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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

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@chamberlinsport - Ed Chamberlin

So good to come off air to a @SouthamptonFC win. Can look forward to MOTD for the first time in ages! #SaintsFC

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

Sourced from BBC article

Premier League predictions: Lawro v comedian Rhys James

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In-form Tottenham take on a revitalised Arsenal in a mouth-watering north London derby on Saturday lunchtime - but will Spurs get revenge for their defeat at Emirates Stadium earlier in the season?

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson says: "It is a long time since Tottenham were beaten - 11 games in all competitions - so they are on a really good run.

"Arsenal have only won three out of 13 away games in the Premier League this season, and it is on the road where I think they will continue to have issues, including at Wembley."

Lawro is going for a 2-0 Tottenham win - do you agree?

You can make your predictions now, take on Lawro and other fans, create your own league and try to make it to the top of the table by playing the new-look BBC Sport Predictor game.

Lawro scored 70 points in week 26, which leaves him in 1,331st place out of more than 380,000 players.

He will be making a prediction for all 380 top-flight games this season, against a variety of guests.

This week he takes on comedian Rhys James, who is a Tottenham fan.

James says he supports Spurs because "I had a very privileged upbringing and my dad thought it would be good to put in some hardship somewhere along the line".

He said: "My favourite moment as a Tottenham fan is also the best goal I have ever seen live.

"It was Harry Kane's goal against Arsenal at White Hart Lane in March 2016, when Dele Alli did a backheel and Harry, from a tight angle, curled the ball into the corner of the net and then ran off and ripped off the mask he was wearing to protect his broken nose.

"It came from nowhere and I was right behind his shot so I watched it fly in at the same angle he did.

"That is genuinely the most excited I have ever been in my life because his goal put us 2-1 up and we thought we were going to win the league.

"Harry had run off screaming and I was there screaming 'Kane, the mask is off' like some WWE commentator from 10 years ago.

"If we had won, we would have closed the gap on the leaders, Leicester, so it was amazing. Then Alexis Sanchez equalised and my dreams were shattered."

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated.

Arsenal have made some very good attacking signings with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan but they have not strengthened defensively.

Yes, the Gunners brushed Everton aside very easily last week, and they were great to watch.

But Tottenham will be much tougher to break down and, at the same time, they can do some damage at the other end of the pitch too.

I still think Arsenal can make a late run for the top four, but this is not a week where they close the gap.

Rhys' prediction: This game massively depends on who the referee is, of course, but Aubameyang loves scoring against Spurs and Arsenal are in quite good form so for that reason I am going to give Arsenal one because I think they will score... but I am going to give 38 to Tottenham. 38-1

James is a regular on Mock the Week but is not joking when he says he thinks Spurs can win this season's Champions League.

"I think Spurs can win a trophy - in fact, I think we can win THE trophy," he explained. "We have already beaten the champions, Real Madrid, so there is no reason that we cannot go on to win it. Harry Kane to lift that trophy and Moussa Sissoko to be a Champions League winner.

Everton got their tactics spectacularly wrong in their defeat by Arsenal last time out, while Crystal Palace picked up a point against Newcastle but had plenty of chances to win that game.

Palace have to be careful, because they are only three points above the relegation zone and not out of trouble yet. If they go three or four games - or less - without winning then they could find themselves in the bottom three.

I still think they will be fine in the end with Roy Hodgson in charge but the Eagles are also without Wilfried Zaha for a few weeks too, which will be a big loss.

So I am going for Everton to respond to what happened last weekend. I don't think they can be as bad as that again, anyway.

Rhys' prediction: Sam Allardyce and Hodgson, two of England's finest ever managers, go head-to-head here. Defensively, both teams are not great and I do think Palace will win a penalty because Everton's defence is quite poor. 1-1

Brighton's win over West Ham last week was a massive result for them and lifted them out of the bottom six - they are 13th now, three points above the relegation zone.

Stoke are still in the thick of it, though, following their defeat against Bournemouth after leading 1-0 and having enough chances in the first half to put the game out of reach.

Brighton are still short of goals away from home - they have managed only one in their past seven league games on the road.

But I am not quite sure how much of a threat Stoke will pose either, especially if 37-year-old Peter Crouch is leading the line.

