Domestic action returns with a bang as United take on Liverpool

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and assistant Ryan Giggs will be looking to shoot down Liverpool this weekend
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and assistant Ryan Giggs will be looking to shoot down Liverpool this weekend

The Premier League returns from the international break with a bang this weekend as Manchester United entertain Liverpool in a clash that could ultimately prove pivotal in the battle to qualify for the Champions League.

Both teams tasted defeat, to Swansea and West Ham respectively, in their last assignments before the Euro 2016 double-header but it’s United that bookmakers believe will bounce back, their home advantage ensuring that they command even money favouritism at Paddy Power to collect a maximum haul.

Brendan Rodgers’s charges, meanwhile, head to Old Trafford as bet365’s 16/5 outsiders and it’s 5/2 with Stan James to finish all-square between the pair for the first time in nine meetings.

Indeed, as the teams are both locked on seven points there’s every chance that stalemate quote will prove popular, alongside Skybet’s 6/1 about it ending one-each and a score draw at 7/2 (Ladbrokes).

Louis Van Gaal’s team have found the net just once in two matches at home, the same tally as Liverpool have accrued on the road so this clash looks set to generate fewer than three goals (3/4, and William Hill offer an enticing 7/4 about it being scoreless at the interval.

Punters pushing the boat out can back neither side to break the deadlock in the whole contest at 8/1 courtesy of BetVictor.

Chelsea come face-to-face with John Stones, the man they spent much of the transfer window trying to buy, as they head to Goodison Park to face Everton and the champions are 19/20 (BetVictor) to punish the Toffees for clinging on to one of their prized assets.

Jose Mourinho’s charges, though, have yet to convince this term so they look a touch risky at a shade of odds-on and the best bet on Merseyside is arguably William Hill’s 10/11 for both teams to get on the scoresheet.

It’s second against first at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace lock horns with Manchester City but after the latter’s stunning start to the season they’re plenty short enough at 8/13 (Stan James) to plunder the points from a Palace outfit that poses a significant threat.

BetVictor post 7/10 against the pair both striking in south London but a heftier 13/8 is available at Skybet for the potential thriller to yield more than 3.5 goals.

At the Emirates Stadium, Paddy Power price Arsenal at 3/10 to edge out Stoke, Tottenham travel to struggling Sunderland as bet365’s 10/11 jollies, with Harry Kane a 4/1 shot (BetVictor) to open his club account for the campaign and Ladbrokes make high-flying Swansea 13/8 to come out on top at winless Watford.

The Swans, Gunners and Spurs meanwhile, combine in a treble at just short of 11/2 via Stan James.

Elsewhere, bet365 lean towards Leicester (17/20) ahead of their home fixture against Aston Villa, at 11/8 with William Hill Norwich get the nod at home to Bournemouth and it’s easy to envisage a stalemate (9/4, Stan James) as West Brom and Southampton lock horns at the Hawthorns.

On Monday, finally, West Ham are worth considering at 23/20 ( when they tackle Newcastle at Upton Park.

St Helens registered their first Super 8s success in Super League last weekend as they overhauled leaders Leeds at Headingley so it’s perhaps not surprising to see Saints installed as William Hill’s 1/2 jollies to pick up another West Yorkshire win, this time at Castleford.

The Tigers are a 2/1 chance at Skybet but it’s hard to overlook the visitors, who are 5/6 (William Hill) to lead at the break as well as full-time and evens via bet365 to overhaul Cas’s eight-point advantage in the handicaps.

The Rhinos, meanwhile, are 1/2 (Paddy Power) to bounce back from their home reverse to St Helens as they head to Perpignan to tackle Catalans Dragons.

Brian McDermott’s team only have a six-point handicap to cover at 10/11 courtesy of BetVictor and also an eye-catcher are Hull, who have a 32-point cushion at Wigan at 11/10 with Ladbrokes.

England dragged themselves back into the ODI series against Australia with a comprehensive victory at Old Trafford on Tuesday but they’re 11/10 (William Hill) to frank that form by levelling the scores at two-apiece in the fourth match at Headingley.

The tourists are 4/5 at to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-game contest and Stan James make them even money to enjoy the highest opening partnership with the bat.

Bet of the week: Harry Kane to score first – 4/1 (BetVictor).

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