Things are starting to take shape in this early part of the season as we head into match day 6. Manchester City are clear favourites with 5 straight wins whilst Manchester United have struggled to keep up losing their last 2 league games. Everton have been fast out of the blocks sitting just 2 points behind Manchester City in 2nd place whilst Tottenham rounds out the top 3 and the only other side to remain unbeaten after 3 games. At the other end of the table, West Ham & Stoke are surprisingly in the bottom 3 with just 4 points between them after 5 games. It might only take a small run of form to dig themselves out of their slumps but the sooner the better otherwise mentally the longer they hover there the harder it will become to get themselves out of it.
H to H Multi Bet: Crystal Palace win ($2.5), Everton win ($2.2), Manchester City win ($1.4), Tottenham win ($2) = $15.4
Match Day 6 Best Bet: Manchester United vs Leicester BTTS – Yes at $1.91
**Odds from Sportsbet as at 16th September
Manchester United vs Leicester
After 3 straight wins to open the season, United are in a real form slump at the moment. A 2-1 loss to Manchester City and a 3-1 loss at Watford sandwiched a 2-1 loss on the Europa League. They may have won their 3-1 EFL tie during the week, but United have a tough game here against the reigning champions. Leicester have won 2 of their last 3 in the league but stumbled to Chelsea during the week in their EFL match. Leicester were up 2-0 with Chelsea eventually winning 4-2 thanks to a late red card and 92nd and 94th minutes goals to Fabregas. It makes this a difficult game to gauge. United will no doubt come out hard early but that will also suit Leicester and the way they like to play on the break. It seems as though United’s honeymoon is over and now they really need to start gelling together, because if they don’t then they’ll have a few more results like they’ve had recently.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72 (90%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.79
Bournemouth vs Everton
Everton have been impressive to this point of the season and they have a chance to continue their good from against Bournemouth this week. They’ve won their last 4 league games but hit a slight hurdle during the week when they lost to Norwich 2-0 in the EFL Cup. That result shouldn’t indicate a drop off in form for this week and they should be considered a strong chance to take the 3 points here. Bournemouth have won just the once this season but more damaging to their chances is they just don’t have the firepower. They’ve scored just 3 times this season yet conceded 9 and in contrast Everton have conceded just the 3 goals. They’ve had a really tough opening 5 rounds and a match against an Everton side in good form makes it even tougher.
Predicted score: Everton 2-0
Best Bet: Everton to win at $2.2 (80%)
Next Best: Everton to lead at Half-Time at $2.7
Liverpool vs Hull
Their first 5 matches have been arguably the toughest set of fixtures to open the season, but wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester and a draw with Tottenham puts Liverpool in a really strong position after 5 games. The one question mark that remains is can they emulate this form against the mid-table and lower sides. Their 2-0 loss to Burnley is the most recent highlight of this but even the last few seasons they have been susceptible to poor results against sides such as this week’s opponents in Hull. Apart from their 4-1 loss last weekend, Hull have been a difficult side to beat. Before that match, Hull had only conceded 3 goals and away from home they’ve only conceded once so far. Certainly not a large sample size but they will be difficult for Liverpool to beat. With that there’s a sense of caution still about Liverpool’s consistency but they should be winning this match – it just may not necessarily be the most convincing of wins.
Predicted score: Liverpool 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.49 (90%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2.7
Middlesbrough vs Tottenham
The newly promoted Middlesbrough are another side that started the season well with 2 wins but have since fallen away a little bit with 2 losses. Spurs on the other hand remain one of only 3 sides unbeaten in the league whilst they can also boast the best defensive record after 5 games with just 2 goals conceded. It has come at a cost though with their win over Sunderland last week also seeing Harry Kane sustaining an ankle injury that should see him out for up to 2 months. That’s a big blow to them at this stage of the season and with some big games coming up. His absence shouldn’t impact Tottenham’s chances for this match and perhaps it could be a blessing in disguise as he was in danger of being burnt out after a lot of football the past 2 years. At the other end of the pitch though, the expected return of Danny Rose should add plenty of drive and width when they go forward. Middlesbrough may have a tough day ahead here.
