Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, with wins for Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United

Michael Owen has had his say on this weekend’s Premier League fixtures (Picture: Metro)BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen is back to preview the week’s Premier League fixtures, as title favourites Manchester City travel to Champions Chelsea for a blockbuster game at the top of the Premier League table.

Huddersfield v Spurs

After tipping-up Harry Kane to open the scoring last weekend the Spurs striker has subsequently scored 5 goals in 2 games and remains in sensational form in front of goal. BetVictor make him the 3/1 second favourite to be the league’s leading goal scorer for a third consecutive season however, I remain adamant that, with a clean bill of health, Man City’s Sergio Aguero is the most likely winner and he looks over-priced at 7/2 accordingly.

Harry Kane is 3/1 with BetVictor for the Golden Boot this season (Picture: Getty)Interestingly enough, Kane’s only previous career appearance at the John Smith’s Stadium came in February 2011 when he was on loan at Leyton Orient – Kane was substituted on, scored and was then sent off, which remains his only red card in all competitions! He is a different player these days, however, and with him firing on all cylinders Spurs should claim all three points in West Yorkshire.

Michael’s recommendation: Huddersfield 0-3 Tottenham

Bournemouth v Leicester

From two sides who have made terrific starts defensively, to two that have only a solitary clean sheet in their opening six Premier League games thus far. The Cherries are unbeaten in their four previous top-flight meetings with Leicester but neither side looks strong at the back and I expect both teams to score at Dean Court.

Michael’s prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Leicester City

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Man Utd will be confident of victory with Romelu Lukaku in such top form (Picture: Getty)It doesn’t get any easier for Crystal Palace, who remain bottom of the Premier League table after six successive defeats this term. Palace are 20/1 with BetVictor to cause an upset at Old Trafford but I can’t see anything bar a comfortable home win but Roy Hodgson needs points, and fast, to get the club out of trouble.

Michael’s prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Crystal Palace

West Brom v Watford

Watford continue to be the most under-rated team in the division and, after flagging-up the 7/2 with BetVictor to finish in the top-half, it’s nice to see BetVictor cut them to 13/8 after last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Swansea. I think Hornets’ manager Marco Silva is absolutely top-class and expect him to be at one of Europe’s top clubs before long; he can guide Watford to a result at the Hawthorns.

Michael’s prediction: West Brom 1-2 Watford

West Ham v Swansea

Swansea need to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at The Liberty Stadium, with Paul Clement’s side looking increasingly likely to be involved in the relegation shake-up at the end of the season. West Ham showed tremendous spirit to almost come back and nick a point against Spurs last weekend.

Andy Carroll was more than a handful against Spurs last weekend and should cause Swansea plenty of problems in the capital. Carroll has been involved in eight goals in six Premier League games against Swansea for the Hammers, scoring five goals and assisting three.

Michael’s prediction: West Ham 2-0 Swansea

Andy Carroll has a good record against Swansea (Picture: Getty)Stoke City v Southampton

Neither side has been consistent this term and with that in mind, it could prove a difficult 90 minutes for both teams in the Potteries. Stoke are winless in their last five games in all competitions but are likely to be tough to break down and will have some terrific support behind them. The Saints have failed to score in 10 of their last 14 Premier League games and, after failing to score in either fixture with Stoke last season, Mauricio Pellegrini’s side could be in for a frustrating afternoon at the Britannia.

Michael’s prediction: Stoke City 1-0 Southampton

Chelsea v Man City

What a game in store as Champions-elect Manchester City travel to Stamford Bridge to face Champions Chelsea in a huge game at the top of the Premier League. City have been flawless at times this season, netting 29 goals in their opening 9 games in all competitions, last month’s 1-1 draw with Everton the sole blip on an otherwise perfect start to the campaign.

Nevertheless, Chelsea shouldn’t be underestimated on home soil and look too big at 15/8 with BetVictor. Antonio Conte did a tremendous job with the Blues last season, leading the club to the Title in his maiden season in English football. This will undoubtedly serve as Pep Guardiola’s stiffest task this season thus far and I’m not convinced they should be as short as 7/5 to leave West London with all three points.

