Wolves v Bournemouth: Wolves to win – 10/11
Two of the Premier League’s new age thinkers meet at Molineux on Saturday as Eddie Howe brings his Bournemouth outfit to the West Midlands to take on Nuno Espírito Santo’s Wolves.
Despite a recent blip, the home side have settled about as well as any team promoted from the division below has in a long time and sit in 10th place in the league, just four points of Manchester United in sixth.
Back-to-back victories over Chelsea and Newcastle has got Santo’s outfit looking up the table rather than over their shoulder again, so they’ll be pleased to welcome an out-of-sorts Cherries side this weekend.
Bournemouth may be a point ahead of their hosts in the standings, but they’ve lost five of their last six games in the Premier League and could do with a victory to steady a ship that looked mightily buoyant a couple of months ago.
We’re expecting another stormy occasion for the south coast club on Saturday and we can see Wolves chewing them up for a third victory on the spin at 10/11.
Spurs v Burnley: Spurs to win to Nil – 5/6
The Clarets will hope to get points flowing after beating Brighton last week, but Wembley has become a tough place to take points this season, albeit in only six league games because of the stadium shenanigans.
Only the top two teams in the league, Liverpool and Man City, have taken anything from Spurs at “home” this season, with Chelsea a notable visitor who were dealt with in recent weeks.
It’s hard to say that Tottenham are in the title race just yet, but they’re poised to pounce should the leaders lapse, which is not a bad achievement given all that’s going on with the delays to their move and the lack of transfer activity in the summer. Sneaking through in the Champions League with a creditable draw at the Nou Camp can only have helped morale too.
That’s something Sean Dyche will be digging around the back of the sofa for given how bad things have gone for his side this season.
Looking at their recent results, there’s some relief in the fact they’ve cut down on the number they’re conceding – four at Fulham, four to West Ham, five to Man City, four to Chelsea – with only Liverpool taking them for more than two in the last month.
They’ve tightened up, but Spurs will still be too good for them. We’re looking at Spurs to win to nil at 5/6 because the visitors aren’t the most prolific side on their travels and Tottenham will likely be happy to get ahead and take it easy after their midweek exertions.
Huddersfield v Newcastle: Newcastle win – 2/1
The refrain around Geordieland remains the same, Rafa Benitez is the man for Newcastle, despite the Magpies’ less than serene start to the season, and that’s good enough for us on Saturday afternoon.
Without a win until November, Newcastle looked a team doomed to dwell in the bottom three all season, but their performances were better than the points return, and now that they’ve started to find the net with regularity, they’ve posed more challenges to opponents.
On Saturday, they go to the John Smith’s Stadium three points and three places ahead of Huddersfield thanks to wins over Watford, Bournemouth and Burnley, as well as a point gained away at Everton.
If it wasn’t for Kenedy quitting before full time last week against Wolves, the only blemish on Rafa’s record in the last month would be a loss at West Ham.
Robert Wagner’s side didn’t manage a Premier League goal at home until November either, though they have at least netted in their last three league games on their own ground. After their own mini-revival they’ve lost three straight.
The relegation scrap is taking shape with these two poised to be significant players in the drama, but Newcastle’s wily manager will have designs on pulling clear despite their woeful opening to the campaign, and results against Huddersfield are how he’ll bring that about. We’ll take a chance on him this weekend, and Newcastle 2/1 looks a good price to us.
*All odds correct at time of posting