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Check the Sporting Life team's best bet selections for Saturday November 17
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Get our team's best bets from across a range of sports for Saturday November 17 in one place.

Germany have been relegated in the UEFA Nations League2

Germany suffer shock relegation

Germany were relegated from Group A1 of the Nations League after Holland earned a surprise 2-0 win over France.

Our best bets for the latest games in the Sky Bet EFL3

Sky Bet EFL betting preview

There may be no Sky Bet Championship, but there is still plenty of value on offer in Leagues One and Two on Saturday.

Saturday's Sporting Life's Accumulator is available at 14/14

Sporting Life Accumulator

This week's Sporting Life Accumulator is an all-home four-fold from League One and League Two, enhanced to 14/1 by Sky Bet.

Check out today's Paper Talk5

Paper Talk: Mourinho wants Godin

Manchester United want Diego Godin but must pay more than £53million for Milan Skriniar

Premier League top-six assessment: Title race, Champions League and more

Three-horse Premier League title race: Between Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea
Three-horse Premier League title race: Between Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea

The Premier League makes its much-anticipated return this weekend after another long international break.

England's top tier has seen eight games played and we are already getting an idea of how each side's season will pan out.

We assess the race for the title, top four and top six, including the latest odds from Sky Bet.

Title race

Man City - 4/6 | Liverpool - 9/4 | Chelsea - 15/2

Leroy Sane (right) celebrates his goal against Fulham
Leroy Sane (right) celebrates his goal against Fulham

The trio sit level on points after making unbeaten starts to the season, all winning six and drawing two.

Defending champions Manchester City were well fancied to retain the title at the start of the season and they have, unsurprisingly, started well. Pep Guardiola's free-scoring side have netted the most goals so far (18) and managed to keep Liverpool quiet last time out.

They have had a wobble in the Champions League, but remain convincing in the league albeit with a generous fixture list including the three newly-promoted clubs before their goalless draw with the Reds, which can be considered a good result given Guardiola's record against Jurgen Klopp and City's record at Anfield.

A lot of this has been without Kevin De Bruyne and City's Player of the Season - expected to return this weekend - will only make them a stronger unit.

Liverpool man Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates against Southampton at Anfield
Liverpool man Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates against Southampton at Anfield

A 19th league title in 2019... is it written in the stars for Liverpool?

Klopp's side had to face Chelsea and City in back-to-back games and underlined their title credentials, sharing the points with both. They look defensively solid with the budding central defensive partnership between Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, while they have much more strength in depth in all areas of the pitch than has been the case in recent years.

Liverpool have got to this stage without performing particularly well, and the fact their front three are yet to fully get going this season can only be a good thing for Reds fans. When they do, we will certainly know about it.

Chelsea are slightly surprising contenders following the late appointment of Maurizio Sarri. The Italian deserves immense credit for getting his ideas and methods across after being confirmed as Antonio Conte's replacement just four weeks before the start of the season.

Chelsea players celebrate Eden Hazard's goal against Liverpool
Chelsea players celebrate Eden Hazard's goal against Liverpool

Given that they also had upheaval at the back with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois getting his Real Madrid move,- Kepa Arrizabalaga replaced him in a record deal - and Eden Hazard missing out on his move to the Spanish capital, they are exceeding most expectations.

Chelsea have at times been fortunate, including when winning an entertaining match with Arsenal, but they were minutes from upsetting title rivals Liverpool before Daniel Sturridge's late stunner.

Hazard has so far been the star of the Premier League and the Blues rely on him massively, so keeping the Belgian happy is vital in their bid for a third title in five seasons.


George Pitts' verdict: Unlike last season, it looks like we might have an exciting three-horse title race on our hands and here's hoping it goes down to the wire. Liverpool and Chelsea have multiple questions to answer, which City do not, but there's every indication we'll only find out for sure late in spring 2019 with entertainment along the way guaranteed.

Can Liverpool go the distance? Will they stop dropping cheap points to the lesser sides like in previous years? Will Chelsea, still learning in their first season with Sarri, be able to keep up with City and Liverpool? Will their reliance on Hazard see them come unstuck?

The feeling is that, with Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata hardly prolific or consistent enough, Chelsea are still lacking a world-class striker to lead them over the line like they had with Diego Costa in Conte's title-winning side.

Liverpool, whose squad face a test in the coming weeks with a couple of injuries to contend with, are expected to just fall short to a classy City outfit - still performing without their most important player in De Bruyne.

Guardiola's side look like they will get stronger as the season goes on and remain worthy favourites.


Top four finish

Tottenham - 8/11 | Arsenal - 11/8 | Manchester United - 3/1

With the title race looking like a pack of three in the hunt for the trophy, that leaves one spot in the top four up for grabs.

Arsenal currently occupy that place after hitting their stride under Unai Emery, winning 10 in a row in all competitions after a tough start to the post-Wenger years.

Since opening against City and Chelsea, their fixture list has been a little kinder and the argument when looking at their run is the fact they have faced a lot of lesser teams - and still not been overly convincing.

Alexandre Lacazette (centre) and his Arsenal teammates celebrate the Frenchman's goal v Fulham
Alexandre Lacazette (centre) and his Arsenal teammates celebrate the Frenchman's goal v Fulham

The fact they edged through those games with wins without performing to their full potential is a promising sign for Gunners fans. Their next four home Premier League games - Leicester, Liverpool, Wolves and Tottenham - provide a true test of their credentials after two seasons out of Europe's top competition and will tell us plenty.

