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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Gunners look great to give up a goal start to Everton

The former Liverpool and Man City star gives his jury answers

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrate a goal in their Dortmund days
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1 What's your best bet for the weekend?

Arsenal giving up a one-goal handicap start against Everton. The Toffees have not been that good under Sam Allardyce and I can see them getting battered by the Gunners, who are ready to unleash the Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan double act. Alexis Sanchez’s exit may be a blessing for Arsene Wenger because it was clear that he wanted out.

2 Which favourites look the most vulnerable?

I can’t have Manchester United at chronically short odds. It’s presumed that they just have to turn up to roll over Huddersfield, but I don’t see United rolling over anyone. David Wagner must set up his team to be organised and disciplined and if you don’t give United’s pacy frontmen room to run into, there’s precious little else there.

3 What's the best bet for Liverpool v Tottenham?

Spurs draw no bet. I can’t see Tottenham getting beaten. They look a very streetwise side and they boast the pace and organisation at the back to be able to match up to Liverpool. The sale of Philippe Coutinho is going to haunt the Reds over the coming months because he was the cornerstone of everything they did going forward.

4 What was the best signing of the transfer window?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Just look at his figures to appreciate Arsenal have got a top goalscorer. He has pace and power as well as an eye for goal and I can see a fast tempo returning to the Arsenal attacking game. He can revive his partnership with Henrik Mkhitaryan and become a star in England.

 5 Should Chelsea stick with Antonio Conte after this season?

Yes. They should certainly keep him until the end of this season anyway. The timing would be wrong to let him go now with Chelsea in the midst of a top-four battle and still in the Champions League. What Conte achieved last year has earned him at least a second full season, though he’s clearly very frustrated at the transfer policy at the club.

6 Are Southampton genuine relegation candidates?

Yes, absolutely. No one in that bottom half is too good to go down. Over the past few months commentators have written off Huddersfield, then Palace, lately Swansea, yet all of them can produce results. Changes of leadership have boosted Everton and West Ham and there are new bosses at Stoke and Watford. This could be the year Saints finally pay the price for off-loading all their stars.

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No one in that bottom half is too good to go down. Over the past few months commentators have written off Huddersfield, then Palace, lately Swansea
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