Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.


Your Sun

A News UK Company

Barcelona couldn’t play long ball football… Frank de Boer was doomed from the start

Danny Higginbotham believes asking Frank de Boer was asked to change Crystal Palace's style too quickly

THE best betting brain in all of Fleet Street is back.

Former Man United and Stoke star Danny Higginbotham explains why not even Barcelona could have coped with trying to change like Crystal Palace did.

He is on a hot streak and make sure you check out Danny’s tips for Palace v Southampton, Huddersfield v Leicester and Chelsea v Arsenal.


Danny in his days at United

News Group Newspapers Ltd
Danny in his days at United

Crystal Palace v Southampton best bets

Imagine if a manager went to Barcelona and said: “We want to play route one, lads.”

If he wanted to hoof it up to Suarez, wanted Messi to play off the second balls and demanded Iniesta go for the knock downs.

The plan would be doomed from the start.

Even Barca’s players, some of the most intelligent of all time, would struggle to adapt to such a drastic change.

‘Second ball lads’

AFP or licensors AFP or licensors
‘Second ball lads’

So what chance did Crystal Palace have?

I saw them against Swansea, when they lost 2-0, and Christian Benteke didn’t look happy with the lack of balls in to him. And I can understand why.

Palace played so slowly and so lethargically that by the time they got the ball up to the Belgian he had the whole defence on him.

But now that will all change.

I would imagine Roy Hodgson will go long against Southampton, as my graphic below shows, and use Benteke properly – as a big, strong, target man.

They’ll get the ball up to him quickly, get it out wide and then get the ball into the box.


They will go back to basics and that will suit Benteke down to the ground.

New managers always look at sorting the defence out too and Roy will be working hard to make sure they tighten up at the back.

This will be a different Palace and I like Benteke to score first and Palace to win to nil.

Can Benteke score his first Premier League goal of the season?

AP:Associated Press
Can Benteke score his first Premier League goal of the season?

Huddersfield v Leicester best bets

I watched Huddersfield a lot last year – and I liked what I saw.

So much goes through their full-backs, who like to double up and overlap, as my graphic below shows.


They do it very well and Leicester have kept just the one clean sheet this season.

Steve Mounie is fantastic in the air and I like him to score from a header, which is 10/1.

This game has goals in it and I’ll also have a go on both teams to score, 4/5.

Chelsea v Arsenal best bets

Alvaro Morata has been simply fantastic. What a signing the Spaniard has been.

And he is going to get plenty of chances against Arsenal on Sunday.

My graphic below shows exactly where the Gunners are vulnerable.


As we saw against Liverpool, their wing backs play extremely high, so there will be acres of space in behind.

Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso will look to take advantage of that and, with the ability of Morata in the air, and the movement he has, I’m going for the Spaniard to score a header, 4/1.

Alvaro Morata or Alexandre Lacazette? Why not both in this weekend’s big game?

That’s the beauty of Dream Team Weekender – there are no budget limitations so you can pick any player available from this weekend’s fixtures, with Chelsea v Arsenal the pick of the bunch.

Weekender is the best new fantasy football game around and it’s absolutely free to enter.

Morata and Chelsea welcome arch rivals Arsenal to Stamford Bridge

Morata and Chelsea welcome arch rivals Arsenal to Stamford Bridge

Just select seven players from across the Saturday and Sunday Premier League fixtures for your chance to bag that tasty £5k prize.

Flopped last week? It doesn’t matter, as Weekender allows you to start afresh every single weekend. Let the games begin – sign up to play here!