Swansea City vs Liverpool

Liberty Stadium plays host this Monday evening with Swansea City vs Liverpool in the Premier League. Can the Swans pull off a shock win?

After ending City’s unbeaten Premier League start, Liverpool have been in the headlines all week. After such a fantastic display, the onus is now on them to make sure they take three points against basement side Swansea. Even without Phillipe Coutinho, the attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamad Salah ran riot with all three finding themselves on the scoresheet against Pep Guardiola’s side. Firmino, in particular, has come in for praise, with Jamie Carragher labelling the Brazilian ‘the most underrated player in the league’. When you look at his stats, it’s hard to argue. For someone who is commonly thought of as an unorthodox number nine, Firmino has 17 goals already this season, more than Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata.

Firmino has shown that Coutinho’s departure will not have too much of an affect on Liverpool Photo Credit: skysports.com

Having preferred Firmino to Daniel Sturridge during his time at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp has got everything he requires from his central striker. The 26-year-old’s ability to press backlines with intelligence is a highly sought attribute and something that was instrumental in Liverpool’s win against City. In addition to his impressive work rate, Firmino’s link up play is exceptional and when he drops deep to receive the ball, it allows Mane and Salah to exploit the space behind him. He’s also now adding goals to his game. Now in his third season at Anfield, Firmino managed just 24 goals in his first two seasons. With 17 already this term, he has a great chance of going on to record double that amount.

After just one defeat in his first five games in charge, Carlos Carvalhal’s side knocked out Wolves in their FA Cup replay in midweek. Whilst both sides named much-changed teams, Swansea seem to have improved under their Portuguese head coach. With four points from their last three games, recent results will give Carvalhal confidence his side can pick up points against the teams around them. With games against Brighton, West Ham and Huddersfield to come in February, it’s vital Swansea can build some confidence going into those fixtures. Whilst they still sit bottom of the Premier League, they are just four points adrift of safety.

Ayew grabbed the first in the FA Cup win over Wolves Photo Credit: skysports.com

Despite losing 5-0 in the reverse fixture this season, Swansea have won two of their last four meetings with Liverpool. Having defeat Liverpool at the Liberty Stadium in 2016, there may be hope for the Swans when the Reds come calling. Liverpool have however won seven of their last nine meetings, scoring 22 goals. Neil Swarbrick has been placed in charge of this game. The experienced ref has averaged just 24.6 booking points this season, the third lowest in the division. Swarbrick is also yet to brandish a red card during his 13 matches this campaign.

After such an impressive win last time out, it would be typical of Liverpool to lose this game. Despite the Swans recent improvement though, I think the Reds will take all three points in South Wales, but it will be tighter than most might expect.

 

Prediction: Swansea 1-2 Liverpool

 

Suggested Tips

(SKYBET)

CORRECT SCORE – LIVERPOOL TO WIN 2-1 – 15/2

FIRMINO TO SCORE FIRST AND LIVERPOOL TO WIN 3-0- 19/1

 SALAH AND MANE TO BOTH SCORE – 7/2

AYEW TO SCORE AND FT DRAW – 16/1

BTTS AND LIVERPOOL TO WIN – 21/10

LIVERPOOL TO WIN BY EXACTLY ONE GOAL – 11/4

Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino returns to St Mary’s with Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday from St Mary’s Stadium. Spurs will hope a win can move them into the Champions League places.

Last week’s 4-0 mauling of Everton will have boosted Spurs’ morale ahead of this one, with the North London club sitting three points behind Liverpool and Chelsea in fifth. After Liverpool’s impressive display against Manchester City, they moved level on points with Antonio Conte’s men, which has further intensified the race for Champions League football. With Manchester United only three points ahead of third and fourth, this has now become a four-way battle between the Premier League’s biggest hitters. With Arsenal now eight points adrift of fourth, it appears that any three of those four teams will join City in Europe’s elite competition next season.

