The Premier League returns after the first FIFA break of the season, while the European transfer window also closed in that time with teams now settled and well prepared for the rest of the 2019/20 campaign. As expected, Liverpool and Manchester City are the early pacesetters, and despite it still being early days in the Premier League, the two giants have distanced themselves amongst the rest and can be considered among the elite teams across Europe. The pair have fairly easy fixtures to attend to this weekend with Liverpool hosting Newcastle, while Manchester City face Norwich. The rest of the fixture list? Hard as nails. And that’s where I come in…
Saturday 14 September
1/7 Liverpool | Draw 15/2 | Newcastle 19/1 (13:30)
Football returns to the fortress, Anfield, where Newcastle will be hoping to make the impossible possible, causing what could be the upset of the season thus far. Liverpool have made their intentions clear and proved that they’re ready to push for the title yet again, showing a statement of intent at Burnley, winning 3-0. Newcastle gave Watford their first point of the season, drawing at home to the Hornets before the international break. Its fairly short, but a banker in all multiples – back the Reds on the (-1) Handicap at 7/20.
8/10 Manchester United | 11/4 | Leicester City 7/2 (16:00)
In arguably the toughest game of the weekend, Old Trafford draws back its curtains as Manchester United welcome Leicester City to town. The Red Devils have been in disappointing form since their opening day victory over Chelsea, failing to win any of the next three games against Wolves, Crystal Palace and Southampton. In fact, the only time they did suffer defeat this term was in their last home outing – against Palace, something to get Leicester City fans excited about. The Foxes have been arguably the most impressive team so far, enduring an unbeaten start to their campaign, only drawing against Wolves and at Chelsea, while the task of facing Sheffield United and Bournemouth didn’t prove to be as tricky as it initially seemed. It may seem bold and this could backfire, but I’ll take Leicester City to Score In Both Halves at a valuable 9/2.
23/20 Brighton | 9/4 | Burnley 26/10 (16:00)
Brighton and Burnley are up next on the menu, with both teams looking to pick up plenty of points early on in the season to avoid yet another relegation scramble come end of the campaign. The hosts lost 4-0 to Manchester City before the break, and as crazy as it may sound, the Seagulls showed plenty of positives in the tie, sticking to their game plan despite letting an early goal go in. Burnley were all over the place against Liverpool, gloriously gifting the title-chasers two goals in quick succession, eventually going down 3-0. Brighton have kept positive in their play and will probably get a result against the Clarets, however, you can never back against Ashley Barnes scoring at this rate. For safety measures, back Both Teams to Score at 17/20.
31/20 Sheffield United | 43/20 | Southampton 39/20 (16:00)
Sheffield United showed plenty of fight which paid off, spoiling the party at Chelsea, coming from two goals down to come out of Stamford Bridge with a share of the spoils. Their system of having overlapping centre backs is well documented, but so far, its yet to be fully exposed, resulting to the Blades earning five points in four games. Southampton come off the back of an impressive result of their own, holding Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at home, despite Kevin Danso being sent off in the 73rd minute for the Saints. In that tie, Nathan Redmond missed out through injury and is expected to remain sidelined for yet another week. If you’re bold enough, I’d encourage you putting your money on the home side.
7/20 Tottenham | 4/1 | Crystal Palace 7/1 (16:00)
It remains to be seen which Tottenham side will pitch up onto the field this Saturday with Mauricio Pochettino’s men struggling for consistency in the league thus far. Spurs went to both Manchester City and Arsenal and got a point, yet lost in their last home fixture to a then-struggling Newcastle United. Crystal Palace, on the other hand, pulled a rabbit out of the hat in their last away game, claiming maximum points at Old Trafford with a 2-1 win over Manchester United. Palace are the one team in the division who are undoubtedly better away from home, and with Spurs still adjusting to life at their new stadium, perhaps Roy Hodgson’s men will fancy their chances in this London derby. I fancy Tottenham winning, but with both teams finding the back of the net in the process – a market you could back at 7/4.
