English Premier League – Week 6 Preview

English Premier League - Football

Weeks 6 of the Premier League is upon us in what’s sure to be another massive weekend of football headlined by two major derbies starting with Liverpool and Everton first up and followed by Arsenal and Tottenham a few hours later. Another contest sure to get some attention will be Manchester United taking on West Ham. All eyes will be on United once more as we see how much further they can tumble or whether they’ll get a much needed win after a horror start to the season. If it’s anything as entertaining as their loss to Leicester last week though we should be in for a nail biter.

**Odds from Sportsbet as at 27th September

Liverpool ($1.95) versus Everton ($4), Draw ($3.5)

There’s no better way to kick off the weekend’s football with a derby and we’re treated to one of the big ones here with Liverpool taking on Everton. Both sides have struggled to hit top form so far this season with Everton sitting in 14th and Liverpool in 11th after 5 games. Liverpool have dropped in form mainly through the loss of Daniel Sturridge to injury whilst you could also attribute some of their poor form to some new faces amongst the squad and a defence that clearly needs improvement. Everton has also had a less than convincing defence compared to previous campaigns where they have already let through 13 goals having last season only let through 39 and the previous season only 40 goals so they are well on the way to surpassing these at this rate. On a positive though they have been scoring fairly freely with at least 2 goals scored in each of their 5 games so far with Lukaku and Naismith the main threats with 2 and 3 goals respectively. I think for that reason along with Liverpool’s suspect defence we should see Everton score. Similarly Liverpool should have enough to get on the scoring list as well with the added advantage of the home crowd. Everton haven’t beaten Liverpool in their past 6 meetings in all competitions and I can’t see this being any different based on current form. At the same time though I’m not so convinced with Liverpool either and think this could point to a high scoring draw. 5 of the last 6 have all been over 2.5 goals with 3 of the last 6 seeing both teams score.

Predicted score: Draw 2-2

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals $1.56 (90%)

Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.5

Chelsea ($1.22) versus Aston Villa ($13), Draw ($6.5)

Chelsea hosts Villa this week in what could be an exciting game albeit with Chelsea the ones to beat here. Villa have been in really good form to s the season as they sit 3rd on the table with their only major blemish being that of a 3-0 loss at home to Arsenal last weekend. With a run of Manchester City and Everton to follow this one against Chelsea, they’ll no doubt be playing with a nothing to lose attitude. They’ll need all of that attitude and more though if they are to get past Chelsea though who are thus far unbeaten and sit clear at the top. Diego Costa has been in some stunning form though their draw with Manchester City last weekend was the first time he’s gone scoreless in the Premier League so far. This could be another great opportunity for him to knock in a few more goals though with Villa’s key man in Ron Vlaar still under an injury cloud. With no other real injury concerns Chelsea are primed for another big performance here. Can’t write off Villa completely but Chelsea have been absolutely immense so far this season.

Predicted score: Chelsea 3-1

Best Bet: Half time result – Chelsea at $1.57 (85%)

Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.57

Crystal Palace ($2.5) versus Leicester ($2.87), Draw ($3.3)

Interesting matchup here with Palace taking on Leicester this weekend with Leicester coming off that big win over Manchester United 5-3 whilst Palace are coming off an equally impressive 3-2 win over Everton. It’s only early in the season of course but I don’t think Leicester would have thought they’d sit in 7th position after 5 games and they look a good shot at survival if they can keep up this form. They’ve won their last two against Stoke and Manchester United with the main driver being that of Ulloa who has bagged 5 goals in 5 games and looks an absolute bargain now. They are however facing a Palace side who are generally pretty tough to beat at home and I think this weekend will be no different. Leicester have yet to hit their attacking best away from home with just the 1 goal scored. Interestingly Palace have only scored once in their two home games so far and conceded just the 3 in that 3-1 loss to West Ham in week 2. I think Leicester will play with a little less adventure away from home with Palace looking to play tight and ensure they get a good result to build on their win over Everton last week. I’m looking at a tight one here with Palace to notch up a narrow win.