Son has been in great form for Spurs, scoring and providing assists Photo Credit: skysports.com

Son Heung-Min caught the eye against Everton after his man of the match performance. The South Korean grabbed a goal and an assist on his way to scoring for the fifth consecutive home game as Spurs took apart Sam Allardyce’s side. Having been a bit part player in the last two years, Son has shown his best form this campaign, with his pace and willingness to stretch defences a real asset to Spurs. With players like Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane and Dele Alli who all want the ball to feet, having someone to run in behind is vital. Son has provided that this season and with eight goals and four assists to his name, he is now one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Ward-Prowse scored a brace in the draw against Watford last weekend Photo Credit: skysports.com

After being controversially denied victory by a stoppage-time equaliser last week against Watford, Southampton are without a win in ten league games. An impressive first-half display against the Hornets should have seen Mauricio Pellegrino’s side take all three points and they would have but for Abdoulaye Doucoure’s late ‘handball’ goal. Southampton put in a much better performance last week and topped that off with two first-half strikes, something the Saints hadn’t done all season. With the pressure building on Pellegrino, it’s important they produce a similar display against a much better Spurs side. With Southampton just one point and place above the drop zone, they need to turn St Mary’s into a fortress, starting on Sunday.

Spurs have won nine of their last 11 meetings with Southampton, including four of their last five visits to St Mary’s. Having racked up 11 goals in their last three meetings against the Saints, including five in the reverse fixture back in December, Spurs love playing against Pochettino’s former club.

Kevin Friend is the referee for Sunday’s fixture and an average booking points total of just 25. In his 12 Premier League games this season he has issued just 30 yellow cards and is yet to show a red card.

Despite their improved performance last week, I think Spurs will run out winners on Sunday. Pochettino’s men are in good form, whilst the same can’t be said for the hosts and thus I think they will prove too strong for them.

 

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Tottenham

 

Suggested Tips

(SKYBET)

KANE TO SCORE A BRACE – 3/1

SON TO SCORE FIRST AND SPURS TO WIN 2-0 – 22/1

CORRECT SCORE – 3-1 SPURS – 12/1

LONG AND ALLI TO BOTH SCORE – 9/1

BTTS AND SPURS TO WIN – 9/4

(BET365)

ALTERNATIVE TOTAL GOALS – OVER 3.5 GOALS – (link no longer available)

DOUBLE CHANCE – SOUTHAMPTON OR DRAW – (link no longer available)

FIRST GOALSCORER – HEUNG-MIN SON – (link no longer available)

ANYTIME GOALSCORER – JAMES WARD PROWSE – (link no longer available)

Jos Luhukay will be hoping for his first league win as the Owls boss with Sheffield Wednesday vs Cardiff City from Hillsborough this Saturday evening in the Skybet Championship.

After drawing 0-0 in the Steel City derby, Luhukay grabbed his first win against Carlisle in the FA Cup third round replay. A 2-0-win saw Wednesday progress into the fourth-round where they will face Reading. Luhukay will be happy with two goals and another clean sheet in his first two matches. Long-term absentees such as Barry Bannan, Keiran Lee and Fernando Forestieri still missing, the Owls have looked to the loan market for reinforcements. With a new manager in charge and an injury-hit squad, January was always going to be a difficult month for Wednesday to bolster their squad. They have, however, agreed a deal for Heracles midfielder Joey Pelupessy.

Joao has started the last three games as a centre forwad but has failed to score in those games Photo Credit: skysports.com

The new 3-5-2 system that Luhukay has installed seems to be having a desired effect. Despite being under heavy pressure at times against Sheffield United last week, the Owls defended resolutely throughout. When the likes of Gary Hooper, Bannan, Forestieri and co return, I think this system will suit the Owls. The last two results will have given the squad a massive shot in the arm ahead of another tough test, and I think this could help them end their five-game winless run at home.

After four defeats on the bounce, Neil Warnock’s side responded with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Sunderland at the weekend. They then followed that up with a 4-1 win in their own FA Cup replay as they saw off Mansfield Town in midweek. Warnock will be desperate to compound Wednesday’s misery, as the former Blades boss looks to take his current side back into the automatic promotion places. With Cardiff just two points behind Derby, who occupy second place, a win could take them above the Rams, depending on their result on Friday night. There’s no doubting Warnock has built a solid team in Wales, with plenty of Championship experience and quality throughout the team. I do wonder whether they have the firepower to take them out the division, and their recent poor run of form has only strengthened those doubts.

