October 31st, 2019

Premier League Gameweek 11

By Jonny Houghton

Football is the most important of the unimportant things in life, so let’s see if we can uncover the value this coming weekend in the Premier League Gameweek 11. We managed to find a couple of winners last week, so let’s see if we can continue that.

A pre-Halloween scare for Southampton!

Imagine being a Southampton fan at about 7pm last Friday night. Taking part in the usual pre match rituals, finishing work early, maybe getting into town for a pint, making your way to the ground, winter air descending and you can almost feel the excitement in the air. Sounds great doesn’t it?

Fast forward to 8:45pm that night, you wish you were still in work, your pint is flat and you’re considering heading home because your evening’s been ruined by Jamie Vardy. It’s 5-0.

Still it could be worse. 45 minutes later and you’ve now seen your team on the wrong end of a record breaking 9-0 defeat. Weekend ruined, but at least you can use the next two fixtures to bounce back *checks notes* oh, Manchester City away twice in a row? Maybe not.


Bournemouth v Manchester United

Scoring more than one goal for the first time since the opening day of the season, Manchester United come into this game having beaten a struggling Norwich and claimed their first away win in the league in eight months.

The return of Anthony Martial to the squad has given them a jolt to the arm and he’s back on the score sheet in his first start. Despite their woes from the penalty spot (seriously, how many penalties have they got this season?) Both Martial and Rashford found the back of the net along with Scott McTominay’s opener, piled yet more pressure on Norwich.

Bournemouth will be looking to rebound from a disappointing draw to an improving Watford side and could finish the weekend as high as 5th should results go their way. Having no cup commitments this week, will be key for Eddie Howe’s men as United play Wednesday and Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff, which could give Bournemouth a much needed boost.

Anthony Martial looks good to continue his scoring form and he’s 11/8 to score anytime, but they’re still lacking a bit at the back so expect Calum Wilson to get in behind the back four at some stage (17/10 anytime scorer). Both to score and either team to win at 5/4 should start your weekend off right.


Arsenal v Wolves

Arsenal disappointed last time out, surrendering a 2-0 lead to Crystal Palace and slumping to their fourth draw of the season. That’s the second most in the league, only behind this weekend’s opponents Wolves who have a whopping SIX draws out of ten matches so far this season.

All signs point to a draw in this game too, Arsenal look a bit blunt in attack but Alexandre Lacazette (21/20 anytime) coming back to the fold could bring a much needed boost to the Goals For column. The Gunners have only kept two clean sheets this season and Wolves have scored in every Premier League game since their 0-0 draw with Leicester on the opening weekend.

Expect Raul Jiminez  (15/8 anytime) to give plenty of trouble to the Arsenal defense which has questions to answer. Similarly Wolves have conceded just one less goal than their opponents which suggests 4/6 for both teams to score is right on the mark. Both teams scored in their last meeting last season with the results going each way, both teams to score and a draw is 18/5.

Given Arsenal’s unpredictability and Wolves’ knack for taking points off supposed top six sides, I think this looks like a good shout. Both teams are in midweek action against Premier League opposition, so let’s see how that affects each managers team selection heading into the Premier League Gameweek 11.


Aston Villa v Liverpool

Every non-Liverpool fan in the country must have jumped for joy when Harry Kane tapped in after 47 seconds last Sunday. “Yes, this is it, this is when they finally lose!” was the general consensus on Twitter.

It didn’t finish that way as the Reds clawed their way back into the game thanks to Jordan Henderson’s first Anfield goal in 4 years and Mohamed Salah’s now customary goal against Tottenham.

Aston Villa’s winning run came to an end at the hands of Manchester City last time out and while Villa are safe from relegation at the moment, they could end up back in the bottom three if results don’t go their way this weekend. Jack Grealish has two in his last three games for Villa and Brazilian striker Wesley has four goals this campaign for his new club, they’re 6/1 and 16/5 respectively to score anytime.

They’ll need to be at their best to give this Liverpool side a game, while the Reds haven’t kept a clean sheet in the league since their win over Sheffield United in September. Alisson’s third game back from injury should start to translate to clean sheets, even though Liverpool have the joint best defense so far this season. Again, both sides are in Carabao Cup action against PL opposition, but the likelihood is that Liverpool will stick with the same team that took them through against MK Dons in the last round.

Typically, since making his way into my fantasy team Sadio Mané has been quiet in front of goal but he’s always involved so I’d be backing him to score first in this game at 10/3. Villa have scored at least two goals in four of their last five games so expect them to land a blow on the Reds. I just think that the league leaders will have too much for Villa as the game goes on. Sadio Mane to score anytime and Liverpool to win 3-1 at 16/1 looks good to me.


Brighton v Norwich

Brighton will consider themselves rather fortunate to have come away with all the points last time out, but thanks to a penalty courtesy of VAR and a comedic, last minute own goal from Lucas Digne ensured Brighton’s third win of the season.

They’ll be looking to make that four this weekend against a Norwich side who are having no luck at all this season, no wins in their last 5 and only Watford below them in the table means time’s running out for the Canaries.

Neil Maupay got on the score sheet last time out and he’s 3/1 to score the first goal this week. With this game coming post Halloween and neither team in midweek action, my spectacular Teemu Spooky idea is wasted…

Even so, you can get him at 6/4 to score anytime and end his barren scoring run. Brighton to win and both teams to score is a generous 23/10, the only stumbling block will be Norwich actually finding the net.


Manchester City v Southampton

They say the best way to get over a 9-0 loss is to face arguably the best team to ever play in the Premier League in back to back fixtures. Actually wait, no they don’t!

