Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all in the Premier League title race, says Dimitar Berbatov

Former Premier League champion Dimitar Berbatov (Picture: Getty)Two-time Premier League champion Dimitar Berbatov says Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all capable of winning the title this season.

Liverpool, who thrashed Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday, climbed to the top of the table after Manchester City were beaten by Chelsea.

Defending champions City have looked in unstoppable form this term but saw their unbeaten run ended by Maurizio Sarri’s team at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool are now the only team yet to suffer a defeat in the Premier League this season and Berbatov insists they are a ‘big rival’ to Man City.

More: Football

But the former Manchester United striker also sees Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham as genuine title challengers.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, he said: ‘Liverpool are a big rival for Man City. We don’t like that but you need to give credit.

‘They’re playing great football. They enjoy the way they play. It is good for the league. Now you have Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal all in the race.’

Asked specifically about Chelsea’s title credentials, Berbatov added: ‘Sarri said they were not in the race. But then they beat Man City. Was it a trick?

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool

It’s another packed weekend of Premier League action (Picture: Getty / Metro)Manchester City and Liverpool are setting a scorching pace at the top of the Premier League and the visit of the champions and league leaders City to Stamford Bridge is the weekend highlight.

Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the action.

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Xherdan Shaqiri has become an increasingly influential player in recent weeks for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Bournemouth bounced back after four successive Premier League losses to beat Huddersfield at the Vitality Stadium midweek although they were far from impressive.

Liverpool have made their best-ever start to a top-flight season after coming from behind to beat Burnley on Wednesday, but still trail City by a couple of points.

The Reds unsung hero James Milner will play his 500th PL game at the Vitality Stadium and it was no surprise to me that it was Milner who was the catalyst for Liverpool’s dramatic comeback against the Clarets midweek.

Michael’s prediction: Bournemouth 1 – 2 Liverpool

Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the current Premier League top goalscorer (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are unbeaten in 20 games in all competitions and four points this week from the visit of Spurs and a trip to Old Trafford shows just how far Unai Emery’s side have come in such a short period of time.

Town have lost eight of their last nine top-flight games against the Gunners and failed to score in each of those games. I fancy a similar scoreline at the Emirates.

Michael’s prediction: Arsenal 2 – 0 Huddersfield Town

Burnley vs Brighton

Both games between the sides finished goalless last season and it is hard to see a goal-fest at Turf Moor especially when you consider these two teams have had the fewest shots on target so far this term – Burnley 40 and Brighton 44.

If there is to be a winner at Turf Moor I think Sean Dyche’s side might nick the points, but it is unlikely to be a classic.

Michael’s prediction: Burnley 1 – 0 Brighton

Cardiff City vs Southampton

Mark Hughes was sacked by Southampton earlier this week (Picture: Getty)Southampton fans can take heart from the fact that their new Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhüttl won 120 points in the Bundesliga during his two-season spell as manager of RB Leipzig; only Bayern Munich (166) won more in this period.

Saints hit the woodwork three times against Spurs midweek and deserved their late – albeit consolation – goal. Cardiff have come from behind to win their last two home league games, but I feel they will have to settle for a point in their quest for a hat-trick.

Michael’s prediction: Cardiff City 1 – 1 Southampton

Manchester United vs Fulham

Jesse Lingard rescued a point for Manchester United against Arsenal (Picture: Getty)United continue to show their character and fight having picked up a point from behind at both Southampton and at home to Arsenal in the last week.

No side has made as many changes as United so far this season which suggests the club have had their fair share of injuries, but also that Jose Mourinho does not know his best starting XI.

Fulham have lost their last six PL away games and I can’t see them getting anything at Old Trafford although the Cottagers have improved under Claudio Ranieri and the hosts will not have things all their own way.

Michael’s prediction: Manchester United 2 – 1 Fulham

West Ham vs Crystal Palace

The team scoring first in the 14 previous PL games between these clubs has never lost and I expect West Ham to grab the opener and the points in this London derby.

Palace have not won in their last five away games and I was disappointed they were not able to get at least a point against 10-man Brighton at the Amex midweek.

