Manchester United are 11/1 to beat Leicester in the early evening live match on Saturday and Romelu Lukaku is 5/6 to score at any time. It would be great if you could back both these outcomes in a sneaky double but bookies will decline the bet due to the old chestnut of related contingencies. Lukaku is the favourite to be the leading scorer in the Premier League after three goals in two outings.
The rules state that if Lukaku scores then United are more likely to win and the probability of a 4-0 score line increases. That is a shame because Lukaku looks nailed on to score and United have won both their opening fixtures in the Premier League by four 4 goals to nil. The league leaders have made a perfect start to the new campaign and Jose Mourinho generally wins titles in his second season at a club.
It still seems strange that Leicester have been champions more recently than United. The wonder of the 2015/16 season will never be repeated but Leicester are becoming established as a mid-table outfit. They will probably never play in the Champions League again but the fans have experienced massive highs and the club cannot maintain that level of achievement.
Supporters of Leicester enjoy feasts or famines and a year before winning the title they were favourites for relegation. Their current manager is called Craig Shakespeare and the club have endured recent seasons of contrast, from the near tragedy of relegation to the Championship to the drama of winning the league. The best story teller in the world would not come up with the plot.
In the last ten years Leicester have been relegated to the third tier, enjoyed two promotions, won the Premier League and played in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. This could be a welcome season of stability and Shakespeare has got the title winning squad motivated again. There have been few significant departures and Jamie Vardy form has returned. If he opens the scoring against United it should be noted that Leicester won 11 of 12 fixtures when they scored first last season. However, United can continue to blitz the league with another win.
The Liverpool versus Arsenal fixture at Anfield on Saturday is one of those north/south blockbuster matches. However, the meeting is more about contending for a top 4 and not winning the league. The two Manchester clubs look head and shoulders above the rest (even though Joe Hart has left City!) The London and Merseyside giants are playing for third and fourth place and this fixture will tell us a great deal about which team is best placed.
Jurgen Klopp’s plans could be thrown into disarray if Philippe Coutinho moves to Barcelona. The figures quoted are huge and surely the money will be irresistible for Liverpool and moves of this nature tend to happen sooner rather than later. Coutinho wants a transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona and the deal could be done quickly so he may have left by the time you are reading this article and it’s a developing story. Barcelona have £200 million pounds burning a hole in their pocket from the Neymar deal and Liverpool will probably do business.
Arsenal are in a similar boat with Alexis Sanchez. The player fancies a move to Manchester City and Pep Guardiloa was his manager at Barcelona. Sanchez is out of the country on international duty. He has a minor injury which is convenient and there is a good chance Sanchez will not play for Arsenal again. So, Liverpool and Arsenal both have transfer issues but the home side can cope best and win this fixture.
The early game on Saturday brings together the home side in Bournemouth and visitors Manchester City. The latter’s first match on the road was against Brighton so both their opening trips have been to south coast towns beginning with the letter B. The fixtures should have the same outcome because City are tipped to win to nil and they beat Brighton 2-0 in that fixture.
The live match at lunch time on Saturday looks like being a humdinger. West Brom host Stoke in the Tony Pulis derby. The West Brom manager had two spells at Stoke but his current employers should enjoy the result more then his old bosses. By kick-off time we will know how Manchester United have got on and don’t bet against 4-0!