Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.
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Arsenal v Huddersfield
Arsenal's draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday means Unai Emery's side are now unbeaten in 20 matches in all competitions, some feat for the Spaniard who is still in his early months at the Emirates.
During that run they have avoided defeat against Liverpool, Spurs and Man United, so you could easily see them reaching at least 23 with Huddersfield, Qarabag (Europa League) and Southampton to follow in their next three fixtures. Although, it would be somewhat typical of Arsenal to slip up in this sort of game having come through stiffer tests impressively.
It is nonetheless difficult to see them do anything but collect three points against the Terriers at the Emirates on Saturday. It was 5-0 in this fixture last season and it could well be a high-scoring home win once more, providing two big games in quick succession haven't softened-up the home side.
Huddersfield, after collecting seven points from nine in a recent good run, have crashed back to earth with back-to-back defeats and they are as big as 12/1 to pull off a shock here. Arsenal to win and over 2.5 goals is odds-on, which tells you plenty about finding a bet.
If you fancy Huddersfield to get a goal, Aaron Mooy could well be the man, their key midfielder having scored twice in the win over Wolves last month, and the Australian looks a big price at 6/1 anytime.
Lucas Torreira, meanwhile, is growing in popularity with Gunners fans after battling midfield displays. He scored his first goal for the club in the derby win over Tottenham and has had four shots in his last two appearances, two of them on target, so 8/1 for him also looks generous and potentially worth a small play.
The north Londoners are yet to be leading at the interval in any of their league games this season (see Opta facts, below), but this is the match they can put an end to that. A goal for Arsenal in each half is just under evens and that looks the solid bet with the visitors well and truly up against it.
Opta facts and statistics
- Arsenal won both Premier League meetings with Huddersfield Town last season (5-0 at home, 1-0 away) and are unbeaten in 10 games against them in all competitions (W8 D2).
- Huddersfield have lost eight of their last nine top-flight matches against Arsenal (W1), failing to score in each defeat.
- Arsenal are now 20 games unbeaten in all competitions (W15 D5 L0); their longest run without a defeat since November 2007 (28 unbeaten).
- Huddersfield have collected just two points in their seven away Premier League matches against the ‘big six’ clubs (W0 D2 L5), scoring just twice in those seven games.
- Since winning 3-0 away at Crystal Palace in their first ever Premier League match, Huddersfield have failed to win any of their subsequent four league visits to London (W0 D1 L3), scoring just once and conceding 10 goals.
- Arsenal have lost just two of their last 19 Premier League home games (W13 D4 L2), with both of those defeats coming against Manchester City.
- Arsenal have won 16 of their last 17 Premier League games at 3pm on a Saturday, including each of the last nine. The only exception in that run was a 0-0 draw vs Middlesbrough in October 2016.
- Although Huddersfield have only won one of their last 10 away games in the Premier League (D5 L4), they’ve not lost back-to-back games on the road in the competition since March.
- Arsenal haven’t led any of their 15 Premier League games at half-time this season (drawing 11, losing four), but they have scored the most second half goals in the competition (25).
- In Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield in the Premier League at the Emirates last season, Mesut Özil had a hand in three goals, scoring once and assisting twice.
Burnley v Brighton
Brighton have been looking to improve on their form on the road and victory at Huddersfield last week will go some way to increasing their confidence after matching last season's away win tally.
They are favourites to win on Saturday, against a side who need to improve their home form again after losing their 'fortress Turf Moor' reputation from a couple of seasons ago.
Burnley performed well (slightly on the physical side, according to Jurgen Klopp) in Wednesday's defeat to Liverpool, taking the lead before quickfire second-half goals helped the Reds to a 3-1 win.
Sean Dyche's side have won just twice all season but this match is a good one for them to end an eight-match winless run. Just above 2/1 for a home victory in the Premier League looks very generous and adding in BTTS gives you an eyebrow-raising 6/1.
Chris Hughton's Seagulls are on a high after two wins in the last week, but a third is a tough ask, especially away, and it is the sort of fixture in which Dyche's side can grind out a victory after a positive performance against the title-chasing Reds.
With that in mind, a home win is fancied and the fact both teams have scored in Brighton's last five games suggests it's worth bumping the price up considerably.
Best bet: Burnley to win and BTTS at 6/1
Opta facts and statistics
- Both Premier League meetings between Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion ended goalless last season, despite both teams attempting at least 10 shots in each match (43 in total).
- The last five league meetings between Burnley and Brighton have ended as draws – the Seagulls are unbeaten in eight league games against the Clarets (W3 D5) since a 0-1 defeat in the Championship in April 2012.