Michael’s prediction: West Ham 2 – 0 Crystal Palace

Chelsea vs Manchester City

N’Golo Kante could be key to stopping the Man City juggernaut (Picture: Getty)Chelsea have lost two of their last three and only mustered seven shots in the two league games – both won by City – between the sides last season.

Chelsea are a different proposition under Maurizio Sarri, especially at the Bridge, this season and I feel they can keep a point. City were far too good for the Blues in the Community Shield in the season curtain-raiser but, back on home soil, I feel Chelsea will get a draw from a 1-1 draw as they did against Liverpool earlier in the season.

Michael’s prediction: Chelsea 1 – 1 Manchester City

Leicester City vs Tottenham

Harry Kane is looking to score for the third game in a row (Picture: Getty)Spurs have not had a PL draw in their last 19 games and I feel they will take maximum points at the King Power from an entertaining clash in the late kick-off on Saturday.

Harry Kane has scored 13 times in his 11 previous games against the Foxes and the England skipper may again be the difference between the sides at the weekend.

Michael’s prediction: Leicester City 1 – 2 Tottenham

Newcastle United vs Wolves

Wolves came from behind to beat Chelsea at Molineux midweek, but they are struggling for goals on the road and if there is to be a winner at St James’s Park on Sunday then I feel it will be the hosts.

I was very impressed with the Magpies defensively at Goodison midweek with the returning skipper Jamaal Lascelles outstanding in a three-man defence. It will be interesting to see if Rafa Benitez perseveres with the system back on home soil.

Michael’s prediction: Newcastle United 1 – 0 Wolves

Everton vs Watford

Everton ran out of steam and ideas against Newcastle midweek and still seemed to be smarting after their Merseyside derby defeat.

Marco Silva was in charge of Watford when the Hornets lost the corresponding fixture 3-2 (goalless at halftime) last season and the visitors will travel to Goodison having lost their last four.

Richarlison scored for Watford at Goodison last season but his equaliser against Newcastle midweek was his seventh strike of the season and the young Brazilian looks sure to play a leading part in what I expect to be an entertaining contest with the hosts just edging it.

Michael’s prediction: Everton 2 – 1 Watford

Michael’s midweek wager: Arsenal, West Ham and Everton at 9/2

Michael Owen is a brand ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

Man City forward Riyad Mahrez rates Chelsea and Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League

Riyad Mahrez helped Manchester City beat Watford on Tuesday (Picture: Getty)Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez insists Chelsea and Arsenal are capable of winning the Premier League title this season.

City have made a superb start to their title defence, winning 13 of their 15 league fixtures to move two points clear of nearest rivals Liverpool.

Liverpool are the only other club yet to suffer a defeat in the Premier League this term, while Chelsea and Arsenal also occupy a top-four place.

More: Football

A number of pundits have claimed Man City and Liverpool will battle it out for the title, but Mahrez says Chelsea and Arsenal could also challenge.

‘Of course, everyone in the top four can win the league,’ the former Leicester City playmaker told CityTV after Pep Guardiola’s side beat Watford on Tuesday evening.

‘Nothing is done and we need to keep working very hard for each other and the team and trying to win every game.’

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Manchester City outplayed Watford at Vicarage Road and Leroy Sane gave the visitors the lead shortly before half-time.

Mahrez then added City’s second immediately after the break, before Abdoulaye Doucoure scrambled home a late consolation goal for Watford.

‘You are not going to win every game 4-0 or 5-0. Going through these types of games makes you stronger,’ Mahrez added. ‘We played very well up until the second goal.

‘After that we created more chances and tried to kill the game but in football when you are 2-0 up and the opposition score, the crowd get behind them and it’s difficult.

More: Football

‘We are very happy to win and get the three points. You are not going to win every game 4-0 or 5-0. Going through these types of games makes you stronger.

‘Now we need to focus every three days. We need to be ready and at our top.’

Manchester City travel to Stamford Bridge to face Maurizio Sarri’s in-form Chelsea on Saturday.

