As another weekend of Premier League action arrives, Gameweek 9 sees one of the biggest rivalries in English football reignite once more.
Meeting in the Premier League for the 58th time on Sunday, Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and for the hosts and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in particular, the stakes are high. Whilst it can’t be refuted the Red Devils remain box office under the Norwegian’s stewardship, there is a distinct lack of direction and leadership on the pitch currently, which is causing problems and only another late, late Cristiano Ronaldo rescue act kept the wolves at the door against Atalanta in midweek. For now, at least.
In contrast, the Reds are in fine fettle after putting on a five-star show on their last road trip at Watford last week and withstood a resurgent Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid in Europe on Tuesday night to win their ninth game of the season in all competitions, yet to taste defeat across the board.
With a third away game on the bounce, United look to provide the sternest test of the three, but Jurgen Klopp’s men are slight 13/10 favourites with William Hill, despite not having won at the Theatre of Dreams since 2014. United are slightly longer odds at 11/5, whilst for a sixth draw in 11 to play out, a price of 11/4 looks good value, both with Betfred. With both Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah looking to impress meanwhile, many punters will be eyeing a scorer double and for Both Players to Score, SkyBet’s 11/2 boost stands as a superb lay for the weekend.
Kicking off GW9, Arsenal play host to their second league game in five days, as Aston Villa come to the capital on Friday night. Salvaging a late point against Crystal Palace on Monday night, the Gunners remain unbeaten in six, but face the Villans, who Arsenal have lost against in their last three meetings, having not scored a single goal either.
On the end of an Ollie Watkins brace last season at the Emirates – and after the Eagles revealed the hosts’ still-remaining soft underbelly – could Villa put the hosts to the sword for the fourth time on the spin? Whilst Arsenal are evens, Dean Smith’s men are the underdogs on Friday evening and at a tempting 3/1 widely, Villa could easily pave the way for a profitable evening for punters.
Down on the South coast meanwhile, Brighton host Manchester City at the AMEX, with Graeme Potter’s men set to provide a stiff test for the champions. The Cityzens are 4/9 to take three points, but though City have kept six league cleans sheets in eight so far this term, their back line will be under aerial bombardment here. For Both Teams to Score, 11/10 odds look very reasonable indeed.
Furthermore, Brighton beat City 3-2 in the same fixture on the final day of last term, where both defenders Adam Webster and Dan Burn were on the scoresheet. The most likely candidate here in that department looks to be the dangerous Shane Duffy and for the Irishman to score anytime, a healthy 16/1 with UniBet can be yours.
Finally, before Sunday’s marquee clash in Manchester, West Ham and Tottenham meet in the latest London derby this term. With just a point separating the sides in 5th and 7th respectively, calling this encounter looks tough as though both sides endured differing European results on Thursday night, Spurs have won their last two league meetings and West Ham suffered defeat to fellow London opponents Brentford in their last game at the London Stadium. Perhaps then, the draw looks the wise play, at 5/2 with Bet365 and SBK.