Alan Irvine must be thanking his lucky stars for Alan Pardew because, if it was not for the Newcastle manager’s problems, the West Bromwich boss would be back-page news all over the country rather than simply in the Black Country region.
One was taken aback when West Bromwich appointed Irvine and the gamble is not paying off for the Baggies. West Bromwich is level on points with Burnley, Crystal Palace and Pardew’s Newcastle at the foot of the English Premier League ladder, Irvine has done some questionable business in the transfer market – for example, Australia left back Jason Davidson does not strike one as a top-flight defender – and it would have crashed out of the English Capital One Cup to ordinary Oxford had it lost the penalty competition at The Hawthorns. Oxford is 22nd on the English League Two ladder, one place above the relegation zone, after eight rounds of action.
West Bromwich is an English Championship side masquerading as an English Premier League team and, therefore, one wants to back the Baggies to lose against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. BetVictor and Ladbrokes are quoting odds of -189 about Tottenham beating West Bromwich, odds that are perfectly given that Spurs are likely to finish in the top six and the Baggies, unless they get rid of Irvine and spend big money when the transfer window reopens, are likely to end up in the bottom three. West Bromwich fans are despondent about their side’s manager and players and rightfully, too.
West Ham’s record versus the heavyweights of the English Premier League is so poor that Liverpool has to enter one’s calculations at odds of -120 with BetVictor to accrue three points from its visit to the Boleyn Ground. Against the English Premier League’s seven highest finishers last season, West Ham won one and lost six of its seven home games and won one, drew one and lost five of its seven away matches. Already this term, West Ham has fallen to a 0-1 home loss versus Tottenham and, like Irvine, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce must be happy to Pardew is taking the heat.
Finally, it would be remiss of one not to cover the game of the round between English Premier League champion Manchester City and the favourite for this season’s title, Chelsea.
Chelsea won both of its English Premier League meetings with Manchester City last term – 1-0 at Etihad Stadium and 2-1 at Stamford Bridge – and one thinks that the Blues represent the value match bet if one is looking to have a punt.
One can bet one’s bottom dollar that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will come up with a tactical masterplan to beat Manchester City in enemy territory. The Special One will watch Manchester City’s UEFA Champions League loss at Bayern Munchen back on whatever technology he uses and note that Joe Hart was City’s star man and that Bayern’s winning margin really ought to have been two or three goals.
Chelsea and Manchester City has managed to keep only one clean sheet apiece this season – the Blues at home to promoted Leicester and the Citizens away to Newcastle – so goals look guaranteed and, of course, Mourinho’s team has a bloke by the name of Diego Costa leading its attack. Costa played just the final 20 minutes of Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League game at home to Schalke, with Mourinho’s gamble on resting the red-hot striker backfiring. Costa has scored seven goals in his four Chelsea starts since moving from Atletico Madrid and his presence makes one lean towards the Blues at odds of +212 with BetVictor to win the match.
Liverpool to beat West Ham
20th September 17:30 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
Chelsea to beat Man City
21st September 16:00 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
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