THE midweek fixtures may have raised more questions than answers this week.
Liverpool won 7-0 against a side proving scant preparation for a trip to Wembley.
Spurs, meanwhile, could have come away from the Bernebeu with than a point but aren’t the same team at their adopted home.
Arsenal got back to winning ways in the Europa League, albeit with a much-changed XI, while Everton’s problems showed no side of abating against Lyon.
All of this leaves you scratching your head when it comes to picking some weekend winners: fortunately Arsenal and England legend IAN WRIGHT is happy to share his opinion on some of the weekend’s top fixtures.
Stick £10 on Wrighty’s tips and get a free £30 bet with Sun Bets
Chelsea v Watford betting preview – Alvaro Morata to score first, 5/2
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is under pressure after last week’s shock loss to Crystal Palace left the champions nine points behind Manchester City after just eight games.
The Italian may have lifted the title in his first year but many before him at Stamford Bridge have seen their tenure cut short not long after securing silverware.
The Blues will fancy their chances of bouncing back with a win this week but with N’golo Kante out of the side some doubt creeps in when your filling out your acca slip.
Not only is Kante’s absence felt by the fact that he’s not setting the tempo of the game but also Eden Hazard isn’t the same player when the Frenchman isn’t there.
Kante puts in the hard graft, covers every blade of grass and provides that all-important link to attack.
However, while Kante remains on the sidelines It’s good to see Alvaro Morata back. Chelsea looked a bit fragile against Roma but with Morata in the side they’ll back themselves against most Premier League teams.
Watford are in good form and in confident mood after seeing off Arsenal last week. They got spanked by City a few weeks back but that could happen to anyone at the moment the way Pep Guardiola’s side are playing.
They won’t be dwelling on that result and with this game essentially being a free hit for Watford they will play with freedom and confidence.
The Chelsea defence will be in for a tough afternoon with Troy Deeney leading the line for the Hornets. Even Troy would admit that his game isn’t exactly easy on the eye but he doesn’t hide the fact that he likes to make life uncomfortable for defenders.
In my era he may have struggled because centre halves then would’ve relished that type of combative approach but he’s having success in the current climate.
He’s playing his natural game and embraces the physical side of the game. That might rile up David Luiz, who can be fiery, so I’d put Gary Cahill on him this weekend. The England man will relish that challenge and I think Deeney will have a tougher afternoon at the Bridge.
I think it’ll be a tough match but I fancy Chelsea to win 2-1 at 15/2 and I think Morata will pick up where he left off with the opener at 5/2.
Everton v Arsenal betting preview – Arsenal to beat Everton 2-1, 8/1
This is such an important game for both sides. Arsenal will want to put the Watford result behind them as soon as possible and you have to say Everton are there for the taking at present.
Ronald Koeman is really struggling at the moment, with his big money signings not clicking yet.
Some people are pointing to their injury list, which includes the likes of Ross Barkley, Aaron Lennon, Yannick Bolasie and now Morgan Schneiderlin but for me the only absentee who could make a difference is Seamus Coleman.
Koeman has spent big and has the players at his disposal to be getting much better results than he has been. There seems to be no harmony in the squad. I say that from the outside looking in but you can just tell there’s some frustrated figures at Goodison Park at the moment.
The return of Wayne Rooney, the prodigal son, hasn’t been quite the coup people anticipated. He obviously has the quality to come good but things aren’t exactly helping him out elsewhere on the pitch.
For me, Gylfi Sigurdsson isn’t being used to the greatest effect. He’s at his best just behind the front man and he’s not given the Toffees the spark that his price tag should warrant.
The players are not energised and tactically they don’t look good. Of course a win against Arsenal would give them a huge lift and maybe help sort some of those issues but I can’t see it.
Arsenal have their own issues but they should have enough to edge this one. I’d like to see Jack Wilshere back in the Premier League side. He’s been the star man every time in the Europa League and most importantly looks fit. For me, a fit Wilshere is the best English midfielder in the Premier League and I’d play him ahead of Mesut Ozil, especially on current form. If he can get a run of games going he’ll be a huge asset.
I watched Everton give Arsenal a beating last year so they’ll know that Arsenal can fold away from home. But the Gunners are creating chances and if they can take them I can see them edging this one.
It’ll be close but I fancy the Gunners to nick it 2-1 at 8/1 and Alex Lacazette is the man to open the scoring for me at a tempting 4/1.
Spurs v Liverpool betting preview – Harry Kane to score first, 11/1
Tottenham didn’t set the world alight against Bournemouth last time out and there couldn’t have been too many complaints if the game had ended all square.
Spurs know they are not at their best at Wembley but when that is the case you’ll take winning ugly. Three points is three points after all.
I’ve said it before but teams like Bournemouth, who rarely get a chance to play at Wembley, will raise their game 30 per cent or more at the national stadium and do everything to not lose.
Luckily for Spurs, and neutral fans, playing at Wembley isn’t a novelty for a side like Liverpool so the game could open up a bit more.
Liverpool are brilliant on the counter attack and have plenty of players who pose a threat in front of goal. It’s a shame that Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana are both out as they can light up a game at any point, especially Mane.
Harry Kane has gone two games without a goal, an eternity for him at the moment, but he could find some decent space because of Liverpool’s pressing style.
Both sides will have picked up some confidence from their Champions League performances, especially Spurs who I think were unlucky not to take all three points Bernebeu on Tuesday.
I don’t like to sit on the fence but I can’t pick a winner between these two so I’ll lump on the 2-2 draw at 11/1.
I’m always asked to pick a first goal scorer for my match predictions and while the longer odds on players like Dejan Lovren (40/1) and Danny Rose (35/1) may appeal to some, I’m always going to back the strikers to do their job over a defender bucking the trend from a set piece!
With that in mind, and Sun Bets going top price on ALL Premier League first goal scorers, I can’t advise anything other than a cheeky little punt on Kane at 3/1