Sam Hendry with his selections for this weekend’s football action
We start in north London where two of English football’s traditional powerhouses meet when Arsenal take on Manchester United
Something must give in this one: Arsenal are on a superb run of 12 consecutive home victories and hope is slowly building again at the Emirates, but this would typically be the point where that hope is extinguished by another calamitous display.
As a manager, Jose Mourinho has only ever lost once to Arsene Wenger in the Premier League – admittedly that loss came in the last meeting between the sides – but hasn’t won away from home against a top six side in his past 11 encounters.
And in United’s last six games against last season’s top six, there have only been seven goals scored and whichever way the result goes here, I can see this one following the same path.
If Mourinho wasn’t willing to adjust his conservative approach when facing Liverpool then it’s unlikely he will do so coming up against an in-form Arsenal. Odds of under 2.5 goals in the game look interesting at 10/11 with Betfred
We move on now to Sunday’s fixture between Manchester City and West Ham game which is not the most appealing from a betting perspective.
With City clocking up a club record 12 consecutive Premier League wins and West Ham reeling after their 4-0 thumping by a dysfunctional Everton side, if you’re to go by the bookies odds then the Premier League chiefs would be as well calling this game off and simply awarding City the three points without the bother of actually playing.
Leroy Sane was missed the midweek win over Southampton through illness but should recover in time for this weekend.
The German is one booking away from a suspension which would see him ruled out of the Manchester derby, so it isn’t impossible that Pep Guardiola leaves him out with the confidence that his squad will still have more than enough quality to see off the Hammers.
But I think it unlikely that Guardiola will take that nonchalant approach and should Sane start then his pace in behind could be the key to unlocking a West Ham team looking to defend deep and frustrate City in the same way Huddersfield and Southampton have done. You can get the German to score first at odds of 9/2 with Boylesports
My final bet of the week comes from the Hawthorns where Alan Pardew and Roy Hodgson both manage their new clubs against their old ones as West Brom take on Crystal Palace.
It’s been a good week for Hodgson with four points from their two games moving them level on points with Swansea at the foot of the table and only three points behind the Baggies.
Since disposing of Tony Pulis, West Brom have neither won nor lost and a third draw in a row could be on the cards to mark Pardew’s first game in charge at odds of 21/10 generally.
There isn’t much to choose between the two teams on paper and a point apiece would probably suit both managers.