The Premier League returns from the international break with a bumper day of action on Saturday where some of the biggest fixtures in the competition take place on a day where the three pre-season title favourites are all on show.
The extended schedule on Saturday has given us an extra TV game to enjoy so we now open the day with a TV match and end it with two more. The five games in the traditional slots will have all the updates in all the usual places.
Early Kick Off
The Premier League resumes at Anfield where title chasing Liverpool welcome their rivals from across Stanley Park in Everton for the maiden Merseyside Derby of the campaign. Liverpool will move to the top of the table for a few hours at least were they to come out on top in this match but Everton are already scrapping for points at the wrong end of the table and it would be a surprise if Sean Dyche’s men go down without a significant fight.
We have five matches slated for the 3pm kick off slot on Saturday, although the storms ripping through the country might have a say in whether one or two go ahead. The champions Manchester City will look to move back to the top of the table for a few hours at least when they entertain Brighton and Hove Albion in what should be a treat for those with tickets. Newcastle United will be looking to continue their form prior to the international break when they host an injury ravaged Crystal Palace side.
Three other matches take place in this kick off slot and they could each have implications at the bottom end of the table. Luton Town are outside the relegation zone on the resumption of the competition and they head to the City Ground looking for three points against Nottingham Forest, while Burnley will be hoping to take advantage of a Hatters slip up when they head to the capital to take on Brentford. The former and present clubs of Gary O’Neil meet in the other match when AFC Bournemouth welcome their former manager and his Wolverhampton Wanderers side to the Vitality Stadium.
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We have two evening matches in the Premier League this particular Saturday. Arsenal will have the chance to be top of the Premier League table for at least 48 hours when they compete in the first of the two games. They head to Stamford Bridge to take on rivals Chelsea, who were just showing signs of getting it together prior to the international break. When they are done rock bottom Sheffield United will look for a famous night under the Bramall Lane floodlights when they entertain a Manchester United who really need a victory to keep the doubters a little quieter.
I’ll go with a couple of bets over the course of the afternoon with the first of them coming from the capital where Brentford look far too short to me at odds on against a Burnley side who have started the season miserably but who have just had two weeks to get together and work things out and who actually have had a horrendous start to the campaign in terms of opponents faced. In Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Newcastle United, Burnley might well have faced six sides who will finish in the top half this season, if not higher than just the top 10. They have lost them all but in the other two matches, against Nottingham Forest and Luton, sides who are pretty much certain to finish in the bottom half they have a draw which would have been a win but for a ridiculous disallowed goal and a win. I’m not convinced Brentford finish in the top half this season and nothing they have shown me so far suggests that. We knew having no Ivan Toney was going to be a problem but the keeper situation looks a mess while Rico Henry and Aaron Hickie are missing here too. Brentford have just one win to their name this season which came away to 10 man Fulham, a side who are grossly overrated in my eyes. If that wasn’t enough Brentford have been stewing on that late collapse at Old Trafford a couple of weeks ago. Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Everton, fellow bottom half sides, have all been to this part of London and come out with a result. I fancy Burnley to add their name to the list.
The other bet is a fairly obvious one in Newcastle United to cover a -1 Asian line against Crystal Palace. I probably wouldn’t have touched this in a week where Newcastle host Dortmund were it not for the injuries that Palace have at the present time, in particular to Ebere Eze and Michael Olise who are their two best players in forward areas by a distance. Only Brighton have scored more goals than Newcastle this season and only Liverpool have left this part of the country with anything so I don’t see Palace joining that club. Alexander Isak skipped international duty in midweek which means he was nowhere near the devastating scenes in Brussels and a progressive Newcastle should have too much for a weakened Palace side who have just two goals in their last four matches.
Back Burnley (+0.5AH) to beat Brentford for a 3/10 stake at 2.06 with Bet365
Back Newcastle United (-1AH) to beat Crystal Palace for a 3/10 stake at 1.70 with Bet365