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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

We'e wishing a happy birthday to #SaintsFC legend Kelvin Davis, as he turns 41 today! 🎉

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

#SaintsFC partners @SportPesa are offering the chance to win a coaching education session in hospitality for #WBA: http://sfcne.ws/SportPesaCE

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from BBC article

Premier League predictions: Lawro v Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett

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Two of the Premier League's top three meet on Saturday when defending champions Chelsea host unbeaten leaders Manchester City.

BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson does not see City leaving Stamford Bridge empty-handed, although he is expecting a hard-fought encounter.

Lawro said: "Chelsea beat City home and away on their way to the title last year but I think it is fair to say they rode their luck a bit to get six points out of those fixtures - I don't see the same thing happening this season."

Do you agree? You can make your own 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 picked up 80 points in week six, leaving him in 14,050th place out of a total of more than 215,000 users.

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

Lawro's opponent for this weekend's fixtures is Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett.

American Shiflett grew up in California but started supporting Arsenal through his love of punk rock.

He told BBC Sport: "I did not grow up with football but I got interested in it really through seeing bands wearing football shirts and scarves.

"At first it was like a style thing but then in the early 1990s when [former Sex Pistols singer] Johnny Rotten brought out his autobiography. There was a lot in it about growing up in north London and being an Arsenal fan.

"So, having no idea about what any of it meant, I just thought OK, that will be my team.

"I was sort of a fan from afar for a long time, but what really got me paying close attention is when my kids got into Arsenal.

"Now I go to games whenever I can. I went to watch Chelsea against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, which was the first time I had been there, and the first time I had been in the home section watching Arsenal at another ground.

"I had to kind of keep it down, but nobody rumbled me."

You can hear more from Shiflett on Football Focus on BBC One and the BBC Sport website at 12:00 BST on Saturday.

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

Remember you can try to beat Lawro yourself by playing the BBC Sport Predictor game.

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

Huddersfield picked up another decent point last week against Burnley, but it has been a while since they won in the Premier League, which is obviously a concern.

The Terriers are still unbeaten at home this season, but I don't think that will be the case for much longer.

At the moment, Tottenham are probably stronger on the road than they are at Wembley - and after wins at West Ham and Apoel Nicosia I think they will make it three away wins in seven days.

Shiflett's prediction: Obviously Huddersfield are going to win this one because this is Tottenham we are talking about and they BLOW... no, no in all honesty I think Spurs will win. 0-2

I was at Leicester's defeat by Liverpool in the league last week and to be quite honest, apart from Jamie Vardy, the Foxes did not do very much.

Take Vardy out of their team and they are looking quite average going forward - and their other problem is that they look like they have got a bit of a soft centre, as in their defence is easy to get at.

You could say the same about the Cherries of course, but that has not changed since they arrived in the top flight in 2015.

That is very much part of their attacking outlook under Eddie Howe - you look at their team and you think they are good going forward, but there is no way they are looking to keep things tight.

I am sure Leicester will find some form soon and I certainly don't hold any fears for them in terms of relegation - but they have to be careful.

They should be doing much better with the players they have got but they need to start producing some better performances in order to climb away from the bottom of the table.

Crystal Palace did well against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium last week - well, for 44 minutes anyway.

Palace ended up being hammered, and the concern for their manager Roy Hodgson will be that the same thing happens when they return to Manchester on Saturday.

Manchester United are flying at the moment, especially striker Romelu Lukaku, who just keeps on scoring.

Hodgson will have had another week to work with his players on denying the opposition space, but I don't see them keeping United and Lukaku out.

With Christian Benteke injured, it does not look good for the Eagles at the other end either, and their wait for a league goal might have to go on until after the international break.

Stoke have had a couple of very good results and performances this season - their win over Arsenal and their draw with Manchester United.

But they have also had some pretty poor ones, like their home defeat against Chelsea last time out, when the Blues took them apart - with a bit of help from the Potters.

