The closing stages of the World Cup Qualifiers took centre stage over the weekend and during the week but the Premier League rightfully takes back the attention this weekend. There’s some big matches too, not least a massive rivalry to kick off the weekend when Liverpool host Manchester United. Anything can happen in these matches and United should be wary of a wounded a dangerous Liverpool side that can produce anything. The chasing back will be hoping for a Liverpool upset against United who are yet to lose, similarly for top placed Manchester City who will host Stoke. Plenty more storylines to be had, but there’s no better way to kick the weekend off with such a big rivalry.
Week 8 Best Bet: Liverpool vs Manchester United – BTTS at $1.67
Week 8 Best Value Bet: Chelsea to beat Crystal Palace to Nil at $2.1
Week 8 Head to Head Multi Bet: Chelsea Win ($1.4), Southampton Win ($1.83), Arsenal Win ($1.62), Swansea Win ($2.1) = $8.71
**Odds from Sportsbet.com.au as of 11th October
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Liverpool 1, Manchester United 1, Draws 3
Even before you consider who will miss this match, Liverpool will have been up against it from the get go given United’s form to start the season has been near perfect. This will however be their biggest test of the campaign so far and one which will solidify their title credentials or throw a spanner in the works as to their ability to perform in the big matches. One thing in their favour though is the injury to Mane for Liverpool. That’s a massive blow and one which cruelled them last season when he went down for an extended period. The addition of Salah though for this season somewhat mitigates his loss but having both in full flight would have given them great confidence at home to a fierce rival. That being said, it’s not unthinkable to see Liverpool getting something from this. Their form has been questionable, but no matter what deficiencies they seem to have defensively, they have shown in the past they can damage the bigger sides. United will know this all too well and given the run of easy fixtures they have had, this could well be a game they drop points. Their only other match they dropped points this season was at Stoke away who are a tough ask at their home. Liverpool are much the same at home having not lost at home and only conceded the once.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67 (85%)
Best Value Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $3.33
Manchester City vs Stoke
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Manchester 3, Stoke 1, Draws 1
Manchester City will have an eye early on their rivals fixture with Liverpool but they best not underestimate this Stoke side. The Potters won’t necessarily be coming for a win but they will no doubt look to frustrate their opponents to prevent them from an easy win. They are yet to play one of the big clubs on the road and arguably they are a better side at home against the bugger clubs, but they may just provide some frustration to Man City here. They need only refer to their last home match against Stoke where it ended 0-0 and although they look a far more dangerous side having scored 22 times already, conceding just twice, this may again be a tight score line. Seeing Stoke take something from this might be too much to ask, but with the International break taking some momentum, things may even up a little.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 2-1
Best Bet: Manchester City Half-Time/Full-Time at $1.53
Best Value Bet: Gabriel Jesus First Goalscorer at $3.4
Watford vs Arsenal
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Arsenal 3, Watford 2
Watford have started the season well to sit in 8th after 7 matches, but their home form is looking worrying. They fought well to open with a 3-3 draw against Liverpool on the opening day, but they then struggled to a scoreless draw against Brighton before being thumped 6-0 by Manchester City. Arsenal need to prove themselves a lot more despite recent form pushing them into 5th. This may be a tough match given their last meeting resulted in a 2-1 win to Watford. Arsenal’s quality and form improvement should see them through here though.
Predicted Result: Arsenal 2-1
Best Bet: Arsenal to win at $1.62
Best Value Bet: Arsenal to win at BTTS at $2.88
Burnley vs West Ham
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): West Ham 5
Looks like the Hammers will struggle on the road this season having taken 1 point from a possible 12 so far. They’ve also conceded 10 goals in their travels and although Burnley are not a prolific side, they are certainly difficult to beat at home. They don’t have the results they would have liked but they’ve only conceded once at home. This will be a tight and perhaps unexciting fixture and the potential lack of goals should prove that.
Predicted Result: Draw 0-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.59
Best Value Bet: Half-Time Draw at $1.91
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Chelsea 3, Crystal Palace 2
No luck for Palace here with the visit of Chelsea. Still yet to score a goal whilst oppositions sides have put 17 past them, 9 of which have come in their last 2 games against Man City and Man United. Looks unlikely Chelsea will hold much sympathy for them.
Predicted Result: Chelsea 3-0
Best Bet: Chelsea to win at $1.40
Best Value Bet: Chelsea to win to Nil at $2.1
Swansea vs Huddersfield
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Huddersfield 3, Swansea 1, Draws 1
This looks an even match but Swansea will be looking to find some form after the International break as they try to build some momentum and integrate a number of new faces. Huddersfield won’t be easy but one of their key players in Aaron Mooy may be a little tired after a draining World Cup qualifier against Syria that went into extra time. That may dampen some of their creativity and give Swansea the edge for this one.
Predicted Result: Swansea 2-1
Best Bet: Swansea to win at $2.1
Best Value Bet: Swansea to lead at half-time at $2.75
Tottenham vs Bournemouth
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Tottenham 4, Draws 1
Spurs will be hoping for a first home league win at their temporary home at Wembley. If their away form is anything to go by then they should comfortably win this but the mental barrier of Wembley places a question mark on how they’ll go this weekend. Bournemouth will know it and they’ll fancy their chances against one of the top sides. Tottenham’s quality counts for a lot though and despite their hoodoos they should come out winners here.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 2-0
Best Bet: Tottenham to lead at Half-Time at $1.53
Best Value Bet: Tottenham to win both halves at $2.3
Brighton vs Everton
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Everton 2, Brighton 1, Draws 2
The International break couldn’t have come at a better time for Everton as they sit just 2 points above the relegation zone. Brighton presents a difficult task though and their only loss at home so far has been against Manchester City on the opening day.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.91
Best Value Bet: Draw and BTTS at $4.33
Southampton vs Newcastle
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Southampton 4, Draws 1
The Saints hold a strong record over Newcastle in recent times but this season they haven’t really met expectations with their last 2 matches resulting in losses. The International break over the weekend may help to turn that form around and a win will jump them ahead of Newcastle on the table here. It feels like this season Newcastle’s chances of survival will rest heavily on their home form and one of their biggest challenges will be finding the back of the net when away from home. 1 goal thus far from 3 games on the road is a small sample size but they’ve haven’t played anyone of significance and Southampton won’t give goals away easily.
Predicted Result: Southampton 2-0
Best Bet: Southampton to win at $1.83
Best Value Bet: Southampton -1 handicap at $3.25
Leicester vs West Brom
Last 5 meetings (All competitions): Leicester 3, West Brom 1, Draws 1
Neither side look particularly threatening but one thing that West Brom have struggled with this season is their defence when away from home. 5 of their away goals they have conceded on the road and Leicester will be looking to continue the trend. Leicester have only won once at home but they’ve damaged all of their opponents having not failed to score at home this season in the league.
Predicted Result: Leicester 2-1
Best Bet: Leicester to win either half at $1.49
Best Value Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2.12