After 2 games of the new season there’s already clear indications of those sides that are set to struggle, at least in the short term, whilst those at the other end of the spectrum will be very pleased with their starts. This weekend in particular sees a few fixtures where both sides are under a lot of pressure to get off the mark. Newcastle will host West Ham whilst Crystal Palace host Swansea with all four teams yet to get a win. Additionally, there has been just 3 goals scored between these sides in the first 2 matches but a hefty 18 conceded. A defensive mindset might not be high on the agenda this weekend as they’ll all be desperate for a win. At the top end of the table, Manchester United have looked ominous in their wins over Swansea and West Ham and with a visit of Leicester this weekend, 3 straight wins to start the season isn’t out of the question. Huddersfield and West Brom, in 2nd and 3rd respectively, have had fantastic starts to the season with 2 wins each and are also not without a chance of going into the International break with a perfect record. That’s the nature of the early weeks of a new season though, there are plenty of surprises which we really should be expecting the unexpected anyway as they say.
Week 3 Best Bet: Liverpool vs Arsenal over 2.5 goals at $1.59
Week 3 Best Value Bet: Watford/Watford Half-Time/Full-time against Brighton at $3
Week 3 Head to Head Multi Bet: Manchester City Win ($1.3), Watford win ($1.91), Chelsea win ($1.4), West Brom/Stoke Draw ($3) = $10.43
**Odds from Sportsbet.com.au as of 23rd August
Bournemouth vs Manchester City
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Manchester City 4, Draws 1
The Cherries have fallen short in both of their opening fixtures losing to West Brom and Watford without scoring a goal yet. Manchester City presents a difficult test this weekend although themselves despite 4 points from their first 2 matches are yet to click into gear. City won relatively comfortably against Brighton in their opening match but had a tough time of it against Everton at home with a red card for Kyle Walker further harming their chances in that match. Arguably they could have still won it with Everton also going down to 10 late on but that earlier red for Walker is where they lost it. It’ll mean some more shuffling for City as they cover for Walker whist they also try and form some chemistry up front between Jesus and Aguero that has so far failed to click. In the end though, City should win this as they just have too much quality not to get the 3 points. Bournemouth’s run of no goals may continue here having failed to score against City in their last 3 meetings.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 2-0
Best Bet: Manchester City to win to Nil at $2.3
Best Value Bet: Manchester City to win both halves at $2.8
Manchester United vs Leicester
Last 5 meetings: Manchester United 3, Draws 2
United are looking like a big title threat this season after their opening two fixtures produced 8 goals. It’s easy to say that they haven’t beaten anyone of quality yet but these are the sorts of matches that you need to win and they are winning them convincingly. Leicester on the other hand have had a pretty good opening to the season as well where they were unlucky not to get something out of the Arsenal game whilst they comfortably accounted for Brighton last time out. This is the sort of match where Leicester will happily sit back and wait for their opportunities on the counter where they are most dangerous. They’ve also scored in 6 of their last 7 meetings in all competitions against United and have scored in their last 3 visits to Old Trafford. United though on current form though look too strong and even if they let slip their first goal of the season, they should be able to come through with the 3 points.
Predicted Result: Manchester United 2-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $2.1
Best Value Bet: Half-Time Draw at $2.4
Chelsea vs Everton
Last 5 meetings: Chelsea 2, Everton 2, Draws 1
With their backs to the wall with a number of key players out, Chelsea did a really good against Tottenham last time out to win 2-1. They had far less possession at 32% and took advantage of their 2 shots on target compared to Tottenham’s 6. It’s the sort of performance that looks like it will galvanise the squad and manager despite some of the off-field dramas to do with transfers and the like. It makes for a difficult task for the visiting Everton who had their chances against Manchester City to claim a big away win. Instead, they have to make do with a draw and try once again to cause an upset here. They will have their chances as well, particularly if Rooney keeps up his fine start after scoring in both of the opening matches this season. One thing not in Everton’s favour though as that despite how solid they are looking defensively, up front they’ve yet to really capitalise on their chances and given generally how strong Chelsea looked defensively and how much they withstood from Tottenham’s constant pushes forward, they might not have enough to get an upset here. Chelsea too will have a great deal of momentum after their win over Spurs.