Predicted score: Tottenham 3-1
Best Bet: Tottenham to win at $2 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $2.05
Stoke vs West Brom
The Potters have had a horrible time of it lately and just 1 point along with a negative 11 goal difference puts them under plenty of pressure ahead of the visit of West Brom this week. The Baggies contrastingly look like a much better side right now. That’s largely down to their excellent 4-2 win over West Ham last time out with the addition of Chadli looking like an excellent piece of business. The former Spurs man set up 2 goals as well as scoring 2 of his own. If he continues that kind of form then Stoke’s defenders are going to have a long day. Stoke have already conceded 14 times with 3 games seeing at least 4 goals conceded. Their other issues is they haven’t been able to score goals either with just 3 so far for the season. That will change as the season goes on but they’re clearly already on the back foot ahead of this match. The possible return of Shaqiri should give them a boost but it’s difficult to see them getting anything more than a point at this stage with West Brom looking hard to beat.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.66 (75%)
Next Best: Half-time Draw at $1.91
Sunderland vs Crystal Palace
The Black Cats remain in a familiar position in the relegation zone and face a Palace side this week who’ve found form winning their last 2 games. Their last 2 games have also opened the flood gates in terms of goals where they’ve scored 6 of their 7 goals this season. That will give them plenty of confidence ahead of this match where Sunderland have continued to struggle defensively. Their last match they managed to concede just the once against Tottenham thanks largely to young keeper Jordan Pickford. They did however concede 32 shots on goal in that game so were perhaps a little lucky not to concede more than that. Their previous match where they conceded 21 shots to Everton and conceded 3 goals suggest as much. Sunderland will try to build on the fact they conceded just 1 goal last time out against a strong side but the fact is they concede over 18 shots per game and manage less than 3 shots on target per game at the other end. Palace should be slightly too strong here.
Predicted score: Crystal Palace 2-1
Best Bet: Crystal Palace to win at $2.5 (75%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.83
Swansea vs Manchester City
The current league leaders have a strong chance to make it 6 wins from 6 this week when they face Swansea away. Their chances are even stronger with the return from suspension of Sergio Aguero. Such is their form at the moment, Manchester City could play without Aguero and would still win here. Swansea haven’t won in the league since the opening day and face an uphill battle to get anything out of this one. A win here for Man City will make it 10 straight under Guardiola and it looks like that’s just the beginning at the moment.
Predicted score: Manchester City 3-0
Best Bet: Manchester City -1 Handicap at $2.1 (85%)
Next Best: Manchester City to win both halves at $3.3
Arsenal vs Chelsea
Since their opening day defeat against Liverpool, Arsenal have yet to lose a game since winning 4 of their last 5 in all competitions. They haven’t really played strong opposition in that time (apart from PSG in the UCL) but that has probably been a blessing given the number of injuries they have had defensively. For Chelsea, they had a strong start to the season winning 4 from 4 in all competitions but their last 3 games they’ve had a draw, a loss and then a win. Like Arsenal, they haven’t really played major opposition yet so it’ll be interesting to see how this game goes. Defensively Chelsea have only kept one clean sheet this season from 7 games and with Arsenal’s firepower it’s difficult to see them claiming their second. There hasn’t been a lot of goals scored in this fixture in recent times with just 3 of the last 10 in all competitions producing over 2.5 goals. Both sides are equal on points on the table and it may be one of those games where both sides will need to settle for a draw.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Half-Time Draw at $2.1 (75%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $2.01
West Ham vs Southampton
Things have been difficult for West Ham this season. Adjusting to a new stadium and perhaps heightened expectations hasn’t been easy and it looks like it won’t be easy for a little while yet. With just the 1 win and 4 losses so far, the Hammers really need to kick into gear but Southampton will no doubt like to continue the poor run for them. The Saints have faired slightly better this season but do just sit 2 points ahead. They’ve lacked a bit of firepower up front but may have found the answer that was staring them in the face all along. Charlie Austin has hit some sold form netting 4 goals in his last 3 games in all competitions. If he doesn’t get a start here then something just isn’t right. It’s a perfect match for them to keep the pressure on West Ham as well because defensively they have been poor and have conceded the second most goals this season, 4 more than the next worst side. There will come a time when things settle for West Ham, but a win still looks like a while away.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.91 (80%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67
Burnley vs Watford
There’s a feel good factor at Watford at the moment after strong wins over West Ham and Manchester united. Defensively they have some work to do but things are looking up at the moment for another decent season. Burnley on the other hand haven’t really done a lot apart from their stunning victory over Liverpool. Offensively they look lacking (just 3 goals scored, 2 of which were against Liverpool) and defensively they’ve conceded 1 less than Watford (8) in 5 games. At home though, you have to give them a sniff of getting something out of this. They’ve played 3 games at home already and that’s we’re they have scored all 3 of their goals and conceded just 2 of their 8. Watford are in some good form but Burnley will make this a tight battle and a draw may be the likely outcome.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Exactly 2 or 3 goals at $1.91 (80%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.63