Welcome to the week 8 preview of the English Premier League. Plenty of action once again this weekend and the anticipation is higher after the International break last week. This weekend’s matches are bookended by some decent fixtures, especially with Liverpool and Manchester United closing out week 8. Things kick off with Chelsea and Leicester on Saturday night though and whilst Leicester haven’t been at their best in the league and Chelsea still have some adjustments to make, it should be a good contest.
H to H Multi Bet: Tottenham Win ($1.75), Stoke Win ($2), Southampton Win ($1.36), Manchester City Win ($1.45) = $6.9
Match Day 8 Best Bet: Tottenham to beat West Brom at $1.75
**Odds from Sportsbet as at 15th October
Chelsea vs Leicester
There may be 5 points between these two on the table but neither side has really impressed this season. It was always going to be tough for Leicester to back it up from last season but there was a little more optimism, at least on my part, for Chelsea. Chelsea don’t seem to have solved their defensive issues with 9 goals conceded in 7 games. It’s not the worst defensives record in the league but it’s not a great start for a side of Chelsea’s quality. The added complexity of adjusting to a new manager, style of play and formation will take time. It makes for an interesting match but Leicester need to drastically improve their away form if they want something from this. They’ve played 3 games away conceding 10 in the process. Not a great run into this one and whilst they may have their chances against a Chelsea side that seems like they are still figuring things out, they still may fall a little short.
Predicted score: Chelsea 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.65 (75%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67
Arsenal vs Swansea
Winning their last 5 in a row has put the Gunners in a strong position in 3rd on the table ahead of the visit of Swansea who in contrast have struggled. Since their opening win of the season they have taken just 1 point scoring just the 5 times and conceding 12. On that alone it seems as though this should be a walk in the park for Arsenal but things may not be as straight forward. As often is the case when a club changes managers, results are never that easy to predict. Bob Bradley will be hoping to do just that on his managerial debut with Swansea and given the timing of the International break it’ll be interesting to see how Swansea go first up. Along with the strong record that Swansea have over Arsenal recently, maybe this has the ingredients of the upset of the weekend. Swansea have won 3 of their last 5 against the Gunners with 2 of those coming at the Emirates. In the end Arsenal should be winning this, but don’t discount a strong performance from Swansea.
Predicted score: Arsenal 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.47 (85%)
Next Best: Half-time Draw at $2.6
Bournemouth vs Hull
After two wins to start their season, Hull continue to search for points. They’ve managed just 1 from their last 5 games and face a tricky test at Bournemouth. Bournemouth have won their last 2 home games against which came against West Brom and Everton. Momentum isn’t easy to come by though with the International break halting some of what Bournemouth had built. For Hull it was a chance to regroup and the confirmation of Phelan as Hull Manager will be a mini boost for the players. On the road if you take out their 5-1 thumping at the hands of Liverpool, they haven’t done too badly just conceding the once from their previous 2 away. They should be similarly stubborn here and Bournemouth may find it difficult to score as shown by their 6 goals from 7 games this season. If not for the International break then this would be a Bournemouth win but now the momentum has been lost and Hull will be determined for a point.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.74 (80%)
Next Best: Half-time draw at $2
Manchester City vs Everton
Losing their last match before the International break is probably not all that bad timing wise and there was probably going to come a point when City dropped points after 6 straight wins. There was a bit of a weakness shown though which is that under immense pressure, City just don’t seem to know what to do. Of course not every side is capable of piling on the sort of Pressure Tottenham did (certainly Liverpool are). They face a tricky test here with Everton who besides their last two games have been in pretty good form this season. They have had some close matches with City over recent years and with injury concerns mounting at City, this could be another close one. City should bounce back but don’t discount a strong performance from Everton.
Predicted score: Manchester City 2-1
Best Bet: Exactly 2 or 3 goals at $2.2 (75%)
Next Best: Manchester City to lead at Half-Time at $1.91
Stoke vs Sunderland
This might be a battle between 2nd last and last on the table, but a win for either side could potentially pull them out of the relegation zone depending on other results. Stoke have been poor this season but their last two games before the International break they managed to string 2 draws together against West Brom and Manchester United. That’s not exactly momentum building but they’ll have taken some confidence from that. For Sunderland it just seems like more of the same but injuries are mounting which has made it all the more difficult for them to build anything so far this season. Borini, Larsson, Mannone, Pienaar, Januzaj, Denayer and Kirchoff will miss and although they can still field an ok side on paper, their options off the bench will be limited. Stoke still have a lot of work to do but they look well placed to secure their first win of the season.
