this weekend’s early kick-off, Bournemouth host Liverpool in a match sure to provide free-flowing football.
Having beaten Burnley in midweek, Liverpool still trail league leaders Manchester City despite achieving their best start to a season in their 126-year history.
Bournemouth got back to winning ways this week beating Huddersfield with two quick fire goals that saw the Cherries 2-0 up after 22 minutes. That victory lifted Howe’s men up to sixth place and if they were to maintain this form throughout the season,
it would be no surprise to see them secure a European spot come May. I’ll put my neck on the line in this one and say Bournemouth will inflict Liverpool’s first league defeat of the season.