Dale Tempest: City too slick
Dale Tempest looks ahead to the weekend's Premier League games and thinks Liverpool may need more time to gel.
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Former professional footballer Dale Tempest has turned bookie - he's now Sky Bet's public relations director.
A 16-year career saw him play for the likes of Fulham, Huddersfield and Colchester so he knows exactly how the game is played and these days he's very much got his finger on the pulse of the markets as both a punter and a bookie.
His regular Friday column explores the mindset of players and bookies and highlights the best bets for the weekend's action.
This week his focus is on an influx of players at Newcastle and Liverpool - which may cause problems in the short-term.
Newcastle are the only team not to have registered a shot on target in the Premier League following the first round of fixtures. Some of their new signings looked lively and had nice touches, but when it came to finishing they were wild beyond belief.
Many players can score goals at a lower level but having the composure required to get 15 to 20 in a Premier League season is very different and I didn't see that from their new crop.
I might be wrong, but I'm going to be opposing Newcastle until I see where their goals are going to come from because at the moment I just don't think they've enough about them in the final third.
Aston Villa had a great win at Stoke and they're worth backing in the draw no bet market at 4/5.
I should probably note Newcastle's record - 13 points from the last 15 available against Villa - but despite that it's the hosts for me.
Every firm in the country cut Chelsea for the title after their display at Burnley had the boys in the Monday Night Football studio purring - and rightly so.
The intensity Mourinho got from his side in the very first game was far beyond anything we saw from the other supposed title contenders.
I've no interest in backing them at 1/5 but they're worth a small go in the Chelsea win and both teams to score market at 7/4.
Leicester play with real energy and pace and do offer something up front, so with Chelsea surely too strong you should be getting 7/4 that the visitors manage a goal, which I think is too big.
Palace against West Ham is a game I'll probably put a line through although the Hammers were unlucky against Tottenham and I'd be surprised if they weren't able to come away with at least a point.
Swansea and Southampton will be two teams who tempt punters in as home bankers, both at what seem backable prices, and I wouldn't put anyone off.
Saints showed last week at Liverpool that they've still got a lot of fight and while they've got Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama in midfield, they'll remain competitive in this league.
Swansea got the result of the week last Saturday but it's interesting to note they failed to keep a home clean sheet in their final six games of last season.
I was impressed with Danny Ings at Burnley. His touch, awareness and movement was very good against Chelsea and if he remains fit the Clarets will hold a serious threat.
Both teams to score at 5/6 looks the play for me even if Swansea are likely to edge it.
Everton against Arsenal looks a draw with Arsenal having a Champions League game next week. Non-qualification for the group stage is unthinkable for Arsene Wenger so the game against Besiktas must be his main focus.
They haven't beaten Everton in the last four attempts and I see this one ending all-square.
On to Sunday, Manchester United showed last week that Louis van Gaal doesn't have a magic wand. The basic lack of quality in the squad remains there for all to see.
He needs more signings and top-class ones, too. Until they arrive, United need to be opposed. I can't believe they're strong odds-on favourites for a trip to Sunderland, who beat them twice last season and I'm going to back the draw.
Hull versus Stoke is another to avoid as the latter disappointed against Villa while Hull now have to deal with finding the balance between domestic and European commitments. Their top scorer Nikica Jelavis has five goals in 46 Premier League games and I just don't see that consistent threat I'd like to before backing them.
I loved watching Mauricio Pochettino last week at West Ham. His intensity is plain for everybody to see but what I really like is that there won't be a single passenger at Spurs this season - you do it his way or you leave. He could be a breath of fresh air at White Hart Lane.
Spurs are 4/9 to beat QPR and while I don't like backing at odds-on, they actually look a decent price to me.
On Monday night, we should be in for a cracker as City host Liverpool.
City have an incredible home record and are so rarely behind in games at the Etihad Stadium. I see no reason for that to change this time around, although Liverpool were unlucky not to win this fixture last season it must be said.
My concern for Liverpool is that so many new players coming in immediately means the squad can't function as efficiently as it did and it may take until December for the manager to know how to get the best out of this bunch of players.
With that in mind, Monday's game may come too soon and I favour a City home win.