MORE: Chelsea open talks with Real Madrid over permanent Mateo Kovacic transfer

FA Cup third round draw: Chelsea begin defence at home to Nottingham Forest

Bolton Wanderers vs Walsall/Sunderland

Millwall vs Hull City

Gillingham vs Cardiff City

Brentford vs Oxford United

Sheffield Wednesday vs Luton Town

Manchester United vs Reading

Everton vs Lincoln City

Tranmere Rovers/Southport vs Tottenham

Preston North End vs Doncaster

Newcastle United vs Blackburn Rovers

Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest

Crystal Palace vs Grimsby

Derby County vs Southampton

Accrington Stanley vs Ipswich Town

Bristol City vs Huddersfield Town

Wrexham/Newport County vs Leicester City

Fulham vs Oldham

Shrewsbury vs Stoke

Solihull/Blackpool vs Arsenal

Manchester City vs Rotherham United

Bournemouth vs Brighton

West Ham vs Birmingham City

Woking vs Watford

Burnley vs Barnsley

QPR vs Leeds United

Sheffield United vs Barnet

Norwich City vs Portsmouth

Guiseley/Fleetwood vs AFC Wimbledon

West Brom vs Wigan

Middlesbrough vs Peterborough/Bradford City

Wolves vs Liverpool

Aston Villa vs Swansea City

When is the FA Cup third round draw and what are the ball numbers?

Chelsea won the FA Cup last season (Picture: Getty Images)Traditionally one of the biggest moments of the football season, the draw for the FA Cup third round takes place on Monday evening.

The Premier League and the Championship sides join the fray at the third round, and smaller clubs will be hoping for a draw against one of the big teams of the English game.

Unai Emery provides Mesut Ozil injury update ahead of Man Utd clashThe ties will not be played until the new year, but there will be plenty of excitement this evening for any of the lesser lights that can look forward to a trip to Old Trafford or Anfield.

Here is everything you need to know about the draw and which numbers to look out for…

The FA Cup third round is a huge part of the football season (Picture: Getty Images)When is the FA Cup third round draw?

The draw takes place on Monday 4 December at 7.30pm.

The games will be played on the weekend of Saturday 5 January 2019.

Where to watch the FA Cup third round draw

BBC One will be showing the draw live following the One Show and you will also be able to watch it on the BBC website or BBC iPlayer.

Ball numbers

1 AFC Bournemouth2 Arsenal3 Aston Villa4 Birmingham City5 Blackburn Rovers6 Bolton Wanderers7 Brentford8 Brighton & Hove Albion9 Bristol City10 Burnley11 Cardiff City12 Chelsea13 Crystal Palace

14 Derby County15 Everton16 Fulham17 Huddersfield Town18 Hull City19 Ipswich Town20 Leeds United21 Leicester City22 Liverpool23 Manchester City24 Manchester United25 Middlesbrough26 Millwall27 Newcastle United28 Norwich City29 Nottingham Forest30 Preston North End31 Queens Park Rangers32 Reading33 Rotherham United34 Sheffield United35 Sheffield Wednesday36 Southampton37 Stoke City38 Swansea City39 Tottenham Hotspur40 Watford41 West Bromwich Albion42 West Ham United43 Wigan Athletic44 Wolverhampton Wanderers45 Guiseley or Fleetwood Town46 Luton Town47 Wrexham or Newport County48 Tranmere Rovers or Southport49 Barnsley50 Shrewsbury Town51 Solihull Moors or Blackpool52 Grimsby Town53 Peterborough United or Bradford City54 Woking55 Oldham Athletic56 Lincoln City57 AFC Wimbledon58 Oxford United59 Barnet60 Portsmouth61 Walsall or Sunderland62 Accrington Stanley63 Doncaster Rovers64 Gillingham

MORE: Next Southampton manager odds make Quique Sanchez Flores favourite to replace Mark Hughes

MORE: Jamie Redknapp tells Maurizio Sarri he risks losing ‘special’ Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool

Three big derby matches to look forward to in the Premier League this weekend (Picture: Getty / Metro)With Matchday 14 being packed full of Derbies, Brand ambassador Michael Owen shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on this weekend’s fixtures.

