Kevin Palmer's Premier League weekend flutter in aid of Temple Street
This impossible to predict Premier League season took another dramatic twist when Jose Mourinho’s explosive second spell as Chelsea manager came to a dramatic end on Thursday.
Mourinho’s sacking was the latest unpredictable story in a season that has produced shocks on a weekly basis, much to the delight of bookies who have been reaping the rewards as the favourites have crashed to defeats on a weekly basis.
Here is your Independent.ie guide to the best bets on offer from Paddy Power ahead of the latest round of Premier League matches, with our charity punt in aide of Temple Street Children’s hospital featured at the bottom of these selections:
CHELSEA v SUNDERLAND
A curious atmosphere will envelop Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with a large section of the Chelsea congregation in mourning following the departure of their special manager Jose Mourinho.
If the Chelsea players turn on the style and dispatch Sunderland in a manner you might expect from champions, the accusation that they laid down tools and refused to perform for Mourinho will be emphasised. Another defeat and their status as relegation candidates will be cemented. Whatever next at Chelsea?
Chelsea captain John Terry to score first – 20/1
Sunderland to win 1-0 – 25/1
Chelsea to romp back to form with a 5-0 win – 25/1
MANCHESTER UNITED v NORWICH
United may be just six points off the pace being set by surprise Premier League leaders Leicester, but boss Louis van Gaal admitted in his Friday press briefing that results and performances need to improve if he is to fend of his increasingly vocal army of detractors.
The sudden availability of proven winner Mourinho as a potential replacement could intensify the scrutiny on the Dutchman if his side fails to see of Norwich and offer up a glimpse of style in the process. The odds confirm Van Gaal is favourite to be sacked next in the Premier League and a home defeat against Norwich would heighten the suspicion that he is on borrowed time at Old Trafford.
Man Utd to play out a third successive 0-0 draw at Old Trafford – 9/1
Ireland midfielder Wes Hoolahan to score for Norwich – 15/2
Anthony Martial to end a nine-game Premier League scoring drought for United – 13/10
WATFORD v LIVERPOOL
Who would have thought we would reach the final game before Christmas with pre-season relegation favourites sitting a point ahead of mighty Liverpool in the Premier League table.
Yet that will be the scenario prevailing as Jurgen Klopp’s side head to Vicarage Road on Sunday to take on one of the form sides in the division. In a season when anything and everything is possible, this is a tough game to predict.
Watford to win – 3/1
Both teams to score – 4/5
Watford’s inform striker Odion Ighalo to score first – 6/1
ARSENAL v MANCHESTER CITY
The final game in the Premier League season before Christmas will be crucial in setting the tone for the title race in the second half of the season, as the two favourites will go head to head at Emirates Stadium on Monday.
With City striker supreme Sergio Aguero set to return, Arsenal’s backline are set to be given the ultimate test, as City’s uncertain away form will be under scrutiny again. They have won just three of their seven away games this season, scoring just seven goals on their travels so far.
Manchester City to win 2-0 – 14/1
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud to score two or more goals – 15/2
Penalty to be awarded in this game – 5/2
Here is our charity bet in association with Paddy Power:
€50 on Arsenal v Manchester City to finish as a draw on Monday – 5/2 (possible returns €175.00)