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Graham Ruthven: Something for the weekend

Graham Ruthven: Something for the weekend

Graham returns with his five best bets for this weekend's football action

Player to score – Gabriel Jesus (Crystal Palace v Arsenal) 33/20

Gabriel Jesus has been signed to give Arsenal a sharper edge in front of goal and his pre-season form for the Gunners suggest he will do exactly that. The Brazilian has scored seven goals in five friendly matches. He looms sharp and hungry to prove he can be the leading man for a team competitive at the top end of the Premier League.


Crystal Palace have kept a clean sheet in each of their last five league matches at home, including one in a 3-0 win over Arsenal in April. However, the Gunners appear stronger than they were at that point. What’s more, Palace lack pace in the right back position and this is where Jesus likes to create space for himself with sharp runs from wide areas.

Player to be carded – Joao Palhinha (Fulham v Liverpool) 11/4

Fulham face a hostile return to the Premier League with Marco Silva’s side set to host Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season. Joao Palhinha is the most notable signing made by the Cottagers over the summer with the 27-year-old a very capable midfield enforcer who will be central to his new team’s chances of staying up.

Only a handful of players committed more fouls per 90 minutes than Palhinha (2) did for Sporting Lisbon in the Primeira Liga last season. He will be tasked with stopping Liverpool in quick transition at Craven Cottage on Saturday and that will come with the risk of a yellow card. It will be an occupational hazard for Palhinha.

Match to be a draw – Leeds United v Wolves (47/20)

Jesse Marsch has remoulded Leeds United over the summer, but there are questions over where his team will find goals this season after the sale of top scorer Raphinha to Barcelona. Patrick Bamford will be Leeds’ attacking figurehead, but the 28-year-old scored just two Premier League goals last season.

Wolves, on the other hand, boasted one of the best defensive records in the Premier League last season. Bruno Lage’s side failed to win any of their final seven fixtures and have struggled to find ways to claim victories from tight matches. Of all the fixtures in the Premier League this weekend, this appears most likely to end in a draw.

Both teams to score – Dortmund v Leverkusen (1/3)

The 2022/23 Bundesliga season kicks off this weekend with the standout fixture the one between Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. Both teams have hopes of pushing Bayern Munich for the title and the outcome of this match will provide an insight on whether or not they can actually achieve this.

All signs point to this being a goals-fest. Dortmund have scored two or more goals in 19 of their last 21 home league matches while Leverkusen have scored two or more goals in their last four outngs in the Bundesliga. 14 goals were shared in the two meetings between Dortmund and Leverkusen last season. This could be another entertaining encounter.

1x 3 or 4 line combo bet builder – Tottenham v Southampton (41/20)

Expectations are high at Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the 2022/23 season with Antonio Conte hoping to take his team closer to the top of the Premier League table after a fourth-place finish last term. All signs points to Spurs facing a favourable fixture to open their campaign against Southampton on Saturday.

Tottenham have scored two or more goals against Southampton in their last seven home matches against the South coast outfit. On top of this, the Saints have conceded two or more goals in 12 of their last 14 away matches. Spurs have also kept a clean sheet in each of their last three league matches.

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