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If Black Friday deals weren’t forthcoming and the Autumn Budget did little for your finances, don’t panic, as this weekend’s football programme offers plenty of sound investments. The Premier League can be a case of haves and have-nots. But, this week, the advice is to keep it simple and go with the tried and tested.
Alli Your Ally
The West Bromwich Albion owners sacked Tony Pulis on Monday. I’m presuming the owners are hoping that they can entice someone to prevent them from slipping into the relegation zone – someone like, er, Tony Pulis. A trip to Wembley to face Tottenham isn’t perhaps the toughest assignment interim boss Gary Megson could have faced after taking over the reins, given Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won only half of their games at their adopted home in the league this season. However, it’s difficult to see the Baggies landing odds of 14/1 to secure a much-needed win – Spurs are 2/9, with the draw 5/1.
A come from behind win in Dortmund in midweek went a little way in subduing Tottenham’s North London derby blues from last Saturday and, as they haven’t suffered back to back top-flight defeats since the end of the 2015/16 campaign, this is a game that the hosts will surely win. Harry Kane has scored six goals in his five league appearances against West Brom, including a hat-trick in this fixture last term, but, at 17/10, is incredibly short to grab the opener. The alternative play is to punt Dele Alli – four goals in his last six starts – to score at any time, at 13/10.
Conte To Counter Klopp Culture
According to some, Liverpool’s collapse in Seville on Tuesday was ‘predictable’ and ‘par the course’. It’s revealing, then, that the bookmakers have basically taken no notice of any apparent defensive failings of the Merseysiders, as they price up Jurgen Klopp’s side as 11/10 favourites to defeat Chelsea in the marquee game of the weekend.
Chelsea, who endured a near six-hour flight back from Azerbaijan on Wednesday after beating Qarabag, are 5/2, with the draw also 5/2. The trip from Baku might have been long but the atmosphere on that charter flight will have been very different to the one on Liverpool’s return journey from Andalucía. So, the value here is to back Antonio Conte’s team to come away from Anfield with at least a point. The Londoners are 3/4 with a half a goal start on the Asian Handicap, which looks a terrific bet. Both teams have scored in 11 of their last 12 league meetings, suggesting that the 11/20 offer on it occurring again is an excellent punt.
For those looking for a first goalscorer bet, all the stats point to former Blue, Mohamed Salah, at 9/2. The Egyptian can boast nine top division goals this term and was signed by Chelsea after scoring home and away against them for Basel in the 2013/14 Champions League season.
De Bruyne The Belgian Banker
A point raised in a popular podcast this week suggested Manchester City haven’t been getting the recognition their play has deserved over the course of an incredible season that has seen them win 11 out of 12 Premier League games. They shouldn’t worry, as the layers have taken notice – Pep Guardiola’s side are just 1/7 to win the title – and punters are also happy to make City the cornerstone of their accumulators every weekend.
Should we think differently as they travel to take on Huddersfield this weekend? Probably not. As 2/11 shots go, they are perhaps one of the better short-priced jollies on the coupon, but as we’re not in the business of putting a stranglehold on the finances of the common man (we’ll let the Chancellor do that), a more lucrative play might be to back Kevin De Bruyne, at 15/2, to score the first goal. In 17 starts in all competitions, the Belgian has broken the deadlock three times, suggesting the odds available represent a shade of value. Elsewhere, as only three of the Terriers 14 games this term have witnessed both teams scoring, the 3/5 available that statistic stretches to three from 15 also looks attractive.