Cardiff City vs Manchester United
On 17th December 2015 Jose Mourinho was ignominiously sacked from Chelsea after a shocking start to the season which saw him alienate just about everybody at the club, and history repeated itself almost exactly three years later when he found himself dumped from Old Trafford with his team drifting listlessly in mid-table
Where the Portuguese goes from here remains to be seen, but for Manchester United the only way is surely up.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not have the managerial pedigree of his now peers in the top end of the Premier League, but he has excellent players who will be out to prove a point that they are much better than the performances of the last few months would suggest
As fate would have it, Solskjaer’s first game in charge comes against the only other British side that he has managed in Cardiff City – a role he was sacked from after nine months having overseen relegation from the Premier League
There was an immediate reaction in Chelsea’s first post-Mourinho matches in 2015 and I’m expecting a similar story here. Man Utd to be leading half-time/full-time is 6/4 with Ladbrokes and Coral
Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs, with five wins from their last six, have done superbly to only trail Liverpool by six points at the top, but I have the feeling their intense fixture list of late could catch up with them here.
Everton’s poor form away from home – only one win from eight – has been compensated by a terrific record at Goodison Park where they have the 5th best home record and just one defeat.
Despite only taking two points from their five games against the top six so far this season, they have nothing to be ashamed about in their performances and this is the first time they will have home advantage.
I don’t expect the intense speculation around Mauricio Pochettino’s links to the vacant position at Man Utd to have an impact on Spurs, but their lengthy injury list might with Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama and Serge Aurier all still out.
Everton are 23/10 with Betfred to upset their high-flying opponents.
West Ham United vs Watford
These two sides sit 9th and 10th in the league locked together on 24 points but it’s West Ham who are on a more upward trajectory than Watford.
After a disastrous start which saw them pointless after four games, Manuel Pellegrini’s influence is abundantly clear now and four wins from their last six has taken them into the top ten.
Watford have taken the complete opposite route – they started the campaign with four consecutive wins but have steadily dropped back since and came very close to blowing a three-goal lead over Cardiff last week.
It’s the Hammers then who rightly come in as favourites with summer signings such as Felipe Anderson making a big impact and Robert Snodgrass revitalised in midfield.
West Ham are a decent 7/5 with BetVictor and Betfair to take all three points while Anderson is 9/1 with Paddy Power to score first.