This round reaches its climax on Sunday, when Liverpool host Everton at Anfield in this weekend’s final game. Everton are sure to make it a competitive fixture, but with the Reds being unbeaten, it will take a monumental effort from the Toffeemen to inflict a first loss of the campaign, especially in front of the Kop.

Crystal Palace v Burnley

Crystal Palace remain heavily reliant on Wilfried Zaha (Picture: Getty)If the table is to be believed Palace and Burnley are equally matched, with both teams sitting on nine points. Admittedly the Eagles are coming off a very tough set of fixtures and picking up draws with Manchester United and Arsenal is far superior form to anything shown by the Lancashire outfit. The visitors have failed to win during their last six games but did pick up two draws . Monday’s 2-1 home loss to Newcastle was frustrating but after going 2 down quickly the Clarets created a host of chances and were perhaps a little unlucky not to claim a late point. Any side managed by Sean Dyche are certainly not going to lack fight or character and Burnley will not let recent results affect confidence. Last year’s good form was based on narrow wins with organised football and I see no reason why they can’t secure at least a draw from Selhurst Park.

Michael’s prediction: Crystal Palace 1 – 1 Burnley

Huddersfield v Brighton

The unexpected but fully deserved success at Wolves last weekend has certainly lifted spirits considerably in West Yorkshire and with Town moving out of the bottom three they will have gained a huge psychological bonus. They will hope to capitalise on that feel-good factor at home to Brighton, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and The Terriers may struggle to back that win up. Arguably an early goal and the ability to play counter attacking football played into Town’s hands at Wolves but back at the Kirklees Stadium they may have to take the initiative and have been unable to break opponents down there this season. Brighton haven’t convinced away this term and their mid table position has been achieved with reasonable home form. Huddersfield still find scoring tough and with Albion unlikely to over commit this game has all the makings of a dour encounter. A draw would not be too bad for either.

Michael’s prediction: Huddersfield 0 – 0 Brighton

Leicester v Watford

Jamie Vardy was back in the goals last weekend (Picture: Getty)This pair sit comfortably in mid table and with the top five starting to pull clear a top sixth place looks the best either can achieve this season. Understandably off the field events have derailed City recently although they have maintained their form and will hope to start climbing the table further. A midweek penalty shoot-out victory over Southampton has seen them advance to the quarter final of the League Cup and lifted spirits. Undefeated in four Premier League outings, The Foxes look fair value for victory against a Watford side who are starting to slip a little after a tremendous start to their campaign. The Hornets were poor against Liverpool last week and were lucky to pick up a draw at Southampton previously after the Saints were controversially denied a second goal. This looks a good opportunity for City to put pressure on Everton for the race to clinch sixth and I expect a home success.

Michael’s prediction: Leicester 2 – 1 Watford

Manchester City v Bournemouth

David Silva has been in inspirational form for Manchester City this season (Picture: Getty)The champions have been relentless and look like they could lift the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League quad. I often feel the best time to play City is following a Champions league midweek fixture, but such is the squad strength that even with rotation they always have too much weaponry for opponents. They were given a stern test in Lyon but secured the point from a 2-2 draw to leave them in a strong position to top their group. Bournemouth are next in the firing line and don’t look strong enough defensively to cope having lost their last three games all by 2-1 margins. I expect City to score freely in this game. Plenty of players have been helping out on the score sheet too which makes defending against City even harder. Midfield maestro David Silva has been in sparkling form and is currently a favourite to land the PFA Player of the year award. The Spaniard has chipped in with an impressive five goals in the Premier League this term and is certainly a very influential player at present.

Michael’s prediction: Manchester City 4 – 0 Bournemouth

Newcastle United v West Ham

Newcastle face West Ham at St James Park with both clubs sitting on twelve points and identical playing records. United were delighted to take maximum points from Monday’s trip to Burnley which was their third win on the bounce. The Hammers have had some eye catching results but have struggled for consistency and were thrashed 4-0 at home against Manchester City last weekend. They have a strong forward line so it’s not often they fire a blank and I expect them to find the net in the North East. With the teams so well matched this has draw written all over it.

