It was, in many ways, a rather bizarre Gameweek 9 of Premier League action last weekend. Manchester United were slaughtered 0-4 at the hands of Chelsea – Jose’s bus must have got a puncture on route, their noisy neighbours laboured to a 1-1 draw with Southampton who were, for large periods, the better side, while the North London duo of Tottenham and Arsenal could not claim all three points against Bournemouth and Middlesbrough respectively.
What does Week 10 have in store? Let’s see if we can make sense of it all with this Saturday’s Premier League betting tips.
Sunderland vs Arsenal (12:30pm)
Where do we start with Sunderland? Winless, with one point from a possible eighteen in the last six weeks, and just three goals netted in their last half-dozen. Where does David Moyes go from here?
We can have sympathy – the Black Cats currently have nine players on the treatment table – but whose fault is it that they have such a thin squad? Just four of their players have found the net in all competitions this term, and two of those will miss this fixture through injury.
Arsenal, you suspect, will be desperate to get back to winning ways after being largely outplayed by Middlesbrough in last week’s 0-0 draw. Even a Gunners off day yields 75% possession, six shots on target and eight corners these days.
Sunderland, meanwhile, average just 2.60 shots on target per game, and that’s when they have enough of the ball to do so. Against Arsenal, we fancy that they will barely have a sniff.
Arsenal to Win to Nil at 11/8 with Betfred
Tottenham vs Leicester City (3pm)
These are slightly tricky times for Tottenham. Off the back of two draws in the Premier League and defeat to Liverpool in the EFL Cup, their Champions League hopes hang by a thread too, and Mauricio Pochettino will surely have next week’s crunch clash with Bayer Leverkusen in mind when selecting his side for this one.
Leicester have been atrocious on the road this term, but – while both matches were played at home – their performance level increased immeasurably against Copenhagen and Crystal Palace recently. Claudio ‘Tinkerman’ Ranieri has stumbled upon a winning formula, even if that means benching a rather frustrated Jamie Vardy.
In his place comes Shinji Okazaki, an outstanding workhorse but not a player blessed with the goal-den touch. Up against the division’s stingiest defence, the Foxes will have their work cut out to find the net.
Mind you, Spurs aren’t exactly flourishing in front of goal at the moment. They have netted just two goals in their last four games in all competitions – one a scrambled last minute equaliser against West Brom and the other a dubious penalty against Liverpool on Tuesday night. With both teams’ minds perhaps elsewhere, this could well be a low-scorer.
Under 2.5 Goals at Evens with bet365
West Brom vs Manchester City (3pm)
It’s amazing how crises loom in football. Manchester City, top of the Premier League and likely to qualify with ease from their Champions League group despite that loss to Barcelona last week, have been lampooned mercilessly by the media and armchair supporters alike this past week.
Yes, they haven’t won in five, but often context is needed, and opponents such as Everton, Tottenham and Barcelona are not exactly pushovers. You suspect that soon enough somebody will take a hammering at the hands of Pep’s players….
But it’s unlikely that that the Baggies will here. Guardiola may choose to rest the likes of Aguero, De Bruyne and Kompany with next week’s return date with Barca looming, and that disruption will clearly play into the hosts’ hands.
We could wax lyrical about the job done by Tony Pulis at the Hawthorns but it unlikely anybody will want to read that, so keeping things to the point we note that they have only lost one of their last five and the two defeats they have suffered since the start of September have been a solitary goal (1-2 at Liverpool, 0-1 at Bournemouth).
With City minds elsewhere, expect the Baggies to run them really close.
West Brom +1.25 Asian Handicap at 6/7 with BetVictor
Watford vs Hull City (3pm)
It’s easy to forget that Watford were only promoted to the top flight the season before last, such is their established nature in the Premier League. With just one defeat in six, they are going along very nicely once again.
Hull fans deserve all the sympathy they can get. Mis-management off the field has resulted in their budget becoming more Poundland than Promised Land, and eight injuries to an already threadbare squad is laughable, really. Their players are trying the best, but this could be a long, cold winter for the Tigers.
We shan’t go on about their form – everybody knows they are on their knees at present, but instead rejoice in a Watford side that has netted against Southampton, Chelsea (x2), Arsenal (x3), Manchester United (x3) and Bournemouth (x2), amongst others. Walter Mazzarri’s attacking philosophy is likely to pay dividends here.
Watford -1 Handicap at 2/1 with Betfair