- Burnley vs Brighton is one of just three fixtures in top-flight history to have seen the first two fixtures end goalless, along with Glossop vs Notts County (1899-1900) and Arsenal vs Derby County (1904-1905) – no fixture has ever seen the first three matches end goalless.
- Burnley have won just nine points from their opening 15 games this season. Just three of the previous 18 teams to have won nine points or fewer from their first 15 games of a Premier League season have avoided relegation: Sunderland in 2013-14, Wigan in 2007-08 and Coventry in 1995-96.
- Burnley have allowed the opponents the most shots (316), most shots on target (106) and have given their opponents the best quality chances (29.5 xG conceded) in the Premier League this season.
- These two clubs have attempted the fewest shots on target in the Premier League so far this season: Burnley (40) and Brighton & Hove Albion (44)
- Brighton are looking to secure consecutive away wins in the Premier League for only the second time, also doing so in October/November 2017.
- Brighton have won six of their 15 Premier League games this season – it took them 26 games to reach six wins in the competition last term.
- There has been a red card in each of Brighton’s last four Premier League games (2 for Brighton, 2 against). The only team to see at least one sending off in five consecutive games in the competition are Liverpool (September/October 1999).
- Brighton's Florin Andone has scored in his last two Premier League matches, and could become only the third Romanian player to score in three consecutive Premier League apps, after Dan Petrescu (August 1997) and Adrian Mutu (September 2003).
Cardiff v Southampton
Ralph Hasenhuttl will take his place in the dugout for the first time as Southampton boss and he can make an immediate impact with a good result in Cardiff.
Southampton's squad is better than the table suggests and the impact of a new manager's arrival could be felt here.
The former RB Leipzig boss started work on Thursday and his presence will already be felt as players look to impress the Austrian against a Bluebirds outfit who have lost half of their eight home games since returning to the top flight.
Backing the Saints to score two or more in South Wales gives you a bit of insurance in the sense you are not relying on the match result, as the Saints look to kick-start their season.
Yes, they have been struggling but they are not exactly short of goals. Since the start of November, they have scored once against top sides Man City and Tottenham away from home, and twice against Fulham and Manchester United, so 17/10 for at least two on Saturday looks a good price.
One player you would expect to thrive under Hasenhuttl is Nathan Redmond and he can start well under the new regime on Saturday - general odds of 9/2 anytime are appealing given his average of nearly two shots per game.
Opta facts and statistics
- Cardiff and Southampton last faced in league competition in 2013-14 in the Premier League – Saints won 3-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium but the Bluebirds won 1-0 at St. Mary’s.
- Prior to winning 3-0 away at Cardiff City on Boxing Day in 2013, Southampton had lost seven consecutive league matches there between 1976 and 2011.
- Cardiff have won three of their last four Premier League home games (L1), as many as they had in their previous 18 in the competition (W3 D5 L10).
- Cardiff have come from behind to win their last two home Premier League games – only twice has a club ever done so in three consecutive games at home, Blackburn in November 2009 and Newcastle in March 2013.
- Cardiff haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 12 Premier League games. Only Fulham are on a longer current run without one in the competition (15).
- Southampton’s current 13-game winless run is (W0 D7 L6) is their longest such-run in all competitions since October 1998 (also 13 matches).
- Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been involved in nine goals in nine Premier League starts against newly-promoted opposition (8 goals, 1 assist).
- Cardiff manager Neil Warnock has lost his last three league matches against Southampton, doing so in April 2009 and December 2014 with Crystal Palace and March 2012 with Leeds United.
- Southampton’s new appointment Ralph Hasenhüttl will be the Premier League’s first Austrian manager. None of the last seven permanent Southampton managers have won their first Premier League game in charge of the club (D4 L3), with Paul Sturrock vs Liverpool the last to do so in March 2004.
- New Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl won 120 points in the Bundesliga during his two-season spell as manager of RB Leipzig; only Bayern Munich (166) won more in this period.
Manchester United v Fulham
Manchester United are a difficult team to preview this season. Just as you think they are turning a corner after a bad run and heading closer to the top four, they suffer another setback and are back to square one.
And they are currently on square one, after going four matches without a win in the Premier League.
The midweek draw with Arsenal saw them respond only after going behind, twice scoring within minutes of Unai Emery's Gunners taking the lead.
Jose Mourinho, who dropped Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku for that game, has other injuries to contend with and you would not be all that surprised to see Claudio Ranieri's Cottagers get a win at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Due to the Red Devils' shear unpredictability, the preference is to avoid markets which include the full-time result.
