Three of the Top 4 face challenging away days this weekend, which makes for a fascinating weekend of Premier League football.
Who will trip up on the banana skins that lie in wait? Our resident football expert Adrian Clarke gives us his take…
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion
If you’re the kind of punter that studies the history books, you’ll lump on a 1-1 draw.
Given how wonderfully Spurs are playing right now that sounds a relatively daft choice, but the last three encounters between these two clubs have all finished one apiece – and at White Hart Lane it’s been that exact outcome in three of the last four meetings. Spooky!
For yet another 1-1 stalemate you’re looking at a price of 17/2.
There are generous Goalscorer Price Boosts on offer for all televised games with Grosvenor Casinos this weekend, so with that in mind I’m looking towards Christian Eriksen for a little value.
The on-fire Dele Alli is just 7/4 to score anytime, but under the radar their Danish playmaker has also hit a rich vein of form for Spurs. He’s producing some lovely stuff.
As I strongly envisage Tony Pulis sitting deep and parking the bus, it may place more onus on set pieces or shots taken from outside the box. Both happen to be Eriksen’s forte.
OK, he’s only notched in four different matches for Tottenham in 2016-17, but the fast starting Scandinavian did get the opener in three of those appearances.
At 23/4 for Eriksen to score the first goal, I’m interested.
Leicester City v Chelsea
This is the first of a trio of rock-hard home games for the defending champions (Manchester United followed by Liverpool are up next at the King Power), so expect the Foxes to be fired up.
They could do with creating a touch of breathing space between themselves and the bottom three.
We know Claudio Ranieri’s men like big games. They thumped Manchester City in emphatic style, and with Jamie Vardy back from suspension, central defenders Huth and Morgan looking much more like their old selves, and 32,000 fans roaring them on, I’m convinced they will give the leaders a stern test.
With the pace of Vardy, Musa and Gray in forward areas, Chelsea could get stretched, and in their last two Premier League contests cracks have begun to appear for Conte’s side. From shipping two goals in 12 matches, they’ve now let in four in the last two.
Statistically, Leicester are at their best early on. They lead by an aggregate of 8-1 in the first half of home games this term.
Chelsea are the better finishers. On their travels they lead 7-1 in the final 30 minutes of contests.
Everton v Manchester City
When the going’s got tough on the road in recent weeks, Manchester City have self-combusted. Disappointing defeats and displays at Spurs, Leicester and Liverpool, should give the Toffees heart that a morale-boosting win on Sunday is possible.
But, can you trust Everton to get you a result at the moment? With boss Ronald Koeman sulking about his squad’s lack of quality, and his star men turning up one in five, I don’t know if you can.
Something isn’t right on the blue half of Merseyside. It’s not a happy camp.
With neither defence (or keeper) especially convincing form-wise I do think 3/4 on over 2.5 goals is a tempting flutter, and on the enhanced scorer odds, I have a fancy for Raheem Sterling to silence the Scouse boo boys.
He’s in favour at the moment with Pep Guardiola, and is getting himself into some great goal scoring positions. The ex-Liverpool winger is 29/10 to score at anytime or 8/1 to bag the first or last strike.
Manchester United v Liverpool
This is a crossroads moment in Manchester United’s season. Are they genuine title contenders, or simply pretenders? We’ll have a better idea by Sunday evening.
Should United win at Old Trafford they’ll close the gap on Liverpool to just two points. Lose, and they’re eight behind Jurgen Klopp’s men – and effectively out of the running, with Chelsea way out in front.
The NEED for Jose Mourinho’s side to grab three points from their bitter rivals (coupled with an excellent run of form) leans me towards a home win. At 23/20 I strongly fancy them.
Those of a sentimental persuasion might dabble with the 14/5 on offer for Wayne Rooney to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s record with a 250th goal for the club. It would be some moment if it happens, but I doubt he’ll start the game.
For me, the on-fire Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so disappointing in the fixture at Anfield, looks value at 7/2 to nab the opening goal.
Midfield runners could be crucial for both teams in this one too, and my picks for goals would be Paul Pogba (17/5) or Adam Lallana (22/5). United’s record signing will push on and have chances, but Liverpool’s midfield man is the more lethal of the two. He has a 50% shot conversion rate this term.
It will be blood and thunder stuff, and I doubt it will be pretty to watch, but based on recent displays from both sides, I have to pick Manchester United to land what could be a monumentally important win.
I’ll go 2-1, which is priced up at 15/2.
Remember, you can bet on all the weekend’s football at Grosvenor Sport as well as watch all the televised action from our 53 local casinos in the UK.
Image: Ben Sutherland (Creative Commons – Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))