Our betting guru Jones Knows thinks Manchester United and Arsenal could play out a bore draw while Brentford are backed to get a result at Spurs.
Tottenham vs Brentford, Thursday 7.30pm
The market certainly has more faith in Tottenham than I do. They are trading at 8/13 with Sky Bet, suggesting that there is a 60 per cent chance of them winning the match. That would normally be the case when hosting a newly promoted team but Brentford have shown they are no ordinary newly promoted team. Thomas Frank’s team carry a huge attacking threat, and are the seventh best team in the Premier League when it comes to the expected goals performance data. They’ve backed that up with actual results, too, winning at West Ham and Wolves already this season.
Spurs still lack fluidity, and Antonio Conte will need a transfer window or two to properly put his stamp on a squad that needs a refresh. Brentford are more than good enough to match them.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Brentford to win or draw (5/4 with Sky Bet)
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Manchester United vs Arsenal, Thursday 8.15pm
Ralf Rangnick’s is an exciting appointment for Manchester United that brings with it an intriguing style change. His paperwork hasn’t been completed in time for the visit of Arsenal, so it will be Michael Carrick-ball again this Thursday. It’s been a sensible, albeit pragmatic, approach that has led United to two good results since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure. It will be more of the same here.
Arsenal’s approach will be similar. Mikel Arteta is building a solid unit that revolves around defensive security, especially on the road where they’ve only scored three goals in their six away games. A tight, cagey encounter is expected – and I want to be against goals and cards.
The under 2.5 goals line has been well found in the market at 4/6, but there is some juice surrounding the card line as referee Martin Atkinson is a very lenient official. Over the past two seasons his average of just 2.4 cards per 90 minutes ranks him firmly towards the bottom of the strictness scale. In a game that isn’t likely to open up, the 11/4 for under 30 booking points is worth following.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-0
BETTING ANGLE: Under 30 booking points (11/4 with Sky Bet)
Premier League Review: Was Carrick right to drop Ronaldo? Pressure on Rafa ahead of derby, Howe’s problems and title tips
On the latest Essential Football Podcast Alice Piper is joined by Sky Sports football writers Gerard Brand and Ben Grounds to look back on another big weekend at both ends of the Premier League table after Chelsea’s lead slipped following a 1-1 draw with Man Utd at Stamford Bridge.
PART 1 | Was Michael Carrick right to opt against starting Cristiano Ronaldo – and should United have signed him at all? United’s interim-to-the-interim manager’s tactics are assessed ahead of Ralph Rangnick’s arrival, questions raised over Chelsea’s attacking prowess, while will Arsenal fancy facing this United side next given their own form?
PART 2 | Where does another bad result at Brentford leave Everton boss Rafa Benitez ahead of the Merseyside derby in midweek? Do Liverpool have anything to fear? And the curious case of Marcelo Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips…
PART 3 | Newcastle show Eddie Howe the scale of the task ahead of him with a six-pointer against Norwich next up, Aston Villa grind their way to victory again – and with two points separating the top three, who’s going to win the Premier League?
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