FootballPremier League

Premier League tips: Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten home record against Arsenal to finally come to an end

July 10, 2020

WE go into Match Week 35 of the Premier League 2019/20 season with just two points separating third-placed Chelsea (60 points), fourth-placed Leicester (59 points) and fifth-placed Man Utd (58 points). There can only be two. For a while, it seemed one of them would definitely be Leicester but you'd have to say, now, probably not. Still, a trip to absolutely awful Bournemouth should be just the ticket to stay in the hunt. Advantage Bournemouth's relegation rivals… right?

Norwich City vs West Ham | Saturday July 11, 12:30 GMT


Norwich's relegation from the Premier League has seemed inevitable for a long time, and sure enough, defeat at home to West Ham this weekend will confirm it. When the going got tough, the Canaries never got going – just five goals in 14 matches in 2020 without ever scoring more than one in a match.

West Ham, on the other hand, have picked up their form at just the right time. A win over Chelsea was followed up with a decent draw at Newcastle. Granted the Hammers then slipped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Burnley, but even that match offered encouragement – 21 shots represents their highest total in a Premier League game this season. David Moyes will be as pleased with his side's upturn in form as he will be appalled by the three VAR decisions which have gone against his side recently, two of which were undoubtedly bad calls.

Only Norwich (63) and Aston Villa (62) have conceded more than West Ham (59) this season. Even that afore-mentioned decent recent run involved an average of two goals conceded per game. Norwich fans may have some legitimate hope of an actual goal here. Maybe even a win? Let's not get carried away here.

Match Odds: Norwich City (27/10) Draw (13/5) West Ham (Evens)
Tip: Norwich to score first – No Goal No Bet (6/5)
Correct score: Norwich City 1-1 West Ham (23/4)

Liverpool vs Burnley | Saturday July 11, 15:00 GMT

We've reached the point in the season where the aim for Liverpool is seeing how many records they can break. Can the Reds win one more game to break their own club record of 30 league wins in a season? Can they surpass Man City's 100-point total? Can they become the first Premier League side, and just second ever in top flight history after Sunderland in 1891/92, to win 100% of their home games? They look a shoo-in to achieve all three… and more.

It would be unfair to Sean Dyche however if we failed to give Burnley credit for what has been both an encouraging post-lockdown run, and a fantastic season overall. Burnley have taken 10 points from the last 10 available. In fact, John Egan's late equaliser for Sheff Utd is the only thing that stood between the Clarets and four-straight 1-0 wins. Dyche's side remain firmly in the Europa League hunt, just six points behind fifth-place Man Utd as they are.

One more win will see Burnley set a new club record of 15 across a Premier League season, but to be blunt, nobody wins league games at Anfield other than Liverpool. Two post-lockdown games have returned six points, six goals, and two clean sheets. Even with Burnley's fine form taken into consideration, it'll be more of the same here.

Match Odds: Liverpool (1/4) Draw (27/5) Burnley (11/1
Tip: Liverpool to win to nil (23/20)
Correct score: Liverpool 2-0 Burnley (6/1)

Sheff Utd vs Chelsea | Saturday July 11, 17:30 GMT

A draw and three straight defeats following the restart was Sheff Utd's worst run of the season, and it seriously threatened what seemed likely qualification for the Europa League. However, seven points from nine has the Blades back on track, the highlight being an utterly dominant win at home to Spurs. Chelsea's own recent slip-up – a 3-2 defeat in a winnable game at West Ham – has also been offset by winning all their other matches in the last six which has seen the Blues rise above Leicester to take third spot in the Premier League.

Chelsea have scored at least two goals in 10 of their last 11 matches, the exception being February's 2-0 defeat to Man Utd, but they cannot expect to have it so easily against Sheff Utd who boast the third best defensive record in the Premier League this season, and the ninth best in Europe's top five leagues. Chelsea themselves can lay claim to just two clean sheets in their last 12 matches. For all their bona fide attacking credentials, the Blues' defence remains vulnerable.

A victory for Sheff Utd gives them the chance to retake sixth spot if Wolves drop points, but that's a big ask against a Chelsea side who have made a habit of winning recently. In August, the Blades fought back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw and funnily enough, I can see a repeat here. 

Match Odds: Sheff Utd (5/1) Draw (3/1) Chelsea (8/13)
Tip: Over 2.5 total goals (10/11)
Correct score: Sheff Utd 2-2 Chelsea (15/1)

Brighton vs Man City | Saturday July 11, 20:00 GMT

Brighton have lost all five of their Premier League matches with Man City, conceding on average three goals per match. With the Seagulls coming unstuck at home recently – three defeats in four matches, having lost the same amount in the previous 13 Amex clashes – it's tough to envisage them halting that winless run. That said, City's recent away form is worse! The Citizens could lose four straight away games for this first time under Pep Guardiola.

Aside from the mystifying defeat to Southampton and the disappointing loss at Chelsea, City have been back to their dominant, clinical best since the restart – 3-0 vs Arsenal, 5-0 vs Burnley, 2-0 vs Newcastle, 4-0 vs Liverpool, and 5-0 vs *checks notes* Newcastle again. Knowing the title had long gone has helped Guardiola move on to shaping his side for next year, as demonstrated by Phil Foden being City's top scorer since the restart with four goals in five games.

Kevin De Bruyne shook off some recent FA Dubious Goals Panel disappointment to claim his 18th league assist of the season. That leaves the mercurial Belgian four games to get three assists and surpass Thierry Henry's Premier League record. Considering Brighton were conceding chances left, right and centre against Liverpool on Wednesday, you've got fancy his chances of grabbing at least one here.