Hoilett has impressed for Cardiff City this season providing goals and assists Photo Credit: skysports.com

Wednesday haven’t lost in their last six meetings with the Bluebirds, and only a stoppage-time equaliser prevented them taking all three points at the Cardiff City stadium in the reverse fixture. Roger East has been appointed as the man in the middle for this fixture and has the averaged the second highest number of yellow cards this season. Despite only refereeing three Championship matches this campaign, East has the third highest average booking points at 51.7. This is considerably higher than those below him, with the fourth highest at 47.9.

People may think this is a strange call, but I’m going for a home win in this one. A change in manager seems to have rejuvenated this depleted Wednesday squad and I think they’ll secure their first win.

 

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Cardiff City

 

Suggested Tips

(SKYBET)

CORRECT SCORE: SHEFF WED TO WIN 2-1 – 9/1

RHODES TO SCORE FIRST AND WEDNESDAY TO WIN – 10/3

ZOHORE AND JOAO TO BOTH SCORE – 8/1

BTTS AND CARDIFF TO WIN – 9/2

BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE AND OVER 2.5 GOALS- 13/8. BTTS AND OVER 2.5 GOALS – 13/8

HOILETT TO SCORE FIRST AND DRAW 1-1 – 33/1

(BET365)

EXACT TOTAL GOALS – 3- (link no longer available)

FIRST GOALSCORER – JUNIOR HOILETT- (link no longer available)

HALF TIME/ FULL TIME – DRAW/SHEFF WED- (link no longer available)

Manchester City vs Newcastle Utd in the Premier League this Saturday evening from the Etihad as City look to restore normal order after their defeat to Liverpool last week.

After finally surrendering their unbeaten Premier League record, Pep Guardiola will want his side to return to winning ways. Despite their defeat at Anfield, most of the recent talk has been about City’s pursuit of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean forward now looks set to join City neighbours Manchester United after City refused to match the Red Devils offer for the Arsenal forward. Without Sanchez, City have Aguero as their only fit senior striker. Gabriel Jesus is expected back in the next month, which means they will probably wait until the summer before bolstering their striking options.

Aguero has been below average in the last few games and needs to get back to his best Photo Credit: skysports.com

Sunday’s defeat came as a shock to most, with City surrendering the game within a frantic nine-minute spell. What struck me most during the game was the lack of leadership on the field for City. Without both Vincent Kompany and David Silva, there was nobody to get hold of the players around them and calm them down. If City could have managed to regain some composure after Mane’s goal, they may have come away with something from the game. It was just an off day for the Citizens, with a number of players failing to meet the standards they’ve set for themselves this season. It happens, the most important thing is how they react.

Despite just one defeat from their last five league games, Newcastle sit just three points above the drop zone. Whilst nobody will be expecting Rafa Benitez’s men to get anything from the Etihad, it’s important they put in a good performance. They currently sit in 15th, three points above the relegation zone, but also three points from tenth, underlining how tight this year’s battle to beat the drop is. With fixtures against relegation rivals to come, it’s vital the Toon carry as much momentum as possible going into those fixtures. Yes, it won’t be games against teams of City’s calibre that will decide their fate, but they could still prove influential at the end of the season.

Joselu grabbed a goal against Swansea in the last fixture Photo Credit: skysports.com

City have lost just one of their 22 meetings with Newcastle and haven’t lost at home in the league against them since 2000. In their last four fixtures at the Etihad, City have racked up 19 goals, including a 6-1 win in October 2015. Despite only refereeing eight Premier League matches this season, Paul Tierney is the man in the middle for Saturday tea-time game. Tierney has averaged just 2.8 yellow cards this season and is yet to send anyone off. Only Tierney and Chris Kavanagh have refereed eight matches this season, whilst every other official has managed nine or more games.

Despite last week’s defeat, I think City will get back to winning ways here. They have a particularly strong record against Newcastle at home, and I think Benitez will have his mind firmly fixed on more important fixtures to come.

