With the domestic season taking a break next weekend for international fixtures, all clubs will be hoping they can get the right result so they can enjoy the respite. Here are Kurt Bristoll’s best bets for this weekend from the Premier League, Championship and La Liga.
Sunderland v Southampton – Southampton to win
Southampton had a difficult start to the season but it seems they have now hit their stride and are starting to play the style of football that was so successful for them last term. Sunderland, on the other hand, have started the season badly and continued that way. Saints are unbeaten in their last five matches, with three wins and two draws, whilst Black Cats have only one win in their last five and have only managed six points from 11 games this term. The hosts were beaten 6-2 last week away to Everton and defended poorly, and with Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane in great form, Southampton should be able to take advantage.
Best odds: 4/5 (Paddy Power)
West Ham v Everton – Over 2.5 Goals
This is a match that is very difficult to call a winner for as both sides have been inconsistent in the league this season. West Ham have beaten Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea but then lost at home to Leicester and Bournemouth. Everton looked impressive in their 6-2 win against Sunderland but were beaten comfortably by Man United and Arsenal before that. One thing that should be easy to call in this game, however, is goals; hopefully lots of them. In West Ham’s last five matches there have been a total of 17 goals and in Everton’s last five games there have been 18. So backing over 2.5 goals in this game seems to be the best bet.
Best odds: 5/6 (Sky Bet).
Arsenal v Tottenham – Arsenal to win and over 2.5 goals in the match
The North London derby normally provides great entertainment and with Arsenal looking to bounce back from their 5-1 Champions League humiliation by Bayern Munich, we could have another classic on our hands. Arsenal have been very impressive in the league this season, they are currently second, only behind Man City on goal difference. After a poor start to the season, Spurs have finally have looked much better as of late, especially in their previous two victories against Aston Villa and Bournemouth. Last season saw both sides picking up 2-1 victories and I can see a similar result here. I expect that there will be a few goals but Arsenal should have enough to come out on top in this one.
Best odds: 6/5 (Paddy Power).
Charlton v Sheffield Wednesday – Sheffield Wednesday to win
Charlton are in serious trouble in the Championship; they are in the relegation zone and are on a terrible run of form. The hosts haven’t won in the league since the end of August and have lost their last five games without scoring a single goal. Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten in their last five – including a fantastic 3-0 win over Arsenal in the Capital One Cup – and have only conceded one goal. I expect Wednesday to heap more misery onto Charlton with a comfortable victory here.
Best odds: 11/8 (Paddy Power).
Barcelona v Villarreal – Barcelona to win and both teams to score
Even without Messi, Barcelona have been brilliant in the past few weeks, with Luis Suarez and Neymar combining well in the absence of their Argentinian strike partner. They are level on points with Real Madrid, only behind on goal difference as it stands. Villareal will be happy with their start to the season and they are currently fifth, four point behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. This should be a great game but I feel that Barca will take all three points in this one. In their last five home games, the hosts have won despite both teams scoring and they beat Villarreal 3-1 home and away last season. So put your money on Barcelona to win and both teams to net here.
Best odds: 15/8 (Coral).
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