Southampton played well against United last weekend and almost nicked a point, but I am expecting an improvement from Stoke, which is why I am backing them to win this one.

I don't think I have ever said this about Mark Hughes in his time at Stoke before, but it is probably a result he needs.

It is not so much that his job is at risk - Potters owner Peter Coates is not the type to do anything silly - more the fact that three points would give everyone a big lift.

Shiflett's prediction: These are both, in my opinion, spoiler teams but I think Stoke will do the business at home. 2-1

West Brom have gone four league games without a win but unlike say, Stoke, their performance level has not gone up and down much in that time.

The Baggies don't score many goals, but they never concede many either and can grind out results to ensure they keep on picking up points. Wouldn't Crystal Palace love to be able to do that at the moment?

Watford have got three away wins out of three in the league so far this season, and Marco Silva showed again what a good manager he is in the way his side responded to their heavy defeat against Manchester City with a victory over Swansea.

I have been very impressed by the Hornets but this is one of those games where West Brom will just find a way to win it.

I don't see it being a thriller, though. There are seven games on Saturday and my other prediction is that I think this one might end up being seventh on Match of the Day.

West Ham did well to get back into the game in their 3-2 defeat by Tottenham last week, but the scoreline probably flattered the Hammers a bit.

Swansea also lost, at home to Watford, and I am a bit worried about them.

The Swans look flat going forward, and Renato Sanches has not supplied the spark people expected. On top of that, they have been poor at the back too.

Shiflett's prediction: West Ham are not having a good time this season, but then again neither are Swansea. 1-0

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been complaining about his side's lack of rest after their Champions League game at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday compared to Manchester City's schedule.

He has a point, because there is no consistency at all. And while City, who played at home on Tuesday, have done better out of it this time, it will bite them at some point too - everyone is affected.

City are playing extremely well at the moment, although Benjamin Mendy's injury is a blow.

They are short of cover for him at left-back but Fabian Delph did well against Shakhtar Donetsk and he could turn out be their equivalent to Chelsea's Victor Moses.

When Moses started playing right wing-back last season I just thought that, as a winger, he would be good going forward but he has clearly taken to the defensive aspect of that role too.

It could be the same for Delph. As a central midfielder going to play on the left, it will feel to him like he has loads of time on the ball.

He is not getting many games in midfield for City so he will be happy to play there - and I think will do really well.

As for the game, well Chelsea have not been quite as spectacular as City in terms of the number of goals they have scored, but their opening-day defeat by Burnley seems a long time ago.

Since then it has been business as usual for the defending champions, really. Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata is not getting the same publicity as Lukaku and Harry Kane but he is scoring for fun.

As a team, City are doing that too, but both sides are full of quality and this is going to be very close.

Shiflett's prediction: With the way Man City are playing, I am going for a big scoreline. 2-5

Brighton deserved their win over Newcastle last weekend but it is hard to see them getting anything at the Emirates.

The Seagulls will sit in - but that is not a problem for Arsenal because they have got so many players who are good on the ball.

It is when teams have a go at them that the Gunners wobble a bit, and that is not something I think Brighton will do much of.

Shiflett's prediction: I just want to apologise before I make this pick to the guys in Royal Blood - I know you love your Brighton, but Arsenal are going to smash them into a million pieces. 4-0

Shiflett added: "Arsenal are having a rough time of it lately and had some bad results at the start of the season, but the past few games they have looked great.

"When I watched them against Chelsea they looked really disciplined, especially in defence - I was sitting just inside their half in the first half and you could see that perfectly straight back line moving up and down.

"So I would like to think they have righted the ship and it would be great to see them finish in the top four. I don't see them winning the league but you can always hold out hope."

It will be interesting to see who Everton manager Ronald Koeman picks up front, because Oumar Niasse deserves a start after rescuing them with two goals against Bournemouth.

Burnley are still unbeaten on the road but I just get the feeling the Toffees will continue their improvement and get another home win.

