AFTER 13/1 and 7/1 winners on his debut correct score column, of course we invited Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) back for more…
Burnley v Crystal Palace | Saturday 15:00
I have nothing against Burnley and believe Sean Dyche to be a very good manager, but how they have managed to acquire 11 points from their first 10 games is one of the great mysteries of the Premier League.
Their victory against Everton was very fortuitous and a 2-0 win – with 19% possession – against Liverpool doesn’t tell the full story of that match.
Last week Tom Heaton produced another Man of the Match display and the fact that his 59 saves so far this season total 24 more than any other goalkeeper gives you an indication of the pressure the Turf Moor side have been facing.
These two sides may be level on points now, but I believe Crystal Palace will be around 15 points ahead of this week’s opponents come May.
Given that the south Londoners have already beaten Sunderland and Middlesbrough by single-goal margins away from home, you should trust them the Eagles to do the same in Lancashire this weekend.
I’ll back Palace to win 2-1 (Betfair).
Arsenal v Spurs | Sunday 12:00 | BT Sport 1
Alexis Sanchez’s completely unnecessary late goal cost this column an 11/1 winner last week but in the gambling world being bitter rarely pays off.
However, it also doesn’t pay to bet on emotion and whilst I do want Arsene Wenger’s men to win the title (ideally Darren Fletcher would be up there boasting about Albion managing more points than he has completed passes this season but I accept that is somewhat unlikely) I do not think it will happen.
Clearly they have the ammunition to cause Spurs problems but I do not believe it will be as simple as many are predicting and was surprised that they are a shade odds-on to beat a side that is yet to lose in the league this season.
Indeed, only the laziest ‘expert’ could accuse Tottenham of being ‘out of form’. In the last three league games – all of which they have drawn – they have had 58 shots to their opponents 22.
A couple of opposition goalkeepers produced Man of the Match performances against them during this run and whilst I do not doubt that they have and will miss Harry Kane, I have even less concern about them breaching the Arsenal backline on Sunday.
Since Mauricio Pochettino arrived at White Hart Lane, both of those matches at the Emirates have ended 1-1. Spurs have also recorded 1-1 draws on four occasions so far this season and I wouldn’t bet against them recording a fifth on Sunday.
The 1-1 draw is 7/1 with Betfair and I would split stakes between that and a 2-1 home win at 17/2 with the same firm.
Swansea v Manchester United | Sunday 15:00
As much as I will continue to back Gylfi Sigurdsson to score first and a 1-0 win in in every Swansea game this season, (70/1 BetVictor) I cannot be backing a side that makes Mssrs Allen and Adam look like Baggio and Bergkamp to keep a clean sheet.
I thought United would be around 4/7 so to see them at 3/4 generally is a shock to me. They have only managed one goal and two points from their last four league games but they have 87 shots (28 on target) during that time.
They simply cannot continue to have such a low conversion rate and a porous Swansea backline offers the perfect ‘played back into form ticket’.
I am confident United will win this game and don’t want to split stakes again so take the ‘Mourinho score’ of 2-0 at 9/1 with Betfair.
Burnley v Crystal Palace – Burnley 1-2 Crystal Palace (10/1 Betfair)
Arsenal v Spurs – Arsenal 1-1 Spurs (7/1 Betfair)
Arsenal v Spurs – Arsenal 2-1 Spurs (17/2 Betfair)
Swansea v Manchester United – Swansea 0-2 Man United (9/1 Betfair)
Swansea v Manchester United – Gylfi Sigurdsson to score first and Swansea to win 1-0 (70/1 BetVictor)
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