39/20 Wolves | 23/10 | Chelsea 29/20 (16:00)
In one of the other humdingers to look forward to this Saturday, Wolves entertain Chelsea at the Molineux Stadium. Plenty has been said about the top six possibly breaking this season, and with Wolves finishing seventh last term, earning their tag as being the best from the rest, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men will be looking to go one step further. Chelsea have showed their quality this season, with game-management being their biggest downfall. The Blues go in front, give it all they’ve got, then collapse after the hour mark. Wolves are the complete opposite and live up to their namesake, running like a pack of wolves throughout the entirety of the game. A fixture like this may have come too soon for this Chelsea side, who will come good eventually. I’m backing Wolves on the Win/Draw Double Chance & Both Teams to Score at 31/20.
13/1 Norwich | 15/2 | Manchester City 1/6 (18:30)
We’re seeing a similar pattern to last season’s title race where Liverpool would go on and win, and without any pressure, making it look so easy, Manchester City would play hours or a day later and cruise to victory. Against Norwich, it’s not going to be set in stone, but the way the home side set up and go about their business, it could afford the champions with plenty of goalscoring opportunities. Opportunities City will take. Aymeric Laporte suffered a crucial injury in Man City’s last encounter, something Teemu Pukki will want to take advantage of, however, it might not be enough to hold Pep Guardiola’s side. At even money, Manchester City to Win & Both Teams to Score seems a sensible bet – perhaps one for the multiples too.
Sunday 15 September
2/1 Bournemouth | 5/2 | Everton 13/10 (15:00)
Everton are currently in sixth spot, and yes it may be early days, but it’s a position the Toffees would want to break into and have a taste of European football again. Marco Silva’s men have the home record to suggest they’re good enough to break the top six, however, their form on the road leaves a lot to be desired. They’re still in search of their first away win of the campaign, while Bournemouth have been disappointing at the Vitality Stadium, seeking their first victory as well. Before the break, Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi got a bit more minutes under their belt and one would suggest that they’re both fit and ready to start again and pick up where they left off in their fixture against Wolves. Back Everton to come out on top here at 13/10.
26/10 Watford | 28/10 | Arsenal 19/20 (17:30)
The international break couldn’t have come sooner for Watford, who lie rock bottom of the standings, losing three of their four matches played, drawing just once. That resulted in Javi Gracia being the first manager to be sacked, with Quique Sanchez Flores named as a replacement. Plenty of expectation was put on Arsenal this season with this being Unai Emery’s second year in charge of the club, while the Gunners also had arguably the best transfer window of all the Premier League clubs. They’ve won two of their four games, failing to only beat last season’s UEFA Champions League finalists, losing to Liverpool and drawing to Tottenham. For now, Arsenal remain unconvincing in the sense that they’re very much capable of hammering Watford, as well as slumping to defeat. The Away Team Totals – Over 1.5 Goals – do look a certainty nevertheless at 15/20.
Monday 16 September
16/10 Aston Villa | 26/10 | West Ham 16/10 (21:00)
The Premier League returns with a three-day football festival as Aston Villa and West Ham wrap up proceedings on Monday night at Villa Park. The Villans will be full of confidence after winning their last home encounter against Everton with Tom Heaton keeping his first clean sheet in a 2-0 victory over the Toffees. West Ham have turned the corner since their 5-0 hammering against Manchester City on the opening day, drawing at Brighton before beating Watford and Norwich by two clear goals. Sebastien Haller seems to have settled into English football and has found his scoring boots of late, netting three goals in the last two encounters. Over 2.5 Goals are tipped here at 6/10.
TREBLE @ 8/1
Wolves Win/Draw & BTTS 31/20
Man City Win & BTTS 1/1
Arsenal Totals Over 1.5 Goals 15/20
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