Michael’s prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

Arsenal v Brighton

Arsene Wenger’s side will be expecting a win against Brighton (Picture: Getty)Brighton were fortunate to beat Newcastle at the weekend and I expect Chris Hughton’s side to be outclassed at The Emirates. The Gunners have a terrific record in home fixtures against lesser sides in the top-flight, beating West Brom 2-0 in North London on Monday, and should likewise complete another comfortable home win at the weekend.

Michael’s prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Brighton

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Everton v Burnley

Burnley remain an enigma this season, being able to avoid defeat in their three away games at Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool but unable to beat the trio of West Brom, Leeds or Huddersfield in their last three games at Turf Moor. Blues manager Ronald Koeman has some much-needed breathing space after back-to-back victories over Sunderland and Bournemouth and are odds-on with BetVictor to complete the hat-trick at the Clarets’ expense.

Michael’s prediction: Everton 1-0 Burnley

Newcastle v Liverpool

I have fond memories of St James’ Park and scored a hat-trick for Liverpool in the corresponding fixtures back in 1998. The Reds saved bookmakers a fortune midweek but I expect Liverpool to bounce back when travelling to Newcastle on Sunday.

Michael’s prediction: Newcastle 1-3 Liverpool

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

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Adam Lallana sends injury update to Liverpool fans on Instagram

Adam Lallana has stepped up his recovery (Picture: Getty)Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana says he will be ‘back soon’ after sending an injury update to fans on Instagram.

The England international has been out since August since sustaining a thigh injury and Liverpool had earmarked him for a return in November.

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Jurgen Klopp’s side have made a mixed start to the season in Lallana’s absence and travel to Newcastle United on Sunday to continue their Premier League campaign.

Lallana took to Instagram after his first training session outside since sustaining his injury and simply said ‘back soon’ to his followers.

🔙🔜

A post shared by Adam Lallana (@officiallallana) on Sep 28, 2017 at 6:04am PDT

It suggests the midfielder is ahead of schedule in his recovery and Klopp will be hoping that Lallana can step up his rehabilitation during the international break next week.

Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield after the international break and, though that may come too soon for Lallana, he will be hoping to be training regularly with the first-team by then.

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Virgil van Dijk claims Daniel Sturridge and Sergio Aguero are toughest strikers to face

Virgil van Dijk heaped praise on Daniel Sturridge (Picture: Getty)Virgil van Dijk has hailed Daniel Sturridge following intense speculation that the pair could have been team-mates at Liverpool this season.

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The Reds were forced to make an official apology after an illegal approach for Van Dijk back in June and the 26-year-old defender remained at Southampton for the 2017/18 campaign, despite Manchester City also expressing a strong interest.

Rather conveniently, considering the interest from Liverpool and City, Van Dijk claimed Sturridge and Sergio Aguero are the toughest opponents he has faced when pressed by Rio Ferdinand at the FIFA 18 UK launch.

‘I think Sturridge when he is fit. He’s a great striker. I think Aguero is also an amazing striker – small, quick,’ the Netherlands international told the Manchester United legend on his Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE YouTube channel.

Van Dijk also believes Liverpool and City are the two English teams likely to go the furthest in this season’s Champions League.

He told Squawka: ‘I think Liverpool and Manchester City maybe.

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‘You never know. It’s always going to be difficult and [it’s] a different style of play – European nights are always different.

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‘Anything can happen, especially if you are the big English clubs who are in the Champions League at the moment.’

MORE: Jose Mourinho claims Liverpool are ‘luckier’ than Manchester United after CSKA Moscow victory

Jose Mourinho claims Liverpool are ‘luckier’ than Manchester United after CSKA Moscow victory

Jose Mourinho’s side host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday (Picture: Getty)Jose Mourinho bemoaned Manchester United‘s congested fixture list following the side’s 4-1 defeat of CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

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A first-half double from Romelu Lukaku, as well as goals from Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitayran, sealed a convincing victory for the Red Devils at the VEB Arena to send Jose Mourinho’s men one step closer to the knockout stages.

However, in the aftermath of the win, Mourinho expressed his frustration that United must their next game against Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Liverpool have a long rest before facing Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.

Following United’s victory, he said: ‘The reaction by the home team with the normal pride to try to score and have a different result and we just relax a little bit.

Jurgen Klopp’s men travel to St James’ Park on Sunday (Picture: Getty)‘We had a couple of good chances but I think it’s normal and we have a game on Saturday – Liverpool are luckier than us.

