The Premier League is back with a bang at lunchtime on Saturday as Manchester United host Arsenal at Old Trafford. José Mourinho will be looking to extend his excellent record against Arsène Wenger (5W, 6D). The Gunners boss managing just 1 win from 15 against him. In addition to this Arsenal haven’t won a league game at Old Trafford since September 2006. So the omens aren’t good for the away side here. With Ibrahimović suspended and Rooney a doubt for the game this could be an ideal chance for young England striker Marcus Rashford to get back amongst the goals and as such is 11/2 with bet365 to score first.
Rashford hasn’t scored in his last 4 league games but notched twice on his Premier League debut in this fixture last season and will be keen for a similar performance if he’s given the nod up front on Saturday. United have injury problems at the back, with Valencia, Bailly, Shaw and Smalling all likely to miss this one, and with this in mind Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez will be another favourable option for first goalscorer at 9/2 as he scored twice in midweek for his country and also bagged a brace in his last Premier League away game, a 4-1 win at Sunderland.
Everton against Swansea at 3pm looks to be the home banker of the weekend. Swansea haven’t won since the opening day of the season, and although Everton are hardly in the best form themselves they’re undefeated at Goodison this season and should be too strong for the struggling Swans. Romelu Lukaku has 7 goals from his last 8 appearances and will no doubt be a popular choice for first goalscorer at 10/3 with bet365. Before last week’s 5-0 capitulation at Chelsea, Everton’s defence had been impressive this season, conceding just 8 times in their first 10 league matches. Koeman will be demanding they get back to those standards on Saturday and considering only Sunderland have scored less than Swansea so far this season a clean sheet could be on the cards priced at 6/4 with bet365.
Merseyside neighbours Liverpool have a much tougher test on paper, as they travel south to St Mary’s for the clash against Southampton. Both Teams To Score in Liverpool fixtures is becoming a favourite with punters, with 9 of 11 league games this season ending this way and this week doesn’t seem to be much different as BTTS at bet365 is currently 4/6. With Liverpool’s dodgy defence in mind Southampton striker Charlie Austin, who scored 5 in his last 7, should have chances to get on the scoresheet at 5/1 to score first with bet365.
There’s just one game on Sunday and it features the form team in England, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. They’ve won 5 consecutive league games without conceding, and scored 16 goals themselves in that run. Eden Hazard has 5 goals and 2 assists from his last 4 games and is looking more and more like the PFA Player of the Year from two seasons ago that Chelsea sorely missed last year. Middlesbrough have won just 1 of their last 9 league games but have picked up surprise points against both Manchester City and Arsenal in recent weeks. It would be a shock to see them gain any more this weekend though, especially if Hazard continues where he left off before the international break.
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