The International break is over and we can now get back into the action packed English Premier League with week 4 upon us already. This weekend is headlined by the Manchester derby in what is shaping up to be the game of the season at this early stage. There’s sense of excitement about both sides given their 3 wins to start the season but the battle won’t be just on the field. On the sidelines Mourinho & Guardiola will do battle in what should make for a fascinating tactical battle. It’s also the early kick off on Saturday night so it’s a great platform for the rest of the evening not to mention the continuation of a great day of sport following the AFL finals.
H to H Multi Bet: Arsenal win ($1.53), Everton win ($2), Chelsea win ($1.61), Tottenham win ($1.85) = $9.11
Match Day 4 Best Bet: Liverpool vs Leicester – Over 2.5 goals at $1.71
**Odds from Sportsbet as at 9th September
Manchester United vs Manchester City
There’s lots to like ahead of this match though with both sides yet to lose, this could become one of those tight and low scoring matches between title rivals despite the nature of being a derby as well. Last season we only saw 1 goal in the two matches between these sides and I wouldn’t expect we’ll see a whole lot more in this match. City’s firepower will be impacted by the suspension of Aguero which makes it even more difficult to break through what already is a really tough defensive unit. United have only conceded once this season which ranks them the best defensive team in the league after 3 games and after a season where they were ranked equal first with Tottenham for goals conceded. It doesn’t however guarantee a City win here but I think goals will be difficult to come by and without Aguero United look the more likely to score.
Predicted score: Manchester United 1-0
Best Bet: Manchester United Draw No Bet at $1.63 (85%)
Next Best: Half-time Draw at $2
Middlesbrough vs Crystal Palace
They have had a really impressive start to the season and Middlesbrough will be keen to add to their undefeated start when they host Crystal Palace. For Palace they are desperate for a win after just the 1 point from 3 games and whilst they have brought in plenty of quality names, they might need a little longer to gel together. This should be a fairly open game though as neither side looks like they would completely dominate in terms of possession so chances will come for both. It could come down to a battle of the big men up front. Negredo has had a great start to the season already contributing a goal and 2 assists whilst at the other end Benteke is yet to score for his new club. For Benteke though it just seems a matter of time as he looks a good fit for a side like Palace. Expect a pretty even match here but one where there should be a few goals.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $2 (80%)
Next Best: Exactly 2 or 3 goals at $2
Stoke vs Tottenham
The Potters have had a poor start to the season as they sit bottom of the table with just the 1 point. They’ve already conceded 6 goals and will need to tighten up when they take on Tottenham this week. Tottenham’s last visit to the Britannia saw them win by a thumping score of 4-0 and they’ll be keen to kick-start their season with a strong performance here. They haven’t had the poorest of starts but they have looked a little flat and lacking in pace and urgency compared to the Spurs side we saw last season. It looks like they have addressed some of their needs though on deadline day with the addition of pace and skill in N’Koudou whilst the gamble on Sissoko adds pace and power. Both may make contributions here but it may come from the bench. For Stoke though they will have to continue without Shaqiri once again and that limits their attacking output despite the addition of Bony up front. They’ll still have chances but Tottenham have been a great side on the road in past seasons and that’s where they’ll kick their season in to gear this weekend.
Predicted score: Tottenham 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.91 (75%)
Next Best: Tottenham to win at $1.85
Arsenal vs Southampton
The Gunners had a slow start to the season with a loss, draw and then a win last time out. They look like they’re now building a bit of momentum ahead of this match against Southampton so they’ll be difficult to beat. The defensive issues look to be resolved for Arsenal as well after plenty of injuries in that area. Mertesacker and Paulista still remain out, but the signing of Mustafi will bolster their defence nicely. Interestingly though, Arsenal haven’t beaten the Saints since 2014 and in the 3 games since they have only scored once. Expect that to turn this week though as defensively Southampton have yet to keep a clean sheet this season whilst up front they are lacking still a little bit of creativity and drive. The loss of Mane should be filled by Boufal but he still needs to build up fitness before making a big impact for them yet.
