ALEX CROOK

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

ALEX CROOK PREVIEW: Premier League Weekend

talkSPORT’s chief football correspondent ALEX CROOK looks ahead to an exciting weekend of Premier League football…


🔴 MANCHESTER UNITED v EVERTON 🔵

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Last Sunday’s utterly predictable Manchester derby defeat reminded suffering United fans of just how far their once mighty side have fallen behind champions City in recent years.

They are also in danger of being cut adrift in the race for the top four and find themselves trailing surprise package Aston Villa by 11 points, which makes Everton’s trip to Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime a must-win if they are to cling on to their faint hopes of playing Champions League football next season.

It also feels like another massive game for Erik ten Hag with the United manager facing more and more questions about his long-term future at the club.

The game at the Etihad. Ended a run of 143 Premier League matches where United had gone unbeaten when leading at half time and they were simply swept aside by a Phil Foden-inspired City in the second half.

Everton do not pose anywhere near the same goal threat though and confidence in the visitors’ camp is low after failing to win any of their last 10 matches.

The Toffees are capable of making themselves hard to beat and United have already lost at home this season to the likes of Bournemouth and, most recently, Fulham so it is hard to envisage this being a comfortable afternoon for the hosts.

I don’t think it will be a goal fest either give Everton have underperformed their XG more than any other team this season and United have rarely looked capable of putting teams to the sword.

Under 2.5 goals in the game at 23/20 with starsports.bet looks a pretty solid prospect.

With Rasmus Hojlund still sidelined, Marcus Rashford will once again have to take on the extra responsibility of leading the United attack, but given his impressive scoring record in this fixture I prefer the chances of captain Bruno Fernandes to score first at 6/1 with starsports.bet.


🔴 LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER CITY 🔵

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There is no disputing that Anfield plays hosts to the biggest game of the weekend and arguably the season so far when Liverpool host champions Manchester City on Sunday.

The Reds hold a narrow one-point advantage over their visitors, so the first priority will be to avoid defeat but that will be far from easy against a City side with 16 wins and one from last 17 games in all competitions.

Both teams warmed up for this game with comfortable European victories in midweek and Liverpool remain in the hunt for a potential quadruple after thrashing Sparta Prague 5-1 in the Europa League despite being without a host of key players.

These two played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Etihad back in November so I am slightly surprised to see City as such clear favourites to win, especially taking into account Liverpool’s virtually imperious home record.

With so many attacking weapons on the pitch this game should guarantee goals so I will be playing over 2.5 goals in the game at 6/4 with starsports.bet and also chucking a dart at a correct score of 2-2 which returns 9/1.

Mo Salah made his return as a substitute in Prague, handing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp a major boost and surely the Egyptian starts this game given what is at stake. Salah is 6/4 to score at any time with starsports.bet.


🟣 ASTON VILLA v TOTTENHAM ⚪

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Aston Villa’s clash with Tottenham on Sunday may be overshadowed by the potential title decider on Merseyside, but is a huge match in terms of the race for the top four.

Unai Emery’s men currently our five points ahead of fifth-placed Spurs, although the visitors have a game in hand, but if Villa win this one you have to make them heavy favourites to secure a Champions League place

Villa ran out relatively comfortable winners when the two met in North London in November, although Tottenham were missing a host of key players due to injury.

Spurs bounced back from defeat against Wolves by coming from behind to dispatch Crystal Palace last weekend and are pretty much at full strength.

Again, I can see plenty of goal mouth in this one and both teams have scored in 21 of Spurs’ 26 games this season while Villa were not great defensively in their win at Luton last weekend.

Villa striker Ollie Watkins is hitting top form at just the right time with the next round of England games on the horizon while Spurs talisman Son scored an excellent goal against Palace and will again play as the number 9.

My build-a-bet for this game is the match to end in a draw with Watkins and Son both to net at any time which returns a massive 19/1 with starsports.bet.

ALEX CROOK


RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK Man Utd v Everton – under 2.5 goals 1pt at 23/20 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Man Utd v Everton – Bruno Fernandes first goalscorer 0.5pts at 6/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Liverpool v Man City – over 2.5 goals 2pts at 6/4 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Liverpool v Man City – Salah anytime goalscorer 1pt at 6/4 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Liverpool v Man City – 2-2 correct score 0.5pts at 9/1 (⭐ ?  CLICK TO BET NOW)

Build-a-bet: Villa v Tottenham draw, Watkins and Son to score 0.5pts at 19/1 with starsports.bet


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