Predicted Result: Chelsea 2-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.96
Best Value Bet: Chelsea to win to Nil at $2.2
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Last 5 meetings: Liverpool 2, Arsenal 1, Draws 2
Both of these sides have interesting results to kick off the season but it’s not all that surprising given how defensively inept these sides can be. Liverpool kept things a lot tighter against Crystal Palace last time out to win 1-0 but Palace haven’t exactly been a huge goal threat in recent times. Arsenal on the other hand will be still recovering after their shock loss away at Stoke where the cracks defensively were already showing after their opening season win over Leicester 4-3. It makes for an interesting match-up here with both sides suffering from defensive issues whilst at the other end of the pitch they’re both capable of big scores. It doesn’t feel like either side will be shying away from taking the game on this weekend and recent meetings between the two have seen a lot of goals scored. The last 3 have produced 17 goals alone with Liverpool winning the last 2 with the other match a 3-3 draw. After their tough loss away last week, Arsenal may be facing another tough time of it this weekend to get the 3 points.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.59
Best Value Bet: Draw at $3.6
Tottenham vs Burnley
Last 5 meetings: Tottenham 3, Draws 2
In a game they should have won, Tottenham just simply didn’t take their chances. They dominated Chelsea in all the stats except for the one that counts, goals scored. Now Tottenham find themselves in a position where they really need a home win at Wembley to restore some confidence, at the very least for their fans. They thankfully have a favourable match against Burnley this weekend who may be pushing their luck to repeat their opening match efforts to beat Chelsea 3-2 with a 2 man advantage. At the end of the day Tottenham are the better side here and despite officially losing to Chelsea, they were the better side and as long as they play the same way they’ll win this week.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 3-0
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.69
Best Value Bet: Tottenham to win both halves at $2.75
Crystal Palace vs Swansea
Last 5 meetings: Swansea 2, Crystal Palace 1, Draws 2
Neither side seems particularly fond of scoring goals so far with both sides scoreless in their opening matches. Swansea looked solid for the majority of their playing time this season bar a few minutes of mayhem at the hands of United. Palace may be the side though that pushes more in this one but don’t expect a lot of goals from either side.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Crystal Palace to win either half at $1.47
Best Value Bet: Draw at $3.5
Huddersfield vs Southampton
Last 5 meetings: Southampton 3, Huddersfield 2
A dream start for Huddersfield will mean the confidence levels are running high but this will be their toughest test so far this season. In saying that, they’re not going to be without their chances against Southampton so a draw could be the likelier result here.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.65
Best Value Bet: Half-Time Draw at $1.91
Newcastle vs West Ham
Last 5 meetings: Newcastle 3, West Ham 2
Terrible starts for both sides and a loss for either side will really start putting on some early pressure just 3 games into the season. With the International break up next, a win here will be important to restoring some confidence and belief. Both sides will be going for it here with neither possessing particularly strong defences so expect a few goals.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67
Best Value Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.85
Watford vs Brighton
Last 5 meetings: Watford 3, Draws 2
Watford have had a great start to the season whilst Brighton have had a tough time of it as reality in the top flight sets in. Expect the visitors to try and keep things tight having conceded 2 goals in each of their opening matches but Watford have been looking a threat up front with 5 goals scored thus far.
Predicted Result: Watford 1-0
Best Bet: Watford to win at $1.91
Best Value Bet: Watford Half-Time/Full-Time at $3
West Brom vs Stoke
Last 5 meetings: West Brom 4, Draws 1
The Baggies are undefeated and are yet to concede but there’s a sense of greater things coming from Stoke after their upset win over Arsenal last time out. The quality loan additions of Zouma down back and in particular Jese up front has given them great confidence so expect a pretty good contest here. West Brom have had the run of it recently against Stoke, but the visitors may surprise to keep this a pretty even contest.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.51
Best Value Bet: Draw at $3