Shiflett's prediction: I am going to go with Everton because they need a win. 2-0

After watching Newcastle's defeat by Brighton last weekend, I was left thinking the Magpies have got a lot of work to do to stay in the Premier League.

Yes, Rafael Benitez's side had won their previous three matches but they did not create much against the Seagulls, let alone show that they have got anything to trouble the big teams.

The Magpies are good at attacking set-pieces, and Liverpool are obviously not very good at defending them - but I think the Reds will keep a clean sheet too because other than free-kicks and corners, the home side might not offer very much.

Newcastle's defence is going to have to be one of their strengths this season, and under Rafael Benitez it will be.

It will be fascinating to see how Benitez sets his team up, and they will be very competitive, but I don't see them keeping his old club quiet.

If you offered Rafa a point now he would probably snap your hand off - but I think Liverpool will take all three.

Last week, Lawro got five correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 matches, for a total of 80 points.

That saw him beat actor Mark Strong, who got seven results correct but with no perfect scores, for a total of 70 points.

*Foster and Cram both provided predictions on week one, but only Foster's score contributes to the guest total.

Lawro's best score: 120 points (week one v Foster and Cram)

Lawro's worst score: 40 points (week four v Umenyiora and Bell, and week five v Non Stanford)

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from Daily Mail article

Premier League chief Scudamore caught in the middle of £1bn scrap

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Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore is in serious danger of upsetting both sides of the top flight's £1billion conflict.

His proposal would see 35 per cent of the overseas TV money from the next three-year contract being allocated by league position, rather than being shared equally among the 20 clubs.

Scudamore needs to persuade another five clubs to switch their support in time for the expected vote at the PL summit next Wednesday. Currently his proposal is backed by the big six plus Leicester, West Ham and Everton.

A 14-6 majority is necessary for a rules change, but most of the 11 opponents are entrenched in their position. In addition, they are annoyed that Scudamore dominated their meeting this week, when the intention had been to debate the issue without him being there. They also wanted more than one option on the table.

Scudamore is concerned about going into the TV auction without the full support of the big six, and fears they may appeal to regulator Ofcom to sell their own foreign highlights. But the 11 dissenting clubs do not believe these are big enough reasons for such a seismic change.

Ben Stokes's late-night Bristol brawl is now such a serious issue for the talisman cricketer, Team England and the England Cricket Board that three sets of lawyers, acting for the different interests are now involved in the fall-out. Hampshire batsman James Vince, the most contentious choice for the Ashes squad, happens to be one of Stokes's best friends in cricket.

The way the FA are trying to offload 'historic' blame for the Mark Sampson fiasco has infuriated former FA employees. Sampson remained England women coach despite a safeguarding report of his relationship with a Bristol Academy player.

It was claimed by the FA that former HR boss Mel Millner, now at Aston Villa, was alerted to the details of Sampson's time in Bristol by head of safeguarding Sue Ravenlaw.

Yet it emerges that Darren Bailey, former head of governance, was on Ravenlaw's chain of command, and that Millner had scant knowledge of the Sampson files from start to finish.

MCC want to close the door on the two-decade long conflict around building residential flats at the Nursery End of Lord's, following the landslide members vote rejecting the £150million offer. But property developer Charles Rifkind has no intention of walking away and is pondering his next move. He is insistent MCC do not, as they claim, have the money to complete the re-building themselves.

Rifkind believes they will have to come back to him eventually, plus he owns the lease for the Nursery End tunnels and various properties crucial for redevelopment at the Pavilion end. Rifkind added he was looking forward to meeting new MCC chief executive Guy Lavender and president Lord MacLaurin and receiving a better hearing. MCC say Lavender has been given the clearest of mandates to move on.

Championship club Nottingham Forest are to create 'the Miracle Gates' at the entrance to the City Ground as a permanent tribute to Brian Clough's back-to-back European Cup winners, taking the name from the excellent book and film I Believe in Miracles.