‘They play Tuesday and Sunday, we have to play Wednesday and Saturday at three o’clock, so I think normal a little bit of relaxation.’

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Reports suggest Mourinho is privately ‘furious’ over the Premier League’s scheduling, with United only having 72 hours to prepare for this weekend’s clash with Palace at Old Trafford.

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Philippe Coutinho ‘calm’ and ready to give ‘maximum’ for Liverpool after failed Barcelona move

Philippe Coutinho has scored two in two games for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Philippe Coutinho has assured Liverpool supporters he has moved past his failed move to Barcelona and is ready to give his all for the club.

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The Brazilian handed in a transfer request and seemed to refuse to play in a bid to force a switch to Spain this summer.

But, Liverpool were resolute in their opposition to a move and rejected three mega-bids from Barcelona – much to the frustration of Coutinho.

The playmaker is now back in the Liverpool team scoring goals and insisted after the 1-1 draw with Spartak Moscow on Tuesday night he was fully focused on the Reds.

Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures

Newcastle (A) – Sun 1 OctManchester United (H) – Sat 14 OctNK Maribor – Champions League (A) – Tue 17 OctTottenham (A) – Sun 22 OctHuddersfield (H) – Sat 28 Oct

‘I’m calm,’ he said. ‘It’s all passed by.

‘I’m here to defend the colours — to give my maximum.’

He added about Spartak draw: It wasn’t really the result we wanted, but we have to keep working and there are more games, another four games to come.’

(Picture: Getty)

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(Picture: REUTERS/Darren Staples)Liverpool were disappointed in Russia as they were held to a draw despite creating a host of chances.

Jurgen Klopp’s side should have convincingly beat Spartak with the amount of opportunities they mustered, but their end product was missing.

Liverpool are still confident they can qualify from their group with Sevilla the only side to pick up a win from the first two games.

(Picture: REUTERS/Grigory Dukor)

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For Coutinho it is an important campaign of domestic football with the World Cup next summer.

The 25-year-old is tipped to be the main man for Brazil when they travel to Russia and Coutinho admitted he is desperate to maintain his form to earn a call-up.

‘I hope to get called up,’ he said.

‘With every call-up I want to develop and for us develop as a team in order to be successful.

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Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and Man City – how do their Champions League recovery times compare?

Jose Mourinho ahead of his side’s match with CSKA Moscow (Getty)Jose Mourinho is understood to be furious with the Premier League fixture scheduling after Champions League away games which he believes puts his team at a disadvantage.

Manchester United play away against CSKA Moscow this week before a domestic encounter with Crystal Palace on Saturday at 3pm.

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It’s one of three quick turnarounds for his side after away Champions League games. But are Manchester United really worse off than the other Premier League sides involved in Europe’s elite competition?

Here, we take a look at the recovery times for Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Man City following their three Champions League group stage away games. We’ve also included Arsenal’s turnaround times in the Europa League.

Manchester United

Wed 27 Sep: CSKA Moscow

Sat 30 Sep: Crystal Palace – 3pm

Wed 18 Oct: Benfica

Sat 21 Oct: Huddersfield – 3pm

Wed 22 Nov: Basel

Sat 25 Nov: Brighton – 3pm

RECOVERY TIME: 195 hours

 

Liverpool

Tue 26 Sep: Spartak Moscow

Sun 1 Oct: Newcastle – 4.30pm

Tue 17 Oct: Maribor

Sun 22 Oct: Tottenham – 4pm

Tue 21 Nov: Sevilla

Sat 25 Nov: Chelsea – 5.30pm

RECOVERY TIME: 324 hours

 

Tottenham

Tue 26 Sep: Apoel

Sat 30 Sep: Huddersfield – 12.30pm

Tue 17 Oct: Real Madrid

Sun 22 Oct: Liverpool – 4pm

Tue 21 Nov: Borussia Dortmund

Sat 25 Nov: West Brom – 3pm

RECOVERY TIME: 289 hours 30 mins

 

Chelsea

Wed 27 Sep: Atletico Madrid

Sat 30 Sep: Man City – 5.30pm

Tue 31 Oct: Roma

Sun 5 Nov: Manchester United – 4.30pm

Wed 22 Nov: Qarabag (5pm KO)

Sat 25 Nov: Liverpool – 5.30pm

RECOVERY TIME: 252 hours 30 minutes

 