Predicted score: Arsenal 2-0
Best Bet: Arsenal to win at $1.53 (85%)
Next Best: Arsenal to win to Nil at $2.63
Bournemouth vs West Brom
This looks a really tough game for Bournemouth because West Brom have had a pretty good start to the season. Defensively they’ve been strong with 2 clean sheets which for Bournemouth doesn’t do their chances a lot of good because up front they are a little lacking in firepower and creativity. Currently sitting in 19th with 2 losses and a draw it’s difficult to see them scoring against West Brom let alone getting a win here. The one exciting thing Bournemouth will have this week is the addition of loan signing Wilshere but he hasn’t had a lot of football in recent seasons so he’ll need some time to get back into it all. The Baggies too will have their own signing to debut in Nacer Chadli. He’ll add goals to this side and that adds to the edge West Brom look to already have in this one.
Predicted score: West Brom 1-0
Best Bet: Double Chance West Brom at $1.72 (75%)
Next Best: West Brom Draw No Bet at $2.89
Burnley vs Hull
This isn’t a glamour match by any means but it will be an interesting one. Hull have done far better than expected to be currently sitting in 5th whilst for Burnley they have the capabilities to upset as seen by their 2-0 win over Liverpool. For this one though it doesn’t look like a game that will be filled with goals. The past 4 matches at Burnley have seen only 1 goal per match and that’s a trend that looks likely to continue in this one. Hull may play with a little more freedom given they have more points than they would have thought but they’ll also be wanting to ensure they don’t drop points in a game where it would have been seen as a must win before the season. For Burnley they need points and this is a great opportunity at home to try and get some but it’s difficult to see them as clear winners here. Hull have shown a lot of fight and have built some great early season momentum so both sides may need to settle for a draw.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 1.5 goals at $1.52 (85%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $1.91
West Ham vs Watford
The Hammers haven’t had a great start to the season conceding 5 goals with just the one win. Perhaps their indifferent results can be attributed to the adjustment phase into a new stadium as well as a few injuries. For Watford this match continues a run of really difficult fixtures to open the season after a draw to Southampton followed by losses to Chelsea and Arsenal. The one positive they can take is that they’ve managed to score in each of those games and with West Ham defensively not up to it thus far there should be plenty of opportunities for Watford. The problem though is that West Ham should have far more opportunities especially with the expected return to the starting line-up of Payet.
Predicted score: West Ham 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.95 (75%)
Next Best: West Ham to win at $1.83
Liverpool vs Leicester
There’s goals to be had in this match and it’s mainly due to inability of Liverpool to defend but also their potential to score a lot of goals themselves. For Leicester this looks to be a game where they will have less of the possession and that will suit them nicely. Liverpool aren’t the most convincing side when defending on the counter and with that one of Leciester’s main strengths they should have plenty of chances here. As for a winner, Liverpool don’t really have the defensive strength to defend a lead whilst Leicester might not be the side they were last season are still capable at both ends of the pitch.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.71 (90%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67
Swansea vs Chelsea
The last of the 3 teams that have a perfect record will attempt to make it 4 from 4 when Chelsea travels to Swansea. Chelsea have had a great start to the season and whilst there’s still a sense that they need to improve, they should have more than enough to get the 3 points here. Swansea are in a bit of a transition it feels after some key departures and while they may have brought in some new faces they need some time to gel together a bit more. The one thing Swansea will be gathering inspiration from is that they won their last meeting 1-0. That was a different Chelsea side that they beat though and they may need more than inspiration from the past to win here. Chelsea just look too strong.
Predicted score: Chelsea 2-0
Best Bet: Chelsea to win at $1.61 (85%)
Next Best: Chelsea -1 handicap at $2.7
Sunderland vs Everton
The final match this week sees Everton head to Sunderland in a game that they should win. Everton look to have turned things around after a fairly poor 2015/16 season and currently sit in 4th with the 2 wins and a draw. They’ve made some solid additions to the team and look a far stronger outfit at this stage. Sunderland have made plenty of additions themselves but the amount of new faces means they’ll likely take a little longer to gel together. The pleasing thing for the Black Cats is that they have been competitive despite the changes with new players and a new manager. They’ll be competitive here again but Everton will have a little too much in the end.
Predicted score: Everton 2-1
Best Bet: Everton to win at $2 (80%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.95