Match Odds: Brighton (9/1) Draw (9/2) Man City (33/100)
Tip: Kevin De Bruyne to give an assist (5/4)
Correct score: Brighton 1-3 Man City (9/1)

   Wolves vs Everton | Sunday July 12, 12:00 GMT


Wolves came out of lockdown in stunning form, winning their first three matches without conceding a goal. It's been a reversal of fortunes since then though as Nuno Espirito Santo's side have lost their last two without scoring which has effectively ended their hopes of finishing in the top four. Just two shots on target in those defeats suggests Wolves might have a job on their hands remaining in the top six with Sheff Utd and Arsenal ready to pounce.

Everton's away form has improved under Carlo Ancelotti, but it still remains a dreadful record. The Italian has picked up three wins in eight away games which improves the club' longer term away record to 12 wins in 55 matches, but he has a lot of work to do. Only Aston Villa and Newcastle (both 35) have conceded more than the Toffees (32) on the road this season. though Everton are unbeaten in their last three matches at Molineux.

Last time they were there, Richarlison scored two on debut in a 2-2 draw, and the Brazilian also grabbed a brace in Everton's 3-2 win over Wolves earlier this season. After bagging the equaliser against Southampton, the Brazilian remains the man most likely, but at the other end Raul Jimenez (24 goals, 10 assists in all competitions) is second only to Mo Salah (24 goals, 11 assists) in terms of goal involvements this season. Richarlison to score but Wolves t

Match Odds: Wolves (21/10) Draw (47/20) Everton (29/10)
Tip: Raul Jimenez to score and Wolves to win (13/5)
Correct score: Wolves 2-1 Everton (8/1)

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace | Sunday July 12, 14:15 GMT

The rescheduled Premier League was supposed to help Villa. The likes of John McGinn and Pepe Reina returning from injury was supposed to boost the ranks and the spirits and get them over the line. As it is, Villa have picked up just two points from their last 10 matches – the longest winless run in the league at the minute – and have managed to score just five goals in that time. With four games to go, Villa are likely to require at least two wins – survival is looking unlikely.

But they might have a sniff against Crystal Palace who have followed up four straight Premier League wins with four straight Premier League defeats. The Eagles have been hammered in each of their last two away games – 4-0 at Liverpool, and 3-0 at Leicester. If Roy Hodgson is to take anything from that poor run, it's surely the return to form of Wilfried Zaha who scored the best goal of his career against Chelsea.

Zaha will have high hopes of exploiting a defence which has conceded more top flight goals than anyone this season. Indeed Villa have conceded the same amount of goals after 34 games this season (65) as they did in 2015/16 when they finished 20th. If Palace can keep it tight, they should get chances and nick this one.

Match Odds: Aston Villa (27/20) Draw (12/5) Crystal Palace (23/10)
Tip: HT Draw FT Crystal Palace (6/1)
Correct score: Aston Villa 0-1 Crystal Palace (17/2)

Tottenham vs Arsenal | Sunday July 12, 16:30 GMT


Tottenham's blushes were spared by VAR on Thursday as they almost became the first team to lose to Bournemouth since February 1. Fans were fairly dismayed though at becoming the first side to fail to beat the Cherries since February 29, but if anything can rouse Spurs it's the visit of Arsenal, a side who Jose Mourinho has never lost a home game against in his whole career (10 matches).

Indeed, Spurs' recent home record against Arsenal is good – unbeaten in five matches – but the only problem is that they all occurred at different stadia. This will be the first North London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Mourinho's first North London Derby, and also Mikel Arteta's first North London derby (as manager) so there are a lot of new variables to take into consideration.

Arsenal have the chance to win three straight away games for the first time since October 2018, and the chance to win three straight away games without conceding for the first time since May 2013. For a side who lost their first two away games after the restart, that's an impressive turnaround. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang eyeing up another Golden Boot, and having scored three in his last four against Spurs, the signs are encouraging for the Gunners ahead of this clash.

Match Odds: Tottenham (33/20) Draw (5/2) Arsenal (7/4)
Tip: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score and Arsenal to win (29/10)
Correct score: Tottenham 2-3 Arsenal (20/1)


Bournemouth vs Leicester City | Sunday July 12, 19:00 GMT


Bournemouth's 0-0 draw with Spurs was heart-breaking considering they thought they had won it at the death only for VAR to intervene, however that was the Cherries' first clean sheet in 17 Premier League outings, so Eddie Howe can at least attempt to build on that for the remaining matches. His side also have a fine home record against the Foxes, unbeaten in all Premier League clashes at the Vitality Stadium, avoid defeat since a 2014 Championship loss.

Leicester are now under serious pressure to hold on to their top four spot. They've already lost third place to Chelsea and just a single point keeps them above Man Utd who, this week, became the first ever team in Premier League history to win four consecutive matches by three goals. Utd have dropped just two points since the restart (against Spurs, somehow) compared to nine for Leicester. The boundless optimism of Leicester's mid-season is eroding fast.

Sounds like a time, then, for Jamie Vardy to step up, and to be fair, after a really barren spell in front of goal, he's starting to do that. With three goals in his last two matches, Vardy has equalled his total for the previous 13 matches, and restored a two-goal cushion in his quest for the Golden Boot. He has scored in 13 of Leicester's 17 Premier League wins this season – back him to extend that fine record against Bournemouth.

Match Odds: Bournemouth (17/4) Draw (29/10) Leiceseter (7/10)
Tip: Jamie Vardy to score and Leicester to win (13/8)
Correct score: Bournemouth 0-2 Leicester (7/1)