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Shay Says - Ep 1: Shay Given Football Tips | LeoVegas Sports

Shay Says - Episode 1

Welcome to Shay Says, the first in a series of weekly football betting blogs from LeoVegas’ new Irish ambassador, Shay Given.

The Republic of Ireland and Premier League legend will preview the biggest matches each week, starting this time out with the mouthwatering Manchester and North London derbies.

The outcomes of these games could have a significant bearing on the destination of this year’s title and the chances of Shay’s old side Manchester City winning the league for the third season in a row.

Another of Shay’s old sides, Newcastle United, are also in action and the great gloveman shares his thoughts on whether they can keep their excellent run going as they meet an in-form Fulham side.

Let’s see what Shay Says!

Manchester City v Manchester United

These derby days are always brilliant. Going to Old Trafford you get a lot of stick from the home fans, but Manchester City have a good record there over the past few years, and they’ll fancy it again on Saturday.

A loss would dent City’s title chances, especially if Arsenal can win their game against Spurs on Sunday. If Pep Guardiola doesn’t win the league, then he’ll view that as a real negative. Their challenge this year is the title.

I think the Carabao Cup loss might actually go in City’s favour. Losing to Southampton would have been a big shock to everyone. Perhaps people at the club thought it was going to be an easy game; I reckon they took the foot off the pedal a little bit.

You could see Pep was holding a lot of anger back in the interview after the game, but I imagine there were a lot of home truths said in the changing room. They’ll need a big reaction for the derby to get the win and I back them to do that.

Erik ten Haag will be looking forward to the game; he’s made a lot of changes at the club and they seem to be on the right pathway.

You can see ten Haag’s imprint on Manchester United now; results have been a lot more consistent and the players look like they’ve been given more freedom, but there’s a lot more structure to their team too.

It usually takes 20-25 minutes for the derby game to settle down because the atmosphere will be electric. I can’t see anything other than City having a lot of possession, but that could be an issue with the pace that United have on the break. United can sit back and soak up a lot of pressure, and even give City a false sense of security.

Predicting a scoreline is difficult, but I’m going with City. It’ll be a lot closer than the 6-3 game at the Etihad. I’ll go for 2-1 to City – Erling Haaland to score and Marcus Rashford too, he just looks completely transformed under ten Haag.

SHAY SAYS: MAN UNITED 1-2 MAN CITY

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Tottenham v Arsenal

This will be interesting. It feels like people are writing off Arsenal’s title chances but they shouldn’t be – they’re top of the league.

They have struggled at Tottenham in recent years, so if they win this then it will really show this could be their year.

So far this season they are getting the results in the big games, which they haven’t always done. Win this and City will be thinking that Arsenal are going to be hard to drag back.

We know what Antonio Conte is like as a manager and how he’ll have the Tottenham players revved up. They had that brilliant 4-0 victory at Crystal Palace last week and have got Harry Kane on the verge of becoming the club’s greatest scorer. Where would Spurs be without him?

It’ll be interesting to see how Conte sets up and whether they will try to take Newcastle’s recent approach and contain them.

I do think this will be a close game but I’m expecting goals. I see it being a scoring draw – 2-2 with plenty of entertainment.

I know it’s a bit obvious but I fancy Kane to score and from an Arsenal point of view Eddie Nketiah has stepped up in Gabriel Jesus’ absence so I’m backing him.

SHAY SAYS: TOTTENHAM 2-2 ARSENAL

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Newcastle v Fulham

Newcastle are flying. While they had that slight blip in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday, it couldn’t have really gone any better this season. If you had told people they’d be third in the Premier League now, most would have said ‘no chance!’.

I was at the Leicester game and the place was absolutely bouncing. The atmosphere was very special, so Eddie has to get them back down and focused on Fulham, who are also having a brilliant season under Marco Silva – just look at their result against Chelsea.

It’s certainly not an easy game so it’s a matter of getting the mindsight right. Forget about the semi-final and focus on the Premier League. They have a real chance of making the top-four.

These are two teams in good form and Aleksandar Mitrovic going back to his old club will want to prove a lot of people wrong – he’s a real handful who has been in great form this season.

I’m going to go for a 2-1 Newcastle victory although I do think Fulham will see this is a good time to play them. They might just think Newcastle will have one eye on that semi-final.

I’ll put up Alexander Isak for goalscorer anytime – I saw him play at Anfield on his debut and he was phenomenal. And then for Fulham: Mitrovic.

I wonder if the top clubs will start looking at him as he seems to thrive in the important games. If he scores all those goals for Fulham, imagine what he could do at an even bigger club.

SHAY SAYS: NEWCASTLE 2-1 FULHAM

PLACE YOUR BETS

*All odds mentioned above available at the time of posting the article.

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*all odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change