Michael’s prediction: Newcastle United 1 – 1 West Ham

Southampton v Manchester United

Alexis Sanchez has been ruled out until the New Yerar with a hamstring injury (Picture: Getty)Jose Mourinho continues to look disgruntled and frustrated as his charges struggle for consistency and form this year. The Red Devils are already out of the title race and look unlikely to challenge even for a top four position. United’s fantastic 2-1 come from behind win in Turin when they defeated Juventus in the Champions League is arguably the reason United are not looking for a new number one and was by far their best result in a difficult campaign. They managed a late winner to defeat Young Boys on Tuesday but this failed to please most and all doesn’t look well behind the scenes. With too many stars off colour the club find themselves back down in seventh place. They face a trip to the South Coast to take on Southampton who are also desperate for a win with former United great Mark Hughes now favourite to be the next manager to leave. Saints were out of luck at Leicester on Tuesday when VAR chalked off a potential winning goal in the Cup and they look a side needing a lucky break from somewhere. United were toothless against Palace at Old Trafford last week whilst the Saints are only off the bottom on goal difference and were once again leaking goals when beaten 3-2 at fellow strugglers Fulham. With both teams in poor form it’s the visitors who are more likely to get something out of the tie, but the game will not be pretty and is sure to be low-scoring.

Michael’s prediction: Southampton 0 – 1 Manchester United

Chelsea v Fulham

Chelsea surrendered their unbeaten start to the season last weekend (Picture: Getty)West London rivals Chelsea and Fulham meet at the Bridge with the visitors finally able to smile following a 3-2 win over Southampton under new manager Claudio Ranieri. Whether the Tinkerman can follow up his tremendous success with Leicester is extremely doubtful but the Cottagers feel he can at least lead them to safety this season. Fulham are still at the foot of the table but with little between a whole host of clubs they are certainly far from doomed. Aleksandar Mitrovic was highly influential in helping Fulham to playoff success last season and his goals are going to be equally important in the race for survival. He bagged a brace last week and now has seven so far this season. However, the task will be tough as despite an uncharacteristic performance when meekly losing 3-1 against Spurs last week the Pensioners are still enjoying a productive season. With only one reverse they are handily placed to secure a top four finish and are still London’s leading club at present. They can be excused an off day and I fully expect them to bounce back in style with a victory.

Michael’s prediction: Chelsea 3 – 1 Fulham

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Unai Emery gets his first taste of the north London derby this weekend (Picture: Getty)North London rivals Arsenal and Spurs can always be relied upon to entertain especially when facing each other and another exciting encounter looks on the cards in a cracking super Sunday match up. The Gunners will feel more pressure to win to close a three-point gap and the race to finish in the top four looks likely to be between the three big London clubs. Arsenal were unconvincing but still picked up maximum points from their trip to Bournemouth and in forward Pierre-merick Aubameyang have a man in form and one of the deadliest marksman in the top flight. Of course, both teams look full of goals and a high scoring shootout looks likely. I still can’t trust either to win though and am happy to predict a goal filled draw.

Michael’s prediction: Arsenal 2 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool v Everton

Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat in Paris (Picture: Getty)In a weekend of Derby fixtures Liverpool host Everton at Anfield in the final game of the round. With the hosts being unbeaten it will take a monumental effort for the Toffeemen to inflict a first loss of the campaign especially in front of the Kop. Everton have quietly come up on the rails and look a solid favourite to finish best of the rest without the big six. In fact they may even think a top six finish is a realistic aim and with only three defeats have shown plenty of enterprise. With only one defeat in their last seven Premier League fixtures they are one of the form sides and will make things tough for Liverpool. However Pool still have that touch of quality and squad depth their rivals may slightly lack and I expect a tight match but go for a narrow home win. Virgin van Dijk has been in impressive form of late and is more than justifying the huge fee Jurgen Klopp paid for the Dutch international. He scored against the Blues on debut during an FA Cup success back in January when becoming the first Liverpool player to score on debut against Everton since 1901! With great aerial presence and physical quality he will be vital at set pieces and I can see him notching again once more.

