Weblog: The football punter

Brunch battle no tea party for tired teams

Tottenham take on Chelsea in a cracking midday kick-off on Sunday although I'm a bit worried that it might end up like a tedious dinner party.

Both clubs have been away on exciting European trips this week so there could easily be a bit of competitive tourism chat.

“Oh, you went to Tel Aviv, did you? Quite a few people we know seem to be heading there this year. We prefer somewhere a little off the beaten track so we opted for a Thursday night in Qarabag.

“You've not heard of Qarabag? In Azerbaijan? That surprises me. You have heard of Azerbaijan, I take it? We had a great time – picked up a nice three points too.”

You'd think that Tottenham's exertions, which came a couple of days later than Chelsea's, might leave them a little jaded but I'm reluctant to write them off.

Remember when Spurs could be relied on to roll over against the Premier League's big guns?

There's been none of that in 2015, which started with a thrilling 5-3 home win over Chelsea and has also featured a 4-1 drubbing of Manchester City and a moral victory – and 1-1 draw – at Arsenal.

But Chelsea seem to be slowly remembering how to play association football so I'm going for a couple of 'clever' bets based on Spurs running out of steam in the second half – the Tottenham-draw and Tottenham-Chelsea double results.

I'm also heading to that market for a meaty investment on Arsenal to be leading at half-time and at full-time at Carrow Road.

I've got nothing against Norwich but they can't really defend and the Gunners, who barely broke sweat in their 3-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb, should ease to victory.

Right, who wants to hear about my summer holiday to Poole? I've prepared a comprehensive slide-show...

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Match in Focus


Sassuolo v Fiorentina

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Sassuolo are unbeaten in their last ten home fixtures
Expert verdict
Sassuolo are unbeaten at home this season and may prove tricky opposition for Fiorentina at the Mapei Stadium even with Domenico Berardi suspended. Fiorentina have gone six games without defeat but may not have fully recovered from Thursday’s hard-fought 2-2 draw away to Basel in the Europa League.