The Premier League returns this weekend with four games on Saturday. Tom Carnduff has a best bet in each of the games.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Newcastle v Manchester United
- 20:00 BST on Sky Sports Box Office
- Match odds: Home 4/1 | Draw 16/5 | Away 8/13
It's not just the blue side of Manchester that is struggling so far this season as United head into their clash with Newcastle on the back of a 6-1 hammering by Tottenham at Old Trafford.
It led to more questions about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future at the club, it also led to Patrice Evra offering his resignation live on Sky Sports because he couldn't find a reason to be positive about Manchester United. He did look happier after Liverpool's result in the hours that followed at least.
Again, this is another game I wouldn't be rushing to pay £14.95 for. I remain unconvinced by Newcastle under Steve Bruce while Manchester United are just so dull to watch. A remarkable yet, in a way, unsurprising statistic is that Infogol's expected Premier League standings based on performances so far has United 19th.
Newcastle sit 11th in that same chart so it's hardly set up to be a classic. I can't quite get my head around what would convince people to jump on the 8/13 price on an away win based on the problems United are currently facing.
With that lack of value available in the outright market, cards may be the best route to go down here. Newcastle are actually the most fouled team in the division so far while Manchester United sit second for fouls committed. Solskjaer's side commit an average of 14.3 fouls per game; Newcastle see 14.3 fouls against.
A name of interest in the cards market is Paul Pogba. The United midfielder is yet to be booked and that's why there is a best price of 5/1 available on that happening. However, the stats show that he can consider himself lucky that he has avoided a booking.
Pogba sits top of the average fouls per game charts for any player in the Premier League this season (3.7). There were four in the defeat to Tottenham and four against Brighton. Given how Isaac Hayden, Newcastle's defensive midfielder, also sits high in the charts we should expect plenty of fouls in midfield.
Hayden's been carded twice and his price is a far less attractive 23/10. The referee, Craig Pawson, showed four yellows in his last Premier League game, Liverpool's 3-1 win over Arsenal, while there were five yellows and a red in his last outing - Poland's 4-0 victory over Bosnia in the Nations League.
If Pogba keeps to this level of fouls per game, there's a good chance he will exceed the six bookings he picked up during the 2018/19 season. There was only one during the last campaign but that was largely disrupted due to injury.
This is a game where I'd avoid the outright market completely given how short of a price the visitors are for success. Instead, Pogba's form this season has demonstrated he is due a card, and was perhaps lucky to avoid one against Tottenham. This game could be the one where he finally goes into the referee's book.
Score prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Manchester United (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)
Best bet: Paul Pogba to be shown a card at 5/1
- Newcastle have won two of their last three Premier League home games against Man Utd (L1), more than they had in their previous 13 against them at St James’ Park (W1 D3 L9).
- Manchester United lost this exact fixture 0-1 last season – they’ve not lost back-to-back away league games against Newcastle since December 1987.
- This is the first time Newcastle are facing Manchester United in a Premier League game while above them in the table since December 2013, when they won 1-0 at Old Trafford.
- Newcastle have had fewer shots on target than any other side in the Premier League this season (8). However, they’ve netted six goals, meaning they’ve scored with a league-high 75% of their attempts on target so far this term.
- Manchester United have shipped 11 Premier League goals so far this season, with only West Bromwich Albion (13) conceding more. It’s the second most the Red Devils have ever conceded three games into a league season, after 1930-31 (13).
Manchester City v Arsenal
- 17:30 BST on Sky Sports Premier League
- Match odds: Home 2/5 | Draw 4/1 | Away 6/1
Have we hit crisis stage with Manchester City stage yet? I'm not too sure. Are they enduring a seriously problematic start to the season? Most definitely.
Results elsewhere have almost masked City's poor start but they were hammered by Leicester before nearly being beaten by Leeds. Pep Guardiola's side may have dominated the opening 20 minutes at Elland Road but they could have so easily lost.
What those two games highlighted is just how problematic this City defence is; only the woodwork and Ederson denied Leeds scoring more than once before the international break. Arsenal have shown in the FA Cup that they can beat City, and the attractive odds on them getting something here and just too good to turn down.
