Arsenal vs Huddersfield – Arsenal to win (-2) @ 21/10
The Gunners have been formidable ever since their early season defeats to Man City and Chelsea and are unbeaten in 20 games in all competitions. They look a completely different side under Unai Emery and it is a mark of their progress that a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford was deemed as two points dropped.
That might say as much about Manchester United as it does about Arsenal, but they are undeniably a different proposition this year.
Arsenal’s record of 34 goals scored is second only to Manchester City and they are good value to put several more past Huddersfield on Saturday at 3pm.
The Terriers have greatly improved in recent weeks and have climbed out of the relegation zone but their record against the top four this season has been dismal, conceding twelve and scoring just once in those four games.
They are a side built to grind out results and that simply does not work against classier opposition, especially away from home. In contrast to Arsenal, Huddersfield 10 goals scored is the worst record in the league and they will struggle to improve that on Saturday.
Arsenal are yet to find themselves in the lead at half time in the Premier League this season. That should change this weekend as they stroll to a comprehensive victory.
Verdict: Arsenal to win -2 on the handicap @21/10
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Manchester United vs Fulham – United to win and both teams to score @ 13/8
Backing Manchester United to win at home against the bottom side in the league should be a banker, but it’s riskier than it’s ever been.
United have faltered badly in the league and are without a win in four. In 15 games they have conceded 25 goals and kept just two clean sheets.
Contrast that with last season when their excellent defensive record was largely responsible for their second-placed finish last season behind Man City.
They had kept an impressive seven clean sheets from their first eight games on their way to earning David De Gea a golden glove. It’s questionable whether they will even manage to keep that many clean sheets this season.
In Fulham, however, United are coming up against ideal opponents. The Cottagers have been hugely disappointing since their return to the top flight, despite the enormous promise they came up with.
After 15 games, Fulham are yet to keep a clean sheet and have the second worst defensive record in the history of the Premier League at this stage of the season. Only Barnsley in 1997/1998 had conceded more and even they had managed to keep three clean sheets by the end of November.
With the likes of Andre Schurrle and Aleksander Mitrovic in their ranks, Fulham have a go, no matter who they play against and that should yield results against United’s leaky and injury-hit defence. Given Fulham’s record, it is also unfathomable that United would fail to score on Saturday and they should have enough to get over the line. Just.
Verdict: United to win & BTTS @13/8
West Ham vs Crystal Palace – West Ham to win @ 6/5
The Hammers appear to have turned a corner and three goal hauls against Newcastle and Cardiff have lifted the mood at the London stadium. The Hammers can make it three wins on the bounce against their London rivals and could even break into the top half if things go their way at the weekend.
They are without talisman Marko Arnautovic for the clash, but Felipe Anderson and Javier Hernandez have been in good goal-scoring form of late and should make up for his absence.
Palace seemed to have turned a corner themselves with a draw away to Manchester United and a dominant 2-0 win over Burnley, but their midweek defeat to Brighton left a lot to be desired.
Palace played with a man advantage for three quarters of the game on Tuesday night and still conceded twice, before they managed a very late consolation from the penalty spot. Star man Wilfried Zaha, who has failed to find the net since September, seems to be inhibited by Palace’s new system and without him at his best, they look a very ordinary side.
All things considered, West Ham should have too much for their London rivals.
Verdict: West Ham to win @ 6/5.
*Prices correct at time of posting on Arsenal -2, Man U to win & BTTS & West Ham to beat Crystal Palace.Shoot over to all the Premier League betting on PaddyPower.com