Michael Owen’s weekend wagers - Manchester sides will share spoils
A wonderful weekend of Premier League action to look forward to with three mouth-watering derbies and once again Brand Ambassador Michael Owen shared his thoughts on the fixtures with BetVictor.
Aston Villa V Swansea
Neither side go into the game in a rich vein of form and I was disappointed with Swansea against Stoke earlier in the week. Garry Monk’s side have only picked up two points from their last five PL games on the road but a draw might suit the Swans more than the hosts who go into the game one point and one place off the foot of the table. It could be a long winter for former European Champions Villa.
Michael’s recommendation: Game to finish in a draw at 11/5
Leicester City v Crystal Palace
Palace have won nine of their last 12 away PL games but they face a Foxes side who never know when they are beaten and have a striker in Jamie Vardy who has scored in six successive PL games. Both sides have scored in every game the Foxes have been involved in this season, including pre-season friendlies, and that must again be the call against an Eagles’ side who are such a threat on their travels.
Michael’s recommendation: Both Teams To Score at 8/13
Norwich v WBA
Norwich have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and manager Alex Neil will be smarting after their heavy defeat at St James’s Park last weekend. I am sure the Canaries will have been working overtime on their defensive duties in training this week and I don’t expect to see many chances or goals at Carrow Road.
Michael’s recommendation: Under 1.5 goals at 9/4
Stoke City v Watford
The Potters have won their last three PL games and I take them to make it four in a row against a Hornets side who were, ultimately, no match for Arsenal last weekend and are struggling for goals with just six in their nine PL games this term.
Michael’s recommendation: Stoke to win at 23/20
West Ham v Chelsea
It is almost three years since West Ham scored a goal against the Champions and with United and City going head-to-head at Old Trafford on Sunday this could be a pivotal weekend in the title race. The Blues have kept clean sheets in their last two games and will need to be at their best against a talented Hammers’ side led by the excellent Dimitri Payet who has created more goalscoring opportunities (39) than any other PL player so far this season.
Michael’s recommendation: Chelsea to win at 19/20
Arsenal v Everton
After a famous European night at the Emirates the Gunners cannot afford to take their foot off the accelerator even allowing for the fact that Everton were not at their best against United last weekend. Arsenal have only lost one of their last 16 PL games with Everton and I can’t see past another home win.
Michael’s recommendation: Arsenal to win to nil at 13/8
Sunderland v Newcastle
Sunderland have won the last five Tyne-Wear derbies and my old Club haven’t scored in almost nine hours of football against the Black Cats! Sam Allardyce becomes the first manager to have taken charge of both clubs in a Tyne-Wear derby and it promises to be a feisty and tense affair. The Magpies might have scored six last weekend to ease the pressure on Steve McClaren but it will count for little if their desperate recent record against Sunderland continues. I don’t expect many goals.
Michael’s recommendation: no goalscorer at 19/2
Bournemouth v Spurs
The Cherries have found the back of the net in their last seven PL games but I expect Spurs to have too much for Eddie Howe’s side who have had more than their share of injuries. Spurs were in Europa League action on Thursday night in Belgium but they have a big squad to choose from and they are a confident selection to take all three points back to the capital.
Michael’s recommendation: Spurs to win at 5/4
Manchester United v Manchester City
A fixture that I will always look back fondly on and I would like to wish my “old” friend Wayne Rooney a happy 30th birthday for Saturday.
The United skipper has scored more goals (11) in Manchester derbies than any other player and when you think of all the magnificent players who have worn the famous red and blue that speaks volumes.
It promises to be a cracker and I can see United taking a lead before being pegged back by the league leaders.
Michael’s recommendation: United to lead at half-time and a draw at full-time at 16/1
Liverpool v Southampton
Jurgen Klopp’s first PL home game in charge of the Reds and Anfield is sure to be rocking for the visit of Southampton who threw away a two-goal lead against Leicester City last weekend. The Saints were excellent at Stamford Bridge in their last PL game on the road but I fancy Liverpool to nick it especially if Daniel Sturridge, as expected, returns to the starting XI.
Michael’s recommendation: Liverpool to win at Evens
Michael’s weekend wager: Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal all to win at 6/1