The good news is that there is not another international-based disruption of the fixture list again until March, and so we can start to build a serious profile about the 20 teams battling it out in the top flight without them being distorted in any way.
So let’s start as we mean to go on with this Saturday’s Premier League betting tips:
Arsenal vs Tottenham (Saturday, 12:30pm)
This is as fierce as local rivalries get these days, and with plenty at stake both on the pitch and off it we’re willing to forgive the Sky Sports hype machine for going into overdrive.
It’s worth it: two teams with eyes on a top four finish taking each other on in the midst of a seismic shift in the north London pecking order….nowadays Spurs are the dominant force.
Arsenal will not stand for that, and so we can expect a rare passionate performance from the Gunners and their supporters.
Their cause will certainly be aided by the absence of Toby Alderweireld from the Tottenham back four – he’s suspended, and that perhaps makes us edge towards the home side.
But then Mauricio Pochettino is unbeaten in six north London derbies in the league as Spurs boss, which suggests he may just have Arsene Wenger’s ticket stamped.
So we’re going to swerve the outright markets here and instead follow in a stat that perhaps will not surprise: Harry Kane has netted six goals in as many derby matches between these two teams, and it’s clear the England frontman understands the importance of these occasions.
Harry Kane Anytime Goalscorer (21/20 with 888 Sport)
Burnley vs Swansea (Saturday, 3pm)
Since the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign, Burnley have beaten the likes of Liverpool, Everton, Watford, Leicester and Newcastle at Turf Moor, and there is no reason why they can’t extend that run t include Swansea as well.
The Welsh side have lost five of their last six in the league, and their negative tendencies away from home under Paul Clement could become a real problem as the season unfolds.
It seems as though Sean Dyche has reiterated his commitment to Burnley, and that’s brilliant news for everyone involved with the club. Just how far can they go?
Burnley to Win (6/5 with Paddy Power)
Leicester vs Manchester City (Saturday, 3pm)
Manchester City have been exceptional this season, but little has been said or written about how their more resilient defensive line switching to three at the back has actually been the foundation for their success.
Well, with last season’s defensive catastrophes a thing of the past Pep Guardiola’s side can reach for the stars, although they make this trip to the East Midlands without the injured Vincent Kompany and the suspended Nicolas Otamendi.
The door is ajar for Leicester then, who have impressed under Claude Puel and shown an extra dimension in attack with the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Demarai Gray linking up very nicely.
Can the Foxes win this match? Perhaps not, but we certainly fancy them to score, which is essentially what this wager is asking for.
Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (19/20 with Paddy Power)
Liverpool vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm)
It’s been a case of no Mane, no problem for Liverpool so far this season, and they may just have to make do without the Senegalese international again on Saturday after he suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury while on international duty.
That’s no problem though, with the likes of Salah and Firmino combing beautifully with Coutinho and (whisper it) Oxlade-Chamberlain in their past few outings.
Southampton are not progressing under Mauricio Pellegrini, and their insipid attacking play has bore witness to the Saints netting just nine goals in eleven outings this term and three in four on the road.
If they intend to sit deep and defend in numbers here, they could be in for a rude awakening against a free-spirited Liverpool outfit.
Liverpool -1.25 Asian Handicap (23/25 with bet365)
Manchester United vs Newcastle (Saturday, 5:30pm)
You could sense the pressure building on Jose Mourinho prior to the international break, and to be fair it’s a situation all of his own doing. After United started the season in such excellent fashion, Jose got cold feet and brought the bus out of storage….
It’s impossible for his side to park the bus against the big teams and come away with a positive result each and every time, and his changing mindset has meant that four of his side’s last six games have gone under 2.5 goals, with United scoring one or fewer in five of those.
Newcastle aren’t the kind of side that are going to throw men forward – five of their last six have delivered two or fewer goals, as well as four of their five away dates. This is a selection where the likelihood far outweighs the even money odds implied.
Under 2.5 Goals (Evens with Betfred)