 

Prediction: Manchester City 4-1 Newcastle United

 

Suggested Tips

(SKYBET)

CORRECT SCORE – CITY TO WIN 4-1- 12/1

AGUERO TO SCORE A BRACE- 13/8

STERLING TO SCORE AND CITY TO WIN 3-0- 17/1

BTTS AND CITY TO WIN- 5/4

CITY TO WIN BY THREE OR MORE GOALS- 10/11

SANE AND DE BRUYNE TO BOTH SCORE- 4/1

BET365

EXACT TOTAL GOALS – 5 GOALS- (link no longer available)

TO SCORE AT ANYTIME- JAMAAL LASCELLES- (link no longer available) 

FIRST GOALSCORER – RAHEEM STERLING- (link no longer available)

Brighton vs Chelsea

Saturday’s early kick off sees Brighton vs Chelsea from the Amex Stadium. Without a win in four games in the Premier League, can the Seagulls gain a much needed win?

After a bright start to the season, the Seagulls have struggled of late, registering just one victory from their last 12 league games. With just six points separating 18th and 10th place, the race to avoid the drop is tighter than ever. Brighton sit in 16th place, just three points above Stoke who occupy the final relegation spot.

Izquierdo has been in good form for the Seagulls so far this season Photo Credit: skysports.com

Goals have been the issue for Chris Hughton’s side, with Brighton managing just 17 goals from their 23 games, the second lowest in the division. Defensively they’ve been sound conceding just 29 goals, the eighth best in the league. With the defence sorted, it’s imperative Hughton signs a goal-scorer this window if he wants to cement Brighton’s second consecutive season in the top flight. Glenn Murray has done well but with only six league goals, he needs help to secure their status in the top flight.

Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Leicester last weekend meant the club had drawn three consecutive blanks for the first time in the club’s history. Two cup draws followed by their stalemate at Stamford Bridge means the Blues are without a win in four games. Now down to fourth, Chelsea need to rekindle their attacking fire if they’re to ensure a top-four finish this season. They sit level on points with Liverpool and three points behind second-placed Manchester United. However, with Tottenham breathing down their necks, three points behind them, it’s important that Conte gets his side firing again.

Hazard has not been the same in the last few games, underperforming for Chelsea Photo Credit: skysports.com

Alvaro Morata has now gone five games without a goal. With just two strikes in his last ten games, the Spaniard is going through a lean spell in front of goal. A red card in the FA Cup replay against Norwich showed his frustration in front of goal. Conte clearly doesn’t trust Michy Batshuayi having opted to play Eden Hazard as a false nine instead of his Belgian teammate, the club may look to bolster their options in January. My guess is they may wait until the summer, but it’s clear that Morata needs some help and if Conte isn’t confident with Batshuayi then they need to sign a replacement.

Chelsea have never lost a league game against Brighton. They beat the Seagulls 2-0 in the reverse fixture in December, which is the two clubs only meeting in the Premier League era. One ray of hope for Brighton is Chelsea haven’t won an away game since their 3-1 victory against Huddersfield on December the 12th. Whilst they haven’t lost any of those games either, Brighton’s strong home form could offer them some confidence.

John Moss will referee Saturday’s lunchtime fixture. Moss has the third highest average booking points total this season with 39.4 points per game. Despite only showing one red card in his 16 matches this season, he has averaged 3.6 yellow cards a game.

With Chelsea not at their best recently, I think we could see a surprise result on Saturday. Brighton have been playing well without picking up the results and I think they could grab a point in front of their home crowd.

 

Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Chelsea

SUGGESTED TIPS

(SKYBET)

CORRECT SCORE DRAW 1-1- 13/2

HAZARD TO SCORE FIRST AND CHELSEA TO WIN 2-0- 12/1

BTTS AND OVER 2.5 GOALS- 2/1

CHELSEA TO SCORE A PENALTY 5/1

MORATA TO SCORE AND WIN- 5/4

(BET365)

ANYTIME GOALSCORER – SHANE DUFFY – (link no longer available)

TO SCORE IN BOTH HALVES – CHELSEA TO SCORE IN BOTH HALVES – (link no longer available)

DOUBLE CHANCE – BRIGHTON OR DRAW – (link no longer available)

 

 

Derby County vs Bristol City

The Friday evening fixture in the Skybet Championship comes from Pride Park with Derby County vs Bristol City. The Rams are in great form, can City stop them and gain a much needed win?

