As the International break comes to an end, I have frisked the fixtures to find some good gems to make some profit here.
Despite this being the first game of the Premier League weekend, and both these teams in action later in the week in Europa League on Thursday; the focus of attention no this game is on one man JURGEN KLOPP; and everyone is expecting him to get off to a cracking start.
Klopp has got most of his back room staff in place but when it comes to playing staff, he has a number of injuries to contend with as Ings and Gomez have been ruled out for the season while Benteke, Firmino and Henderson are the 3 other major absences from this encounter. I actually think this is good injury as it gives Klopp the chance to put out his favourite 4-2-3-1 formation out in this game with Mignolet – Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno – Can, Lucas – Coutinho, Sturridge, Lallana – Origi to play in this encounter. You might be surprised at my picking Origi; but that big centre forward is the kind of focal point that Klopp likes it, first with Lewandowski and then with Ramos. Origi is also showing signs of getting in decent nick, and injuries to Ings and Benteke is exactly what he needs to break his way into the first team.
Pochettino will be looking to steal the headlines as he has just been named the manager of the month in the Premier League after a 3 out of 3 win month of September. In truth, Tottenham have been an average team so far, they don’t have decent forwards to help them score goals in heaps, except for the 4 goal outing against a lost Man City defence. Conversely, their defence has been shambolic, conceding in 4 straight games against good teams like Arsenal, Man City, Swansea and Monaco. While he will most likely line up with the same back 4 he has been using Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Davies; and coincidentally all 4 have played at the wing back position over the last 2 seasons and love to go forward, which is left them wandering at the back.
This game I expect to be an extremely tight one with Klopp being happy if he gets a draw, but will need a positive result to get the Kop excited especially with Southampton and Chelsea coming around the corner in the next 2 weeks. Liverpool have been the draw specialists so far, drawing 5 out of their last 6 games; and I think Klopp will set out to win, but will be happy if he grabs a draw, so I back Liverpool on the Draw No Bet in this encounter.
Leicester City have been truly entertaining with 32 goals coming in their 8 games so far this campaign; and they have yet once again failed to keep a clean sheet after the 2-1 victory over Norwich last week. They have been led by TOP GOAL SCORER JAMIE VARDY who has netted 7 goals so far and is showing no signs of stopping especially when he able to secure some good service from his colleagues like Albrighton, Okazaki and Mahrez in particular. Mahrez was dropped out of the last game to improve defensively, but it left them looking a bit light from actually taking the attack to Norwich when they were 2-0 up.
Leicester City set up has been completely different to any previous Ranieri team or even that of an Italian manager, as he has the team to go for goals; which we can see from them netting 17 in 8 games so far. The flair for the attacking and breaking on the counter has seen them concede goals in every game and Ranieri is now offering his team Pizza and Beer as a motivation if they are able to keep a clean sheet. The set up shows that they will score goals, but there will always be that room to concede in most games, especially against good attacking teams.
Southampton is one such good attacking team, who will be hosting Leicester City in their next encounter. Southampton will be super charged up from its great form showed before the international break when they beat Chelsea by a score of 2-1; Swansea City 3-1 and Milton Keynes 6-0. This run of success has come behind one mans return to form in Graziano Pelle. Pelle has now netted 3 goals in 3 games for his club, while also finding the net on international duty on Tuesday night against Norway. The attacking trio Pelle along with Tadic and Mane, has really made this team one to watch out on the counter attack. When the 3 of them are in good form like they were against Chelsea, they can destroy any team and Ronald Koeman will be hoping more of the same when Leicester City come to town.
Their defensive struggles have been there due to a lot of injuries and chopping and changing by Koeman. The back line have been guilty of not maintaining their line and the teams catching them cold through silly mistakes. They will be keen to go to Stamford Bridge and upset the champions when they are at their most vulnerable now. Last time around they conceded a poor goal to a Willian free-kick and that was also well exploited when Manchester United beat their defence due to their own howlers.
Leicester City have scored and conceded in every game this campaign, and with Southampton eager to return to the top 8 where they were last season, it will surely see both teams going for the goals as they aim to break into the 5-7 position range where Tottenham, Everton, Liverpool generally tend to lie. I expect lots of goals in this game and a purely entertaining fixture from all perspectives.
Everton and Man United face off against each other in an encounter over the years that has provided solid entertainment for the fans; and one can expect another one tonight.
Everton are coming into this game without a loss in their last 7 games and are building it through good attacking football and improving defensive qualities as the games come thick and fast. Up front Lukaku, Barkley, Naismith and Duelofeu have been running some attractive counter-attacking football and are looking to push on for goals. They have scored 6 goals in their last 3 games, which has seen them build confidence offensively. A true testament to the turn of fortunes is the way they smashed Chelsea 3-1 at home. Everton will slightly improve on the defensive now with the probable return of Coleman and Stones form injury; however, it will take time for the team to settle in after just returning from injury.
Manchester United will be coming into this game after the 3-0 thrashing by Arsenal away from home, and will need to wake up to put in a solid performance this weekend against Everton to silence the critics. Pressure will be on Martial, Mata & Depay to deliver results particularly on the goal front due to the poor form of Wayne Rooney. Rooney has recovered from an ankle injury that kept him out of the international break, but it might limit his opportunities for scoring. Man United have scored in 8 of their last 9 games, and will be hoping to return back to that scoring form. Defensively Man Utd got exposed on the counter attack last match day, and with Everton play that similar expansive style, you can expect a little bit of nerves at the back to return to glorious form.
This game will expect to have goals considering the teams on form on the offensive end, so I expect goals from this game and I have backed it on the Asian Line as insurance.
England Premier League
Arsenal AH-1 to beat Watford @ 2.00 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
Alexis Sanchez Anytime Scorer @ 2.50 (Bet365) – 2 points
Arsenal take on Watford after turning into a good form in their last few games and moved into the 2nd spot in the league table. They have particularly turned up the ante on the offensive end scoring 12 goals in their last 4 games in all competitions. Their form has turned around the moment Alexis Sanchez has hit his goal scoring stride, and one can expect him to get back into his stride yet again in this fixture against lowly Watford.
Sanchez in particular continued his great form in the mid-week round of international fixtures, netting 3 goals in that span. He has now hit 9 goals in his last 5 games for club and country and looks to be showing no signs of stopping that good run. He will also look forward to getting plenty of service from Walcott and Ozil who have been creating chances a plenty for them.
Watford have been struggling since their over the last couple of games against Crystal Palace & Bournemouth; and while they would generally relish a chance to push one of the big boys over in Arsenal, their defence has been leaking goals in 4 out of their last 5 games. Deeney’s goals have hardly been around and Ighalo has impressed everyone with his form in front of goal. However, in this round he comes up against a World Cup winning defender and a 4 time Premier League winning goalkeeper in Petr Cech who will be looking to make life miserable for him tonight.
Arsenal will need a solid victory to put all doubters aside and need the confidence of a good victory by a couple of goals heading into their UEFA Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich. I am backing Arsenal to take care of business by 2 goals or more.