Given Romelu Lukaku's goal against Southampton and tendency to bag against mid-to-lower table opponents, there was a temptation to back him at anytime here, but all five of his goals this season have come away from Old Trafford and he's struggled at times on home soil.
Looking instead at corners, 6/4 for both teams to have at least four each looks like the best value.
Fulham should give it a good go and they took 10 corners in midweek, while United took four against Arsenal and average nearly six per game. Four each is not much to ask in a game that should have action at both ends.
Best bet: 4+ corners each team at 6/4
Opta facts and statistics
- Manchester United and Fulham last met in February 2014 in the Premier League – a 2-2 draw in which the Cottagers equalised in the 90th minute via Darren Bent.
- Fulham have lost 21 of their last 23 away matches against Manchester United in all competitions (W1 D1) – their only win in this sequence was a 3-1 victory in the Premier League in October 2003.
- In their last meeting in February 2014, Manchester United produced a tally of 81 crosses against Fulham – the most in a Premier League match since the 2003-04 campaign.
- Fulham have only lost more Premier League matches against Arsenal (19) than against Manchester United (18).
- Among Premier League fixtures to have seen at least 50 goals scored, Manchester United vs Fulham has seen the highest percentage of goals in the first half (51 of 86, 59%) – only two of the 26 Premier League meetings between the teams have been goalless at half-time.
- Manchester United have made 46 changes to their starting XI overall this season; including seven in their midweek draw with Arsenal. No side have made as many as the Red Devils this season in the Premier League.
- Fulham are winless in 10 Premier League away games (D1 L9), losing their last six in a row. They last lost more consecutive away in the competition in March 2006 (8).
- This is the 10th meeting between Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho and Fulham’s Claudio Ranieri in all competitions – Mourinho has won his last three against the Italian since losing in his final match in charge of Chelsea in December 2015 against Leicester City.
- Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri could become only the third manager to win a Premier League game away at Old Trafford with two different clubs, after Martin O’Neill and Rafael Benitez.
- Jose Mourinho will look to seal his 50th Premier League victory as Manchester United manager in this game – his 92nd game in the competition at the Red Devils. He sealed his 50th Premier League win in his first spell at Chelsea in his 63rd game and in his 50th league win during his second spell at the Blues in his 73rd game.
West Ham v Crystal Palace
West Ham can make it three victories in a week to cap off a fine run against bottom-half teams.
First, as Sporting Life correctly predicted, they ended Newcastle's good form with a 3-0 win at St James' Park before seeing off Cardiff at the London Stadium days later.
Manuel Pellegrini's side now have a local derby as they welcome a Crystal Palace side beaten by rivals Brighton in midweek.
Marko Arnautovic is set for a spell on the sidelines, but Lucas Perez's double against the Bluebirds will give the summer signing confidence and they have players growing in stature throughout the team. Backing the hosts to win with over 1.5 total goals gives you around 15/8 and is considered, but booking points could be the way to go.
Given that it's a derby, that bookings are quite frequent in this fixture and that both teams are in the top half of the disciplinary standings (West Ham top, Palace ninth), 50+ total booking points at 13/8 is an attractive price without worrying too much about the match result.
Opta facts and statistics
- West Ham are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games against Crystal Palace (W3 D3) since a 1-3 defeat in February 2015 at Upton Park.
- Both Premier League meetings between West Ham and Crystal Palace ended as draws last season – prior to that, only two of the last 16 top-flight games between the sides had ended as draws.
- The side scoring first in Premier League fixtures between West Ham and Crystal Palace have never lost (W10 D4).
- West Ham are looking to win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2016. Their last two wins have been 3-0 and 3-1, they’ve not won three in a row while scoring at least three goals in the top-flight since October 1982.
- Each of West Ham’s last 10 Premier League wins have been by a margin of two or more goals – their previous 10 such wins in the competition had come over a period of 25 victories between January 2016 and January 2018.
- After winning two of their first three away league games this season, Crystal Palace are winless in their last five on the road (D1 L4).
- Following his brace against Cardiff, West Ham’s Lucas Perez’s first three Premier League goals have all been from the bench. The last player to score his first four in the competition as a sub was Nolito in December 2016.
- Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has managed just one win in 16 away London derbies in all competitions as a manager (D4 L11), though that win came on the opening day of this season at Fulham.
- West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini won six of his seven meetings with Crystal Palace in all competitions (L1) when he was manager of Man City between the 2013-14 and 2015-16 campaigns.
- After netting in three of his first four Premier League appearances this season, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has failed to score in his last nine in the competition.
Odds correct as of 1500 GMT on 06/12/18