Another week down in the best league in the world. Did anyone manage a winner? It looked like a difficult one for punters with many of the favorites failing to get the 3 points. Even Fantasy Football owners had it tough with an average score of just 37 this week. Disaster. As usual, there’s some real interesting fixtures on offer and plenty of chances to back a winner or two.
We’ve been a bit spoiled this week, live football on our screens all week starting with Sheffield United’s victory over Arsenal, the Champions League and Europa League all on consecutive evenings. Wonderful!
Friday night is no exception as Southampton take on Leicester at St Mary’s. Leicester come into this fixture with a chance to go second place in the table provided they get all 3 points. Southampton on the other hand sit precariously above the relegation zone, winless in their last 4 games.
It’s been a bit of a slow start for the Saints and that’s been reflected in the side being unable to score in the first 15 minutes of games this season, Danny Ings can boast five goals in four appearances in all competitions for Southampton and he’s 6/4 to score anytime.
Leicester’s Jamie Vardy who has five in his previous six league games for The Foxes. Just one clean sheet in their last five in that time for Leicester suggests both teams to score might be an option at 4/6, but for significantly more value I’d be looking at a Jamie Vardy wincast at 9/4.
I can’t remember the last time City played someone from last season’s top half. I suppose a team of the quality of City’s means that every match, on paper at least looks extremely winnable.
Aston Villa made it two wins on the bounce with victory over Brighton last weekend and they’re out of the bottom 3 for now, but a difficult trip to the Etihad and then Anfield the week after makes for grim reading for Villa fans.
City brushed aside Atalanta in the Champions League this week and they’re 1/9 to do the same this weekend, hardly screams value does it? On average this season, City have conceded a goal a game but did keep a clean sheet last time out against Crystal Palace and it’s 10/11 for both teams to score if you think Villa can get on the score sheet.
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick in the Champions League midweek and he’s 14/1 to repeat that in this game. Aston Villa are 22/1 to pull off the upset, always worth a quid, never know what can happen in the lunchtime kick offs!
The Blues made me look a bit silly last week when they defied my prediction and ran out 2-0 winners over West Ham. Marco Silva’s definitely saved his job for the moment at least, but The Toffees still find themselves 15th with just 10 points after just one win in their last five matches.
Just one point separates the two sides and the head to heads make for interesting reading with Everton winning two of the last three meetings. Brighton’s Neal Maupay has scored the opener in two of Brighton’s home games this season so far and he’s 5/1 to make it a third.
Neither team has been very prolific in front of goal this term and under 2.5 total goals at 8/11 is a pretty good indicator that this game might not be the most exciting. Everton to win 1-0 is 15/2 and it would be the first time this season the Blues have recorded consecutive league wins this season, Brighton to win 1-0 is similarly priced and would pile even more pressure on Marco Silva.
Would you believe me if I told you that Watford have only been in the lead of a football match for 94 minutes all season. We’re 9 games in, that’s not great is it? Bournemouth find themselves firmly in mid table and, for fans of symmetry, they’re P9, W3, D3, L3, scored 13, conceded 13.
Watford have shown something of a “new manager bounce” in the last 5 games, they’ve picked up three of their 4 points so far and are on a 2 game unbeaten run (I’m really trying to be positive here!!)
Calum Wilson has 5 goals this season and the prospect of facing this Watford defense is one that should see him add to that total. He’s 9/2 to open the scoring in this game but I’d be looking at score 2 or more at 15/2. Watford are 6/5 to win here and pick up their first win of the season.
Recent performances are suggesting that that elusive win might be soon, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it just yet. Bournemouth are a very generous 11/5 to win. The Cherries have won two of their four away fixtures this season and it’s a very tempting price for them to make it a third win in 6 matches.
Sheffield United find themselves in 9th after what was perhaps a surprise, win over Arsenal on Monday night. The Blades could find themselves in 5th place if results go their way this weekend and if they can take advantage of West Ham’s 2 match losing run and will remain the highest placed promoted side.
Despite their impressive standing on the table, goals have been a bit hard to come by for The Blades. They’ve found the net just 8 times this season with only Lys Mousset being the only player to have more than one goal to his name after his winner against Arsenal on Monday. He’s 12/5 to score anytime in this fixture.
Hammers top scorer Sebastien Haller has been off the boil of late, having found the net just once in his last 6 games in all competitions. He’s 6/5 to score anytime and end his barren run in front of goal. While left back Aaron Cresswell is 17/2 anytime to continue his good scoring form this season and get his 3rd goal of the season.
Sheffield United are 13/5 to win here and they’ll be walking on air after their victory over Arsenal, but having won just once on the road this season, I’d think carefully before making your selection.
