WHEN doing my research for this weekend one stat caught my eye that was hard to believe.
Today’s big lunchtime game is Arsenal v Man City and incredibly the champions have won just once in 29 league visits to the Emirates or Highbury. I'll also be looking at Celtic v Aberdeen which also kicks off at 12.45pm.
Man City have lifted more titles in the past three seasons than victories away to the Gunners in the last 42 years.
However, Manuel Pellegrini’s side drew at the Emirates last season and won the year before that. Arsenal’s 1-0 success in 2011-2012 was preceded by two 0-0 draws so stats suggest a low scorer and no to both teams to score.
Arsene Wenger’s side took the bragging rights 3-0 in the pre-season Community Shield but I’d read little into that and expect a stalemate with both sides having one eye on the Champions League openers.
The last six league meetings have been under 2.5 goals but with attackers such as Danny Welbeck, Javier Sanchez, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko in action I can understand oif people don’t want to back it.
In fact if you fancy both to score look at this offer from Ladbrokes who go 5-1 from 8-13 for new account holders. http://www.ladbrokes.com/sports/en/football-bothscore-premierleague-arsenal-v-mancity/?
After his double for England in Switzerland Welbeck is 5-2 at 888sport to net on his debut following his £16million move from Man Utd.
In the teatime kick-off (5.30pm) third-placed Aston Villa are also 12-1 at their trip to Liverpool who look short at a best 1-3 (McBookie) but both them an Chelsea (home to Swansea) will be popular in accas.
Best bet at Anfield could be both to score at 21-20 with William Hill with Villa drawing 2-2 and 1-1 and winning 3-1 on their last three visits.
Meanwhile, Celtic boss Ronny Deila says he’s had time to reflect on his side's start to the season and hopes for an immediate upturn in fortunes.
The international break came at the right time for the new Hoops boss and he welcomes Aberdeen to Parkhead today with new signings John Guidetti and Stefan Scepovic in his squad.
Much has been written about them and if half of it is right Celtic fans could soon be worshipping both. After two dismal Champions League exits and dropped league points against Inverness and Dundee fans needed a lift from somewhere.
With skipper Scott Brown back, it could be a bad time for the Dons to be travelling to Parkhead and I expect the home side to put on a decent show.
Aberdeen won there in the Scottish Cup last season but have conceded 12 goals in three league visits. Celtic’s only home league game this season ended in a 6-1 rout of Dundee United. Check the starting line-ups but if Scepovic plays consider him to score first.
Celtic are no bigger than 1-2 with the likes of Ladbrokes and McBookie but to win by at least two they’re worth a look at 13-10 with Paddy Power having covered this handicap five times in winning their last nine league clashes with the Dons.
Derek McInnes’s side haven’t started as well as they’d have liked but possess a goal threat from players such as Niall McGinn, Adam Rooney and David Goodwillie so both to score at 1-1 with bet365 is worth a look.
Arsenal v Man City draw
Arsenal v Man City under 2.5 goals
Celtic v Aberdeen both to score
Liverpool v Aston Villa both to score
(21-20, William Hill)