Tottenham sit below local rivals Arsenal on goal difference, having both won six and lost two, the pair only two points behind City, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Mauricio Pochettino's side have bounced back after consecutive defeats and Sky Bet fancy them to pip Arsenal and Manchester United to the final Champions League spot. They are set to move into their new stadium at some stage, which could give them a positive boost on the field.

Tottenham celebrate against Brighton
Tottenham celebrate against Brighton

Spurs' failure to make any additions in the summer has not looked to affect them too much, with Lucas Moura flourishing like a new signing, while they only recently had Heung-min Son return from international duty, but a tough Champions League group could stretch their squad in a vital period.

United are understandably the outsiders of three in what's already been a topsy-turvy season under Jose Mourinho. Whether they improve after the dramatic Newcastle comeback before the international break is anyone's guess.

Certainly, the international break came at a bad time, denying them the opportunity to kick-on from a thrilling Old Trafford comeback which might just have saved Mourinho his job.


George Pitts' verdict: It is hard to envisage a scenario between now and the end of the season where United pip the others to fourth spot. Third-season syndrome appears to be in full swing for Jose Mourinho and the feeling is that the dramatic comeback at home to Newcastle only bought the Portuguese time. Another bad run under Mourinho, then the search and transition period with his successor could see them fall off the pace and further behind Arsenal and Spurs.

Despite Arsenal's impressive run, they have not beaten a top-six team and this is usually where the Gunners come unstuck. Spurs, should they not suffer fatigue, are a classy side under Mauricio Pochettino and have the talent both defensively and going forward. With Arsenal still adapting under Unai Emery, Tottenham are favoured to finish in a Champions League spot for a fourth successive season.


Top six finish

Wolves - 11/4 | Bournemouth - 13/2 | Everton - 13/2 | Leicester - 9/1

It was the Premier League's top four that took some breaking over the years, but that has now transitioned into the big six and there are currently four leading candidates to work their way into it.

Fresh after their promotion back to the top flight, few expected Wolves to struggle with the talent in their squad, but Nuno Espirito Santo's side have impressively collected 15 points from 24 to exceed expectations nevertheless.

Like all good teams, they have had to grind out wins at times while they also deservedly held Manchester duo City and United to 1-1 draws away from home.

Wolves celebrate a big win at West Ham
Wolves celebrate a big win at West Ham

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth have also made a brilliant start in what's their fourth successive season in the Premier League.

The Cherries currently sit in sixth place having won five and drawn one of their opening eight fixtures, including a 4-0 thrashing of Watford last time out.

Their fixture list has been generous so far, pitting them only against Chelsea from the top six, but you can only beat what is in front of you and Bournemouth, with good summer additions including David Brooks from Sheffield United, have done just that.

Everton have been the team teetering just on the edge of the top six since it became a thing and Marco Silva will be hoping he can be the man to take them there and bring European football back to Goodison.

The Toffees are currently mid-table after winning three and drawing three of their opening eight. They have managed good results against the teams around them, drawing with Wolves and Bournemouth and beating Leicester, but were beaten at Arsenal.

They have a talented squad, including Brazilian duo Richarlison and Bernard, and will be hoping to put a run together after the international break.

Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates his second goal against Fulham
Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates his second goal against Fulham

Claude Puel's Leicester are also in mid-table, above Everton on goal difference. The Foxes have so far won four and lost four, so they will be hoping to turn losses into at least draws in matches where they are not performing at their best.

James Maddison is the early positive for them this season, helping ease the loss of Riyad Mahrez, with the former Norwich man earning an England call-up for his performances.

West Ham should expect to be up there after spending big in the summer, but Manuel Pellegrini's Hammers made a poor start and are now playing catch-up - they have drifted out to 22/1 for a top-six finish.


George Pitts' verdict: Bournemouth have done brilliantly to be up there after a blistering start, but the feeling is they will drop off slightly while still being well clear of a relegation fight. Wolves have a quality squad and could make some more strong additions in January to see them edge in, especially if Manchester United continue to dip under Jose Mourinho. They are well capable of doing it, but Wanderers fans will no doubt be delighted to finish comfortably clear of relegation in their first season back in the big time.

Everton and Leicester will be up there, but it is difficult to see them breaking into the top six, and it should be a case of battling to be best of the rest - to finish seventh. To break the top six, they need to beat the likes of Arsenal and United while avoiding cheaply dropping points to struggling teams. Wolves and Everton could come closest, but should be just pipped to sixth by the Red Devils.


Premier League top eight prediction

  1. Manchester City
  2. Liverpool
  3. Chelsea
  4. Tottenham
  5. Arsenal
  6. Manchester United
  7. Wolves
  8. Everton

This top-four exact order is available in a straight forecast at 8/1 - back it here

Manchester City are fancied to retain their title this season
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are fancied to retain their title this season


All odds via Sky Bet and correct as of 1220 BST on 16/10/18

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Most Read Football

Check the Sporting Life team's best bet selections for Saturday November 17
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Get our team's best bets from across a range of sports for Saturday November 17 in one place.

Germany have been relegated in the UEFA Nations League2

Germany suffer shock relegation

Germany were relegated from Group A1 of the Nations League after Holland earned a surprise 2-0 win over France.

Our best bets for the latest games in the Sky Bet EFL3

Sky Bet EFL betting preview

There may be no Sky Bet Championship, but there is still plenty of value on offer in Leagues One and Two on Saturday.

Saturday's Sporting Life's Accumulator is available at 14/14

Sporting Life Accumulator

This week's Sporting Life Accumulator is an all-home four-fold from League One and League Two, enhanced to 14/1 by Sky Bet.

Check out today's Paper Talk5

Paper Talk: Mourinho wants Godin

Manchester United want Diego Godin but must pay more than £53million for Milan Skriniar

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