Mourinho low on firepower
After years and years of permanent scowling, thinly-veiled accusations at just about anyone, constant moaning and general unpleasantness, it’s hard for some to have any sympathy for Jose Mourinho at all.
But if you can find it in your heart to have even just a little, it may be in regard to Mourinho being deprived of three of his most reliable goalscorers.
First Harry Kane picked up a long-term injury shortly after Mourinho arrived, then Christian Eriksen finally sealed his move to Inter Milan and on Tuesday it was revealed that it’s now Son Heung-Min who is the latest casualty after sustaining an injury to his arm that will keep him out for a few weeks, maybe the rest of the season. If you’d looked at the first goalscorer market at the start of the season on any given Spurs match, those three would have been very near the top of it.
With Kane and Son unavailable, it may be left to Steven Bergwijn or Lucas Moura to lead the line when they visit Stamford Bridge at Saturday lunchtime, because there aren’t too many other options. Bergwijn rates a 4/1 chance to score anytime, with Dele Alli a 16/5 chance and Moura priced up at 12/5.
Arteta up against his old pals
When managers come up against a side they used to play for, one always wonders: do they have a soft spot for their old club, especially if they enjoyed a good spell there? Or are they more desperate than ever to get one over their old team?
Only Mikel Arteta will know the answer to that question when Arsenal host Everton on Sunday afternoon. Arteta made almost 200 appearances for the Toffees, first on loan, then on a permanent basis between 2005 and 2011.
With the Gunners unbeaten in their last eight, including FA Cup ties, and Everton in fine form since Carlo Ancelotti took over, it should make for a fascinating match. It’s even money on the hosts but they’ll certainly be made to work hard for the points.
Liverpool’s all-star cast
It says something about just how good Liverpool have been this season that five of the six favourites for PFA Player of the Year play at Anfield.
Sadio Mane ([3.1]), Virgil Van Dijk ([5.0]), Mo Salah ([22.0]) and Trent Alexander-Arnold ([22.0]) are all in with a shout but the one to beat at the moment is the skipper Jordan Henderson, a [2.64] chance. From the top six in the betting, only Kevin de Bruyne ([7.6]) isn’t a Liverpool man.
The winner may well be the player who catches the spotlight the most over the next three or four weeks as recent performances probably count for more than those at the start of the campaign.
Any one of those can have a big game when Liverpool host West Ham on Sunday but if it’s a bet on the actual match you want, consider the 10/11 that Liverpool win to nil yet again.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin can consider himself a tad unlucky that there are so many high-quality England forwards at the moment. You know who they are so there’s not much point listing them. He’s highly unlikely to make the squad for Euro 2020 but you could argue he really does offer something a bit different to the others, with his excellent aerial presence and upper body strength.
If he doesn’t make it, it won’t be for lack of goals scored. Despite playing in a struggling side under Marco Silva and now playing under his third manager for the campaign, Calvert-Lewin has 11 league goals for the season, which is two more than Richarlison and eight more than anyone else bar the former Watford man. It’s 11/2 his season becomes even better by opening the scoring at the Emirates.
Southampton v Villa almost guarantees goals
It won’t come as a surprise to you that Man City have been involved in more over 2.5 goals games this season than anyone else. 80% of their matches have had three or more goals.
But second prize goes to Aston Villa. It’s a huge 73% of their matches that have gone ‘overs’ this campaign, with the figure even higher at 76% when just looking at their away matches.
Given this week’s opponents Southampton have seen 69% of their home games going ‘overs’ as well, you could be forgiven for thinking that match is the banker when it comes to breaking the 2.5 goals barrier this weekend.
The layers aren’t giving too much away with overs chalked up at [1.67] but in light of those stats, it’s still not a bad price at all.