AFTER four Premier League winners out of five last week, Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) is back in the hotseat this weekend with more top-flight bets.
Chelsea v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
I took a chance on Burnley last weekend and it paid out. In fairness I was too conservative only backing them on the handicap but they produced a result at just the right time. It was November before they won the last time they got promoted so this was just the early season tonic required.
Taking out Liverpool last Saturday should surely bolster the side with confidence and they face a similar task this weekend against another one of the Big Seven Chelsea.
It’s six points out of six for Antonio Conte’s side in the Premier League so far this season but it’s been far from straight-forward. In fact they’ve grinded to both of those wins.
Their opening matchday win over West Ham required an 89th minute winner from Diego Costa and last Saturday they were deservedly 1-0 down to Watford for 25 minutes.
Again the West London side needed a late presence to see them through and this time it was 80th and 87th minute goals from Michy Batshuayi and Costa respectively.
Chelsea feel like a side who are due to drop points and with them priced up at nauseating odds of 2/7 here I’m willing to take a chance on the Clarets again.
Buoyant Burnley look too big at 14/1 at Stamford Bridge and are odds against simply to score a goal. I’ll eschew that option though and back them again on the handicap with a 1.5 goal start.
Marathon are 8/7 on this outcome and I’m going in again on the Clarets. I’m generally not a fan of backing sides after an exceptional result but Chelsea look to have cracks in their make-up at the moment which Sean Dyche’s side could exploit.
Watford v Arsenal | Saturday 15:00
For the first in four years Arsenal go into their third match of the Premier League campaign without a win to their name and there’s no guarantee they’ll get one here either.
Opponents Watford came into this season an unknown quantity and while it’s absurd to make a strong call after just two games they look better than I expected.
In their inaugural match they looked the better side against Southampton and perhaps merited more than a draw and then last Saturday proved awkward for Chelsea to handle.
Walter Mazzarri’s side can certainly feel aggrieved to have lost that match against the Blues and they’re bound to be relishing this fixture at the weekend.
With so much uncertainty over the Arsenal defence at the moment it seems a great opportunity to get with Watford to score here. Yes, Arsenal kept a clean sheet last week but that was against a nervous Leicester side with last season’s achievements weighing on their shoulders.
The Hornets have scored in both their matches so far this season and for what it’s worth have netted in six of their last seven Premier League matches.
Last season they scored against champions Leicester, Tottenham, Man City, Man Utd and slotted three past Liverpool at Vicarage Road. Arsenal were the only Top 5 side they failed to register against in the league although they did knock them out of the FA Cup.
Who knows whether Arsenal bring in a new central defender by the time this match kicks off. There’s no certainty about their backward heart and for that reason I’m backing Both Teams To Score here.
Hull v Manchester United | Saturday 17:30 | BT Sport 1
The Hull story so far this season has been great fun but let’s keep things sensible though eh? I rolled my eyes when I heard Chris Sutton suggest they were already down and someone else (may have been him) saying they could get the lowest Premier League points tally ever. FFS!
Yes, they’re massively up against it from a resource point of view but this isn’t a club like Blackpool coming up. It’s a side who’ve been in this division fairly regularly over the last decade. A side who reached the FA Cup Final in 2014 and a side who showed the mental grit to come straight back up last season from the Championship. Lowest points tally ever? Go and jump off a cliff you clown!
Of course, it’s easy for me to say that after they won their first two matches you make think, and fair enough. I’m not going to patronise you by saying I thought they’d stay up but there was no value in backing them at a shade of odds on to go down.
Anyway I still think people need to calm down a bit. They’ve beaten a Leicester side who face a tough season with expectation surrounding them and a Swansea team I’ve backed for relegation. Their decent run ends here.
It’s been a strong start to the season for Manchester United with two league wins following on the heels of a Community Shield victory over Leicester.
They look arrogant and hateable again with Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho among their personnel. It’s a far cry from the dark meek days under David Moyes.
This looks the kind of game that they may excel in. The kind of game where Zlatan might have a field day and Pogba’s driving runs overpower the Hull players.
United are 1/2 to win here but I reckon that would be nearer the 2/5 mark if Hull had dropped points in their opening two matches. That’s good news if you’re not reading huge amounts into those victories.
The price is enough for me to dip into the handicap markets and hoover up the 4/5 on United -1 on the Asian Handicap. It’s stakes back if they win by exactly one goal and a bigger victory returns full profit. Hull’s bubble may be burst here.
Chelsea v Burnley – Burnley +1.5 (8/7 Marathon Bet)
Watford v Arsenal – Both Teams To Score (9/11 Marathon Bet)
Hull v Manchester United – Manchester United -1 Asian Handicap (4/5 Marathon Bet)