The Seagulls usually come and sit when they play away from home and they are even more likely to do that and say 'we will take a point now' after beating the Hammers.

Rhys' prediction: This is going to be close but I am going to give it to Brighton. 1-2

The Swansea revival continues under Carlos Carvalhal - their draw with Leicester last week means it is 10 points from five games since he took charge, and they are into the fifth round of the FA Cup after thumping Notts County.

But they have had some bad news with the injuries to Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony, and I am not sure whether their run will last much longer.

It is a long time since Burnley won - 12 December - but I just feel that will change soon.

The Clarets' draw against Manchester City last weekend will have boosted their confidence - not that they look like a team without a win in 10 games anyway.

And Swansea won this game in injury time last season with a controversial Fernando Llorente goal, so Burnley boss Sean Dyche might be thinking his side owe Swansea one for that too.

Watford had a great win over Chelsea on Monday night - no-one saw that coming.

The Hornets are still a team that you worry a little bit about, though, because they could easily go a few games without another victory.

West Ham are still in trouble too, although Marko Arnautovic could be back from injury for this game and Patrice Evra is available to make his debut after signing earlier in the week.

A win would be huge for either team, and the same goes for every team down there, because not all of the teams below them will pick up points this weekend.

Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez's absence is set to continue against the club he could have joined at the end of the transfer window.

I like the way that Foxes boss Claude Puel is dealing with the whole situation by saying he has got the rest of his squad to worry about - and he is quite right too.

It is two years since Leicester famously won at Etihad Stadium on their way to winning the title, with Mahrez making one goal and scoring another.

But I cannot see a repeat of that result this time. Manchester City dropped a couple of points against Burnley last week, but normal service should resume here.

Rhys' prediction: Leicester are decent but you have to fancy Manchester City for this one. 3-1

This is a big game for both teams, who are at opposite ends of the form table.

Huddersfield are into the fifth round of the FA Cup after winning their replay with Birmingham on Tuesday, but they have lost five in a row in the league and are now second bottom.

In contrast, Bournemouth have gone seven league games unbeaten - including four wins - and have climbed to ninth place.

At the moment every decision that Cherries boss Eddie Howe makes seems to be working, like the tactical switch he made early on against Stoke last weekend, when he chucked on Joshua King, a striker, after losing Steve Cook, a defender, to injury.

It looks like Bournemouth are going to be safe, although a lot can still change at the bottom of the table because it is so tight.

Huddersfield, however, look like they are in real trouble. I have only tipped them to win once this season, and the main reason for that is because I have been looking at them and been thinking 'who is going to keep scoring their goals?'

So, I will be very interested to see the way that David Wagner approaches this game, at home and against a team as open as Bournemouth are.

Huddersfield will be able to play against them, if they want to. How they set up will tell us a lot about how Wagner sees his side at the moment.

It is possible for a team to change their style like that - it can just come down to having an extra man up front, rather than midfield, and they don't have to become gung-ho.

They have scored 19 goals from 26 league games and are the joint-lowest scorers in the top flight, which tells its own story.

Unless Wagner changes then Laurent Depoitre is going to feel around 65 when the season is over, because he has been up there on his own for most of it.

In fairness, he has done a decent job, but just very rarely looks like scoring because he does not get many chances.

If you are not making any chances or scoring many goals, then the best case scenario is that you nick a goal and win, or do the same and draw.

Huddersfield are losing games anyway, so I think there comes a time when the manager must think what's the worst that can happen if they go for it a bit more.

Rhys' prediction: I love the Kirklees Stadium - it has got a great atmosphere and great fans - but I don't think that is going to be enough to help Huddersfield. 1-3

Newcastle have not won at home in the league since October and this fixture is not exactly helpful when it comes to them trying to improve on that poor run at St James' Park.

I did think the Magpies looked a little bit better going forward early on in their draw with Crystal Palace last weekend, but it did not really last.

Kenedy, who has joined on loan from Chelsea, looked really good on the left too - but he was taken off before the hour mark and, by the end, Newcastle were hanging on for a point.

It is hard to see Newcastle offering much more of a threat against a Manchester United side who easily saw off Huddersfield last weekend.

Islam Slimani could make his debut and should give Newcastle more of a focal point in attack but I just think we might see a classic Rafa Benitez performance at home against a top-six team - which is a bit like parking 10 buses, not just one.

