Sam Hendry picks out the weekend’s best football bets
This weekend’s Premier League action kicks off at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime with the meeting of Liverpool and Manchester United.
The draw of Britain’s two most successful and well-supported teams facing each other hasn’t held as much sway in the last few seasons with neither side finishing higher than fourth since 2013/14.
For United, this is a game to show they have truly arrived back at the very top level of the Premier League, especially after Manchester City threw down the gauntlet with their win at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago.
But Liverpool need this just as much as their rivals after an inconsistent start which has seen them win three of their opening seven games and Jurgen Klopp facing fan and press scrutiny for the first time since arriving in Merseyside. Defeat here would crank the pressure up another few notches.
Joes Mourinho is well known for being a pragmatic manager and came to this fixture last year with a plan to frustrate Liverpool’s attack and, although it wasn’t pretty, he walked away happy with a scoreless draw.
The reverse fixture at Old Trafford was also a draw – 1-1 on that occasion – and I am expecting a similar encounter this time around with United setting out to soak up pressure and hit Liverpool on the counter-attack.
The two cannot be split at the bookies, but I think the visitors should have enough to squeak victory and you can get decent odds of 7/4 for a United win, while I’d also plump for under 2.5 goals in the game at 5/6
Elsewhere on Saturday, Tottenham go in search of their first home win of the season when they take on Bournemouth.
They’ve been perfect away from home, but have only picked up two points from a possible nine at Wembley; a record which must change if they harbour ambitions of challenging the Manchester sides for the title.
The worry long-term for Spurs fans must be the growing dependence on Harry Kane and he needs more support from those around him, but for now the England forward is in the form of his life and striking fear into opposition defences across the country.
Bournemouth will come with optimism having watched the performances of Burnley and Swansea at the national stadium in recent games, but defensive resilience is not one of the aspects which Eddie Howe’s side are lauded and would be a major surprise if they could come away with a point like those clubs did.
The slight nervousness around Spurs and Wembley at the moment may mean they don’t get things all their own way, but I’m looking to back a Spurs win at a -1 handicap at odds of 4/6.
Lastly, for fans of Crystal Palace praying to see their team finally register their first point of the season, or even their first goal, the prospect of taking on a Chelsea side smarting from their defeat to Manchester City will not appeal
Antonio Conte’s men will undoubtedly be weakened with N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata ruled out through injury, but they should still have more than enough to see off Roy Hodgson’s pathetic Palace.
Look to back a result and both teams to score of Chelsea & No at odds of 11/8