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Burnley vs. Manchester City: Champions ‘heavily fancied’ to bounce back with a win

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Reigning champions Manchester City head to Burnley languishing in third place in the Premier League table, eleven points behind title rivals Liverpool.

The sizable gap between the two sides was extended from nine to eleven points on Saturday afternoon after City unexpectedly dropped points at Newcastle United in a 2-2 draw, with Liverpool nervously edging out Brighton 2-1 at Anfield having been reduced to ten-men with fifteen minutes to go.

City did manage to overturn a seven-point deficit last campaign; while the gap is now larger, a team packed with as much stardust as they are should not be ruling themselves out of the race just yet.

Clearly, though, their margin for error is now minimal, starting with Tuesday night’s trip to Turf Moor, which will kick-off at 20:15 (GMT) live on Amazon Prime.

The bookmakers heavily fancy City to do the business, pricing them at an odds-on 1/4 to bag the three points.

Burnley are 12/1 to secure a memorable victory, with the draw 5/1.

Given Burnley are at home, where the atmosphere can prove intimidating for away teams, and they have physicality in attack and from set pieces to hurt City’s back-line, the odds on Burnley do look big.

Moreover, the two sides’ meetings at Turf Moor since Burnley’s return to the Premier League under manager Sean Dyche have always been tight.

City have won two – both by only a one goal margin – with one draw and one Burnley win.

It’s likely that it is Burnley’s recent home record against the so-called ‘Big Six’ overall which is standing against them in terms of the odds, having already been well-beaten at home to Liverpool and Chelsea this season.

Moreover, Burnley’s only points at home against the ‘Big Six’ in the previous two campaigns arrived with the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur last season, and the aforementioned draw against City in 2017/18.

So it does seem a little tough to confidently back Burnley – even at the inflated odds.

Perhaps a better-value price may be Raheem Sterling continuing his sensational form in front of goal.

Sterling is 11/10 to score anytime, having already scored six goals in seven away league games so far this season, including the opener at Newcastle on Saturday.

Without the injured Sergio Aguero leading the line, his importance to the side in terms of the goal threat he carries increases.

This is reflected by the fact that six of his eight Premier League goals this season have been scored when Gabriel Jesus has started ahead of Aguero up front.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter or contact me via email .

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Football

Chelsea vs. Lille: Lampard’s men to clinch qualification in final group game?

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Qualification is in Chelsea’s hands as they host Lille on Tuesday night. Frank Lampard’s men go into the encounter knowing that a win against bottom side Lille will clinch a spot in the knockout stages.

The French outfit are yet to claim a single victory in Champions League Group H, with the Blues in second after just one loss.

That defeat came against Valencia first time out, but since then Chelsea have remained unbeaten, beating Lille and Ajax away before draws with the Dutch outfit and Valencia last month.

As well as sitting rock bottom of the table, the French side also hold one of the worst defensive records in the competition.

That will give Chelsea’s forwards huge confidence heading into the game, with Christian Pulisic undoubtedly keen to add to his tally after netting at the Mestalla. He’s 11/2 to open the scoring and 7/5 to score anytime.

In-form striker Tammy Abraham limped off against Valencia last time out, but he’s currently 9/4 should he score in the crucial match at Stamford Bridge.

Jorginho has also been among the Chelsea goals in Europe this season. The Italian can be backed at 15/2 to score the game’s opening goal and 2/1 to score anytime throughout the 90 minutes.

Striker Victor Osimhen has bagged two of Lille’s three goals for the campaign. He’s also been in fine form domestically. The Nigerian is 4/1 to once again find the back of the net against Lampard’s side. And the 20-year-old is 14/1 to score the game’s first goal.

It’s currently 7/1 for a repeat of the 2-1 Chelsea victory from matchday two.

Both teams to score is 11/10, with a Chelsea win and both teams to score currently 7/4.

The hosts are 4/6 to score in both halves, and 6/5 to win both. They are available at 11/2 to come from behind and win the game.

The Blues are 8/11 to keep just their second clean sheet of the competition, having managed to stop Ajax from scoring in their first meeting in Amsterdam. Substitute Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal that evening, and he’s 3/1 to get the first on Tuesday night.

