The return from the international break can always throw out some strange results. Some players return with a new sense of energy, while others struggle. However, the Premier League waits for no one, and there are some key matchups this week already at this early stage.
Liverpool and Manchester City have looked impressive in the opening games of the competition, while established teams Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have struggled. In this article, I look at each of the games this weekend and give a preview of the matchup and the betting market.
I’ve taken the odds from DraftKings’ Sportsbook, but make sure you look around for the best odds!
Saturday Games (Main Slate)
Liverpool vs. Newcastle United (Early Kick-Off)
Liverpool are looking like they won the league last season, with the team looking comfortable in each game so far this season. With one of the most potent attacks in the league, Liverpool are almost a certainty to score goals, and shutting out Burnley on the road was a return to the defensive solidarity that took the team to the top of the table last season.
Newcastle are going to set themselves up to keep the score respectable on the road, but don’t have too much threat going forwards to trouble Liverpool.
However, given the vast disparity between the two teams, there aren’t a lot of markets that offer significant value.
Market Choice: Liverpool to win to nil Yes -143
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Burnley
Before the international break, both teams were struggling for form. Brighton started the season well with a 3-0 victory on opening day, but since have taken just one point from nine available. More surprisingly, the team hasn’t scored more than one goal at home in their last 14 league fixtures.
Burnley have also struggled to get goals too, having scored only three times in their last four games. While Burnley impressed in the matchups against Arsenal and Wolves, they took just one point for their efforts.
With both teams struggling in the final third, it’s likely to finish with few goals- if any.
Market Choice: Draw +230
Manchester United vs. Leicester City
Given that it is only early in the season, this matchup feels like a pivotal game for Manchester United. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started his managerial career brightly and continued that in the opening fixture against Chelsea. However, since then, they have struggled to get a string of results together. Manchester United have only managed to get two points of the past nine on offer, and have only scored one goal in each of the games after.
Leicester City comes into this matchup in good form and are one of only three teams that are unbeaten at this stage of the season. With Jamie Vardy looking as dangerous as ever, and midfield James Maddison impressing in the opening weeks of the season, Leicester offer great value in the double chance market.
Market Choice: Draw No Bet Leicester City +230
Sheffield United vs. Southampton
Sheffield United have started the season really well, and if they win against Southampton and other results go their way they could end up third in the table. The team has great camaraderie, shown in the comeback draw against Chelsea before the international break. Any promoted team aims to make their home ground a fortress and will want to get a result against Southampton.
Southampton have struggled in the final third so far this season, scoring just four goals in the opening five games they have played this season. In fact, Southampton have scored one or fewer goals in 17 of their last 24 Premier League fixtures.
Sheffield United will fancy themselves to score a goal and defend well, and in turn, to get a result in the matchup.
Market Choice: Asian Handicap Sheffield United -0.75 +210
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Crystal Palace
Tottenham have been one of the surprise teams struggling for form this season. After a comeback victory against Aston Villa in the opening weekend, they were lucky to snatch a point against Manchester City. After that, the team were beaten at home by Newcastle United and threw away a two-goal advantage against Arsenal in the North London derby.
Crystal Palace, on the other hand, have impressed this season, mainly due to the ability of their defense. Palace have only conceded two goals in the opening five games the team has played, and have the best defensive record at present. The issue for the team continues to be scoring goals, only having scored three goals this season, which is the second-worst in the league.
Tottenham needs a result here to kick-start their season, and if they get on the scoresheet, they are likely to get a result.
Market Choice: Correct Score Tottenham to win 1-0 +650
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Chelsea
One thing is an almost certainty in this matchup, that both teams are likely to score.
Wolves have now secured progression to the Group Stage of the Europa League, but their league form has suffered as a result. The team is only one of two teams that are yet to win the league this season. Wolves have plenty of talent going forward, almost to a fault, when they have been cut through and conceding goals.
Frank Lampard’s team too have looked great going forward, even with their star player Eden Hazard leaving in the summer. However, the team has looked equally prone to defensive lapses. In fact, only Norwich have conceded more goals in the league this season.
Market Choice: Match Result/ Both Teams to Score Wolves to win +450
Norwich City vs. Manchester City
This clash brings together two of the league’s top scorers, with the away side’s striker Sergio Aguero scoring five to Teemu Pukki’s five. Aguero, however, is more of a certainty to add to that tally in this encounter. Norwich have been effective going forwards, they have also conceded ten goals in their opening four matches. With attacking talent of Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne to provide support going forward, the team are certainly able to score goals.
Norwich have impressed in their opening weeks with their attacking football. But that is likely to come under scrutiny when faced up against Manchester City. Even with the visitors Aymeric Laporte likely to miss the game, being able to call up Fernandinho or John Stones still gives the team strength at the back. Even with Pukki impressing in his early games, that looks likely to stop in this encounter.
Market Choice: Manchester City to win to Nil +480
AFC Bournemouth vs. Everton
Bournemouth are a hard side to break down, especially at home. The hosts were soundly beaten in their last league encounter, but that was against the champions Manchester City. Bournemouth’s struggles have been similar to many teams in the mid-table, as they struggle to score goals. Bournemouth have scored five goals in their opening four matches.
Everton’s new signings look to be more comfortable in the team, with both Alex Iwobi and Fabian Delph both able to contribute for the team. Everton already had an impressive spine, with Richarlison, in particular, looking impressive in the victory over Watford, scoring two of the goals in the game.
It’s tough to overlook the visitors, even with the effectiveness of Bournemouth’s defense.
Market Choice: Everton to win +135
Watford vs. Arsenal
Watford have disappointed so far this season, with only one point to show from their opening four games. Having faced Brighton, Everton, West Ham and Newcastle they would have hoped for far more. To compound onto that, they now face an Arsenal side who have looked impressive in recent weeks.
Arsenal have a great group of players in attack. Manager Unai Emery opted to start the trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe in their last encounter. However, Arsenal are prone to defensive errors, conceding six goals in their past three matches. The Gunners look likely to turn to Dani Ceballos after his impressive performance against Burnley.
Market Choice: Asian Handicap Arsenal -0.75 +128
Aston Villa vs. West Ham
Aston Villa won their last home game against Everton 2-0. However, Villa were lucky to beat Everton, who had a bad day at the office. Similarly, the team should have lost by a wider margin against Crystal Palace, even though they had a late equalizer controversially denied.
West Ham were soundly beaten in their opening match against Manchester City, soundly beaten 5-0 by the champions. However, after that result, the Hammers have put together an impressive run of form. The team have managed to pick up seven of nine points since. Striker Sebastien Haller has slotted straight into the attack and has three goals in his last two games. Meanwhile, the return of Andriy Yarmolenko gives the team extra threat on the wings.
With both teams playing attacking football, West Ham’s edge in defense will likely give them the result on Monday.
Market Choice: West Ham to win +160