Rich Laverty gives his tips on a selection of games from this weekend’s Premier League and Bundesliga action.
Stoke v Sunderland – BTTS
In what could turn out to be an early relegation six-pointer, the two teams currently footing the Premier League table are pitted together on Saturday. Unsurprisingly, neither side are particularly solid at the back – Stoke have only kept two clean sheets in the league in 2016, whilst the visitors have managed just four – and so a punt on both teams to score looks a good bet.
Sunderland’s Jermaine Defoe is particularly hot away from home, with 13 of his last 19 Premier League goals coming on the road, and you wouldn’t bet against the Englishman scoring again against a Stoke defence that have already conceded 16 goals this season, the second highest in the league. The hosts are stronger in attack, however, and although the goals haven’t flowed so far this season, they have created a fair amount of chances. With players like Marko Arnautovic, who grabbed a brace against Wales during the international break, Xherdan Shaqiri and Wilfried Bony, Stoke possess the tools to trouble David Moyes’ Sunderland defence.
Best Odds: 13/15 (188 Bet)
Manchester City to beat Everton and over 2.5 goals
After failing to win their last two games, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City should return after the international break like a side raring to put things right again. Guardiola teams seldom lose two in a row, whilst losses at home are even rarer. Every City game at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions have resulted in a home victory this season, and in fact all but one these games have featured more than two goals (the exception being Steaua Bucharest, where City already had a 5-goal advantage from the first leg). After a strong start, Ronald Koeman’s Everton have slowed down recently with no wins in their last three, and a trip to the Etihad is probably the last thing they needed.
Best Odds: 21/20 (Bet Stars)
Koln to beat Ingolstadt (H)
Koln have been one of the surprise packages of the Bundesliga this season and will be looking to continue their good form against winless Ingolstadt. Sitting in fourth and still unbeaten – they even got a point from their trip to the Allianz Arena a fortnight ago – it’s unlikely that a side that have scored just three goals in six league games this season will cause them too much trouble. Koln’s tight defence is arguably their strongest attribute, with just one goal conceded at home so far.
Best Odds: 4/5 (Betfair)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score against Liverpool (A)
This tip didn’t quite work out last weekend, but if you watched the game against Stoke, you’ll hopefully understand why I’ve tipped Zlatan to score again. Ibrahimovic was presented with several clear-cut chances against Stoke and although he didn’t put them away – largely thanks to some man-of-the-match goalkeeping from Lee Grant – he keeps getting into great goalscoring positions. If that continues, it’ll be inevitable that he scores. Although Liverpool have been exciting in their free-flowing attacking this season, their defence remains an issue and it’s quite likely that a clear goalscoring opportunity will fall to Ibrahimovic yet again. Hopefully, this time he’ll take it.
Best Odds: 2/1 (Betfair)
Written by Rich Laverty
Follow Rich @RichJLaverty