Sam Hendry outlines his best bets for football’s Super Sunday
‘Super’ Sunday lives up to its moniker this week with five of the top six sides in action.
Tottenham kick the day off at Wembley when they take on Crystal Palace, who have improved slightly under Roy Hodgson but remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Last week’s comeback draw against West Ham has the potential to be a pivotal moment in their season, but they now face the unenviable task of following that up by taking on a Spurs side who were rampant in victory over European Champions Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Despite that win and their crushing victory over Liverpool two weeks ago, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have found it difficult to break down teams who have come to Wembley with a plan of sitting deep and frustrating the home team.
Palace will almost certainly come with the same intention, but I think they’re going to have to look elsewhere for points in their battle for survival. A half time/full time of Spurs-Spurs is my bet.
We then travel to the Etihad Stadium where Manchester City are aiming for their ninth consecutive league win when they take on Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger had the luxury of being able to rest key players for their Europa League tie against Red Star Belgrade, while at the same time City were playing an almost full-strength eleven in a thrilling victory in Italy over Serie A leaders Napoli.
Alexis Sanchez will have something to prove against the club he almost signed for in the summer and may still do so in January.
But it’s still a massive task for Arsenal to stop the City juggernaut and although they may score against a City defence which has conceded four goals in their past two, keeping them out at the other end is an altogether more difficult prospect. City to win and both teams to score at odds of 11/8 (generally available) is the selection.
Jose Mourinho takes his Manchester United team to the familiar surroundings of Stamford Bridge, looking to put an end to a personal run which has seen him fail to win any of his last nine away games against the league’s top six, scoring only one goal in the process.
The early season goal-gluts have disappeared recently for United with Romelu Lukaku not finding the net in his last five games and Mourinho once again taking some criticism for his pragmatic ways.
It’s unlikely he’s going to change what has been a winning formula for him throughout his career, even when coming up against a Chelsea side ravaged by injuries and seemingly on the verge of collapse.
Antonio Conte is a manager with high standards and will not allow another sub-par performance like the one midweek against Roma. I’m not envisaging a classic encounter here so look for this one to be a low scoring affair. United to edge it 1-0 at odds of 9/1 (SkyBet) is my prediction.