Any weekend that features Premier League soccer is a good one. One that features a derby between Liverpool and Manchester United is even better.
The two storied rivals meet each other for the second time this season on Sunday at Anfield. Remarkably, United are still the only team to take points off the champions-elect. Their 1-1 draw at the end of October is the only blemish on Liverpool’s flawless season. United’s form has improved since then and they are challenging for a Champions League spot.
There’s some other good games on the schedule too. Arsenal play Sheffield United in a repeat of the 2003 FA Cup Final and Newcastle host Chelsea.
Arsenal vs Sheffield United
Saturday 18th January 10AM
An important game in terms of Europa League qualification…not what Arsenal fans would have expected at the start of the season. The fact is, Chris Wilder’s hard-working Sheffield United have proved formidable opposition for many of the teams in the league and they deserve their place in 6th spot in the standings.
Likewise, Arsenal deserve their place in 10th spot. The Gunners have been fairly poor this season although green shoots are appearing under new manager Mikel Arteta. After conceding at least a goal a game in their last fourteen games under Unai Emery and interim boss Freddie Ljungberg, the have kept three clean sheets in their last six runouts. Arsenal are playing a high-pressing, high-intensity game under Arteta which is easy on the eye and creates plenty of opportunities for both sides.
Having said all of that, it’s worth noting that they have only won one of their last seven league games at the Emirates. Top goalscorer Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang will also miss out due to suspension. That points to a battling victory for the Blades for us. We’re backing Wilder’s side to win 1-0 at a price of +1150 with CanPlay. If you’re a bit more conservative, Sheffield United (+1) is -105 with CanPlay.
John Lundstram has become a bit of a Premier League cult hero this season thanks to his lung-busting late runs into the box. The rangy midfielder is +1200 to score first and +500 to get his name on the scoresheet at anytime..
Newcastle United vs Chelsea
Saturday 18th January 12:30PM
Chelsea travel to St. James’ Park on Saturday evening with a chance to close the gap even further on 3rd placed Leicester City. They face a Newcastle side who haven’t won in their last four league games although a morale boosting 4-1 victory in the FA Cup over Rochdale should give fans a reason to smile.
Big money signings Miguel Almiron and Joelinton both got their name on the scoresheet in that one and they should be confident of picking up another on Saturday. Joelinton is +1000 to score first with CanPlay while his diminutive Paraguayan teammate can be backed at +1600 to do the same.
Tammy Abraham has been the main man for Frank Lampard’s team and he is +240 to notch the first on Saturday evening.
This looks like it will be another tight one and we’re backing the draw at +365 with CanPlay.
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Sunday 19th January 11:30AM
As we mentioned already, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are the only team to have picked up any points off this dominant Liverpool side in the Premier League this year.
In fact, it might come as a surprise but since Alex Ferguson’s departure from the Manchester United hotseat, the Red Devils have the upper hand in this fixture. They have faced each other 16 times with United winning five and Liverpool winning four. That’s a remarkable stat considering the turmoil Manchester United have been through in the last seven years compared to Liverpool’s seemingly imperious performances.
So what odds another Man United win then? Well, you can back them at a giant +750 with CanPlay to pick up an away victory. It seems unlikely though and Liverpool should have more than enough to handle their old rivals. They can be backed at -275.
Marcus Rashford looks likely to miss out with injury so Anthony Martial will be the man to nab a goal for United. Back the Frenchman to score anytime at +200.