Rhys' prediction: There is too much talent in the United team. 0-3

Virgil van Dijk heads back to St Mary's following his £75m move to Liverpool at the start of January and it will be interesting to see how he is received.

Van Djik is not the only former Southampton player who could face his former club, though. Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren could all do the same.

Southampton's win at West Brom last weekend was big for them because they had waited so long for a Premier League win - 12 games and 10 weeks to be exact - and this game is a difficult one to call.

Where Liverpool struggle is when they try to manage games, and last week's draw with Tottenham was the perfect example.

They played well in the first half of that game, but were completely under the cosh after the break.

Then they scored a goal out of nothing from Mohamed Salah in the 91st minute - but could not see out the remaining time without conceding. It is just not in their DNA to do that.

The other thing to consider is Jurgen Klopp's team selection, with Liverpool playing FC Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.

If you look at Klopp's teams in the Champions League this season, you could argue they are the strongest he can pick and if that is the case next week, will he be slightly weaker this weekend?

It is make your mind up time because a top-four place is far from secure and Liverpool have to keep chugging away in the league too - they could be out of the top four if they drop points in this game.

Rhys' prediction: This is a peek into the future for the Southampton players - this is Liverpool juniors versus Liverpool, or dads v lads. Whoever scores for Southampton will be playing for Liverpool in 12 months time. 1-3

It is obvious that all is not well for Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and I do not like the stories that are coming out in the papers from players who are supposedly unhappy with his training regime.

When they were winning games, no-one was saying anything, and training is the same whether you win, lose or draw.

It will be interesting to see what happens next and, if there are any serious differences between Conte and his squad or the Chelsea boardroom, whether they can be patched up.

The Blues had a bad defeat at Watford on Monday, which means people are talking about them being in crisis but I think that is a bit of an exaggeration, and I would certainly back them to win this game.

I wouldn't panic over West Brom at the moment either, even though they are four points from safety and could be further adrift by the time this game is played.

The big thing about the Baggies is that they look more likely to score a goal than many of the other sides down at the bottom of the table.

When push comes to shove, I do think Alan Pardew's side will start to pick up points - especially when they play against some of the lower teams, who will give them more chances.

Rhys' prediction: Two former Chelsea managers have been sacked after playing West Brom - Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto di Matteo, both in 2012 - so you have to fancy it to be third time lucky. 2-2

From the last round of Premier League games, Lawro got four correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 matches for a total of 70 points.

He was up against Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, who got two correct results, with no perfect scores.

Emmanuel Sanders and Josh Norman's total of 20 points leaves them joint bottom of the guest leaderboard.

  • Shows weeks where Lawro had more than one guest, and only the highest score contributed to the guest total.

Lawro's best score: 150 points (week eight v Wretch 32 and week 24 v Pete Wentz)

Lawro's worst score: 40 points (week four v Umenyiora and Bell, week five v Non Stanford, week 21 v Darren Campbell and week 23 v Saric and Baynes)

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

🎥 🎙

Join us live from Staplewood this afternoon, as #SaintsFC boss Mauricio Pellegrino addresses the media ahead o… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/961887898848104448

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

#OnThisDay in 2013, #SaintsFC recorded a 3-1 home victory over #MCFC in the #PL! 😇

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC


Tickets for the trip to face #WBA in the #EmiratesFACup are now on sale to all #SaintsFC supporters: http://sfcne.ws/WBA170218

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

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Summary of non-mainstream articles: 09/02/2018 11:45:54

Five reasons why Liverpool will smash Southampton on Sunday FANSIDEDRUSHTHEKOP

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

Sourced from Daily Echo article

Hoedt excited by Koeman appointment after hearing 'great things' from Saints colleagues

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WESLEY Hoedt admits he is looking forward to working under new Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman, after hearing "great things" from his Saints team-mates.

Koeman was manager at Saints from 2014-2016, leading the club to a 7th and 6th place finish in the Premier League before leaving for Everton.

The 54-year-old was sacked by the Toffees last October after 16 months in charge but is now back in work with the Netherlands.

Hoedt, who has six caps for the Dutch, is looking forward to working under the former St Mary's chief and one of the nation's most iconic players.

