Everton v Newcastle, 7.45pm
The Magpies bounced back to earth with a bang after a 3-0 home defeat by West Ham just when everything seemed to be going just peachy for Rafa Benitez’s side.
An early goal and a 90th minute sign off may have put the gloss on the Hammers’ win but it still illustrates that there are weaknesses in Newcastle’s make-up that weren’t going to disappear after three games against sides in and around them.
They travel to Goodison Park tonight with just one away win this season (a 2-1 victory at Burnley last time) to face an Everton side who must pick themselves up after the cruellest of 1-0 defeats in the Merseyside Derby last weekend.
If there is another bright light for the Toffees apart from their very decent performance against Liverpool on Sunday – it’s that their home form is A1 at the moment.
Marco’s Silva side have only lost once at Goodison Park this term – to West Ham also – but have won their last four home games on the bounce and are probably the type of side Newcastle don’t need to face right now.
A home win is written all over this at 1/2.
Spurs v Southampton, 8pm
Most Spurs fans will be asking ‘WTF’ after they let slip a goal lead to lose 4-2 to Arsenal on Sunday but the North Londoners’ woes are nothing compared to Southampton’s.
Caretaker boss Kelvin Davis takes over in the hot seat after Mark Hughes was jettisoned despite the 2-2 draw with Manchester United – in which they let a two-goal lead slip.
Despite defeats by Liverpool and Man City, Spurs have been solid at Wembley winning their other three Premier League games and their last two Champions League ties.
The Saints are capable – as the performance against United showed – but they’re unreliable. An opening day win away to Crystal Palace has been followed by four defeats and a draw in their last five away games.
Let’s not complicate it. Spurs to win at 1/3.
These two teams just straight-up don’t like each other… or at least they used not to, back when they were winning stuff.
Yeah, the needle may not be there any more – even traitorous Alexis has the night off – but there’s still the potential for fireworks, especially if the form plays out like it should and Arsenal deliver another blow to Mourinho’s cratering United career.
Generally known for at least sorting out his side’s defence, the Portuguese pouter has even failed to do that in his two-and-half-year reign at Old Trafford. They’ve one home clean sheet in the league this season, earned against the insipid threat of Crystal Palace, while Arsenal haven’t been shut out on their league travels since February.
Their rapier swift attacks and incisive passing should flummox Mourinho’s stodgy side, whichever of his midfield combinations he puts out this evening.
Whether they can hold out the battering ram of big Marouane Fellaini, we’re not so sure. They’ve kept opponents blank in the Europa League recently, but, with all due respect, the PL is a sterner test, and their record shows their last awayday without conceding was in May at Huddersfield.
United have displayed spirit in fighting back recently, and there’ll still be a flicker of the old fire among the fans tonight, even if the players and managers have all changed from the titanic clashes of the past.
Both Teams to Score is odds-on at 40/85 for a reason. We’ll take it in our acca though.
It’s all going pear-shaped for Burnley after last season’s sterling effort, and it looks like they could be destined for the drop if things don’t turnaround soon.
One home win in their last nine games at Turf Moor shows their in a pile of do-do deeper than Sean Dyche’s voice.
They’ve just two draws in that run, and the recent loss to Newcastle spelled out the scale of their problem in big, bold letters and printed right across the Clarets’ collective forehead.
It’s hard to see them turning things about when Liverpool come to town.
Klopp’s charges are unbeaten in the league this season, and besides their draws with Arsenal and Chelsea, have won all their away games as they do their best to keep pace with Man City at the top.
Failing to do the business at Burnley doesn’t figure in their plan. Other challengers have played the Lancashire side this season and put away a goal or three, and the Reds will expect to do the same coming into this game off the high of Sunday’s last minute win.
The handicap of -2 is well within their reach, but we might take some of the risk out of this with Liverpool -1 on the alternative handicap. Mo Salah, though not ripping it up like last season, is scoring at a steady pace, so he should get on the scoresheet here, then we’re looking for one more. At 8/11 that looks a solid prospect.
*All odds correct at time of posting