Guardiola has spent an eye-watering amount of money on defenders and yet the defence remains a problem. It's beginning to feel like this season could be his last at the Etihad and the current problems can be exploited by a new-look Arsenal under Mikel Arteta.
Alex Keble's excellent tactical preview has more, but Arsenal did such a good job of setting traps and then hitting City on the counter in their victory at Wembley. The hosts leave huge gaps between their lines and that helped Leicester to success too.
Arsenal will likely go for the counter attack option here and City could fall for their traps once again. How many times have we seen Guardiola's side beaten by teams hitting them with pace on the attack? It's a flaw in the system and it's one they have failed to solve.
I'd never have previously dreamt of backing Arsenal to get something at the Etihad but Arteta has them drilled and the arrival of Thomas Partey shows that the board believe in him to guide them back to the top-four places. Partey may not be involved here, but Arteta has the players at his disposal to play the way he wants.
You want to believe that City are a smarter side than falling for the same issues they faced before, but recent games have shown that may not be the case. Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker could well be players to target for the visitors as they look for success down the flanks.
That makes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang an interesting anytime goalscorer bet as he lines up on the left-side of an attacking trio. He's a variety of prices but they are all around the 17/10 mark. In a Premier League season that has seen plenty of goals, there could well be more on Saturday evening.
The best value comes in backing Arsenal/Draw on the double chance with odds of 15/8 available at the time of writing. You can't see that getting much shorter as Arsenal remain 6/1 outsiders. City have problems at the moment; this isn't the same dominant side we saw two seasons ago.
Score prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal (Sky Bet odds: 12/1)
Best bet: Arsenal/Draw on double chance at 15/8
- This is the third of their four Premier League games this season that Manchester City are starting the day in the bottom half of the table – as many as in their previous 375 matches in the competition.
- Manchester City have won just four points from their three league games this season, their lowest total at this stage since 2010-11. Meanwhile, only twice in their league history have the Citizens lost both of their opening two home games in a season – 1930-31 and 1953-54.
- Manchester City are winless in their last two Premier League games, last going three without a win in the competition back in April 2017 (4). The third game in that run was a 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
- Arsenal have won eight of their last 12 Premier League games (D1 L3), more than they had in their previous 28 in the competition (W7 D13 L8). Indeed, since their loss to Brighton in June, no side has picked up more Premier League points than the Gunners (25).
- Arsenal have had 77 10+ open play pass sequences in the Premier League this season, with only Chelsea having more (81). Indeed, since Mikel Arteta took over at the club, the Gunners have scored more goals following a sequence of 10 or more passes than any other side in the division (11).
Chelsea v Southampton
- 15:00 BST on BT Sport Box Office
- Match odds: Home 1/2 | Draw 7/2 | Away 21/4
The first game of the Box Office generation, although I wouldn't be rushing to pay £14.95 for it.
Chelsea are fancied for success as reflected in their odds-on price but Southampton have improved in recent weeks following a slow start to the campaign. That said, victories over West Brom and Burnley could have been expected for a team not backed to be near the relegation spots.
Southampton were successful in their trip to Stamford Bridge last season but Chelsea should gain another three points here, despite their obvious defensive issues. The fitness of Ben Chilwell is also one to watch after he pulled out of the England squad.
The Saints' performances have somewhat matched the results but they actually posted a better xG figure than Tottenham in the 5-2 defeat last month. They enjoyed more total efforts on goal but it was Spurs who made the most of the chances they created.
This Chelsea defence could make it another high-scoring affair and one player who could grab his first goal of the campaign is James Ward-Prowse. The midfielder posted three shots on target in the loss against Tottenham while there were two total shots in the defeat to Crystal Palace on opening day.
He's a player with real presence in this Southampton side and had direct involvement in ten goals last season; he is yet to post a goal or assist during the 2020/21 campaign.
There is also the set-piece threat he possesses and how crucial that can be to Southampton. Chelsea sit fourth in the average fouls per games chart; that could present the Saints with opportunities to strike from free-kicks.