"We have to be really happy," he said about Koeman's appointment.

"Ronald Koeman is a really experienced and a really good coach, so it’s a new era and we all need to show that we are willing to fight for our country and it’s up to him what the selection will be."

The 23-year-old centre-back has spoken to his Saints colleagues about Koeman, who was highly successful at St Mary's during his two season stay.

"Everyone really liked him," he said.

"I’ve never worked under him so that’ll be new but they told me a lot of great things about him, so I’m curious to start with him in the national team."

The Netherlands failed to qualify for this summer's World Cup in Russia and Hoedt hopes Koeman can bring success back to Holland.

"We have a great squad and a lot of quality players," he said.

"Maybe it’s not as much quality as Holland has been used to in other days but we have really good players and a lot of talent as well.

"Now it’s up to us to step up and lead the team together with the new coach to better days."

On taking the job, Koeman said: "I think the Netherlands should and must be qualifying for major finals and I see a bright future in that regard. That's why I've taken the job."

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

Sourced from Daily Echo article

Hoedts finds benefits from Pellegrino settling on best team

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WESLEY Hoedt is glad Mauricio Pellegrino has started to work out his best Saints team because it's meant he's been able to develop a partnership with Jack Stephens at centre-back.

The duo have played together for ten consecutive games in all competitions and have become Pellegrino's first choice pairing at centre back.

The Saints boss has only just settled on Hoedt and Stephens, having deployed Maya Yoshida and, before his £75m departure to Liverpool last month, Virgil van Dijk, at the back.

Hoedt said: “We’re doing well. The whole team has improved but we have to keep looking in the mirror to see what we can improve on.

“The consistency now in the team means we can form a partnership that, I think, is showing that it’s good.

“We are both confident on the ball and you just have to show you can compete as well as proper defenders and I think we are doing that.”

Saints have gone six games unbeaten in all competitions and, although they sometimes look vulnerable at the back, especially from set-pieces, they have kept a promising three clean sheets in seven games.

Overall, there has been a marked change in performances for the better and Hoedt believes that this could well be down to a more consistent team.

Pellegrino has often swapped personnel around this season, but appears to be working out his best team, especially in defence, as Saints battle against relegation in their final 12 games of the Premier League campaign.

“We are playing with a consistent squad now, so we are not changing it around too much anymore,” he said.

“That’s nice, it’s brings up habits and relationships. Everybody knows what to do and that’s good.

“There’s still 12 more finals to go, we’re not out of danger yet. There are still a lot of improvements to be done.”

The 23-year-old revealed victory at West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, after 12 winless Premier League matches, will give the team a lift.

However, Hoedt, who was signed from Lazio in a £15m deal last summer, wants Saints, with 12 games left, to keep their focus and not become “lazy or cocky”.

He said: “We haven’t done anything yet. Now we win once but that is not enough.

“It’s 12 more finals to go and a lot of points to take. It’s not the moment to be lazy or cocky now. We just have to be focused and be willing to take as many points as possible.”

One of the features of Saints’ recent run has been Jack Stephens’ hot run of form in front of goal, having netted three goals in as many matches. His only strikes for the club.

Hoedt is happy for his centre-back partner and he wants to now push for his first goal in Saints colours.

“He’s doing really well now. He’s scored three in one week now, so that’s nice. It’s something that helps the team, so that’s good for him,” he said.

“I’m new here and I’ve had a lot of chances and I’ve missed some chances on goal, with my head as well at City, United, some other ones as well.

“You don’t have to score but, of course, it’s nice if you can. But I remember in my time at Lazio that it took a little longer as well and then I took off.

“But I want to be important as a leader and defender, so that’s the thing I’m doing now and, if I remember right, I’ve had a few assists as well already, so that’s nice.

“But the goals will come if keep pushing for it.”

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

Sourced from Daily Echo article

READER LETTER: I'm not going to St Mary's this weekend because I don't want to hear the C word

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Wednesday’s Echo reported that Virgil van Dijk will not be fazed by the crowd reaction when he comes back to St Mary’s on Sunday.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for me. For the third year running, having paid £36 to attend the game (via my season ticket) I will not be there because I am not willing to listen to songs that include the most foul swear word – the ‘C’ word – directed at Liverpool players.

The ‘F’ word is now common in everyday language, but as yet, the use of the ‘C’ word is still not acceptable, except, it would seem, at St Mary’s.

I have written to the club in the past asking them to take action against the Northam End in particular, where hundreds of fans will sing such songs while stewards and the police stand watching them.

I received a reply saying they would refer the matter to the stadium manager, who has clearly done nothing.

It’s ironic that there are messages on the scoreboard at every game, exhorting the crowd to ‘help us stamp out abuse and discrimination’ with a number to text.

So if the man in the seat behind me yells the ‘C’ word at a player or official, I can report it and action will be taken against him.

Yet when hundreds do the same, en masse, the club is unwilling to act.

If they wrote to all ticket holders in the Northam Stand two weeks before the game, warning that if the song is heard, the whole end will be cleared, I can promise they would only have to clear that stand once, and they would stamp out this abuse.

It is shameful that while racist and homophobic abuse is rightly no longer tolerated in football grounds, the most vile, disgusting swear word is acceptable in what purports to be a family-friendly club.

When the parents of small children are desperately trying to think of a rhyming word so they can substitute it when their children ask what the crowd is singing, we have reached a new low.

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

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Hoedt: Fans are so important

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After a difficult spell, the 3-2 victory came as a welcome relief to players and the travelling contingent alike, whose vociferous backing and support was integral in the Midlands.

The Dutch international was quick to show his gratitude when he went over and handed a young fan his matchworn shirt - all players followed his lead. While some roll out the clichés, those genuine moments are often a priceless rarity in the modern game. That togetherness, he feels, is vital in building success.

“I think the fans are the most important piece of the game, without them there is no show. We have to be thankful for them; they are supporting us through the difficult times and the spell we had without a win so I felt like I wanted to give something back.

“Luckily the other guys followed me in doing it and it was right to because they deserved it.

“The home support is going to be very important. We need the fans behind us; if they do that then we can go out on the pitch and try and win as many points as possible.”

Hoedt has also built a strong connection with Jack Stephens in recent weeks at the heart of defence.

The transition to playing in the Premier League is not always seamless but having already experienced Serie A and Eredivisie at the age of 23, the Alkmaar-born defender has a bank of knowledge to help his growth.

“It’s always better to build a partnership as a centre-back, once you start learning where the other guy goes and what he is going to do and Jack and I are showing that at the moment.

“Maya Yoshida is a great defender and great player too, so we have good quality in that position. We’re doing well but I think we can still improve on a lot of things.

“I think I’m growing; I’m playing every week now and that has given me some consistency, which is great. Again, I think I’m doing well but I know that I can still do a lot more. I want to be a better player and I want to help the Saints. I want to grow into the league.

"The Premier League has a lot of direct play and that’s something that I need to adapt to; I think I’m starting to do that at the moment. Strikers here are physical and fast so it’s something different for me relative to what I’ve experienced before.

"At the same time that you’re trying to add different elements to your game, it’s important not to lose sight of your qualities; I like to pass the ball out from defence and influence the play because that’s one of my biggest strengths.”

So to Liverpool at St Mary’s, where Saints hope to start gathering momentum and push up the table with a victory.

“We’re far from done yet,” Hoedt reiterates when looking ahead to another vital clash.

“The spirit in the team is good at the moment. We really needed a win, which we got against West Brom but there are still 12 games to go plus any extras from the FA Cup.

“More victories and more good performances are going to get us away from danger. Liverpool have a great team but so do we. We have to be competitive and try and deliver as a good a performance as we can. We have to go all out, 100 per cent for the win.”

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Optimus trousers posted this 09 February 2018

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

Watch live as #SaintsFC boss Mauricio Pellegrino speaks to the media ahead of the #PL visit of #LFC: https://www.pscp.tv/w/bUxKJTMxOTB8MXlOeGFrcnZQRUVHaqVoxdwQcwSgo6gsqEYyeyhH3kQz7PunSWOqPa_-N16V

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

Mauricio Pellegrino confirms that there are no new injury concerns ahead of Sunday's #PL meeting with #LFC: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1yNxakrvPEEGj

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

MP: “We played well at #WBA but the most important thing is consistency. We have to learn from our last game agains… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/961958243500285952

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Sourced from Daily Mail article

Tottenham v Arsenal betting odds and predictions

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We're diving in to derby day as north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal kick off the latest round of Premier League fixtures – and if the stars on show can stay on their feet long enough we could be in for a lunchtime cracker under the Wembley arch.