The hosts will be hoping to widen the gap between them and the play-off positions, as Wolves are a massive ten points ahead of the Rams at the top of the table. Bristol City will be hoping to turn their recent form around having lost their last four in all competitions, however they are still comfortable in the play-off positions.

Gary Rowett’s side have become a formidable force this season in the Championship. They currently sit in second place, with many fans hoping this will finally be the season they can see it all the way through. For years now they have constantly fallen at the final hurdle, however they seem to have a more solid and considered approach to their matches. Striker, Matej Vydra, is in the form of his life having scored 15 goals in the league; sharing the accolade of top scorer with Sheffield United’s Leon Clarke.

Matej Vydra is joint top scorer in the Skybet Championship alongside Sheff Utd’s Leon Clarke with 15 goals Photo Credit: skysports.com

The Rams have also been good at shutting up shop at the back, having conceded only 23 goals in their 27 league matches. They are the team no one will want to face right now; can they keep on marching forward?

Skybet Correct Scxore Group Betting – Derby to Win 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 – 13/2

Bristol City have had an eventful January so far, with their eagerly awaited Carabao Cup second leg tie with Manchester City just around the corner. Bristol will want to head into that second leg with confidence, and a win against Derby would give them just that. Just like their opponents, they have a talisman playing well in Bobby Reid who has 12 goals and 3 assists in the league.

Reid has 12 goals so far this season for Bristol City and will be a real threat to the Derby defence Photo Credit: skysports.com

However, their recent form makes for grim reading and they will have to quickly tighten things up against an organised Derby side. Can Lee Johnson’s men turn their fortunes around, having given a great account of themselves in their last televised match against Manchester City?

Skybet Match Result – Bristol City to Win – 13/5

 

Score Prediction: 2-1 win for Derby. Both sides like to attack however recent form and fatigue will give the Rams the upper hand.

Both Derby County and Bristol City have scored two or more goals in 51% of their SkyBet Championship matches.

Derby County have been awarded an average of 4.9 corners per match and Bristol City have been awarded an average of 5.6 corners.

Darren England will take charge of the fixture. England has awarded an average of 39.7 booking points in his 17 Championship matches.

 

Suggested Tips

(SkyBet)

  • Both Players to Score – Vydra and Reid – 6/1
  • Penalty Specials – A Penalty Awarded – 5/2
  • Full Time Result and BTTS – Derby and Yes – 10/3

(BET365)

  • Alternative Total Goals – Over 3.5 – (link no longer available)
  • Anytime Goalscorer – Jamie Paterson – (link no longer available)
  • To Score in Both Halves – Derby to score in both halves – (link no longer available)

 

Manchester United vs Stoke City

Monday night’s Premier League match comes from Old Trafford with Manchester United vs Stoke City. Utd will try to close the gap on the leaders whilst Stoke will be hoping to impress any impending manager the club are pursuing.

Following Manchester City’s dramatic 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, Jose Mourinho’s men can move closer to their noisy neighbours with a win. Perhaps more importantly, three points would move the Red Devils three points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool who occupy third and fourth place. After back to back wins against Everton and Derby County it’s vital that United take maximum points with a number of favourable looking fixtures ahead of them. Whilst there’s very little chance of them catching City, making sure they cement second place could be vital ahead of next season.

Lingard has been Utd’s best player over the past month with his goals and performances Photo Credit: skysports.com

Whilst City may have beaten United to this season’s league title, Mourinho looks set to bolster his squad with the signing of Alexis Sanchez. After months of speculation linking the Chilean to City, it appears United have stolen the march on their noisy neighbours. With the Arsenal forward’s contract up in the summer, as little as 30 million pounds could see Sanchez become the first Arsenal player to swap London for Manchester since Robin Van Persie. We all know how that went.