Man City

Wed 13 Sep: Feyenoord

Sat 16 Sep: Watford – 3pm

Wed 1 Nov: Napoli

Sun 5 Nov: Arsenal – 2.15pm

Wed 6 Dec: Shakhtar Donetsk

Sat 9 Dec: Man United – 3pm (likely to be moved)

RECOVERY TIME: 218 hours 15 mins

 

Arsenal (Europa League)

Thu 28 Sep: BATE Borisov (6pm KO)

Sun 1 Oct: Brighton – 12pm

Thu 19 Oct: Crvena Zvezda (6pm KO)

Sun 22 Oct: Everton – 1.30pm

Thu 23 Nov: Cologne (6pm KO)

Sun 26 Nov: Burnley – 2pm

RECOVERY TIME: 195 hours 30 mins

Mourinho seems to have a point – Manchester United’s recovery time of 195 hours is the lowest of all the sides in the Champions League. The difference with Liverpool, who have the most time at 324 hours, is understandably frustrating.

Mourinho must prepare his team for their match with Crystal Palace on Saturday (Getty)However, fellow title contenders Arsenal, who are in the Europa League, face an almost identical turnaround time while Man City have little more.

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In addition, the quality of opposition after European away matches seems to have been neglected in Mourinho’s argument. His side take on bottom-of-the-league Crystal Palace and two promoted teams.

In contrast, Liverpool face Tottenham and Chelsea. Man City play Arsenal and Manchester United. But Chelsea have the toughest fixtures of all, with their away Champions League games followed by Man City, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Swings and roundabouts as they say.

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Manchester United legend Paul Scholes discusses Premier League title race with sly dig at Liverpool

Paul Scholes doesn’t seem to rate Liverpool this season (Pictures: Getty)Manchester United and Manchester City look the main contenders for the Premier League title race but are yet to be tested by a top team, according to Paul Scholes.

The former Red Devils star’s comments could be seen as a sly dig at United’s old rivals Liverpool, who were thrashed 5-0 by City earlier this month.

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Despite a strong start, Liverpool’s form has taken a real hit since that shock result, and it remains to be seen if the Reds can recover to mount a serious title challenge.

City take on champions Chelsea at the weekend in what seems likely to be a tougher test, and Scholes believes it is these games that will end up defining the season.

Scholes may have written Jurgen Klopp’s side off after their 5-0 loss to Man City (Picture: Getty)The former England international also added that keeping things tight at the back will be a critical factor in the title race, perhaps hinting at an advantage for United, who for the moment look to have the better defence on paper.

‘I think it will come down to who can be better defensively – who can concede the least goals. I don’t think either side has really been tested yet against a top team. When they do we’ll have a better idea,’ Scholes said.

One of the finest midfielders in his former club’s history, Scholes also added that he’s impressed by the depth of quality Jose Mourinho has to choose from in this current squad.

United legend Scholes seems optimistic about his old side’s hopes this term (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United 2017/18 Fixtures

CSKA Moscow – Champions League (A) – Wed 27 SepCrystal Palace (H) – Sat 30 SepLiverpool (A) – Sat 14 OctBenfica – Champions League (A) – Wed 18 OctHuddersfield (A) – Sat 21 OctSwansea – EFL Cup (A) – Tue 24 OctTottenham (H) – Sat 28 Oct

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‘I remember when there was me and Roy (Keane), (Juan Sebastian) Veron, Nicky Butt and Ryan (Giggs) who played in central midfield. There was an abundance of good midfielders and I think now they’ve got the same kind of squad.

‘You’ve got (Ander) Herrera who is not getting a game, Michael Carrick who’s not getting a game. (Paul) Pogba and (Nemanja) Matic seem to be the first choice but Mourinho can mix and match; the midfield should be as good as any.’

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Spartak coach Massimo Carrera admits advice of close friend Antonio Conte about Liverpool key to 1-1 draw

Jurgen Klopp gives directions from the touchline (Picture: Getty)Antonio Conte’s advice was crucial to Spartak Moscow securing a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in Russia, according to their manager Massimo Carrera.

Harry Kane joins elite group after stunning Champions League hat-trick

The Spartak boss was assistant coach to the Chelsea manager during his time at Juventus and Italy and the two have remained close friends.