Southampton broke records last weekend and not the good kind, by falling victim to the biggest away win since the Football League was formed in 1888. Ralph Hasenhüttl will have a job on his hands motivating his players to even show up to this one. If City can inflict a similar scoreline you can expect some significantly lighter wallets around the dressing rooms of St Mary’s.

The two teams will be familiar with each other by the time this game rolls around having played in the EFL cup on Tuesday night (City won, obviously) but that probably won’t be a good thing for Southampton in all honesty.

City will be without makeshift center-half Fernandinho after his sending off against Aston Villa, but can call on John Stones in the absence of Aymeric Laporte. Not really much to say about this one, pick a number between 1 and 5 and stick a minus beside it. There’s your handicap. Fill your boots with City who are 8/11 to win to nil seems like a banker.


Sheffield United v Burnley

Despite their fantastic start in their return to the Premier League, Sheffield United have scored just 3 goals in front of their own fans this season. They can perhaps rest easy though as Burnley have been toothless on the road failing to win any of their away fixtures so far.

Lys Mousett continued his goal scoring form, bagging the equalizer in last week’s fixture against West Ham and maintaining their top half position in the league. John Lundstram continues to be the darling of Fantasy Football managers everywhere too with his performances in midfield. Sean Dyche will be fuming with his team after their 4-2 loss to Chelsea last time out. I wouldn’t want to have been in the dressing room after that, he sounds like an angry cement mixer at the best of times.

To their credit, they were able to get two goals when most teams would have given up and taken 4-0. Ashley Barnes missed a few good chances on his return on injury and having had a week on the training pitch should come into this game just that little bit sharper. Back him to score anytime at 9/4.

Sheffield United are 23/20 to come away with all three points in this one but I like the Goals Galore Plus Draw at 7/2. Both teams should get on the score sheet but neither side has any obvious edge over the other. Having said that, Burnley are 7/2 to take all the points and given their extra top flight experience, this could present a bit of value.


West Ham v Newcastle

Our final 3pm kick off sees West Ham welcome Newcastle to the London Stadium and both teams will be in search of a win here. Newcastle are teetering above the relegation abyss and 3 points here will be priceless to them, after their last famous victory over Man United.

They’ll be without Sean Longstaff after his straight red card at the weekend but can call on Dwight Gayle who returns to the side after being out injured practically all season. West Ham were unlucky not to come away with three points last time out, Felipe Anderson in particular missing the target, he’s 11/4 to go one better and score anytime.

Just two points from the last twelve available to the Hammers means that results need to start going their way, before their mid-table security becomes under threat. Goals or a lack of are still a problem for Newcastle, they’ve got just six so far this season with only Watford scoring less.

Steve Bruce needs to address that and find a way to get record signing Joelinton in the goals, who looked increasingly isolated as the game went on. Newcastle’s only other away win this season came just down the road at White Hart Lane (is it even called that anymore?) and they’re 3/1 to win and take all three points back to Tyneside.


Watford v Chelsea

Winless Watford welcome Chelsea on Saturday evening and their recent performances suggest that elusive first win of the season isn’t too far off. Unfortunately, they’re probably going to have to wait another week before they get it.

Christian Pulisic announced himself to the Premier League, scoring a perfect hat-trick and becoming just the second American to do so since Clint Dempsey played soccer ball in 2005. He’s 15/8 to score anytime here and add to the already impressive attacking options for Chelsea.

Frank Lampard’s men have gone on a 4 match unbeaten run and are 7/2 to win both halves against a Watford side who while improving, still lack any sort of cutting edge. Just one goal scored in the last 5 games and only 5 goals scored all season make grim reading for Watford fans. Already having hit the reset button to bring Quique Sanchez Flores back to the dugout. Time’s running out for the Hornets to make a positive change to their season.


Crystal Palace v Leicester

The problem with winning your last game 9-0 is how do you follow that up? The Foxes beat League One’s Burton, who coincidentally were also on the wrong end of a 9-0 defeat in the competition last year. They come up against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side this week and the Eagle’s find themselves just five points off the top 4 and have only lost once in their last five matches.

It was to Manchester City, so that’s to be expected. They managed to salvage a point against Arsenal last time out, but I think this Leicester side will have too much for them this time round. Strangely, you have to go all the way back to 2016 to find the last time Leicester beat Crystal Palace.

Matches involving Palace don’t tend to give normal results do they? Leicester to win is a generous 23/20 and Ayoze Perez is 14/5 to score anytime and add to his hat-trick against Southampton last time out.


Everton v Tottenham

Back to back trips to Merseyside for Tottenham here after they lost to Liverpool last time out. Harry Kane got on the score sheet after just 47 seconds in that game, but it wasn’t enough to secure any points as his side were basically forced to defend for 90 minutes.

They should have a bit more freedom to attack an Everton side who have been very blunt in front of goal this season and leaky at the back, conceding an average of 1.8 goals a game in their last five.

The Toffees progressed to the next round of the EFL cup against Watford on Tuesday night, but dangling ever so precariously above the relegation zone means that league results are the top priority for an increasingly under-fire Marco Silva.

Just three wins at Goodison Park since 2015 for Spurs suggest that they could struggle here, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men did win 6-2 on their last visit to the Old Lady, ruining Christmas for many Evertonians.

Harry Kane is 18/5 to open the scoring for the second week in a row and Spurs are 6/4 to win the match, pretty generous given their opponents form. The Blues are usually solid at home all things considered and they’re 7/4 to win their fourth home game of the season. Richarlison will be looking to get back on the score sheet having seen his effort downgraded to an own goal against Brighton, he’s 21/10 to score anytime.


*All prices at time of writing*

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