ANOTHER weekend of Premier League profit for Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) last week. Can he repeat the feat here?
Hull v Arsenal | Saturday 15:00
There’s something Leicester 2015/16 about Hull 2016/17. Ok, at the moment that’s a huge exaggeration, but at this early stage of the season there is a similarity and I’m hoping that continues to bleed into the season.
Hull are a small squad widely written off by all and sundry with an unfashionable manager at the helm. That unfashionable manager replaced a more popular figure deep into the summer recess. You see, there are similarities.
Like Leicester last season Hull seem to be enjoying themselves and their tight-knit collective are working hard to ensure the club stay in the division.
It’s an aim which has reaped rewards in the opening match of the season with victories over Leicester (yup, them again) and Swansea, a last gasp draw against Burnley and a last gasp loss at the hands of Manchester United.
On Saturday they host Arsenal. The North London outfit arrive in Humberside with seven points of 12 and a few questions to answer regarding their league form this season.
Arsene Wenger’s side were a shambles against Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season and then created very little against Leicester (0-0) and Southampton last week (2-1 win). Before the Saints game they did kick up the gears against Watford but it wasn’t a 100% fluent performance.
Arsenal though are one of those sides that can run riot against teams like Hull and that might happen on Saturday but at the prices I’ll swerve that scenario.
I’ve hummed and hawed over a few potential bets here but I’m going to settle on the Even money that we see two or three goals in this match.
That particular range has paid out in three of Hull’s four league games and I’m banking on it happening again. The home side can score here but even if they don’t it leaves us in a strong position regarding Arsenal’s potential goals.
Hull look the kind of team who will show fight and not just sit back so the bet will only go wrong if they’re too open and leave Arsenal to pick them off on a number of occasions. At Evens I’m happy to get involved.
Leicester v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
What a fantastic start to their Champions League campaign for Leicester on Wednesday night. A 3-0 win over Club Brugge in Belgium was a superb result and sets them up nicely for a place in the Last 16.
It’s that competition where I see all the excitement happening for the Foxes this season. The Champions League has become what the Premier League was for them last season.
Europe’s elite competition is all shiny and new and let’s hope it inspires the players to achieve great things again over the next few months.
The Premier League though is a different story and I just cannot believe that players like Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs can reach the same domestic levels as they did last year. No way can the hunger be as strong.
What a comedown this is! From the beautiful Belgian city of Brugges to a home match against newly promoted Burnley. It certainly doesn’t get the heart racing.
For all those reasons I want to be opposing Leicester on Saturday. On the brink of 1/2, they’re shorter than I can ever recall last season and they’re up against a side who can make things difficult for them.
Burnely look a little bit tougher this time round in the Premier League. A 2-0 win over Liverpool last month was a real step forward and they should have beaten Hull last week too.
It will be interesting to see how Sean Dyche sets them up on Saturday. Leicester thrived last season with teams coming at them and that may not be the option he takes on Saturday for obvious reasons.
Burnley are a rather large 31/5 with Marathon Bet to win on Saturday and while I wouldn’t be stunned if that happened I’m happy to back them +1 on the Asian Handicap at 19/20.
Leicester had a huge collection of narrow one goal wins last season and if that happens again here I won’t lose anything. Instead I’ll bank on them continuing to dwell on a great midweek and maybe just maybe take their eye off the ball here.
Watford v Manchester United | Sunday 12:00 | BT Sport 1
It’s been a humbling week for Manchester United. Firstly they were torn apart at times by their neighbours City in last Saturday’s Manchester derby and then they lost 1-0 in Holland to Feyenoord in the Europa League.
On Sunday they aim to get back to winning ways when they travel to Hertfordshire to take on Watford. The Hornets have had a respectable season so far with four points to their name.
While Arsenal proved too strong for them, Chelsea were fortunate to see them off late in the game. On the plus side they got the better of the game in a 1-1 draw with Southampton and last week came back from 2-0 down to beat West Ham 4-2.
Manager Walter Mazzarri seems to have injected some character into the team and they look in better shape than they did in the second half of last season.
I’ve no doubt they’ll have a go here on Sunday and try to mess up Manchester United further. Watford have scored in all four of their league matches this season and United have to cope with the post-Europa League effect too.
Yes, how will Manchester United come out of that? It’s famously proved a handicap for a number of sides playing on a Thursday and then on a Sunday and with a midday kick off it could have been easier for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Mourinho left Wayne Rooney in England so expect him to play a pivotal role on Sunday. Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (as a sub) did play their part though and quotes of 4/6 on the Manchester side make no appeal.
Instead it’s Both Teams To Score that I’ll get involved with at 42/41 with Marathon Bet. This will be a tough match for Manchester United and I can see Watford bringing plenty to the party.
Hull v Arsenal – Exactly 2-3 Goals (Evens Marathon Bet)
Leicester v Burnley – Burnley +1 Asian Handicap (19/20 Marathon Bet)
Watford v Manchester United – Both Teams To Score (42/41 Marathon Bet)