Predicted score: Stoke 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.79 (80%)
Next Best: Stoke to win at $2
West Brom vs Tottenham
Tottenham made a statement in their last match before the International break when they came out and beat what had been a rampant Manchester City 2-0. It was a stunning and somewhat surprising performance and one that sees them the only side in the league yet to lose a match. What made it even more impressive was that they did it without a recognised striker with Harry Kane still injured and Janssen sitting on the bench. Perhaps that helped their relentless pressing and running against City who looked shocked. Against West Brom it will be interesting to see how they approach this. The Baggies have made it difficult for their opponents to beat them this season as shown by just the single loss in their last 5 matches. They also seem to have found more of a creative spark with former Tottenham player Nacer Chadli now in their ranks. He’ll surely want to prove a point but he himself may find it difficult to break a Tottenham defence that has conceded just 3 goals.
Predicted score: Tottenham 2-0
Best Bet: Tottenham to win at $1.75 (95%)
Next Best: West Brom to score no goals at $2.2
Crystal Palace vs West Ham
One side has impressed lately while the other has failed to do that after a fair bit more expectation this season. West Ham is the latter and with just the 1 point from their last 5 games, they’re in real danger of a tough battle back up the table. They have some really tough fixtures coming up where points won’t be easy (Tottenham, Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool within in their next 8 matches). For Palace though, they had some good form before the international break. Goals were a bit of a grind for Palace last season when they managed just 39 but they’ve found a groove it seems now with 11 in their last 6. Benteke has been a big boost to that with 3 of his own and looks a really good fit to this side and their style of play. On paper at least, West Ham look pretty strong it’s just that they haven’t been able to get going this season. Defensively they have been poor conceding 17 goals and they average 3 goals conceded a game in their away efforts so far. Maybe there will be some improvement from West Ham especially after the International break with a draw here looking like the result.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.62 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.78
Middlesbrough vs Watford
Middlesbrough need to get a win here to get some breathing space on the relegation zone. Their last 5 games have produced just 2 points and at home this season they are yet to win a game. This would be perfect timing to get that win, but Watford haven’t been that easy to beat this season albeit they’ve been a little unconvincing at times. This match looks a little too unpredictable. Boro have been pretty competitive in most of their matches whilst Watford have been a little too inconsistent at times. No clear winner here.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Half-time draw at $2 (75%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.68
Southampton vs Burnley
The Saints are well placed for a win here against a Burnley side that is 1 of 3 in the league yet to register points away from home. That’s going to be a big challenge for them if they are to survive and an away trip to Southampton isn’t easy either. Southampton are undefeated at home but probably should have taken more than the 5 points from a possible 9. They look like they’ll be able to add another 3 points here though, Burnley need a big change in away form to get on the board here and given they are yet to score on the road, mentally that challenge could hinder them.
Predicted score: Southampton 2-0
Best Bet: Southampton to win to Nil at $2.1 (75%)
Next Best: Southampton -1 Handicap at $2.1
Liverpool vs Manchester United
This promises to be another great match between two bitter rivals. It’s particularly exciting for Liverpool given their run of recent form before the International break where it looks like Klopp is starting to build a strong side that has relentless attacking threats. Those attacking threats through the likes of Mane, Firmino and Coutinho will cause a lot of problems for United if they continue on their unconvincing performances in recent weeks. They’ve managed just 1 win from their last 4 matches where they’ve conceded 7 goals (only 1 goal conceded in their first 3 games of the season). This one just looks as though there’s too many options for Liverpool to create goals and United have had problems defensively and don’t look strong enough right now to keep Liverpool quiet. Equally though, Liverpool defensively are not that convincing and rely on their ability to score heavily. They’ll need to do so again as this looks like a match where there will be goals.
Predicted score: Liverpool 3-2
Best Bet: Liverpool to win either half at $1.56 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.71