A profitable Premier League weekend for Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) last week. Who is he backing this weekend?
Arsenal v Manchester United | Sunday 16:00 | Sky Sports 1
It sounded like Arsene Wenger’s press conference on Friday morning was fairly feisty. I’m sure the Frenchman is hugely pissed off after Tuesday’s night awful home defeat to Olympiakos in the Champions League. It leaves the Gunners with a real fight on their hands to qualify for the knockout stages.
Next up for them is a home match against Manchester United and I was surprised to see some bookmakers price them up at odds on. It’s not a price I could contemplate.
More than any other side I can think of when you approach Arsenal games from a betting point of view analysing the mental aspect of the team is vitally important. The Chelsea game two weeks ago was a key example of this, Arsenal were in better form and looked much more organised and united than their opponents but you had to take them on due to their ineptitude in big games like that.
While some teams rise to the challenge, Arsenal usually shirk it. I’m happy to tread that path again on Sunday in their big match against Manchester United and will back the Red Devils to avoid defeat.
Louis Van Gaal’s side are of course top of the table which is a great indicator of how poor this league is. You get the feeling that all of Sir Alex Ferguson’s title winning sides would smash up this generation and leave them begging for mercy.
While I’ve found them uninspiring there have been glimmers of promise (the second half against Liverpool and parts of the Southampton game spring to mind) but this team seem to grind out results (unlike most others) which is why they sit top of the table. They certainly won’t fear Arsenal.
Will Arsenal fear them? Yeah possibly. They’ve beaten them just once in their last nine meetings and in this fixture last season dominated United but still left empty handed.
Their league record against last season’s Top 4 since 2012/13 is a pitiful P19 W1 D8 L10 and that can’t be a coincidence. It’s clear they’re getting outbattled and bullied in these type of games and I’m happy to take them on on Sunday.
Bournemouth v Watford | Saturday 15:00
I know it’s illegal to say anything negative about Eddie Howe but even the bookmakers seem to be joining the love in for the handsome blue eyed boy of English football. Yes, the Cherries seem to go off far too short every week at the moment.
I opposed them two weeks ago against Sunderland and ended up with egg on my face but they were 8/13 that day which seems remarkable. This week they’ve been chalked up at 11/10 to beat Watford, it’s not as bad a price as two weeks ago but I still make it too cramped.
The crucial factor for me is the loss of their main striker Callum Wilson and the damage that may inflict on them this campaign. It’s awful luck for him and the club as he’s their third player this season to suffer a long term injury. You just get the feeling that these injuries will catch up with the club and it’s no surprise to hear there’s been money for them in the relegation market this week.
The South Coast outfit have scored nine goals this season and five of those have come from Wilson. His absence should seriously blunt their attacking prowess and that’s why I’m keen to take them on on Saturday.
Their opponents are Watford. The Hornets have surprised many people with their start to the season and have nine points in the bank already.
Quique Sanchez Flores’ side have been miserly when it comes to conceding goals and only Manchester United and Tottenham have a better defensive record in the league this season. Even Man City at full throttle could only beat them 2-0 at the Etihad.
Just two defeats in their seven league games makes me think Watford are a hard side to overcome and when you can back them at a shade of odds on simply to avoid defeat I’m more than happy to get involved.
I think there are real question marks over Bournemouth now, their price is short and their opponents on Saturday are notoriously hard to beat. It’s Watford +0.5 for me.
Norwich v Leicester | Saturday 15:00
Another team who look short every week are Norwich. Regular readers will know I’m a huge Alex Neil fan and I’ve been gagging to splash the cash on Norwich this season to get behind Alex but value has been non-existent. I was all excited for their match against Liverpool and was expecting something around the 8/1 mark, all that was offered was a poxy 5/1. No bet.
Some bookmakers have the Canaries at just 5/4 to beat a Leicester side with just two defeats from their last 17 Premier League matches. Remarkable.
I won’t be taking them on though as I’m curious to see how Leicester come back from their 5-2 dooing against Arsenal last week. It was the first setback for Claudio Ranieri and it will be fascianting to see if that affects the side.
On top of that Norwich look a tough side to beat with just two defeats in their seven matches so it’s a goals bet for me in this Saturday afternoon clash.
Both these sides are already in double figures for number of goals scored in the Premier League this season. No club has scored more than Leicester (15) while only four clubs have notched more than Norwich (11).
Both Teams To Score punters have been having a field day with this pair too. Six of Norwich’s seven games paid out on BTTS while it’s seven out of seven for Leicester.
Sadly BTTS is too short to get involved with this week so I’ll dip into Over 2.5 Goals instead. That’s 4/5 with Betfair and the stats are equally as exuberant with regard to this selection. Both sides have seen five of their seven games go Over 2.5 in the Premier League in 2015/16. There’s enough evidence there for me to get involved.
Bournemouth v Watford – Watford +0.5 (6/7 BetVictor)
Norwich v Leicester – Over 2.5 Goals (4/5 Betfair)
Arsenal v Manchester United – Manchester United +0.5 (9/10 Bet365)
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