Last week’s FA Cup defeat saw the end of Mark Hughes’ time as Stoke boss. With the club yet to appoint a new manager. Talks with former Watford boss Quique Sanchez-Flores have broken down, whilst reported target Gary Rowett has signed a new deal with Derby. Most of the teams around the Potters picked up points this weekend, with Southampton, West Brom and Swansea avoiding defeat.

Choupo-Moting is Stoke’s top scorer with four, joint with Peter Crouch Photo Credit: skysports.com

Those results have only dragged Stoke further into the mire. They currently occupy the final relegation spot, only three clear off the bottom of the table. It’s vital that the Coates family source the man who can keep the club in the Premier League. Now, half-way through January, Stoke need to find a new coach. Time is running out for them to bolster their squad and a new coach will want to assess his squad before dipping into the market. That could be too late and could leave the club relying on those already in the squad to bail them out.

Manchester United have won just two of their last eight games against Stoke, drawing five and losing twice. Stoke, however, haven’t won at Old Trafford since 1976 and have lost on eight of their last nine visits. Anthony Taylor is in charge of the game on Monday night, which could be good for those interested in booking points. Taylor has issued the most yellow cards in the division, averaging at four per game. He has the fifth highest total booking points average, however, having not produced a red card yet this season.

Whilst Stoke will set up to try and make things hard for United, their quality should shine through. Stoke look like a side bereft of ideas at the moment and until they have a new man in charge, I don’t see that changing.

 

Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Stoke

Suggested Tips

(SkyBet)

CORRECT SCORE UNITED TO WIN 3-0- 6/1

LINGARD TO SCORE FIRST- 7/1

ROJO AND WIMMER BOTH TO BE CARDED- 18/1

POGBA TO SCORE OUTSIDE THE AREA- 11/2

UNITED TO WIN TO NIL- 10/11

LUKAKU TO SCORE FIRST AND UNITED TO WIN 4-1- 28/1

(BET365)

TOTAL GOALS AND BTTS – OVER 2.5 AND NO – (link no longer available)

ANYTIME GOALSCORER – JOE ALLEN – (link no longer available)

HALF TIME/ FULL TIME – DRAW/MAN UNITED – (link no longer available)

DOUBLE CHANCE – DRAW OR STOKE – (link no longer available)10/3[/bet365oddslink]

Bournemouth vs Arsenal

The Vitality Stadium hosts Bournemouth vs Arsenal on Sunday as both sides look for their first wins of 2018, after last weekend’s FA Cup action, seeing Arsenal knocked out and Bournemouth forced into a replay.

After crashing out of the FA Cup last weekend, Arsenal will be desperate to get back on track with three points at the Vitality Stadium. The 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest drew further criticism on Arsene Wenger, with the holders failing to make it past the third round for this first time under the Frenchman.

In midweek, the Gunners put in a valiant display as they drew 0-0 with Chelsea in the first-leg of their Carabao Cup tie. Despite already missing Mesut Ozil, who is also likely to miss the game against the Cherries, Wenger opted to leave Alexis Sanchez on the bench. The Chilean international is subject to heavy speculation with only six months left on his contract. His likely destination has been the Etihad Stadium since the summer. Although rumours are now circulating that Manchester United are also interested. A rumoured bid of 25 million pounds plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan could see the Gunners part with their star man, six months before they lose him for free.

Will Sanchez be leaving for Manchester? Photo Credit: skysports.com

Bournemouth have won just one of their last 12 games in all competitions. Eddie Howe’s side have struggled of late, collecting just eight points from their last 30 available in the Premier League. They did, however, secure victory in their last home game as they beat Everton 2-1. Sitting just one point above the drop zone, it’s clear the Cherries need to improve if they want to secure a fourth successive season in the top flight.

Their main struggle has been keeping clean sheets. In those last 12 games, they’ve managed just one shutout and have conceded 24 goals in that time, averaging at two per game. If they want any chance of Premier League survival, Howe has got to get his side defending better, starting this weekend. With games against relegation rivals West Ham, Stoke and Huddersfield to come in the next month, it’s crucial that they begin to start turning in some better displays.

