Sam Hendry with this weekend’s best football bets
The Premier League kicks back off with a bang from the Emirates this week with the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham.
The last two seasons has seen a major power shift between the two rivals: Spurs finished 11 points ahead of their rivals last term and it would be a surprise for Arsenal to turn that around this campaign given their inconsistent away form and rumours over the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Despite that, a record run of 11 straight victories at the Emirates means Arsene Wenger’s side are positions as slight favourites for this one.
Spurs, while failing to impress at their temporary Wembley home, have been superb on the road this term and I can’t see a better time to improve on a woeful record of two wins from their last 32 games away to Arsenal.
Christian Eriksen is in the best form of his career, while Dele Alli, Harry Winks and Harry Kane – scorer of six goals in his five derbies – should be fit and ready to go after missing England duty. You can get odds of a Tottenham win at 15/8 generally.
The league’s top six teams are all in action on Saturday with runaway leaders Manchester City travelling to the Midlands to take on Leicester.
Nine consecutive league victories understandably sees City installed as overwhelming favourites and it would take somebody very foolish to bet against them.
So naturally, that is what I am going to do.
Their winning streak, impressive as it is, must come to an end at some point and it could happen at the King Power stadium after an international break where much of City’s stars were playing all over the world
Their successful centre-back partnership of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi will be split up due to a suspension for the Argentine and, with Vincent Kompany not fit enough for a return yet, unreliable Frenchman Eliaquim Mangala is set to deputise.
The problem Leicester have is that their defence is nowhere near as watertight as it was during their miraculous 2015/16 season and they come up against a side that has scored 38 times so far in the league; more than any other team in Europe’s top divisions (PSG have scored 39 but have played an extra game).
Leicester swept City aside here 4-2 last season and Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy remain a big threat. They could be a bit of value to pull of an upset and a Leicester win can be backed at 17/2 with betVictor and William Hill.
Also on Saturday, Burnley host struggling Swansea City at Turf Moor.
Sean Dyche has seemingly shrugged off the rumours linking him to Everton and while Burnley sit in an impressive seventh place it’s easy to understand why.
One win in their last eight league fixtures has seen Swansea drop into the relegation zone and Paul Clement has a tough job getting them out of there after some poor summer recruitment.
In Burnley’s 11 league matches there have been a total of only 19 goals scored; the lowest of any team and I expect another low-scoring affair this weekend.
The hosts should have just enough to edge this I think and I’m backing them to claim a fifth 1-0 win of the season at odds of 11/2.