First up, Tottenham take on Liverpool at White Hart Lane in the match of the weekend – not only are the two teams evenly matched, but all eyes will be on the new Liverpool manager – a real coup for the club in Champions League finalist and Bundesliga winner Jurgen Klopp. New managers to a club can bring with a real sense of energy and excitement, which transcends onto the pitch, and can really drive the players and fans on. Despite Brendan Rodgers getting the sack, Liverpool have been in far worse form in recent years than they are in now – they are still well involved in every competition, and have only lost twice this season, with both defeats coming just over a month ago. Tottenham are undefeated in the league since the opening day of the season, and find themselves just a point ahead of Liverpool. I’m backing the new manager effect to really kick in here, and I’m taking a Klopp-inspired Liverpool win at huge odds of 3.00 with SportingBet.
Also in the Premier League, Arsenal travel to Watford, having overcome some early hiccups (domestically, at least) to win 4 of their last 5 matches. Watford will aim to provide Arsenal with as stern a test as the quality of their playing squad allows, but the reality is Arsenal should have more than enough to overcome their opponents, who have won just 1 home game out of 4 this season. With matchwinners in the likes of Walcott, Cazorla, Sanchez and Ozil, I’m backing Arsenal to win this tie at favourable odds of 1.62 with Coral.
Real Madrid face ¬minnows Levante at home and are sure-fire favourite to overwhelm minnows Levante, who have struggled in the league this season, winning just one match, and languishing in 18th place in the table. Levante have the worst half-time record in the league this year – by the half-time whistle, they have only never been ahead, and have been at least a goal down in 3 out of their 7 matches. Conversely, Real Madrid have not been behind by half time in any of their league matches this season; I expect them to rout Levante here, and hit a few goals before half time in their match. Grab Real Madrid Half Time Result at great odds of 1.36 with Ladbrokes.
Finally, I’m looking to keep up my great record within Scottish football with a prediction coming from the Scottish Championship, where Hibs take on Dumbarton at home. Rangers appear to be romping the league here, with 9 wins from 9, scoring 31 goals in the process, but Hibs will hope to hang on to their coat-tails despite already being 11 points behind, knowing that going up via a play-off is a much easier task with a second placed finish than otherwise. Hibs have played well at home so far this season, and are picking up form with each match played – they have scored almost 2 goals per game at home, and face a fairly average Dumbarton side languishing in 7th place in the table. I’m backing Hibs to score Over 1.5 Team Goals at odds of 1.44 with Bet365.
Put these four selections in an ACCA and it pays 8.67!