The Lawn Tennis Association's £40m headquarters in Roehampton is chronically under-used. Yet Simon Timson, LTA performance chief, went to the expense of taking his coaching staff to Manchester for two days of bonding, including watching Manchester City in the Champions League, to introduce his long-awaited plans.

Timson said: 'We held our meeting in Manchester as it was easily accessible from all parts of the country. We were invited free of charge to watch City.'

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from Daily Echo article

Pellegrino met with Saints' new owner Jisheng Gao

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MAURICIO Pellegrino met with Saints’ new owner Jisheng Gao after last weekend’s defeat to Manchester United – and admitted the meeting “went really well”.

The Chinese businessman and his daughter Nelly bought an 80 per cent stake in the club during the summer and came St Mary’s for the first time as Pellegrino’s side lost 1-0.

They were introduced to the home faithful and the players and management met with the Gaos post-match.

“Yes, I was with them at the end of the game with (chairman) Ralph (Krueger), with the board of the club,” said Pellegrino.

“It went really well and for me they were really happy with the game.”

Pellegrino is hoping the Gaos can help Saints keep their upward trajectory in the Premier League.

“It's the new owners, they hope the best for the club,” he added.

“Hopefully Southampton can continue in this way, in the same track that we were doing in the last six, seven years.

“My impression is that they are really humble people, always asking about football, about how we are, and really happy.”

The Argentine boss admits that he did not discuss the Gaos ambitions for Saints.

“We don't talk too much about the future of the club,” he said. “We were just talking about when we'll go to China to play a couple of games.”

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC


#FIFA18 is out now! Take a look behind the scenes as @EASPORTSFIFA captured the #SaintsFC squad's head scans:

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from Optimus trousers summary article summary

Summary of non-mainstream articles: 29/09/2017 09:17:54

Southampton could surely gain advantage in chase for Paco Alcacer with Barcelona wanting Saints star HEREISTHECITY

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from Daily Echo article

Pellegrino's international concern

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MAURICIO Pellegrino has his concerns over the upcoming international break – as he prepares to begin an anxious wait over the state of his squad.

The St Mary’s chief has had no significant injury worries during his short tenure at Saints so far and has no injuries ahead of tomorrow's Premier League match at Stoke - and hopes this will continue.

However, the Argentine admits he is worried as he prepares to wave goodbye to his international players after the Potters game.

Pellegrino is proud of his Saints men who have been called up for duty, including Fraser Forster, who was recalled to the England squad yesterday alongside Ryan Bertrand after being left out last month.

He said: “I am happy for them. If Ryan again is in the England national and Fraser comeback, it’s good.

“It’s one of the strongest national team in the world, in my opinion and congratulations to them.

“I have two separate feelings, though. It’s really good for them but I’m a little bit worried when you have 11 or 12 players going away abroad to play games.

“It’s a lot of players, it’s 50 per cent of the squad, but we have to accept the rules and hope they all come back healthy for the next game.”

Pellegrino, who has already prepared a behind-closed-doors friendly for the international break for those not heading to play for their countries, believes it’s a positive thing for the club that they have so many players jetting off for World Cup qualifiers.

He said: “It’s a good sign. But we know in our squad we have players who are under 23, like Prowsey (James Ward-Prowse), Nathan (Redmond), Matt (Targett), Sam McQueen, and young players in national team.

“We’ve got Gabbiadini, Shane (Long), Mario (Lemina), all of them are internationals and it’s good for us because it shows we have important players in the squad.

“But we have to survive with this more or less seven or eight days without them in the international break.”

He does hope that those internationals return with a clean bill of health, though.

“It’s not frustration, but I have to accept the rules,” he said. “I have to adapt with the players that we’ve got.

“It’s really good for them because they are competing with the national team and that’s really good for the club.

“Hopefully they play well and come back healthy and be better prepared for Southampton.”

