Taylor, Tomkins and Torres all offer a decent prospect

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Arsenal remain top of the Premier League following the hard-fought 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace but they face one of their biggest tests of the season so far as they entertain high-flying Liverpool.

Unbeaten in the league since the opening day, the Gunners are BetVictor’s 5/4 favourites to maintain that record by collecting all three points while the Reds, who have only suffered one defeat themselves, are Stan James’s 9/4 outsiders and it’s 5/2 with William Hill to finish all square at the Emirates Stadium.

The corresponding fixture last term proved inconclusive and a repeat of the 2-2 scoreline from that January contest might lure one or two speculative punters at odds of 13/1 courtesy of BetVictor.

Alternatively, bet365 quote 3/1 for any score draw and despite Arsenal’s home advantage, that’s arguably the best bet in North London given the form of the visiting strike force. Indeed, any team that possesses a partnership as potent as Reds duo Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, has to be respected and the pair aren’t without appeal at 8/5 (bet365) and 2/1 (Winner.com) respectively, to notch at any time.

Staying with goals meanwhile, Stan James’s 4/7 for both teams to contribute to the tally looks a banker and it’s an equally enticing 7/10 at betway for the contest to produce three or more.

Chelsea are just two points adrift of Arsenal in second, thanks largely to their hundred percent home record and as they play at lunchtime on Saturday, Jose Mourinho’s men will move to the summit if they can overcome Newcastle.

Paddy Power price the Blues at 7/10 to emerge triumphant, which initially seems a touch short given that they have amassed the same number of points on the road as the Magpies have accrued at St James’s Park but as three of Chelsea’s travelling assignments were at Manchester United, Spurs and Everton, that’s perhaps understandable.

They should have the edge then over the unpredictable hosts on Tyneside, where Ladbrokes quote the Blues at 13/5 to nick it by one and bet365 offer 11/2 about an opener from the rejuvenated Fernando Torres.

Manchester United again looked vulnerable last weekend, albeit in victory, this time against Stoke, so they don’t exactly set the pulse racing at 8/13 (Skybet) ahead of their trip to Fulham. The champions should ultimately come out on top but the price is too short and a shrewder wager would be on Robin van Persie, at 21/20 with BetVictor, to score at any time for the third game on the bounce.

It should be an easier afternoon for United’s neighbours Man City, who are 2/9 at best via Paddy Power to send Norwich home empty-handed and 6/4 in bet365’s handicaps when kicking off two goals behind. Meanwhile, at Goodison Park, Sunday’s collision between two in-form sides, Everton and Spurs, is 23/10 (Stan James) to end in stalemate.

High-flying Southampton might also have to settle for a point, at Stoke, a result betway chalk up at 23/10, Cardiff and Swansea are 12/5 with BetVictor to share the spoils in their potentially fiery derby showdown and Stan James make Hull’s clash with Sunderland at 12/5 to be inconclusive.

Finally, Skybet quote West Brom at 8/13 to heap more misery on hapless Crystal Palace at the Hawthorns and Ladbrokes’s 6/5 chances West Ham narrowly get the nod against Aston Villa.

Rugby Union’s autumn internationals get under way this weekend, with England hosting Australia at Twickenham and Stuart Lancaster’s men are Paddy Power’s 8/15 favourites to do what their Rugby League counterparts couldn’t last Saturday, and get the better of the men from Down Under.

In the handicaps, bet365 make the hosts 10/11 to cover the Wallabies’ five-point start and also at 10/11, this time with Ladbrokes, is an England lead at both the interval and full-time.

Rugby League convert Joel Tomkins will make his debut for the hosts at centre and he’s 16/1 (Paddy Power) to make an instant impact by grabbing the game’s first try but the favourite for that honour, at 10/1, is another man that switched codes, Chris Ashton.

The world’s top 16 darts players will face off in Edinburgh this weekend in the Coral Masters and as ever, it’s Phil Taylor that heads the betting at 6/4 with Stan James. Hot on his heels is bet365’s 5/2 chance Michael Van Gerwen and recent Dutch Masters victor Kim Huybrechts is 28/1 (William Hill). However, it would be risky to bet against ‘the Power’ who insists he remains as hungry as ever despite recently racking up his 51st career title.

Bet of the week: Phil Taylor to win the Coral Masters – 6/4 (Stan James)

Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com

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