Cook managed to grab The Cherries a last minute equaliser against Wigan last week in the FA Cup Photo Credit: skysports.com

Since promotion to the Premier League, Bournemouth have collected just one point from five meetings with the Gunners. Having scored 13 goals in those games five games, it’s clear that Arsenal have a great record against Eddie Howe’s side. Kevin Friend is in charge of the match on Sunday and he has an average booking points total of just 23.6. That score ranks him third lowest in the division, with Friend averaging just 2.4 yellow cards a game. He’s also yet to show a red card to any player this season, in 11 matches.

After last week’s embarrassing result, I think Arsenal will be determined to get three points on Sunday. With the future of Sanchez still so unclear, Wenger will be desperate for his side to grab the headlines with his team’s performance. Given Bournemouth’s defensive vulnerability, I think Arsenal to win and over 2.5 goals would be a great bet.

 

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-3 Arsenal

 

Suggested Tips

(SKYBET)

CORRECT SCORE ARSENAL TO WIN 3-1- 11/1

LACAZETTE TO SCORE FIRST AND ARSENAL TO WIN 4-0- 75/1

KING AND TO SANCHEZ TO BOTH SCORE- 6/1

ARSENAL TO WIN AND OVER 2.5 GOALS- 5/4

WILSON AND OZIL TO SCORE, ARSENAL TO WIN AND OVER 4.5 GOALS- 20/1

(BET365)

HALF TIME/FULL TIME -DRAW/ARSENAL –  (link no longer available)

ANYTIME GOALSCORER – CHARLIE DANIELS – (link no longer available)

DOUBLE CHANCE – BOURNEMOUTH OR DRAW – (link no longer available)

TEAM TOTAL GOALS – ARSENAL OVER 2.5 – (link no longer available)

Cardiff City vs Sunderland

SkyBet Championship action this weekend with Cardiff City vs Sunderland kicking off on Saturday morning. Both sides are in need of points to push on from their respective positions.

Both sides have fared very differently thus far in the campaign. Cardiff will be looking to gain more points to cement themselves at least a play off spot. Meanwhile, Sunderland will be hoping to close the gap on the teams above them to climb out of the relegation zone.

The hosts have enjoyed a great season so far, with them smashing expectations as they currently sit third in the SkyBet Championship. Neil Warnock has implemented a hardworking mindset with the Bluebirds, who have become a tough unit to get past, having conceded 25 goals in their 26 League matches.

Hoilett has been in good form for Cardiff, scoring 6 goals and providing 6 assists so far this season Photo Credit: skysports.com

Attacker, Junior Hoilett, has been at the forefront of Cardiff’s success. The winger has scored six league goals and also has six assists. The pace of Hoilett has caused defences havoc and could happen again this Saturday. Facing a team bottom of the table can always be a tough ask and Cardiff’s recent form doesn’t make for pretty reading. Having lost four of their last five, is it possible for them to turn things around?

Skybet Correct Score Group Betting – Cardiff to Win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 – 6/4

McGeady is top scorer for the Black Cats with 5 so far this season, after Lewis Grabban returned to Bournemouth Photo Credit: cardiffcityfc.co.uk

The visitors need to get points quickly, as they sit bottom of the SkyBet Championship. Chris Coleman has created moments of hope for the Sunderland supporters since arriving at the Stadium of Light; as all seemed doomed before. They are beginning to score more goals, something they were struggling with earlier in the season; they’ve scored 29 goals in 26 matches.

Skybet Match Result – Sunderland to Win – 4/1

Cardiff have enjoyed playing at home this season, having scored two or more goals in 61% of their home Championship matches. Sunderland have also fared better on the road than at home, scoring two or more in 38% of their away games.

Cardiff have been awarded an average of 4.8 corners this season. Sunderland have been awarded an average of 4.5 corners.

Andrew Madley will take charge of this fixture. The referee has awarded an average of 29.1 booking points in his 22 Championship matches and hasn’t awarded a red card so far this campaign.

 

Score Prediction: 1-1 Draw. Cardiff will enjoy plenty of possession, however Sunderland aren’t a typical bottom of the table side.

