AFTER 13/1 and 7/1 winners on his debut correct score column, of course we invited Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) back for more…
Sunderland v Arsenal | Saturday 12:30 | Sky Sports 1
Looking through the fixture list this weekend, this was one of many probable away wins…
Arsene Wenger’s side travel to the Stadium of Light knowing that a point will put them top of the table, for a couple of hours at least. Given the respective form of the two sides, it would take a brave individual to oppose the Londoners and that courage does not extend to this column.
Going back to the start of the 2013/14 season, Arsenal have won by either a 2-1 or 3-1 scoreline away on 12 occasions, meaning that the probability of such a result on Saturday afternoon is 4/1. With Bet365 offering 8/1 on a 2-1 victory and 11/1 on 3-1, a careful staking plan will give you combined odds of around 5/1.
Arsenal have kept a clean sheet on just 20 occasions (out of a possible 61) in that time period, which puts me off a 2-0 or 3-0 result.
My reason for backing Sunderland to score is less logical. Given that they have gone 277 minutes without one, they are certainly due.
Manchester United v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
Another ‘Mourinho factor’ prediction here – the Portuguese boss was infuriated with his side’s defending at Stamford Bridge last week and it was no surprise that he sought defensive solidity over attacking flair at home to a much-changed Manchester City team on Wednesday.
United are likely to be more expansive against Sean Dyche’s Burnley and given that the away side are yet to record a point away from home, a relatively comfortable win for the Red Devils appears to be on the cards.
The odds on a 2-0 triumph are relatively skinny – 19/4 with BetVictor – so see if anyone is offering 5/1 on Saturday morning before parting with your cash (for a short time at least).
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth | Saturday 15:00
I thought long and hard about this one. I couldn’t put anyone off Liverpool winning 2-1 at Selhurst Park at odds of around 8/1 but I thought a slender win for the Teesiders was a safer option.
As stated last week, Aitor Karanka has based his success at Boro on a stubborn backline and will be looking to build on last week’s draw at Arsenal. Given the quantity and quality of the chances they created at The Emirates they really should have won the game so time will tell if it was one point gained or two lost.
Starting Adama Diarra gave Karanka’s charges far more threat going forward than we had seen in recent weeks and he is likely to get another opportunity to show that he can be more than an excellent footballer on YouTube.
Boro won by a 1-0 scoreline on six occasions last term and at 7/1 with Bet365 I would trust them to do the same again once more.
Stoke v Swansea | Monday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
This is likely to be a frequent prediction this season…
This is likely to be a tight affair and given that the Icelander is Swansea’s greatest goal threat from open play, takes their penalties and was just the width of the post away from providing a 35/1 winner last week, it makes sense to trust him once more.
Gyfil Sigurdsson to score first and Swansea to win 1-0 is a huge 75/1 (Marathon) for Monday night’s encounter at the Britannia.
Sunderland v Arsenal – Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal (8/1 Bet365)
Sunderland v Arsenal – Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal (11/1 Bet365)
Manchester United v Burnley – Manchester United 2-0 Burnley (19/4 BetVictor)
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth – Middlesbrough 1-0 Bournemouth (7/1 Bet365)
Stoke v Swansea – Swansea to win 1-0 and Gyfil Sigurdsson to score first (75/1 Marathon)