Meanwhile, Pellegrino will ponder whether or not to hand Virgil van Dijk the captaincy when he returns to action.

Van Dijk, who will likely be on the bench again at Stoke, pushed for a move away in the summer but has been re-integrated back in to the squad after the club decided not to sell.

"Virgil is still one of our captains," said Pellegrino. "I'm not thinking about this.

"But being captain for me, it's not a position, it's a decision: if you want to be captain, you have to deserve it."

Asked if Van Dijk deserves to captain Saints again, Pellegrino replied: "I will think about it.”

"Little by little he's getting better. It's difficult to see the best version of Virgil in his first or second game back, but we have to be patient.

"We've got another two weeks after this game due to the international break, and we'll play a friendly game in the middle.

"We're happy with his attitude, he's helping his team-mates."

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

We've been speaking to #SaintsFC boss Mauricio Pellegrino ahead of the trip to #SCFC in the #PL:

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from Southampton FC - Official Site article

Video: Pellegrino previews Stoke clash

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Optimus trousers posted this 29 September 2017

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

"#SaintsFC can beat anyone on their day."

@stokecity boss Mark Hughes offers the opposition view ahead of tomorrow… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/913751799231913984

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Sourced from Southampton FC - Official Site article

On The Road: Stoke City

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Club Details

Address: bet365 Stadium, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4EG

Telephone: 01782 367598

Capacity: 30,089

Website: www.stokecityfc.com

Nickname: The Potters

Home kit colours: Red and white

Away Supporters

Away fans are housed in blocks 40, 41 and 42 of the South Stand towards the Players Tunnel and Main Stand.

The teams access the pitch from one corner of the ground, between the South Stand and the West Stand. Approximately 2000 of our 2300 allocated tickets have been sold.

Getting There By Car

Leave the M6 at Junction 15 and take the second exit (straight on) at the first roundabout onto the A500. Exit the A500 at the second slip road and then keep to the right for the A50.

At the roundabout take the second exit (right) to join the A50 (stadium is signposted and visible on the sky-line to the right).

Once on the A50 take the first exit and head up the bank towards the traffic lights. Turn right at the traffic lights and head over the fly-over. Take the third exit (right) at the first roundabout, the first exit (left) at the second roundabout (the stadium is visible ahead) and the third exit (right) at the third roundabout to reach the main entrance to the stadium.

Car Parking

Access to the car parks is available from both the A50 and the junction for Stanley Matthews Way on Trentham Road (A5035). 

Spaces are strictly limited to vehicles with parking permits for car parks North, West 1 and West 2. Signs also indicate coach and disabled parking. 

Supporters without a car park pass have access to the Club's South and Trent car parks on Stanley Matthews Way, with limited spaces sold on a strictly first come first served basis.

Getting There By Train

Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station is situated on the West Coast Main Line and provides direct access from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Derby and Crewe.

Coach Travel

Coach Travel provided by Princess Coaches can be purchased for this game, priced at £20 per person. Coaches will depart St. Mary’s Stadium at 8.30am, Eastleigh at 8.45am, Winchester at 9am and Chieveley at 9.30am.

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Sourced from Daily Mail article

Chelsea v Manchester City betting tips and odds

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It was the joy of six for the big boys last weekend and after half a dozen games the top of the table has a familiar feel - it’s beginning to look a lot like the Premier League.

Arsenal haven’t joined the party just yet but they’re just one place outside in seventh with Watford keeping their seat warm.

Manchester United, City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and the Gunners all won last time out but there’s no chance of a repeat as something has to give at Stamford Bridge in the game of the weekend.

Free-scoring City lead the standings on goal difference, head the betting for the title (they’re 19/20 to be champions) but, without Sergio Aguero, are a bigger price than Chelsea. You can get 9/5 they win Saturday’s late game while a home victory is on offer at 33/20 with the draw 27/10.

