Five games to watch this weekend: City look to dent Liverpool’s title defence, plus a huge game for Solskjaer
Odds and preview for this weekend’s biggest games
It’s still early in the season, but make no mistake – Manchester City v Liverpool could have huge ramifications in the title race.
A City win would close the gap between the sides to just two points, while a Liverpool win would put them eight points clear of their most likely contenders.
Elsewhere, reports suggest that patience is running out for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Can he take advantage of Everton’s injuries to secure his status?
We’ve picked out five unmissable games ahead of the weekend’s action.
Manchester City v Liverpool (Sunday 16:30)
Liverpool’s makeshift defence faces a stern test on Sunday as they head to a ground where they’ve tasted defeat regularly in the last few Premier League seasons.
After a 4-0 win the last time the teams met, Man City are 21/20 favourites here, with Liverpool at 12/5 and the draw at 29/10.
Questions remain over both team’s line-ups. Will Diego Jota start ahead of Roberto Firmino after his stunning Champions League hattrick? The Portuguese is at 21/10 to score anytime and will feel he’s done enough to earn his place in the team.
Will Jurgen Klopp trust Nat Phillips in such a big game, or will Joel Matip return to the team?
As for Man City, it’s always a guessing game when it comes to Pep Guardiola’s team selection, but Phil Foden’s excellent form this season could see him in contention. Up top, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus may both be competing for the central striker role – the Brazilian is priced at 9/2 to open the scoring on Sunday.
Everton v Man Utd (Saturday 12:30)
It’s a big game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After a shambolic display against Istanbul Başakşehir in midweek, he’s now the front-runner in the Next Premier League Manager to Leave market at 4/7.
However, this Everton game may be just the kind of fixture he needs to get things back on track, or at least delay the sack.
Everton are 15/8 to win, with Man Utd at 7/5 and 5/2 about the draw.
Everton are without attacking duo James Rodriguez and Richarlison, who have both been key to their early season success. Carlo Ancelotti’s attacking style could also play in to Solskjaer hands, with Utd’s best results this season coming from counter-attacking football.
However, the Harry Maguire-led defence will still need to stop the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is 7/2 to open the scoring and 13/10 to score anytime.
For Man Utd, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are both 15/8 to net anytime, with Edinson Cavani at 9/5.
Leicester v Wolves (Sunday 14:00)
Both Midlands teams have enjoyed strong starts to their respective campaigns, with Leicester putting aside the disappointment of their late-season collapse last year to climb to 2nd in the table.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has rejigged his starting line-up, with the likes of Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto emerging from the shadow of the departed Diego Jota. They find themselves in 6th.
Leicester are 11/8 to win, with Wolves at 23/10 and the draw priced at 21/10.
Wolves have typically suffered at the King Power stadium – they haven’t won away to the Foxes in 13 years. But without the distraction of European football, Wolves are free to focus on the league and will be typically well-prepared going into this one.
Leicester have won five games on the bounce in all competitions and will be in confident mood after scoring four past both Leeds and Braga in the last week.
Talismanic Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has already scored 7 goals this season and is 13/10 to add to that tally on Sunday.
Raul Jimenez will lead the line for Wolves and is 7/2 to score first, or 17/10 to score anytime.
Arsenal v Aston Villa (Sunday 19:15)
While Arsenal will be riding high after winning away at Old Trafford last week, it would be foolish of them underestimate Aston Villa.
The West Midlands team have seen their form drop off in recent weeks, but they still boast an exciting attack capable of doing damage to the very best teams – just ask Liverpool.
Arsenal are 7/10 to win this one, with a Villa win at 4/1 and the draw at 3/1.
There are two key areas to look at in this one. While Villa are strong going forward, there’s a suggestion that the midfield trio of John McGinn, Douglas Luiz and Ross Barkley is a little lightweight. With the duo of Thomas Partey and the revitalised Mo Elneny, Arsenal can finally argue the same is not true of them.
Secondly there’s Jack Grealish. Even in a 4-3 defeat to Southampton last time out, the Villa captain impressed. When he’s on his game he’s an incredible creative force, with four goals and four assists to his name so far this season. Grealish is 7/2 to score anytime in this one,
While Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t quite been at his prolific best so far this season, he always carries a goal threat. He’s 13/5 to open the scoring here, or 4/5 to score anytime.
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich (Saturday 17:30)
The Bundesliga’s traditional (and indeed, current) top two face each other on Saturday, with both teams on a four-game domestic winning streak.
Both teams boast in-form strikers, with Dortmund wonderkid Erling Braut Haaland boasting nine goals from eight appearances this term. If you think that’s impressive though – look to Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski, he has an astonishing 12 goals from eight games – including 10 league goals from just five appearances.
Dortmund are 3/1 to win, with Bayern odds-on favourites at 3/4 and the draw at 16/5.
Bayern typically get the better of these games, with their more experienced squad often getting the better of a Dortmund team with an admirable focus on youth.
While both teams boast similar league form, a 3-1 defeat to Lazio in the Champions League back in October showcased the potential weaknesses in Dortmund’s game. And when it comes to weaknesses – there’s no team in Europe better at exploiting them than the Champions League holders.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication