A profitable week for Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) last week, can he find more winners this weekend in the Premier League?
Sunderland v Arsenal | Saturday 12:30 | Sky Sports 1
This Sunderland story surely has a sad ending this season. Surely there’s no way back this time? Relegation looks nailed on at this point and it’s whether the club stick with David Moyes (a man who gets angrier and angrier every week in his post-match interviews) that seems to be the big question.
The Black Cats are a poor side but their tally of just two points from nine games is harsh on them. They leaked late last week against West Ham and have already displayed that trait in their matches against Man City, Southampton and Crystal Palace earlier in the season. Costly late goals which will surely cost them a place in the division.
What effect this has had on confidence leaves me pondering. It must be a tough place to be just now with all these kicks in the balls. How can it turn?
Up against Arsenal on Saturday, it has the potential to be a horror day with confidence low and a toxic atmosphere encircling the ground. You have to fear for them.
The one thing in their favour though is that this side rarely get battered. In fact with 16 goals conceded in the league this season they leak less than two goals per game on average and have a better record than Hull and West Ham.
I’m stuck in two minds on whether Sunderland collapse under home pressure or manage to put up a stoic display but the one bet that can potentially cover both those outcomes is an Arsenal win and Under 3.5 Goals at a decent 7/5 with Marathon Bet.
This bet could cover an unlucky 2-1 or 1-0 defeat for Sunderland or even a storming 3-0 win for Arsenal. It’s flexible, it’s odds against and it’s copped in six of Sunderland’s seven league defeats this season.
Manchester United v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
Talking about a team pretty pissed off with themselves…Manchester United host Burnley on Saturday. The match takes place six days after their 4-0 humbling at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday and there are questions to be answered here.
Now back at Old Trafford against a side with no away points to their name surely we can expect an in-your-face performance by United on Saturday?
Like last season, Jose Mourinho’s side are playing with much more confidence at home. This season their OT figures read P7 W5 D1 L1 with only Man City (on top of their game that day) and Stoke (lucky to get a draw) blighting their record.
Burnley have bigger matches on their radar. Their games against sides in the bottom half of the table at Turf Moor will be the ones that decide their fate – not these kind of encounters.
I’m expecting an angry Manchester United to spit fire on Saturday and perhaps produce a performance reminiscent of their big home wins over Leicester and Fenerbahce.
Despite their awful performance on Sunday bookmakers refuse to give an inch for those inclined to get with Jose’s men. United are best price 2/9 with Marathon Bet.
Angles like Win To Nil and United -2 on the Asian Handicap are still pretty short but after much thought I’m going to go for a home win and Over 2.5 Goals at 17/20 with Marathon Bet.
The fear for this bet is that United win 2-0 and take their foot off the gas but they have had a tendency to concede consolations to the likes of Leicester and Fenerbahce so perhaps Burnley can take advantage.
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth | Saturday 15:00
Gosh it’s hard to get excited about this match. A fairly bland promoted side up against a tidy lower mid-table outfit, I’ll have to trust my flat instincts here and go low.
These sides both faced North London teams last week and emerged smelling of roses. Middlesbrough managed to shut out Arsenal at the Emirates and in truth could have taken all three points.
It was a big step forward for Aitor Karanka’s side after a difficult run and they’ll be hoping to build on that here. I have a feeling they’ll struggle to match the heights of last week.
Boro are yet to win at home this season and that’s a clear concern. It’s all good and well being primed for a match at the Emirates but this is a different matter.
Bournemouth currently sit in the Top 10 and their stock has probably never been higher after a 6-1 win at home to Hull was followed by a fantastic 0-0 draw hosting Spurs last week.
This match could provide the Cherries with a pass into the Top 7 as a win here could see them overtake Manchester United if the Reds lose on Saturday.
This must feel like a great opportunity for Eddie Howe to build on those two results and further boost his side’s season and because of that this may be a tentative affair.
There’s a lot at stake here for both sides and each of the managers may be targeting three points. This feels like a game of narrow margins and a low bandwith for goals.
Middlesbrough’s last three games went Under 2.5 Goals and five of Bournemouth’s last eight matches paid out on that bet. I’m willing to chance it here at 13/18 with Marathon Bet.
Sunderland v Arsenal – Arsenal win and Under 3.5 Goals (7/5 Marathon Bet)
Manchester United v Burnley – Manchester United to win and Over 2.5 Goals (17/20 Marathon Bet)
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth – Under 2.5 Goals (13/18 Marathon Bet)