After a big win at Stoke and a much more impressive one at Atletico Madrid, Chelsea are back on their own patch where they’ve dropped their only points of the season – the opening-day defeat by Burnley and goalless draw with Arsenal.

But they did the double over City last season and Pep Guardiola is yet to get the better of them in seven attempts as a manager, drawing four and losing three.

City are flying and scoring for fun but, the Liverpool game aside, Chelsea have faced the stiffer tests this season - taking a point from Arsenal’s best display of the season, and beating Tottenham and Atletico.

The draw looks the best bet here and if the star strikers on show keep doing what they’re doing it could be an entertaining one.

Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata has six Premier League goals, the same mark Aguero who was injured in a car accident in Holland last night, and United star Romelu Lukaku. Gabriel Jesus has four in five games having missed last week's rout of Crystal Palace and he's set to get straight back in. Sky bet have price-boosted Morata and Jesus both to score to 5/1.

We keep waiting on Eden Hazard opening his account for the season and he's partial to a goal against City - three in his last five. He's 9/4 at any time while Kevin De Bruyne on the other side is a shade under 4/1.

You can get 12/1 with several bookies this one finishes 2-2.

Hotshots have been burning up the top flight over the past few weeks and Harry Kane and Alexandre Lacazette also have their shooting boots on. Liverpool do too but they’re still breaking them in as seven goals from 121 shots in their last six games is a miserable return for the Merseysiders.

But the division's men at their title rivals are raising the bar with every shot that flies under it and into the net – Kane has 25 Premier League goals in 2017 which is the highest ever by a player in a calendar year before October.

Lukaku has now scored 10 in nine games for United in all competitions and that’s the best start by a United player with the Belgian flying out of the traps quicker than the likes of Bobby Charlton (nine in nine) and Wayne Rooney (six in nine).

In 11 games for club and country this season he’s drawn a blank just once – against Leicester. Unlike Kane, he’s yet to claim a treble but with Crystal Palace the visitors to Old Trafford he might fancy his chances. He’s no better than 10/1 for a hat-trick.

Kane has already gone home with the match ball once this week after demolishing Apoel Nicosia, following his double to down West Ham, and his odds range from 5/1 to 14/1 (shop around if you fancy it) to score three times against Huddersfield - who have conceded just one goal in three games at home. Bet Victor offer the biggest price on a home win - 17/2.

One of Betway’s specials this week is the on-fire quadruple – Lacazette (Arsenal host Brighton), Morata, Lukaku and Kane all to score is 9/1.

For the second week in a row Spurs are involved in the lunchtime kick-off and while West Ham’s Andy Carroll didn’t score for us last time out, we did get an away win with both teams on target and over 3.5 total goals in the game. Four aways at just over 8/1 also came in later in the day.

So, where to reinvest - Carroll’s Hammers can get a win at home to a shot-shy Swansea side who have had just 10 efforts on target all season.

Bournemouth at home to Leicester has the look of a stalemate as the hosts are a point worse off at this stage than they were in their previous two seasons in the division while the four points the Foxes have gathered equals their worst start to a campaign. Avoiding defeat is the plan for both.

There’s also little to choose between Stoke and Southampton while Watford appeal at an attractive price at West Brom. They were slaughtered by City a couple of weeks ago but that is their only defeat and they’ve won all three games on the road. You can get 11/4 (Unibet) they make it four on the spin and stay above Arsenal heading into the international break.

On Sunday, Arsenal should take care of Brighton. Elsewhere, Everton are 11/1 (Ladbrokes, Coral, Sky Bet) to come from behind and beat Burnley. Ronald Koeman’s side have been trailing in Premier League matches for more minutes than every team except rock-bottom Palace.

And on Tyneside, Liverpool can’t keep missing, can they? Over 3.5 total goals at Newcastle is 9/5 and both teams to score in both halves (it’s worth a nibble) is 12/1 with Sky Bet.

*Prices from oddschecker - correct at time of publication - subject to change

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