Steve Claridge has joined Betting Directory to provide his expert views and tips on the latest football betting odds and the latest matches.
Thursday, 1st October 2015
Crystal Palace and West Brom kick off with what promises to be a very good weekend of live Premier League football on Saturday lunchtime. I was at The Hawthorns on Monday night to witness one of the more bizarre games you are likely to see as West Brom and Everton cancelled each other out and seemed scared to lose during the early stages before it became a 'free-for-all' in the second half, with Everton coming from behind to win 3-2.
That second half was fantastic to watch and it is a shame that more teams don't have a real go at each other like that but unfortunately the nature of the Premier League nowadays ensures that teams are more worried about stopping the opposition than they are with creating chances.
As for Palace, you might have bracketed them alongside a team like West Brom in terms of expectation in recent times but I get the impression that they are a level above their visitors this season. Alan Pardew believes he has got a quality side and he has high expectations of his players.
He was disappointed with the back-to-back losses against Manchester City and Tottenham but it was a good result for them to win at Watford last time and I'm backing Palace to win 1-0 on Saturday.
Match Result Tip: Crystal Palace to win @ 4/5 with Betfred.
Correct Score Tip: Crystal Palace to win 1-0 @ 23/4 with Unibet.
The later game on Saturday is Chelsea against Southampton at Stamford Bridge and this won't be an easy fixture for the home side, particularly as it comes off the back of a difficult 2-1 loss at Porto in the Champions League in mid-week.
In fairness to Chelsea, they haven't been bad in possession going forward this season. They've never been the great entertainers, aside from when Jose Mourinho first came in, as his teams tend to be functional and results-driven but they have actually been very decent to watch. However, their problems have been clear as they have been terrible without the ball and abject defensively, which has cost them dearly so far.
They come up against a Southampton outfit who have picked up some fine results after recovering from a relatively poor start. Ronald Koeman's side impressed when beating Swansea last weekend and they appear to be finding some form.
Saints will give Chelsea a real test and I reckon they can head back to the South Coast with a point, with the 1-1 draw my pick in the correct score market.
Match Result Tip: The Draw @ 14/5 with Sky Bet.
Correct Score Tip: 1-1 draw @ 7/1 with Bet Victor.
There are then a couple of cracking fixtures on Sunday and what a game the lunchtime kick-off between Everton and Liverpool should be. These Merseyside derbies are always pressure cooker occasions but it feels as if there is even more riding on this one because of the perceived pressure that Brendan Rodgers is under.
For me, I've not been convinced by some of the Liverpool manager's systems in games and his persistent use of players out of position but he has to be judged on this season. You can't sack him less than two years after finishing second in the league and the return of Daniel Sturridge could make a massive difference to them in the coming months.
Admittedly, Rodgers should have found an able replacement for Sturridge after spending the best part of a quarter of a billion pounds on players in a little over a year and resting his hopes on an injury prone striker was an unnecessary gamble.
Rodgers still deserves to be in charge this season and he has earned the right to be judged on how Liverpool perform from here on in. The Anfield hierarchy can then make a decision on whether the club has made progress under him or not in May.
As for Sunday's game, I reckon tactics will go out of the window when these two go hell for leather at Goodison Park and I like the look of the 2-2 draw.
Match Result Tip: The Draw @ 12/5 with William Hill.
Correct Score Tip: 2-2 draw @ 15/1 with Bet Victor.
The final Premier League game before next weekend's Euro 2016 qualifiers is Arsenal against Manchester United at The Emirates. There is big pressure on Arsenal after their defeat to Olympiakos in the Champions League and they are obviously in real trouble in Europe with successive games against Bayern Munich to come.
The Gunners continually shoot themselves in the foot and it is fair to say that some of the natives are getting restless. It is such a divided club as the spectators are either in the group that is happy to finish in the top-four and watch some wonderful football or they are part of the clamour for change, which is a risk as there is always the danger that the club will end up going backwards.
The status quo remains for now and how they could do with a win against United, who still don't convince me. Anthony Martial has come in to give them some much-needed pace and he is making a huge difference as he stretches the opposition, which in turn gives his teammates more room to play.
However, whether this United side is good enough to win the Premier League or the Champions League is open to debate.
With that in mind, I think Arsenal's greater need for a positive result will see them get the better of United on Sunday and I'll take the Gunners to win 2-1.
Match Result Tip: Arsenal to win @ 11/10 with Betfred.
Correct Score Tip: Arsenal to win 2-1 @ 17/2 with Betfred.
A treble returns 9/1 with Betfred.com.
|Man City And Chelsea Tipped For Away Wins On Saturday||24 Sep 2015|
|Chelsea And Man United Tipped To Come Up Short Again This Weekend||17 Sep 2015|
|Liverpool Can Cope With Coutinhos Absence To Earn A Draw At United||10 Sep 2015|
|Swansea To Hold Manchester United To A Draw At The Liberty||27 Aug 2015|
|Back Chelsea And Man City To Be Held To Draws On Super Sunday||21 Aug 2015|
"Rodgers has earned the right to be judged on this season"
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Palace v West Brom
Home Win @
Chelsea v Saints
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Everton v Liverpool
The Draw @
Arsenal v Man Utd
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Derby, Sheff W, Exeter
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