Sam Hendry with the best of the weekend’s football bets
It’s been a stressful week for Jose Mourinho, Ed Woodward and all concerned at Manchester United after their 3-2 loss to Brighton, but that could be good news for punters as their price to beat Tottenham on Monday night has lengthened to 13/8.
Despite the shambolic nature of that defeat on the south coast, the omens are good for United heading into this game. They have beaten Spurs in their last five matches at Old Trafford conceding only once in that time.
Tottenham may have the maximum six points form their opening two games but that masks some shaky performances; they were fortunate to hold off a second half onslaught from Newcastle before two late goals from Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane saw off a battling Fulham last week.
For all Manchester United’s faults, this is still a team which accrued more than 80 points last season and they are perhaps being written off too soon by some quarters of the media.
Another defeat would undoubtedly crank the pressure up even more on Mourinho and the comparisons between this and his third-year spells at other clubs would only get stronger, but I’m predicting them to bounce back with a win here to continue their Old Trafford dominance over Spurs at 13/8 .
Roberto Firmino is the only member of Liverpool’s formidable forward trio yet to find the net so far this season but that could change on Saturday evening when they take on Brighton at Anfield.
More consistency against bottom-half teams is needed this season for Jurgen Klopp’s side – they dropped nine points against the three relegated teams last season – and continuing to win games the ugly way, such as in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, as well as the beautiful way will be crucial to any title challenge.
Brighton haven’t recorded a league victory away from home since November of last year and conceded nine goals in their two matches with Liverpool, so a repeat of their heroics last week appears unlikely.
Liverpool should be able to do what Manchester United couldn’t last week and beat Brighton quite comfortably and Firmino can get the ball rolling with first goalscorer odds of 5/1 (William Hill)
Having lost to Man City and Chelsea in his opening two fixtures, Unai Emery will be glad to have a kinder outing on Saturday when his Arsenal host West Ham at the Emirates.
West Ham are also searching for their first point of the season as Manuel Pellegrini’s ideas take some time to bed in with a team featuring several
signings yet to gel with their new teammates.
Hope for the Hammers could come courtesy of the high defensive line that Emery has employed – with mixed results – thus far, and it’s unlikely he will waver from those tactics here.
That will mean plenty space in behind for Marko Arnautovic to exploit and the Austrian forward is a handy at 3/1 with Betfred to score anytime.
That said, Arsenal should still have more than enough attacking threat to bag their first win.
They scored twice and created a load of other clear goalscoring chances against Chelsea last week and I expect more of the same here. An Arsenal win and both teams to score is 6/4 which looks fair.