Predicted score: Crystal Palace 1-0

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.75 (75%)

Next Best: Double Chance Crystal Palace at $1.41

Hull ($) versus Manchester City ($1.57), Draw ($4)

Manchester City head to Hull looking for a win having to settle for a draw against Chelsea last weekend. Manchester City are yet to lose away from home whilst Hull have yet to lose at home but have had to settle for just the 2 draws. City won both of their meetings with Hull last season 2-0 and they look in a decent position to do the same again this weekend. Hull do though look a little more dangerous in attack with the pace of Hernandez sure to cause some problems. Hull’s problems for me though are in defence where they need to tighten up a bit especially against a hugely attacking threat that Man City are. I think one of the key stats for this one is that Man City are 3rd in the league for shots on goal away from home with 14 per game so I can certainly see a few goals for them this weekend with their attacking options at their disposal. Hull can be a pretty tough team to break down but I can’t see them resisting the attacks that Man City will through at them.

Predicted score: Manchester City 3-0

Best Bet: Manchester City to win at $1.57 (85%)

Next Best: Manchester City for the Half-Time/Full-Time Double at $2.3

Manchester United ($1.4) versus West Ham ($8), Draw ($4.75)

Massive game for United this week again which seems to be a theme each week for them as they prepare for West Ham at home. West Ham will be a tough test as they’ve hit some decent form the past two games with an away draw at Hull followed by a big 3-1 win over Liverpool at home last week. My main concern for West Ham though is their lack of steel in defence having yet to keep a clean sheet. I don’t think they’ll stop that record this week though with United looking in good attacking form at least through the likes of Di Maria and RVP not to mention the additional threats of Mata, Rooney, and Falcao. Scoring this weekend won’t be an issue for United but defending yet again will be their big worry. With Blackett out through suspension, Smalling, Evans, and Jones injured they’ll be stretched this week at the back. That truly opens the door for West Ham when they go forward which I think will mean we could see another high scoring game. Can’t write off an upset from West Ham but at home something has to click for United this week after that horrible loss last week.

Predicted score: Manchester United 3-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.42 (95%)

Next Best: Manchester United to lead at Half-Time at $1.8

Southampton ($1.44) versus QPR ($4.33), Draw ($8)

Southampton have defied logic in some ways to sit 2nd on the table after 5 games and a transfer window that pointed to doom and gloom for the season ahead. They’ve done really well though with 3 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss ahead of their meeting at home against QPR which will likely be win number 4. QPR have been pretty horrible this season with two 4-0 losses already against their name with their solitary win coming against Sunderland. It’s clear their home form has been far better than their away form with 2 of their 3 losses coming away and coming up against a Southampton side not shy to score they could be in for another tough time here. Southampton are going for their 4th straight win and have scored 8 goals in their past 3 games. QPR are a side that I’d like to see stay up this season but I think their defence and lack of real attacking threat up front could spell a long season for them again. Southampton look the go here and should win very comfortably with their only chance of not scoring 3 or 4 being if QPR park the bus which they really cannot afford to do anyway.

Predicted score: Southampton 4-0

Best Bet: Southampton to lead at half-time at $1.91 (80%)

Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.78

Sunderland ($2.7) versus Swansea ($2.7), Draw ($3.25)

The Black Cats take on Swansea this week searching still for their first win of the season having already drawn 4 of their 5 matches so far. It’s a positive start all the same for Sunderland though with their one loss coming to QPR by the 1 goal though they face a battle this week in Swansea. Swansea sit 5th on the table having won their first 3 games of the season but they have stuttered in their past two games losing to Chelsea and Southampton though they certainly haven’t been blown out of the water. They competed with Chelsea and lost only narrowly to Southampton but I think importantly for their morale their 3-0 win over Everton during the week in their Capital One Cup tie should give them some confidence for this one. Sunderland will be desperate for the 3 points though having come so close already in their 5 games so far so Swansea will need to be at their best. Taking out the Chelsea result though, Swansea have been excellent defensively conceding just the 2 goals and with Sunderland lacking any real bite in attack my thinking is we could be in for a low scoring draw here of a 1-1 or 0-0 variety. Either way it’ll be a close contest.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.66

Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $1.91

Arsenal ($1.8) versus Tottenham ($4.5), Draw ($3.75)

Perhaps the match of the weekend with the North London derby taking place between arch rivals Arsenal and Tottenham. Neither side has really hit solid form though Arsenal are looking in slightly better shape after their win over Villa last weekend. They do however still have weaknesses that can be exploited by well drilled sides but I’m not sure if Tottenham are ready to be able to do so just yet on their first 5 games as evidence. Tottenham have struggled defensively whilst lacking any real attacking threat up front as they seem a little too afraid to make risky passes in an effort to create chances. This is however a big derby and the biggest game of the season for both sides each year and anything can happen which is the beauty of football. Tottenham are coming off a solid 3-1 win over Nottingham Forrest in the Capital One Cup having gone 1-0 down which will no doubt give them a little bit of confidence. If they can play the way they did against QPR in their 4-0 rout then they have a chance but in this case I think it could be the same old Tottenham as Arsenal take advantage of an opposition side still in transition. This will either be a blowout or a tight win for Arsenal in true derby fashion.

Predicted score: Arsenal 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.7 (85%)

Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67

West Brom ($2) versus Burnley ($4), Draw ($3.3)

The Baggies played some excellent football last week against Tottenham and full deserved the 1-0 win. They take on Burnley this week in a game that they’ll feel expected to win after such a strong result last weekend. I’m not sure if that’s the type of pressure they’d want but a home fixture against a newly promoted side can always be dangerous after a big win. What impressed me most last weekend watching the West Brom and Tottenham game (being a Tottenham fan) was the impact Lescott had on West Brom. His performance was absolutely immense with many writing him off before the game about how much impact he could have. His impact was clear and he’ll be a key member for the rest of the season. Burnley on the other hand have done pretty well to secure 3 draws in their last 3 games but where they have struggled is in the scoring department which again will be compounded by the injury to Danny Ings this week. I have a feeling Burnley will again be playing pretty tight defensively which could make it tough for West Brom to break down. They’re certainly the better chance of winning but I feel there should be some caution here after such a big win for them over Tottenham last week. I’m looking at a draw here with West Brom the more likely to win if we do get a winner.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.67 (80%)

Next Best: A goal scored in both halves – No at $1.81

Stoke ($2.1) versus Newcastle ($3.6), Draw ($3.4)

The final match of week 6 see Stoke take on the winless Newcastle who sit bottom of the Premier League. Stoke though are not much farther ahead with just a 2 point gap separating the sides with a win for Newcastle to push them off the bottom. Newcastle look a side in transition with a multitude of new faces combined with injuries to some key players putting them into such a perilous position early on in the season. Stoke will be a tough ask this week as well as they are notoriously hard to beat at home and with Newcastle struggling to score goals it could be too big an ask this week. Newcastle have failed to score in their two away games so far whilst conceding 4 against Southampton in their last away game. I doubt it would be a similar result this weekend but I’m not sure if they have enough just yet to get the 3 points. Interestingly though, as tough to beat at home as they usually are, Stoke have failed to get any points at home this season with two losses to Aston Villa and Leicester City. This could be a danger game for Stoke not just because they haven’t gained any points at home yet but because Newcastle are due for a win. Perhaps a little against trend for Newcastle but I’m looking at them to get something from this game this week.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.65 (70%)

Next Best: Total Goals even at $1.81

Please Note:
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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As an Australian growing up AFL was always my no.1 sport especially given I was lucky enough to grow up a few blocks from Carlton’s home ground, Princes Park, where I was lucky enough to attend many games. That’s where my passion for sport began but it was until the early 2000’s when I discovered a real passion for football with the Socceroos 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay accelerating my football journey. From there I began to follow the Premier League and haven’t looked back since. These days I’m a massive Tottenham fan where I’ve enjoyed many sleepless nights religiously watching them without missing a game despite many roller coaster feelings. There’s just something magical and glamorous when you watch the EPL and knowing the Profits owners Drew and Euan through studies, I’m now lucky enough to be able to share my thoughts on each game each week of the season.

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