Turf Moor hasn’t been good to visiting teams this season, only league leaders Liverpool have come away with any points this season and apart from that Sean Dyche’s men have kept 3 clean sheets in 3 wins. Conversely,
Chelsea have won all but one of their fixtures on the road. Their only loss coming to Manchester United on the opening day which is looking increasingly more like a fluke, given United’s form since then.
This contrast of home dominance versus ability on the road makes for an interesting clash and I can see why this one’s been picked for TV. Frank Lampard’s men come into their last minute win over Ajax in the Champions League midweek and trips to the continent don’t seem to affect their league form too much as we’ve seen can happen with some teams.
Burnley’s recent form has been slightly indifferent, alternating wins and draws between their two losses to Liverpool and Leicester respectively and there’s been over 1.5 goals in all but one of these games, a 1-0 win over Everton. Chelsea to win and both teams to score seems generous at 11/5 and should give neutrals something to watch this Saturday evening, anything to avoid Strictly with the missus though!
Goal shy Newcastle United welcome Wolves to Tyneside in the first of four Sunday fixtures. Neither team were victorious last time out, but both have taken big scalps already this season in Man United and Man City respectively.
Newcastle will be the fresher of the two sides given Wolves’ trip to Bratislava on Thursday and will hope to take this opportunity to get out of the bottom 3. Raul Jiminez has three goals to his name this season and is 21/10 to score anytime here. Wolves have won only once on the road this season, but that came against Manchester City and could be viewed more as City having an off day rather, that Wolves being particularly brilliant.
19/10 for a home side in the Premier League is a rare thing and if you fancy Newcastle to come away with all three points on Sunday, that’s what you’ll get. Given goals are at a bit of a premium in St James’ Park, I wouldn’t pay much attention to those odds. Wolves to keep a clean sheet is 13/8 and that looks a good option to start Sunday off.
Remember the days when Wilfried Zaha more or less determined whether Palace won or lost a game of football? Seems like forever ago. Palace find themselves just two points off 4th place and the once talismanic forward has provided precisely zero goals and one assist this season so far despite playing 90 minutes in all but one fixture.
That’s not to say he hasn’t been playing well, but Roy Hodgson has clearly come up with a tactic other than “give it to Wilf!” They make the short trip to The Emirates where Unai Emery’s men will be seething after a 1-0 loss to Sheffield United on Monday night, a visit from Guimaraes in the Europa league should provide an opportunity to score some goals anyway.
Regular readers will know just how I feel about Crystal Palace but I’m going to run an experiment this week. You can back Palace to win at 11/2 and just see what happens, given the way it usually goes, that should almost guarantee an Arsenal victory. In all seriousness though, both to score and either team to win is evens and given the fact that you don’t know which Arsenal will turn up, that could be a shrewd pick.
It was bound to happen eventually, but Liverpool have finally dropped points. Though the Reds lost their 100% record last time out, they remain unbeaten thanks to a late Adam Lallana equalizer (What is this? 2015?) I’d imagine if they were to hand pick a team to face now, this Tottenham side would be it.
With all the questions surrounding the manager and their poor form coming into the match (just 4 wins in 13 competitive matches) they still ran out 5-0 winners in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
This is of course a rematch of last seasons Champions League final (I’d expect Sky Sports to mention this every time a ball is kicked) obviously fortunes have changed for both sides since then and Liverpool will be looking to rebound from their setback against United last weekend.
Tottenham have an extra day to recover from their European commitments and Liverpool were without Trent Alexander Arnold and Joel Matip for their 4-1 victory over Genk, so expect them both to play against Spurs. Harry Kane has three goals in his last six meetings with the Reds and has been in great scoring form with six goals in his last seven for club and country.
Mo Salah has been quiet by his usual high standards and having missed out against United due to injury will be keen to get on the score sheet here too. Curiously the Egyptian has an identical scoring record to his English counterpart and for both Salah and Kane to score in 90 mins you’d be looking around 7/2.
After United’s 1-1 victory over Liverpool last weekend, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men travel to Carrow Road to take on a Norwich side who dropped yet more points last time out. On paper, United should walk this one and their pre-match odds certainly suggest that too.
They’re 5/6 to come away with all three points for just the third time this season. Just one goal in their last 4 games makes grim reading for Norwich fans and their defensive injury list is an early Halloween horror with three first choice defenders on the sidelines.
With both teams averaging around a goal a game and not much more, under 2.5 goals might be one to look at and seems generously priced at 6/5. Teemu Pukki’s 6 goals this season still sees him sitting 4th in the top scorer charts but it won’t be long before others catch up on him. He’s 7/5 to score anytime and end his goal drought.
Anthony Martial who returned to the team on against Liverpool is the same price to score anytime and mark his return to the team with a goal. By the way, if nobody’s came up with the idea of calling him Teemu Spooky before Halloween, I’m claiming it yeah? Sound.
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