Lille are yet to keep a clean sheet from their five games. They are currently 12/1 to keep their first against Chelsea in the final group game, knowing pride is the only issue at stake for them.

A draw for Lampard’s men could still see them through to the next round if other results go their way. But winning will unquestionably be the former midfielder’s only thought going into the decisive encounter.

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RB Salzburg vs. Liverpool: Reds ‘backed to progress in must-win’ game

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It’s all to play for as Liverpool travel to Austria to take on RB Salzburg on Tuesday night. It’s going right down to the wire in Group E, with both sides still able to qualify.

The Reds sit top of the table, one point ahead of Napoli and three ahead of their final opponents. The Italian side host Genk, and so Jurgen Klopp’s travelling side know qualification is in their hands.

The visitors are currently 11/12 to win the game and clinch qualification to the knockout stages. A draw is available at 3/1, with a home win currently 11/4.

The sides last met in October in the reverse fixture at Anfield, where the hosts edged out their determined visitors in a thrilling 4-3 encounter. It’s 40/1 for Liverpool to do the same again on Tuesday evening.

Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and a brace from Mohamed Salah helped secure that important win on Matchday two. The Senegal forward is currently 9/2 to open the scoring once again, with the left-back available at 40/1.

The Egyptian winger is 15/4 to score the game’s opening goal.

But Salzburg striker Erling Braut Haland will certainly have something to say about that. The 19-year-old scored a late goal at Genk last time out to become the first teenager to score in five consecutive appearances in the history of the European Cup and Champions League.

He also became the first player to score eight goals in his first five matches in the competition, overtaking both Diego Costa and Harry Kane who scored seven in the same amount of games.

The formidable forward is currently 9/2 to score first in front of his adoring fans against the defending champions.

Others looking to find the back of the net include Takumi Minamino and Hwang Hee-Chan. Both scored on that memorable night at Anfield, and both will be looking to do something similar this time around. Minamino is currently 8/1 to score the game’s opening goal, with Hee-Chan currently 7/1.

The Reds are yet to keep a clean sheet in the competition this season, and have found shutouts hard to come by in domestic football as well. They can be backed at 3/1 to keep their first of the campaign in Austria.

RB Salzburg are the top scorers in the group, but have also been struggling at the back. They’re currently 6/1 to keep their first clean sheet in this season’s Champions League.

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Arsenal

West Ham vs. Arsenal: visitors ‘narrowly tipped’ to bounce back with three points

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Arsenal head to West Ham on Monday night at 20:00 GMT having suffered a surprise 2-1 home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in their last league outing.

West Ham, meanwhile, were comfortably outplayed in a 2-0 away defeat to Wolves.

Neither side are in good form whatsoever: Arsenal have failed to win in the league for over two months, while West Ham have won just once since the third weekend of September.

It’s unsurprising, then, that both sides disappointingly find themselves in the bottom half, having been expected to fight for the European spots before the season started.

Both teams to score is as short as 2/5 with neither side impressing in defence at the moment.

The bookmakers have narrowly tipped Arsenal to win the match, with the Gunners priced at evens to gain a huge three points, which would lift them into the top half on goal difference.

The draw is 23/10, with a home win for West Ham 3/1.

Arsenal have failed to win away from home in the league since the first day of the season at Newcastle, while West Ham have not won at home since beating Manchester United 2-0 in September.

Throw in the likelihood of goals and there’s perhaps value on a score draw here.

1-1 is 9/1 and 2-2 is 12/1. The latter looks value given that five of Arsenal’s 15 league games have ended 2-2 this season.

To cover both these scorelines or an even higher score draw, both teams to score and the draw combined is 3/1.

A point would not be the end of the world for either side as respective managers Manuel Pellegrini and Freddie Ljungberg attempt to stop the rot which has recently set in at their clubs.

One man who could take the game away from West Ham to the benefit of Arsenal, however, is their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored six of the Gunners’ seven away goals in the Premier League this season.

Aubameyang is 3/4 to score anytime, and 11/4 to open the scoring.

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