This weekend is a special one in the Premier League as in addition tothe games taking place on Friday Night and throughout Saturday, the three matches taking place on Sunday are all massive derby games.
The action begins on Sunday at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea hoping to bounce back from defeat to Tottenham last weekend, taking on neighbours Fulham in the first of two London derby games. The second kicks off a couple of hours later in North London as Arsenal and Tottenham go head to head in a real battle.
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Then to round the afternoon off, the action switches north to Merseyside where Liverpool will host Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield, with Everton chasing their first win in the game since 2010 and Liverpool hoping to pick up another three points to keep the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the table.
With the Chelsea v Fulham game looking pretty much like a foregone conclusion home win for Chelsea, we are going to instead focus on the other two games, which are much closer contests and involved four teams currently occupying positions in the Premier League top six.
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Arsenal v Tottenham
Sunday – 2.05pm
Arsenal – (5-3-2) – Leno, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Holding, Papastathopoulos, Mustafi, Xhaka, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Being the home side, I can see Arsenal bringing Lacazette back into the team for this game to add more firepower to there team with Iwobi likely to drop out. Xhaka and Torreira will have a key role in midfield trying to stop the influence of Eriksen and Alli, as well as the marauding runs of Sissoko, which were a feature against Chelsea.
Tottenham – (4-3-1-2) – Lloris, Aurier, Davies, Foyth, Alderweireld, Dier, Sissoko, Eriksen, Alli, Kane, Son
Mauricio Pochettino must be tempted to go with the same team that performed so superbly against Chelsea last week which could be bad news for the likes of Lamela, who has enjoyed a good season so far. Eriksen and Alli back in that Spurs midfield made a huge difference against Chelsea and I feel they will be key against Arsenal too.
Full Time Result – Draw – 12/5
Home advantage has been a big factor in recent North London derby games, but I think this game may buck that trend slightly. Arsenal are in great form in terms of results, but defensively I feel they are still suspect. Spurs, with Alli and Eriksen back in the team, looked much more potent against Chelsea and as a result, I can see them coming away from this game having secured a point.
Correct Score – Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham – 10/1
These games have produced some classic encounters over the years and I think Sunday’s game will also have plenty of goals. Both teams are best going forward and I think both are suspect defensively. As such, I can see both sets of strikers having joy against their opponents and as such, I think a higher scoring draw is the best option here.
Anytime Goalscorer – Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) – 11/4
Eriksen bounced back to form with a masterful display against Chelsea last weekend and now fully fit after his injury, he and Alli will add an extra dimension to the Spurs midfield. Eriksen is certainly due a goal and he does have a tendency to score them in the biggest of matches and as such, I think he is the best of the slightly longer odds options to grab a goal in this game, particularly from a set piece.
Liverpool v Everton
Sunday – 4.15pm
Liverpool – (4-3-3) – Alisson, Alexander Arnold, Robertson, Gomez, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Milner, Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane, Salah.
A fine performance last week against Watford saw the Reds land a 3-0 win although Henderson’s red card means he is suspended for this game. I expect Milner and Wijnaldum to cover in midfield with Shaqiri a more advanced option for the Reds just behind the usual front three in what should be an attacking and potentially dangerous Liverpool line up.
Everton – (4-2-3-1) – Pickford, Coleman, Digne, Mina, Keane, Gomes, Gueye, Walcott, Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison
I can’t see Marco Silva making too many changes to his team after their excellent win last weekend. The pace of Walcott will be one area Everton hope to exploit on the counter attack and with Sigurdsson and Richarlison both amongst the goals, the Toffees will be hopeful that the pair can cause the tight Liverpool defence more problems than most of the teams they have faced this season.
Full Time Result – Liverpool to win – 4/11
I can’t see Everton’s wait for a win in the derby ending on Sunday as Liverpool are in solid form and are unbeaten in the Premier League this season without really playing anywhere near their best in an attacking sense. That bodes well for the Reds, especially with signs that their attack is coming to life now. As such, I think it will be the three up front and that miserly defence which sees the Reds claim a home win in this game.
Correct Score – Liverpool 2-1 Everton – 15/2
Everton’s main problem has been scoring goals against Liverpool at Anfield and against a defence that has conceded just five goals all season long, it looks like being another tough afternoon for the Toffees. That said, in a derby game anything can happen and I do feel they may grab a goal on the day, however I can see Liverpool scoring at least two and maybe even three to claim the win, although I think two is a more likely number.
Anytime Goalscorer – Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool) – 8/5
The Swiss star has been in excellent form for Liverpool in recent games and has scored against Cardiff and Southampton in recent home matches. I feel he could do the same again against Everton as he occupies a slightly deeper role and could take advantage of the space afforded him there if the more attack minded Gomes doesn’t track his runs.