Michael’s prediction: Liverpool 2 – 1 Everton

Michael’s weekend wager: Leicester, Manchester United and Chelsea all to win at 9/2

Michael Owen is a brand ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

Arsenal and Liverpool track Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele

Tanguy Ndombele is being tracked by Arsenal and Liverpool (Getty Images)Arsenal and Liverpool are continuing to monitor Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, according to reports.

The 21-year-old has impressed in Ligue 1 this season and was rewarded with his first senior France cap last month.

Ndombele is widely regarded as one of the top midfield prospects in France and has attracted plenty of interest from clubs across Europe.

According to the Daily Mirror, both Liverpool and Arsenal are keeping tabs on Ndombele’s progress at Lyon.

Ndombele won his first senior France cap in October (Getty Images)More: Football

And the report also claims that Everton are taking a close look at the France international, with Marco Silva viewing the 21-year-old as a ‘perfect fit’ for his midfield at Goodison Park.

Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be in the race for Ndombele, who is valued at £55 million, with reports in France claiming last month that Arsene Wenger would make the midfielder one of his first signings if the French champions made him their new sporting director.

More: Arsenal FC

Ousmane Dembele tells Barcelona he wants January transfer as Arsenal and Liverpool plot moves

Ousmane Dembele is keen to leave Barcelona this winter (Picture: Getty)Barcelona misfit Ousmane Dembele has reportedly told the club that he wants to leave in January amid strong interest from Arsenal and Liverpool.

Dembele’s behavioral problems have become a major issue at Barcelona and the Catalan giants are preparing to cash in this winter after running out of patience with the 21-year-old forward.

The France international, who was part of Didier Deschamps’ triumphant squad in the summer, regularly turns up late for training and Barca fear he has developed a gaming addiction.

Arsenal were heavily linked with Dembele ahead of the 2018/19 and have once again asked about the attacker’s potential availability. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has also sanctioned an £85million bid for the Frenchman in the January transfer window.

More: Football

According to Goal, Dembele has now informed Barca officials that he’s intent on leaving this winter and the La Liga outfit are open to selling the former Borussia Dortmund man to fund an audacious move for Neymar.

Barca sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee of €222m in August 2017 but are seriously exploring the possibility of a return for the Brazilian superstar.

Dembele scored a last-gasp equaliser against Atletico Madrid this weekend (Picture: Getty)Amid the speculation surrounding Dembele, Luis Suarez urged the forward to knuckle down and take inspiration from the ‘exemplary’ behaviour of his team-mates at Barcelona.

‘I think being a footballer is a privilege,’ the Uruguayan said last week.

‘I think he should focus on football, and take inspiration from the exemplary professionals in the Barcelona dressing room.’

Barcelona are ready to cash in on Dembele (Picture: Getty)Dembele’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, laughed off rumours that the Frenchman had been dropped for Barcelona’s clash with Real Betis for breaching team rules.

‘All these criticisms make me laugh. It had already begun with a so-called delay at the meeting before the Champions League match against Inter,’ he told RMC Sport.

‘I am surprised very serious newspapers can report this information because Ousmane didn’t arrive late. His coach has confirmed the fact he was not in the starting XI was not due to a delay.’

Dembele has struggled for minutes under Ernesto Valverde (Picture: Getty)Sissoko insisted that Dembele really was ill and rubbished speculation that the youngster could be set for a January move.

‘It is true that Ousmane was sick [before Betis],’ Sissoko added.

‘He had not slept all night, he was very tired. He missed the morning training and what the club has blamed us for is that he did not provide notification so a doctor can come to assess him.

More: Football

‘He did that late. But he was sick, the club confirmed he had a (gastrointestinal illness), he missed training because of that. I’m surprised we can make controversy when he is sick.

‘Ousmane continues to work. He is in a big club, he is in the national team and Didier Deschamps continues to call him. He is very much demanding of the players’ behavior and their performances, so if Ousmane is today in the French team, he deserves it.

‘I also had Eric Abidal [Barcelona sporting director] on the phone and he is very happy with Ousmane, he told me he was training very well. He does not question him at all right now.’