Suggested Tips

(SkyBet)

  • Aiden McGeady to score from outside the penalty area – 12/1
  • RequestAbet Up to 10/1 – Cardiff to win, BTTS, Under 12 match corners and Under 40 match booking points – 7/1
  • Both Players to Score – Omar Bogle and Junior Hoilett – 6/1
  • Player Carded Accumulators – Joe Ralls and Bryan Oviedo both to be carded – 28/1

(Bet365)

  • Correct Score – 1-1 – (link no longer available)
  • Anytime Goalscorer – Junior Hoilett – (link no longer available)
  • Half time/Full Time – Draw/Draw – (link no longer available)
  • Total Goals/Both Teams to Score – Under 2.5 & Yes – (link no longer available)

Liverpool vs Manchester City

The league’s best attacking sides go head to head at Anfield with Liverpool vs Manchester City clashing this Sunday. We could be in for a goal fest this weekend!

Pep Guardiola’s men are still yet to lose in the league campaign, with a trip to Anfield likely to be one of their toughest tasks yet. After winning at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge already this season, if they can navigate this fixture without defeat, it’s tough to see who could stop them. It did, however, take a stoppage-time Sergio Aguero goal to see them past Bristol City in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final. After going in at the break a goal behind, goals from Kevin De Bruyne and then Sergio Aguero sealed the win.

That result showed that there are ways of getting at this City side. Bristol City’s high-pressing game contained City for Guardiola’s side for large portions of the game and ultimately lead to them opening the scoring. With John Stones just back from injury and Eliaquim Mangala still looking out of place, City were far from convincing defensively, something Jurgen Klopp’s men will look to exploit.

De Bruyne, David Silva and Sane will be hoping to keep City’s undefeated streak going at Anfield Photo Credit: skysports.com

Liverpool sealed their place in the next round of the FA Cup after beating Everton. That win means the Reds have won five of their last six games, including their last four. Unbeaten since October, Liverpool will be hoping the signing of Virgil van Dijk can help continue that run. The 75-million-pound defender scored on his full debut last week and will help plug a leaky backline that has threatened to derail Liverpool’s top four hopes. Against City, Van Dijk will be put under the microscope as he is put up against the division’s finest attackers.

In attack, Liverpool will be hoping to welcome back Mohamad Salah after he missed last week’s derby win. They will obviously be without Phillipe Coutinho, who completed his move to Barcelona this week, but they have a number of players ready to step into his shoes for this game. There’s no doubt the little Brazilian will be missed on Merseyside, but with an abundance of attacking options and the January window open, I think Liverpool got the better end of the £142 million-pound deal. With Adam Lallana now back fit alongside Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, the Reds have plenty in reserve.

Can Mane, Salah and Firmino fill the void left by Coutinho? Photo Credit: skysports.com

Despite losing 5-0 in the reverse fixture last September, Liverpool have won five of their last nine meetings with City, losing just three times. Similarly, City haven’t won at Anfield since 2003, 15 years ago. Andre Marriner has been appointed as referee for this game. Marriner is regarded to be a calm, ‘safe pair of hands’ having only brandished one red card this season. He has also only shown 36 yellow cards in his 15 matches to date, averaging at 2.4 a game. He has the sixth lowest average booking points in the league, with 27.3 per game.

With both sides boasting such a wealth of attacking talent, there will be goals in this game. I think that it will end a draw, with both teams to score a very safe bet. I wouldn’t rule out btts in both halves either if you’re feeling lucky.

 

Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City

 

Suggested Tips

(SKYBET)

CORRECT SCORE DRAW 2-2- 9/1

BTTS AND OVER 3.5 GOALS- 5/2

AGUERO TO SCORE AND CITY TO WIN- 7/4

SALAH TO SCORE FIRST AND LIVERPOOL TO WIN 3-2- 80/1

BTTS IN BOTH HALVES- 8/1

MANE AND STERLING TO BOTH SCORE- 15/2

(BET365)

ANYTIME GOALSCORER – VIRGIL VAN DJIK – (link no longer available)

HALF TIME/FULL TIME – DRAW/DRAW – (link no longer available)

TO SCORE IN BOTH HALVES – LIVERPOOL – (link no longer available)