Matchweek 13 is upon us. Manchester City remain eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after extending their winning run to 10 matches with last weekend’s 2-0 win at Leicester, although things might have been different had Vincent Kompany seen red for his early foul on Jamie Vardy.
Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne ensured City maintained the gap over nearest challengers Manchester United, who beat Newcastle 4-1, while Chelsea and Liverpool also secured comfortable wins. Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Tottenham meant that five of the top six were winners, with Spurs losing ground on all of their rivals. Last season’s top six occupy the top six positions, although Burnley are level on points with both Liverpool and Arsenal after their 2-0 win over Swansea.
The 13th round of matches kicks off with Leicester’s visit to West Ham on tonight, with Liverpool’s clash with Chelsea being the pick of the weekend’s action on Saturday evening.
Premier League Tips: Chelsea scheduling woes
Chelsea recorded their third successive win without conceding when they thrashed Qarabag 4-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday. But afterwards, manager Antonio Conte once more complained about the unfairness of his side’s schedule. Conte was furious earlier in the season when the Blues had to face Manchester City on the Saturday after a Wednesday night trip to Atletico Madrid and he was livid again that his side would have one full day’s rest after returning from Baku before the match at Anfield.
The Italian has a point – in a fairer system not dictated by the needs of broadcasters this game would have been played on Sunday – and the schedule may well play into Liverpool’s hands. Gary Cahill, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata should return to the starting line-up to freshen things up, but Chelsea may find it hard to sustain a frenetic pace for 90 minutes.
Chelsea are likely to sit deep in an effort to nullify the pace of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, but they did the same against City and faded as the game wore on, with Kevin De Bruyne’s second half goal giving Pep Guardiola’s side all three points.
Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have been strong at home against the best opposition, going unbeaten in their last 11 league matches at Anfield against the other members of the big six, winning six of those games. They are frequently criticised for their defending, but they have kept four successive clean sheets at Anfield, with Arsenal and Manchester United both drawing a blank on their visits this season.
Premier League Tips: Will Manchester United turn around their away losing streak?
Manchester United continue to struggle away from home, losing three of their last four games on the road. But they have a 100 per cent record at Old Trafford this season, winning all nine games in all competitions. They have led at half time in seven of those games and with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in action after injury they have extra firepower upon which to call.
Jose Mourinho doesn’t win too many plaudits for United’s style of play, but they have been dominant at home in the Premier League, winning each of their six games. They have scored 19 goals and conceded just one – Dwight Gayle’s early strike for Newcastle last weekend. United turned it round with two goals to lead by half time.
Brighton are unbeaten in five, but now face their toughest run of games so far and if their defending against Stoke was any indication, they will struggle to cope with a powerful United side at set pieces. Their most difficult away assignments so far this season have come at Leicester and Arsenal and they trailed 1-0 at half time in each before going on to lose both games 2-0.
Premier League Tips: Swansea Stuck in a Rut
Bournemouth struggled in the early part of the season but they have come good in recent weeks. This could be the ideal time for them to visit Swansea. The Welsh club are stuck in a rut and manager Paul Clement is under increasing pressure after a run of seven defeats in eight games that has seen them slump to 19th place. The Swans have lost each of the last five, scoring just two goals, while they have lost five of their first six home league games.
They have managed only four goals at the Liberty Stadium and just three on their travels, and only bottom club Crystal Palace have scored fewer goals in English football.
Bournemouth, on the other hand, have won four of their last five games in all competitions, including their last two away league games at Stoke and Newcastle. They were 4-0 winners over Huddersfield last weekend with Callum Wilson helping himself to a hat-trick in just his fourth game of the season.
Premier League Tips: Man City show no signs of slowing the pace
Given the emphatic nature of Manchester City’s performances this season it’s something of a surprise they have won only one of their last nine matches by a three-goal margin – the 3-0 home win over Burnley on October 21st.
However, they have won an English record 17 consecutive games in all competitions and with several key players rested for the midweek win over Feyenoord they can get back among the goals at Huddersfield on Sunday. City have won every away game they have played this season and will have Leroy Sane, David Silva, Fabian Delph, Fernandinho and Vincent Kompany all back at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Huddersfield have won their last two home games, against Manchester United and West Brom, but this fixture has the feeling of their home game against Spurs at the end of September, which they lost 4-0.
The bigger picture for the Terriers, who started the season so well, is that they are beginning to feel the pace of the Premier League, losing four of their last six games without scoring and going down 4-0 against 10 men at Bournemouth last weekend.
Recommended Bets Overview
|Liverpool vs Chelsea||Draw HT / Liverpool FT win||5.5*|
|Man Utd vs Brighton||United HT / United FT||1.7*|
|Swansea vs Bournemouth||Bournemouth win||2.8*|
|Huddersfield vs Man City||City -2 handicap||2.6*|
*Odds at publication. Subject to change.