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Saturday Preview: Can Graham Potter pull off a Devil-ish double?

Original article published 21 October 2022

Two months after Graham Potter masterminded the Red Devils downfall as boss of Brighton, he gets a chance to repeat the feat when Chelsea and Manchester United clash in Saturday's late game in the Premier League.

Potter oversaw a 2-1 win for Brighton at Old Trafford on the opening weekend of the season but the new Chelsea boss will be up against a very different United when these old rivals meet at Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Potter's previous club will be looking to stop Manchester City from moving to within a point of leaders Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will hope their renaissance continues at Nottingham Forest while Everton and Crystal Palace clash at Goodison Park.

Are Chelsea running out of puff under Potter?

What:Chelsea v Man Utd, Premier League
Where:Stamford Bridge, London
When:17:30, Saturday 22nd October, 2022
How to watch:Sky Sports Main Event & Premier League
Odds:Chelsea 11/10, Man Utd 12/5, Draw 5/2

Seven games unbeaten under Graham Potter looks respectable enough; five successive clean sheets nothing to moan about.

Yet there's a sense after watching the Blues toil for a 0-0 draw at Brentford on Wednesday that Chelsea are still work in progress under their new manager.

Potter is already a proven rotator as he deals with a hectic schedule which means second-guessing his starting eleven will be as hard as selecting a match outcome, with Chelsea 11/10, United 12/5, the draw – and the last four league meetings between these giants have ended all-square – 5/2.

A sixth straight Chelsea clean sheet is a 2/1 shot, a fourth straight United shutout a 10/3 chance. No goalscorer is a 10/1 chance – and no goalscorer copped in both league fixtures between these two in the 2020-21 season.

United head south feeling upbeat with four wins and a draw since that dismantling by Manchester City, and Erik ten Hag's decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo following his walk-out in the 2-0 win over Spurs looks inspired since the stroppy Portuguese ace is nowadays little more than an unwanted distraction.

Resurgent Reds ready to clobber Cooper

What:Nottm Forest v Liverpool, Premier League
Where:City Ground, Nottingham
When:12:30, Saturday 22nd October, 2022
How to watch:BT Sport 1
Odds:Nottm Forest 10/1, Liverpool 1/4, Draw 5/1

Steve Cooper's Nottingham Forest are bottom of the league after taking just two points out of the last possible 24, are 1/3 to be relegated and next up are Liverpool, then Arsenal. The very real prospect of being bottom at Christmas is looming large.

Two weeks ago, as Liverpool were getting beaten by the Gunners, Cooper might have fancied taking on Jurgen Klopp's team. But since then the Reds have won three on the bounce, 7-1 at Rangers followed by a pair of 1-0 wins over Manchester City and West Ham.

Confidence is returning at Anfield though those two showdowns with City and the Hammers were tight, tense and tiring and their legs will be tested at the City Ground.

The problem for Forest is they are struggling to score goals, just one in their last four and Liverpool to win a low-scorer – for a third match in a row – might just be a tempter. Liverpool & under 3.5 goals is a 13/10 shot, for example.

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Weekend Review: Mohamed Salah leading Liverpool revival

Rested City looking for a bounce back

What:Man City v Brighton, Premier League
Where:Etihad Stadium, Manchester
When:15:00, Saturday 22nd October, 2022
How to watch:N/A
Odds:Man City 1/5, Brighton 12/1, Draw 6/1

Pep Guardiola never had anything but respect for Brighton under Graham Potter, even though the Spaniard beat Potter's Seagulls five times out of six with a goal aggregate of 19-4.

Potter, of course, has gone and Brighton, like several top-flight sides, are starting to struggle. They haven't won in four, they haven't scored in three and were struggling to create chances in Tuesday's disappointing 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest.

City, shock of shocks, haven't scored in two, either, drawing 0-0 in Copenhagen – where they had a red card and missed a penalty – and losing 1-0 at Liverpool, in which they had a goal disallowed.

But would you still be tempted to back, say, under 2.5 goals at 7/4, when you consider that 11 of City's last 12 at home in the league have copped for over 3.5 backers, never mind 2.5.

City striker Erling Haaland is 15/8 to end his two-game drought with the first goal; Brighton striker Danny Welbeck is 14/1 to end his season-long goal drought with the opener. You decide.

Goal-shy Toffees need a sweetener

What:Everton v Crystal Palace, Premier League
Where:Goodison Park, Liverpool
When:15:00, Saturday 22nd October, 2022
How to watch:N/A
Odds:Everton 8/5, Crystal Palace 15/8, Draw 11/5

Frank Lampard outlasted old England rival Steven Gerrard as a Premier League boss but they'll be coming for the Toffees' head coach once more if he fails to land 8/5 odds against Crystal Palace.

Everton have lost three in a row but against Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle and they were respectable, if not particularly threatening, for long periods of those three tricky fixtures.

However, a fourth straight loss could easily see Everton back in the bottom three by close of play on Sunday night and the pressure once more on Lampard, who seems to be taking a step backward for every one he takes forward.

Everton's Achilles' heel is a lack of goals and no shots on target at St James's Park was telling. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 5/1 to score the opener, is fit again and surely deserves another start.

Patrick Vieira's Eagles have won three times, all three of those having conceded the opener, most recently on Tuesday when second-half efforts from Ebi Eze and Wilfried Zaha earned them a 2-1 triumph over Wolves. Palace are 12/1 to win from behind for a fourth time.

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