Carrera revealed before the game he had spoke to Conte about Jurgen Klopp, but played down the length of the conversation.

Liverpool missed a host of chances to beat Spartak, but Carrera admitted after the result that Conte’s tips had been vital to their performance.

‘During the conversation we talked about Liverpool for just a couple of minutes,’ he said after the game.

Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures

Newcastle (A) – Sun 1 OctManchester United (H) – Sat 14 OctNK Maribor – Champions League (A) – Tue 17 OctTottenham (A) – Sun 22 OctHuddersfield (H) – Sat 28 Oct

Philippe Coutinho got Liverpool back into the game (Picture: Getty)

Before wasting a host of chances (Picture :Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley)‘We more discussed the situation in our teams, personal affairs, vacation, but what he said about the British, I needed.’

Carrera added: ‘We played a great game against a very good team.

‘I don’t have any complaints about my team’s performance.

Massimo Carrera is good friends with Antonio Conte (Picture: Getty)

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(Picture: Getty)‘I just want to praise everyone. Am I happy with the result? Yes, we got a draw against a very good team.’

Poor goalkeeping from Loris Karius gifted Spartak the lead before Philippe Coutinho finished off a brilliant move to level the game.

Spartak benefited from Liverpool’s wastefulness in front of goal as the Reds racked up 16 attempts.

(Picture: Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley)More: Football

Six of those were on target with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge all guilty of missing golden chances in injury time.

Liverpool now have two points from two Champions League group games while Conte’s help keeps Spartak’s hopes alive they can battle out of the group.

Sevilla now sit top of Liverpool’s group after thrashing Maribor 3-0.

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Barcelona and Liverpool hero Luis Suarez ‘is a Manchester United player’, claims Gary Neville

Gary Neville is confident Luis Suarez would fit in at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville believes Barcelona superstar Luis Suarez has the DNA to fit in at Manchester United.

Suarez, 30, widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers in European football, joined the Catalan giants from United’s bitter rivals Liverpool for a fee of around £65million back in 2014.

Harry Kane joins elite group after stunning Champions League hat-trick

The tenacious Uruguayan scored 82 goals in 133 appearances for Liverpool and came close to lifting the Premier League trophy with the Merseyside club back in 2013/14.

However, Neville claims Suarez is made for the Red Devils and also insists his former side must strongly consider bringing Antoine Griezmann to Old Trafford.

He told Stretty News TV: ‘We can get a lot better. I’d like to see one more flair player in the team.

Antoine Griezmann has been on United’s radar for years (Picture: Getty)‘I’d like to see a winger who can beat a man and get everyone on the edge of their seat.

‘Having been in Spain for four months, I love Griezmann.

‘I would love to see Griezmann at United. He’s quick, he’s inventive he can beat players he can score goals.

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The ex-United and England right-back believes Suarez’s aggression and arrogance would see him fit in well at Old Trafford.

He added: ‘You would love to see Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Neymar and [Gareth] Bale and people like that because you know they would light up Old Trafford.

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‘Suarez, even though he played for Liverpool, is a United player.

‘It’s arrogance to say that but he’s fantastic. He scores goals and he’s aggressive.’

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Frank Lampard hails ‘brilliant’ Philippe Coutinho after Liverpool’s draw with Spartak Moscow

Philippe Coutinho was on form for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Frank Lampard hailed Philippe Coutinho following Liverpool’s draw with Spartak Moscow in the Champions League, claiming he is often playing a ‘different game’ to his team-mates.

The Brazilian scored Liverpool’s equaliser in Russia but Jurgen Klopp’s men couldn’t find a winner in Moscow.

It was Coutinho’s second goal of the season after his stunning free-kick against Leicester on Saturday and he was Liverpool’s main threat throughout their draw with Spartak.

The playmaker, of course, came close to joining Barcelona in the summer but Lampard says Liverpool are far stronger for having kept Coutinho.

Coutinho has two in two (Picture: Getty)‘He had a brilliant game,’ Lampard told BT Sport.

‘Sometimes he plays a different game to everybody else.

‘His passing and awareness to play the right ball for the right run. He was at the hub of all the great chances we’ve talked about but at the end of the day you need people there to finish them.’

MORE: Rio Ferdinand blasts Loris Karius after Liverpool’s draw with Spartak Moscow