Two of Ward-Prowse's on-target shots against Spurs came from range. Only Kevin De Bruyne can match him for shots from set-pieces in the Premier League this season.
He's 20/1 with Sky Bet to net from outside the area but the 11/1 anytime price on offer with Betfair and Paddy Power is good enough value.
Given Chelsea's short price it's probably best to avoid the outright markets in this contest but the home side may be worth inclusion in any Saturday accumulators. Southampton can strike though and Ward-Prowse's price is just too generous if the hosts keep up their high foul count.
Score prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)
- Chelsea have won seven of their last nine Premier League meetings with Southampton (D1 L1), though they did lose this exact fixture 0-2 last season.
- Following their 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge last season, Southampton are looking to pick up back-to-back away league victories against Chelsea for the first time since March 1985.
- Southampton are looking to win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since a run of four in May 2016, while Saints last won three in a row without conceding in the competition in January 2016.
Everton v Liverpool
- 12:30 BST on BT Sport
- Match odds: Home 11/4 | Draw 3/1 | Away 17/20
The first Merseyside derby of the season and the first in a while where we can give Everton's odds for success serious consideration.
Carlo Ancelotti has got this Toffees side playing attractive and effective football with Dominic Calvert-Lewin firing on all fronts in attack. Flanked by Richarlison and James Rodriguez, they look like a team who can battle for European qualification.
Little more needs to be said on Liverpool's 7-2 thrashing at Villa Park; the fall out from that has already been well documented. A flash in the pan moment or the start of something more? You can't imagine this Liverpool side will just collapse overnight but as Villa and Leeds have shown this season, attacking them causes serious issues.
That could play into Everton's hands given the way they now operate. Whichever way the result goes, it should be a contest which sees the main stats markets - shots and tackles - providing real value. As we have highlighted in our Punting Pointers in recent weeks, Leeds lead the way when it comes to tackles but Everton are close behind with an average of 20 per game.
The one player of focus here is Seamus Coleman. The Everton right-back has established himself as a key part of this side and has seen a decent tackle count across the first four games this season. Sky Bet have him at 2/1 to make three or more successful tackles against Liverpool; something he's done twice in recent weeks.
His season average sits at 2.3 but there were three tackles in each of the games against Crystal Palace and West Brom while two came in the win over Brighton. Against a team with such a strong attack, Coleman's tackle count should tick over that three marker.
Another name to consider in this area is Lucas Digne on the opposite flank but his three or more tackles price sits at a less attractive 6/4. He'll have the job of dealing with Mohamed Salah while Coleman focuses on Sadio Mane or Diogo Jota.
The fact that Michael Keane and Yerry Mina are both low tackle count players shows that the majority of the tackles are coming from the full-backs. It's a game which could become basketball like at times, a real end-to-end contest, and that should bring plenty of successful tackles with it.
We talked up Everton's price and with some firms going as big as 3/1, despite their history in this fixture, that may be worth inclusion for some on the Saturday accumulators. It's a tough balance between backing a team who have been in such good form against a wounded animal; the champions were humiliated last time out and will want revenge.
When it comes to that outright option, it is best instead to go with Everton's double chance price of shades of odds-on across the board; most firms offer around the 19/20 mark. The best bet can be found in the tackles market though and taking Coleman at odds of 2/1.
Score prediction: Everton 1-1 Liverpool (Sky Bet odds: 7/1)
Best bet: 1pt Seamus Coleman to have 3+ tackles
- Everton are winless in 19 Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D11 L8), since a 2-0 win in October 2010.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 22 meetings with Everton in all competitions – against no side have they ever had a longer run without defeat in their history (also 22 vs Aston Villa between 1981-1992).
- Seven of the last eight Premier League meetings between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park have finished level, with Liverpool winning the other 1-0 in December 2016.
- The last three Premier League meetings between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park have finished 0-0 – no specific fixture in English top-flight history has ever finished goalless in four consecutive matches before.
- This is the first top-flight Merseyside derby with Everton starting the day top of the table since September 1989, when Liverpool won 3-1 at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Ian Rush (2) and John Barnes.
Odds correct at 1415 BST (15/10/20)
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