MORE: Arsenal legend Alan Smith explains why Mesut Ozil has been benched at Bournemouth

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Tottenham v Chelsea and Bournemouth v Arsenal

Michael Owen has delivered his predictions for the Premier League weekend (Getty/PA)The Premier League returns following the international break and the standout match of the weekend sees Tottenham host Chelsea at Wembley.

Maurizio Sarri’s side remain unbeaten in all competitions while Spurs have only played four Premier League games at Wembley as they wait to move into their new stadium.

Elsewhere, Manchester United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, Arsenal are looking to extend their unbeaten run at Bournemouth, while Liverpool face a tricky test at Watford.

Premier League champions Manchester City travel to West ham, while Claudio Ranieri has returned to England and will be looking to secure a first win as his Fulham side host Southampton at Craven Cottage.

More: Football

Tottenham v Chelsea

None of Spurs’ last 16 Premier League games has finished in a draw but I think it will be honours even when Chelsea visit Wembley.

Chelsea’s title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have already won at Wembley this season, but I feel the hosts will get a draw in what promises to be a feisty London derby.

Michael’s Prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Bournemouth v Arsenal

Arsenal have drawn their last three in the league and have conceded first in each of those games which shows there is nothing wrong with the spirit or resilience under Unai Emery.

Callum Wilson has scored in all three Premier League games he has played against the Gunners and the Bournemouth striker will not lack for confidence after his goal for England against the United States during the international break.

I feel Arsenal will take all three points in another game where I would think there will be plenty of goalscoring opportunities at both ends.

Michael’s Prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 20 league games against Palace and it is hard to make a case for the Eagles who have never beaten United in the Premier League.

Roy Hodgson’s side haven’t won in their last seven and the game could see Anthony Martial become just the fourth player to score in six successive Premier League games for the club alongside Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo – some company that!

Michael’s Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace

Anthony Martial has been in fine form for Manchester United (Getty Images)Watford v Liverpool

Liverpool have failed to concede more than once in their last 15 Premier League games and it is their improved defensive displays that have led to the Reds going unbeaten in their first dozen league games of the campaign.

Watford have conceded 17 times in their last five winless games against Liverpool but they have improved this term, and this will be another stiff test of the Reds’ title credentials – an examination I expect they will pass in what promises to be a cracking game.

Michael’s Prediction: Watford 1-2 Liverpool

Arsenal pulled Aaron Ramsey’s contract offer due to ‘gathering of strategies’

Ramsey is set to leave Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Raul Sanllehi claims the decision to withdraw the contract offer made to Aaron Ramsey was due to a ‘gathering of strategies’,

Arsenal stunned their fans when Ramsey confirmed the club had halted contract talks and revoked the offer made to the midfielder to extend his deal.

Ramsey’s current contract expires next summer and the Welshman is now free to walk away from the club at the end of the season.

Emery is willing to let Ramsey leave (Picture: Getty)Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been linked with a move for Ramsey, such is the 27-year-old’s reputation in the Premier League.

Reports claimed Unai Emery was responsible for Arsenal’s change of heart, and the club’s head of football Sanllehi explained why the decision was taken.

He said: ‘I would like to avoid talking about personal players. It is more of a gathering of strategies and what our ideas are.

(Picture: Getty)‘What I can assure you is that any decision we take at the club of any kind, whether it concerns players or any other thing, it is very thoroughly thought through, analysed and discussed by different people.’

Arsenal could cash in on Ramsey in January if the player wishes to move on before the end of his contract.

More: Football

Ramsey is being linked with Chelsea and Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Ramsey is free to talk to foreign clubs once the winter transfer window opens, with Juventus and Bayern Munich aiming to hold talks with the Gunner.

Arsenal are planning to make at least one addition in the coming window after Danny Welbeck was ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious injury.

Lille star Nicolas Pepe is reportedly Emery’s top target and the Gunners are preparing a £27million bid for the forward.

MORE: Unai Emery wants Arsenal to sign Lille star Nicolas Pepe in £27m deal