After Monday night’s win against Leicester at the Emirates, Arsenal go into this weekend’s game looking for their eighth consecutive Premier League victory – an incredible achievement by anyone’s standards but even more remarkable when we consider they lost their opening two league games.
However, while there’s no diminishing the impact of Unai Emery’s arrival in Islington, the seven straight wins have all been against teams outside the top six – just as this weekend’s game is – with the two defeats in their two openers against Man City and Chelsea. The real test of Emery’s credentials will come, now his side is fully up and running, when said big boys cross their paths again.
But that’s a hurdle for another day, and the Gunners head to Selhurst rightfully bursting full of confidence and belief – a midweek win against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League adding to their stunning run of form.
Yet it’s been a strange couple of months for the Gunners and even the most ardent Arsenal fans will probably admit that despite their fine run they have yet to find top gear. Against Leicester they struggled to make an impact early on and, in fact, fell behind, but they have individuals in the side who can make a difference even when things are not going well. Against Leicester that man was Mesut Özil, who scored the equaliser before having a hand in the other two goals.
TOP TIP! – Arsenal to win 2-1 – +800 / Draw @ half-time & Arsenal win @ full-time – +420
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And there are others in this Arsenal side who Emery can turn to even when the form isn’t as silky and fluid as he would choose, like Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang. Against sides outside the top six, these guys are able to turn a game – even one that appears to be slipping away from them – and Palace will be all too aware.
In Palace’s favour however, is that they are at home and rarely are the Gunner comfortable at Selhurst, even if their record there suggests otherwise. While the Eagles’ only win in recent years was the 3-0 in 2017, they’re invariably tight games that usually go the way of Arsenal by the odd goal.
But Palace are on a poor run and, after captain Luka Milivojevic missed a 60th-minute penalty at Goodison Park last Sunday, they slumped to a 2-0 defeat – their third in succession.
They are currently 15th in the Premier League – just two points clear of the relegation zone – and, even more concerning, they have scored only five times in nine top-flight games and only once in their last four. Incredibly, they also still await their first goal of the season at Selhurst Park.
If the Eagles are looking for positives though, there’s also the fact the Gunners have yet to keep a clean sheet away from home in the league this season, so, in that sense, something has to give.
Surprisingly, given the Gunners’ form, the draw is favoured by the bookies (7.50) but we find it hard to make a good case for anything other than an Arsenal win – even if a Wilfred Saha inspired Palace are certain to make life tough for them. We do see Palace scoring, maybe even taking the lead, before Arsenal’s extra class enables them to take control, and we’re tempted by 2-1 to Gunners ( +800 with Bet365).
On a similar basis, we also predict the teams to be level ay half-time with Arsenal winning after 90 minutes ( +420 with 888sport).
TOP TIP! – Man Utd to win 3-1 @ +1450 / Paul Pogba ‘anytime goalscorer @ +250
The Jose Mourinho soap opera continues apace but on the pitch things have stabilised for the Red Devils. Last weekend’s clash with Chelsea at the Bridge was, of course, dominated by the United manager’s reaction to some provocation from the opposite technical area – following a late Chelsea equaliser – but it disguised a really good performance by the Reds.
The issues around Paul Pogba and his fractious relationship with his manager have subsided, at least for the time being, and while their league position is not what they either hoped or expected, there’s an air of optimism around Old Trafford again.
Everton too are on the upward curve and have won their last three games, so it promises to be a good one.
But we think home advantage will count for a lot, and even though we also fancy the Toffees to get themselves a goal, of more relevance will be United’s last home game when they came back from two down against Newcastle to win 3-2. Rumours that this United team are not playing for their manager have been well and truly dispelled over the last two games.
Equally relevant is that United are unbeaten in their last seven games against Everton, and so despite the improvement in fortunes for Marco Silva’s men – consecutive wins over Fulham, Leicester and Crystal Palace have taken them to the top half of the table – it will be a tough afternoon for the visitors from Merseyside.
Everton, who have only won once away from home this term, have scored two goals in three of their last four games, while on the flip side United have conceded at least two in their last three league matches – so everything points to there being some goals at both ends.
In terms of head-to-heads, United unsurprisingly lead the way but by not such a huge margin as we’d expect – 87 wins compared to Everton’s 69, with 43 draws.
But we’re with the bookies on this one and strongly fancy a United win. 2-1 is attractive, not least because we expect Everton to score, but we’re going bold and going for 3-1 to United ( +1400 with Bet365), and also Paul Pogba as ‘anytime goalscorer’ ( +250 with 888sport).
TOP TIPS! – Leroy Sane as first goalscorer @ +700 / Man City to win 2-0 @ +850
Until now, Pep Guardiola’s City side have looked unbeatable, but if there’s one team that can put a spanner in the City works then it’s Pochettino’s Spurs. A Wembley win for the Citizens on Monday would be a massive statement of intent and would match what rivals Liverpool did there in the opening weeks of the season.
While Wembley – Tottenham’s home for the foreseeable, while they still await the completion of their new stadium – is never going to be home like White Hart Lane, the fact the game is being played on a Monday could be to their advantage. Oddly, they have won seven and lost none of their last nine Premier League games played then, with their last defeat dating back to the April of 2012! Those who love stat on which to base their bet will love this one.
And, to be fair, they have done their best to turn Wembley into at least a temporary home and have lost just two of their last 21 Premier League matches played there.
City however are unbeaten in 15 back-to-back Premier League matches, and in that run have conceded just six goals. They also have a very good record against Spurs and have won ten of their last 15 encounters and have also won their last four games in the capital.
In the managerial head-to-head City also come out on top with Guardiola having lost only two of his past 13 encounters against Pochettino, stretching back to their time in Spain, and a win on Monday would make it three in a row.
Normally at this juncture we’d be highlighting Sergio Aguero as the danger man that Spurs need to contain but oddly he has not scored in his last five matches against them, a run that Tottenham desperately need to continue if they’re to have a chance of getting a result.
While Spurs’ league form of late has been good, their Champions League form has been anything but and after dropping two soft points in Eindhoven on Wednesday, signs of the old Tottenham fragility are starting to resurface.
This is a tough one to call however and if Tottenham get themselves in front we’d recommend those betting in-play think about the home win, but we’re not confident that will happen. Instead we can see City scoring early, possibly through Leroy Sane ( +700 with bet365) and slowly turning the screw to cruise home 2-0 winners ( +850 with 888sport)
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