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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

It may pay to oppose City in Manchester derby

The wheels are coming off at Chelsea

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola
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What’s your best bet this weekend?
Leicester to beat Newcastle. The Magpies have made significant improvements in recent weeks, probably enough to stay up, but most of their good work has been in front of their own fans. They still don’t travel particularly well and are going to find it tough at Leicester, who are unbeaten over 90 minutes in six games in all competitions. Jamie Vardy is firing and he’ll be a handful.

Leicester v Newcastle preview

Who are the most vulnerable favourites?
Chelsea at home to West Ham, who showed some real fight last time out when they needed it most to inflict a huge win over Southampton. The wheels are coming off at Chelsea, whose toothless loss to Spurs has cost them any chance of Champions League football next season. Conte is on his way in the summer and their campaign could end tamely.

Where’s the value in the Manchester derby?
It’s not easy opposing City but with the title effectively wrapped up and all eyes on the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final, this could be one occasion when it’s worth doing so. This fixture still means a lot to Jose Mourinho, who is all about proving points, and United will be set up to be hard to break down. United on the handicap.

Man City v Man Utd preview

Mo Salah or Kevin De Bruyne for PFA Player of the Year?
Given the goals he has scored, I have to go for Salah. No one has ever done anything like this in their first full season in the Premier League – he could wind up with 50 goals. I think they are both wonderful players but Salah’s record speaks for itself.

Who would be an ideal appointment for West Brom?
Someone who knows the Championship. There’s no point in looking for Premier League pedigree because that’s not what the next stage of the West Brom story is about. Mick McCarthy is right up there in the betting and that’s exactly the sort of boss they should be looking for, someone who knows the division and has had success in it.

Mark Langdon's Saturday tips

Give us a winner on the midweek coupon
I’m going to go for the City-City double result against Liverpool. There’s going to be a City onslaught next week, chances will pile up and they’re going to take some of them. Defending a 3-0 lead isn’t straightforward for Jurgen Klopp, who has to decide whether to change his approach or go toe-to-toe with City again. Anything could happen.

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This fixture still means a lot to Jose Mourinho, who is all about proving points, and United will be set up to be hard to break down
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