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  • Chris Sobey

Football


It was another action packed, drama filled weekend of domestic Premier League and EFL football action and Liverpool are the new Premiership leaders by three points after they swept aside a plucky Cardiff City 4-1 with their typical high speed tempo pressing, passing and attacking game. The Reds star forwards and attacking players stole the show again with Salah, Mane and second half sub Shaqiri all scoring and Mane bagged a brace. Bournemouth continued their impressive start to the season as predicted in Friday’s article thrashing a defensively inept Fulham 3-0.

The win moved the Cherries up to sixth place and in touch of the European places, however, the big question is how long talented manager Eddie Howe and his star players so far this season can keep this level-up. If they can hang on and stay close to the top five it’s possible Howe may get involved in the January transfer window and strengthen his squad if they are still in contention for the top-five come January, especially if he loses any key first team players to longer term injury.

Watford also continued their impressive start to the season thrashing rock bottom Huddersfield 3-0 at Vicarage Road and it was Watford’s mix of talented and creative foreign forwards and attacking players stars like Pererya, Deulofeu and striker Success who dominated proceedings and scored the goals. Brighton striker Murray’s late fitness clearance from concussion given on Friday night proved to be a god send, as he proved to be the difference between the two closely matched teams scoring the only goal and match winner just a few minutes in to the second half. The win moves the Gulls up to mid-table and safe from the relegation scrap.

Struggling Southampton and Newcastle Utd played out a drab 0-0 draw by all accounts which leaves them both right bang in the middle of the relegation fight, but Newcastle manager Rafa will have been more content with a point than Hughes I expect and Hughes could be a good contender at present as the Next Premier League managers to leave as he seems to have done little to improve things at St Mary’s. The tea-time kick-off between mid-table Leicester City and struggling West Ham ended in stalemate but provided plenty of drama with the Hammers taking a first half lead thanks to Balbuena, but then going down to ten men soon after and then cruelly conceding a late 89th minute equalizer from Ndidi.

On Super Sunday Chelsea sent out a clear warning to title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool when they thrashed Burney 4-0 at Turf Moor and the win moved them up to second two points behind leaders Liverpool. Also, it was promising to see one of England’s bright young stars Barkley bossing affairs, setting up the first goal and scoring one himself. Now he’s a first team regular at Chelsea, getting more and more game time and looking like the real thing surely England manager Southgate must start using him more regularly in the first team.

Arsenal blew a great chance to move in to the title race against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park yesterday. They went behind just before half-time but came out in the second half with a real purpose and were 2-1 within five minutes with goals from, Xhaka and Aubameyang. However, Palace managed to stay in touch for the remainder of the second half and it was once again defensive frailties that robbed the Gunners of three points when they conceded a penalty close to full-time and Palace managed to hang on for a valuable point, the game ending 2-2.

Manchester United rounded off Super Sunday with a comfortable win against Everton at Od Trafford and the win moves United up to eighth above Everton in the League, but there still four points off the top-six and everyone involved with club will be hoping for further improvement if they want to be involved in the title race and automatic qualification for the Champions League this season.

Tonight, Spurs face Manchester City at Wembley tonight and in terms of the title race it’s a massive game for both teams as if City win they draw level with Liverpool again on points but if Spurs cause an upset they would move up to joint second on points with Chelsea. City thrashed Spurs 3-1 at Wembley last April in the league but this one may be a bit closer as City have not hit top gear so far this season in my opinion and there’s big pressure and expectation on them to win as they are reigning league champions and currently the best team in the league. From a betting perspective I think City will just edge this one and I think Sterling is good value to score at anytime during the 90 minutes as he’s started this season on fire in terms of goals. If you are looking for better value you may want to consider the score win double of City and Sterling.

Finally, it was sad weekend for domestic football as former Spurs and England International star Glenn Hoddle, who was celebrating his 61st birthday, was rushed to hospital on Saturday afternoon after suffering a heart attack while working as a pundit for BT Sports. He’s reported to be in a critical condition but is responding well to treatment. The afternoon became even worse, however, when the Thai owner of Leicester City’s helicopter crashed soon after take-off just outside of the King Power stadium with him on board. Nothing has been confirmed yet but it obviously has come as a huge shock for everyone concerned with Leicester City football club as the owner was obviously much loved after taking the club from obscurity to Premier League champions when they were 5000/1 outsiders after nearly being relegated the previous season.

In the EFL Championship newly promoted Sheffield United knocked Leeds off top-spot on Saturday after they thrashed League One 2017/2018 champions Wigan 4-2 at Brammal Lane and Leeds could only manage a 1-1 draw at Elland Road against Forest in the tea-time kick-off. The win and Leeds dropped points means the Blades have a two point lead, but with only four points separating the top-six and the league being so competitive it will be a huge achievement if the Blades gain automatic promotion back to the Premier League considering they were lingering down in League One only last season.

Selections:

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