Sam Hendry with the weekend’s best football bets
Just four points separate the six teams clustered in 2nd-7th behind Manchester City in the Premier League and two of those sides face each other on Saturday when Liverpool take on Chelsea at Anfield.
Consistency has been Chelsea’s issue so far this season.
Their opening day loss to Burnley was followed by four straight wins before suffering consecutive league defeats to Man City and Crystal Palace and a chastening 3-0 reverse against Roma in Europe.
They have recovered from those results to record five straight league wins, a run of form that has been inspired by the growing partnership between Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata
Hazard will fancy his chances going up against a Liverpool defence who continue to concede too many soft goals – as was evident in their midweek collapse against Sevilla. The Belgian can continue his fine form and can be backed to score anytime at odds of 23/10 with Paddy Power
After the sacking of Tony Pulis, Gary Megson is set to take charge of a Premier League team for the first time in eight years as caretaker boss of West Brom when they face Tottenham at Wembley.
Spurs’ title credentials have taken a fatal hit in recent weeks after defeats on the road at Old Trafford and the Emirates and a win here is a must against a West Brom side who have won only two of their last 21 games.
The effect that a manager leaving can have on a squad should not be underestimated, however West Brom need some new methods to turn their fortunes around and that is unlikely to happen under the man who was Pulis’ assistant.
Therefore I expect a continuation of West Brom’s poor performances this week and Spurs to win to nil can be backed at 5/6, again with our friends at Paddy Power.
Bournemouth, buoyed by their 4-0 thrashing of Huddersfield last week, travel to south Wales to take on struggling Swansea.
After a tough start saw Bournemouth face and lose to five of last season’s top seven sides in the first 10 games, two victories in a row has kick started their season as they embark on a run of fixtures against the league’s lower-placed teams.
Swansea’s current problems are clear for all to see: they have a defensive record better than that of Arsenal or Liverpool, but have the second worst attack in the league, only finding the back of the net seven times in their twelve league games.
20-year old Tammy Abraham has contributed four of those seven goals and was stretchered off last week against Burnley, although he is expected to be fit for Saturday’s game.
Nevertheless, the fitness of the new England cap should be inconsequential and I’m backing Bournemouth to continue their good run and inflict a fifth defeat in a row for Paul Clement’s side at odds of 9/5 (generally available)