September 27th, 2019

Premier League Gameweek 7 Preview

By Jonny Houghton

You’ve probably never heard of Michal Sáček why would you? Unless you’re a die hard Czech football fan.

The young midfielder became the butt of the jokes this weekend, when he scored a disastrous own goal in Sunday’s heated derby between Sparta Prague and Slavia Prague.

Better off just watching it as I won’t be able to do it justice. Poor fella. 

Terrible puns aside, after being treated to some Carabao Cup action midweek the Premier League’s back again and there’s some intriguing ties in the Premier League Gameweek 7.

Sheffield United v Liverpool

The Reds made it 6 wins out of 6 in the league last weekend against Chelsea and their now 5 points clear of their nearest rivals, with keeper Allison returning soon.

It looks like they’ll have to in the words of Bill Shankly “send a team from Mars to beat them.” They make the journey to Sheffield for Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff and the Blades will be full of confidence having beaten Everton 2-0 last time out.

With Liverpool likely playing a second string team midweek, their front 3 will be fit and firing. It’s not too big a stretch to imagine all three of them getting on the scoresheet this weekend.

United have conceded the third least goals of any team this season with 6, owing particularly to Fantasy Football fan favorite John Lundstram’s performances. The former Everton youth player will line up against the club he supports for the first time.

Aston Villa v Burnley

Villa looked good for their second win of the season last weekend leading at the break, but a late collapse let Arsenal back in Villa slumped to a third defeat in 5 games. They’re in the relegation zone with just 4 points so far this season.

You could say they’ve been unfortunate, but it’s starting to become a worrying trend for Villa. Hopefully for them victory in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday gives them the metaphorical and possibly literal, kick up the arse they need.

They face a Burnley side who are coming off a 2-0 win over Norwich thanks to a brace from Chris Wood. Sean Dyche’s men will fancy themselves here to continue their decent start to the season and pile more misery on Dean Smith and co.

Bournemouth v West Ham

Interesting one this, both teams find themselves in the top 6 going into this match with just a point separating them. West Ham have quietly been on a brilliant run of form since their 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on the opening day and have only conceded twice since then.

They have only scored 8 goals though and will need to improve on that figure to maintain their impressive league position.

Bournemouth come into this game off the back of two 3-1 victories in a row and the Cherries will hope that their pair of Wilson’s continue their goal scoring form. Both Harry and Callum getting 7 goals between them so far this season.

It’s a shame this one is a 3pm kick off as I’d like to have seen it, given how both teams have fared so far this season. Definitely one to tune into Match of The Day for.

Chelsea v Brighton

Chelsea ran out 7-1 winners in midweek, albeit against League 2 opposition and that’ll give Frank Lampard a much needed boost after an unfortunate defeat at the hands of Liverpool last time out.

They face a Brighton side who were knocked out of the cup by Premier League struggler’s Aston Villa.

You’d have to go right back to the opening game of the season to find the last time Brighton won an away game in the league, while Chelsea have yet to manage a home win this season.

You’d think something’s gotta give, surely! The Blues can call upon the returning Callum Hudson-Odoi who scored in midweek, to add support to Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham who have impressed so far this term.

Goals have been at a premium for Brighton so far this season with Neal Maupay being their top scorer with just 2 so far. I can see that trend continuing and Chelsea should run out comfortable winners here. Abraham to score anytime and 3-1 sounds good to me at 14/1.

Crystal Palace v Norwich

I broke my golden rule last weekend. “Don’t ever back a game with Crystal Palace in.” Seriously, if there was ever a team that routinely does my bet it’s them.

The Eagles looked on course for a third win of the season only to be pegged back in the 95th minute by a Wolves equalizer. Serves me right, I should listen to my own advice!

For that reason alone, I hope Norwich absolutely batter them. Teemu Pukki has gone off the boil a bit, only netting just once in his last three games but he’s still got 6 this season. Here’s hoping he gets one or two on Saturday too.