Arsenal new-boy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the way he means to go on with a debut goal against Everton and while this will be just his second game in the Premier League, he has a few fond memories of facing Spurs.

He's scored four goals in as many games against them across the Champions League and Europa League and the strike against Everton took him to 22 for the season in just 25 outings. That's almost Harry Kane territory – the Spurs man is 31 in 32. To net at any time Aubameyang is 7/4 with Paddy Power and that's too good to ignore when you consider those numbers.

For the opener he's 11/2, with Kane heading the betting at 3/1.

Kane's record against Arsenal is even better than Aubameyang's against Spurs – he's got six in six and only one blank, in the game at the Emirates earlier this season. And he's always fired up having been knocked back by the Gunners as a youngster (you might've heard him mention it a few times).

This one looks nailed on for both teams to score so how about Kane and Aubameyang both netting? You can get 7/2 with Sky Bet.

Spurs were involved in the game of the weekend last time out and we nailed a 16/1 shot by backing Liverpool to be leading at the break and the match to finish all square. A share of the spoils is tempting again with any score draw 7/2. Spurs are slightly better than evens with a few bookies while an away win is on offer at 27/10.

It's no wonder Spurs are fancied. They're taking care of business at Wembley – only West Brom and West Ham have left there with anything in 12 games since the clocks went back, during which time Mauricio Pochettino's men have scored 32 goals and let in just six.

And then there's Arsenal's away record. It stinks. They've won just three of 13 on the road in the league and of the teams in the top 10, only Bournemouth, Burnley and Everton have scored fewer goals on opposition pitches.

But Wembley doesn't bring out their travel sickness quite so much. Plus Arsenal have won more London derbies away from home (52) and in total (121) than any side in the competition while manager Arsene Wenger has been relieved of the stress of answering questions about Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

He's been freed up to talk about diving this week. Just like Pochettino.

Wenger's opposite number has had to defend Dele Alli while Harry Kane was also accused of going down too easy to win a penalty at Anfield. Alli's been booked more than any other player for simulation although three times in three years hardly makes him Tom Daley. Betway go 7/2 Spurs are awarded a spot-kick and 6/1 one of their players is booked for simulation.

In the 3pm games, Swansea aren't losing many this winter and Burnley have more draws away from home than any team in the league. A share of the points looks the best bet at the Liberty Stadium - and at Stoke where Brighton are the visitors. Everton (7/5) can edge a Crystal Palace side missing Wilfried Zaha. Theo Walcott is 4/1 in the score-win double and a home win by one goal is 11/4. Watford are 11/5 to follow up their win over Chelsea by beating West Ham.

Manchester City stuttered at Burnley last weekend but Pep Guardiola can say what he likes, his 'tired and injury-hit' side are getting little sympathy with their 13-point lead at the top of the table.

They take on Leicester in the late kick-off and they're back at the Etihad Stadium where they've scored 17 goals in their last five league games. They're 1/4 to win but 4/5 to score three or more.

It could be a super Sunday for away backers with Bournemouth at Huddersfield, Liverpool at Southampton and Manchester United at Newcastle. The treble returns around 6/1 with most bookies.

Bournemouth are flying - unbeaten in seven league games with four wins and three draws since losing to Man City – and they're 6/4 to give Huddersfield a sixth straight loss and another big nudge towards the Championship.

Newcastle will try to make it hard for United (4/6), like they did for Man City just after Christmas but, take an away win by two goals at 4/1.

Southampton's mammoth winless run ended at West Brom last time out but even there they shipped a couple of goals and there's no chance they'll be keeping out Mo Salah and Co. Liverpool are 5/6 or 13/5 to win with both teams scoring.

Chelsea are in action on Monday night with West Brom visiting Stamford Bridge, where Antonio Conte is still, just about, hanging on to his job at 1/4 to be the next top-flight boss to go.

There's dressing-room unrest, probably because of the mess on the floor due to all the dummies that have been spat out, and it could be time to look at the 2/1 available for them to miss out on a top-four finish.

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