Burnley (6) v Manchester United (8/13)
Manchester United are making big waves in the transfer market with Angel Di Maria’s signing from Real Madrid a boost that should benefit them although her struggled in the here and now are likely to be harder to solve and Burnley can give them serious problems in the Saturday lunchtime fixture. While United were deservedly beaten by Swansea at home and struggled badly for a foothold and then fluency against Sunderland, after being outclassed against Chelsea on the opening week, Burnley made an excellent show of themselves against Swansea, pressuring the hosts strongly in the second half and making a flurry of chances, one of which should have been taken. Sean Dyche afterwards remarked that they had shown their hosts too much respect on Saturday – something which feels accurate after rewatching the game – and with each match they have shown improvement as many adjust to top flight football for the first time. Back on home turf they are more than capable of giving Manchester United a tough time of things, with Van Gaal’s side still adapting to a new formation and struggling to find balance in midfield. Burnley should have learned much from their opening defeat to Chelsea and face a side which doesn’t have half that fluency and confidence, so look to have been dismissed too easily in the match markets, with the 6/1 surely worth a bet on value grounds although the +1 on the Asian handicap also makes appeal with a draw, win or one goal defeat all acceptable outcomes.
Advice: 1 pt Burnley (6/1 Betfair Sportsbook), 1.5 pt Burnley +1 on Asian H’Cap (9/1- Bet365)
Manchester City (1/4) v Stoke (18)
Manchester City have made a swinging start to the season with two relatively comfortable wins against Newcastle and Liverpool and their assignment against stoke should be much easier. Mark Hughes’s men have had a slow start to the season and while improvement should be forthcoming a dreadful away record – they were 16th in the away table last year – renders them useless in terms of today’s match. City’s clinciality – they took their three biggest chances v Liverpool and the same for 2 against Newcastle – makes them excellent value here and they scored 3 or more in 12 of their 18 games at the Ethihad last year.
Advice: 2 pts Manchester City to score 3 or more goals v Stoke (4/5 Betfair Sportsbook)
Newcastle (17/20) v Crystal Palace (21/5)
Crystal Palace looked to have coped admirably with their managerial turmoil when only succumbing to a last minute goal against Arsenal but results have shown that to be a flattering result and the defensive organisation that was their hallmark under Tony Pulis was non existent against West Ham last weekend and they are vulnerable to a Newcastle side that started well against Manchester City before being held out by Aston Villa. The finishing is an issue, but they look the superior side.
Advice: 1 pt Newcastle (17/20 general)
QPR (6/4) V Sunderland (23/10)
Sunderland have made a good start in a bid to avoid the struggles they faced last season and look value for a first win of the season at QPR. Harry Redknapp’s men were never likely to compete with Spurs but looked edge fair and square by Hull on the opening game and may be short at 6/4 today. Sunderland deserved their points against West Brom and Manchester United
Advice: 1 pt Sunderland (23/10 Bet Victor)
Swansea (20/21) v West Brom (19/5)
Swansea were deserved winner at Manchester United on the opening day but were all out to get three points v Burnley and may be short against a West Brom side that was surprisingly resolute against Southampton last week in the face of being dominated in possession. They can make this a tight affair again, with under 2.5 goals appealing.
Advice: 1 pt Under 2.5 goals (4/5 general)
Everton (14/5) v Chelsea (6/5)
Chelsea have broken into their stride well but today we will get the first proper test of their title challenge with their trip to Everton. Roberto Martinez’s side beat the Blues last year – one of their rare slip ups against the top 6 – and were unlucky not to take three points against Arsenal last week. That late collapse, and their less than perfect defending against Leicester, take the appeal away from a big looking 14/5 for Everton to cause another minor shock although Chelsea look too short at 6/5 and the best bet in this encounter may be goals – both teams to score could be the choice although this looks a game best watched.