I’ll not be backing anything in this game, so as not to tempt fate. Remember the golden rule. But if I was, I’d have a look at Pukki for the first goal (9/2).

Tottenham v Southampton

Last season’s Champions League finalists come into this game off the back of a disappointing loss to Leicester in their last league game and were dumped out of the EFL Cup midweek.

Mauricio Pochettino might have a job on his hands to motivate his players for this one!

Fortunately for them, Harry Kane has found his shooting boots and he’s facing one of his favorite opponents. The England captain has found the net in his last five meetings against Southampton.

Moussa Djenepo has netted in consecutive matches for the Saints and Danny Ings grabbed a brace in midweek, so I’d expect the goals to be flowing in this match.

Infact, you’d have to go back to 2015 to find a game where both teams didn’t score in this fixture and in that time, all but one featured over 2.5 goals. No reason to say why that won’t continue given both teams form this season so definitely one for the Win Galore – Yes market, it’s 5/4 so stick that in your acca and Kane and 2-1 in the Anytime Wincast at 8/1.

Wolves v Watford

The last two winless teams in the Premier League go head to head in the last 3pm kick off, surely one of them is going to get a win this week! If Watford hadn’t just replaced their manager, I’d be saying that both of them were playing for their jobs.

As it is, both teams progressed in the League Cup midweek so you’d expect them to try and carry that on into the league. Wolves at least have the excuse of being distracted by Europa League trips, whereas Watford have been… well… a bit rubbish.

Conceding 5 goals in 20 minutes to Man City last weekend was embarrassing and extends their record to just one clean sheet in 23 matches. Wolves should probably win this by virtue of not being anywhere near as bad as Watford.

Under 2.5 goals in this match is 4/5 and that seems pretty generous given how poor these two have been. Best leaving this game alone to be honest with you.

Everton v Man City

To quote some random Everton fan I saw on Twitter: “We’ll let City win this one to put pressure on Liverpool.” Don’t really think you’ve much choice in the matter mate.

City have been more or less perfect bar an unfortunate VAR incident against Spurs and a shock result against Norwich. Everton shouldn’t really expect to offer much resistance.

The Blues have lost their last two and the defensive solidity they’ve shown at the start of the season has faded dramatically having not registered a clean sheet since match day 2.

Sergio Aguero has scored in every game so far this season and 5 of his 8 goals this season have come in the first half. City are notoriously fast starters, managing 5 in 20 minutes last time out, so I’m backing Aguero for the first goal at 3/1.

Everton do have a strong home record all told and they’re unbeaten against the top 6 in 2019 but I don’t expect any of this to matter. I did find out that Everton have won every league match played on 28 September: (P4, W4 – GF 11, GA 2) without conceding a home goal, but City win this all day for me.

Leicester v Newcastle

Sunday’s solitary soccer fixture (try saying that after a few pints) pits Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle and the two teams have wildly contrasting form.

Leicester’s only loss comes from a 1-0 defeat by Manchester United. This is a rematch from the EFL cup were the Foxes won on penalties, but in the Premier League Newcastle have a decent record at the King Power Stadium.

They’ve won their last two away visits but that was with Rafa Benitez at the helm. Leicester look good to make this two wins in a row against the Magpies, especially if James Maddison is able to recover from the ankle knock that forced him to miss the midweek clash against Luton. Back Leicester to win both halves at 16/5.

Man United v Arsenal

Ole’s at the wheel, tell me how does it feel… not great I’d imagine. There’s been a few disappointing results for The Red Devils this season and rival fans seem to be reveling in it.

Tough to call this one as Arsenal’s defense look very vulnerable to any sort of pace which United have in abundance. Both teams are in European action following this game, so it will be interesting to see how each manager priorities this league meeting.

There’s always goals in this fixture and Monday Night Football has a habit of producing high scoring games, so a 2-2 draw looks a good one for the neutral at 11/1.

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