Week 5 brings with it the start of European Cup football with the group stages getting underway for the Europa league and Champion’s league. How will this affect those teams involved given the tighter schedules and extra games to be played? Will any of Liverpool, Spurs and Newcastle take the Europa league seriously? Or will they play second string teams in order to keep the stars fresher for the Premier league in a push for top 4?
We hope to provide you with a little overview of the weekend matches to help you make informed and sound betting decisions. Feel free to give us your feedback, suggestions and opinions on any of the games; we’d love to hear it!
For those who do not bet with Betfair, laying a team is the same as betting the double chance on most totes for the team we expect to win or draw.
September 22nd Fixture
Swansea ($3.05) Versus Everton ($2.50), Draw ($3.45)
Swansea seem to have lost their mojo a little after a blinder of a start to the season but their past two matches have seen a draw to Sunderland and a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa. It’s almost the same story for Everton though their 2-2 draw against Newcastle should have really been a win after two controversial decisions resulted in 2 goals disallowed. Everton had more of the ball against Newcastle and they were also more potent with their passing in their attacking third. Swansea still have their passing game going having had the majority of possession against Villa as well as a high passing accuracy percentage, they have just lacked finishing in front of goal. What they have in their favour is that generally they are tough to beat at home but Everton did beat them in their last corresponding fixture last season. Watch for the influence of Baines and Pienaar down the left whom have both been in fantastic form for Everton.
Predicted result: Everton 2-1
Betting option: None
September 23rd Fixture
Chelsea ($1.39) Versus Stoke ($10.50), Draw ($5.10)
Chelsea unearthed another star after Oscar’s stunning 2 goal debut against Juventus in the Champion’s league though they were unable to get the win. They also had a tough game against QPR where they were unable to penetrate QPRs defence which raised questions again regarding their depth in strikers. Stoke on the other hand were able to yet again sustain waves of attacks from Man City and pinch a draw after taking the lead early on through Peter Crouch. Stoke is strong defensively at home, but travelling to Stamford bridge, they will struggle against the pressure of an attacking Chelsea who for the most part have looked irresistible in midfield this season. Look for Chelsea to get back on the winner’s list.
Predicted result: Chelsea 2-0
Betting option: Chelsea to win at $1.39
Southampton ($2.46) Versus Aston Villa ($3.10), Draw ($3.50)
Southampton will be thankful to return home after their embarrassing performance against Arsenal. Ignoring this result, the Saints have been quite impressive without getting the results on the board and it should be noted that they have had tough opposition in Man United, Man City and Arsenal of which they have pushed both Manchester teams. Villa finally got on the winner’s list and earned some respect with a great win over a super impressive Swansea this season. Villa are looking in better form in the past few weeks though Southampton will be wanting to bounce back very strongly after their poor showing against the Gunners. Expect them to come out firing in front of their home crowd.
Predicted result: Southampton 1-0
Betting option: Under 2.5 goals at $1.96
West Brom ($1.84) Versus Reading ($4.90), Draw ($3.85)
Both teams here will be looking for a win after poor performances last week. West Brom had been impressive this season but their form has dropped a little with the 3-0 loss to Fulham as well as the sending off of Odemwingie. Reading were poor from the outset at home against Spurs where they struggled to get the ball through the centre of the pitch due to the dominance Tottenham’s midfield. They’ll need to improve drastically if they are to get a result against WBA. Look for WBA to get back on the winner’s list with a strong performance at home with the only threat being if Reading can get Pogrebnyak into the game as his influence against Spurs was effectively nil.
Predicted result: West Brom 2-1
Betting option: West Brom to win at $1.84
West Ham ($2.22) Versus Sunderland ($3.75), Draw ($3.45)
The last time these two played Sunderland ran out 3-0 winners, though this was in May 2011. West Ham had a tough contest with Norwich and will be looking to get another win on the board after a pretty good season so far. Sunderland has been ok so far without being super impressive this season, though their transfer activity certainly shows their intent. Look for Adam Johnson if he makes his debut as he’ll add plenty of quality and attacking flair to their flanks. West Ham are yet to concede a goal at home and their veteran keeper in Jaaskelainen is in super form. This should be a tight contest and all things considered this is looking like it could end in a draw.
Predicted result: draw 1-1
Betting option: none
Wigan ($2.48) Versus Fulham ($3.20), Draw ($3.40)
Wigan had a familiar but tough time at Old Trafford losing to Man United 4-0 whilst Fulham enjoyed being back on the winners list with a 3-0 win over WBA thanks to new signing Berbatov with 2 goals. Fulham were incredibly accurate with their passing against WBA with 92% accuracy as well as more than triple the number of successful passes in their attacking third which reflects their 23 attempts on goal to 10. If they continue this type of play, they look hard to beat. Going against Wigan further is that they have not beaten Fulham at home in their past 5 matches with 4 resulting in draws and their last meeting at the DW Stadium resulted in a 2-0 win to Fulham. Watch for Berbatov to continue his good form as he strives to prove his old team wrong for letting him go.
Predicted result: Fulham 2-1
Betting option: Lay Wigan at $2.48
Liverpool ($2.82) Versus Manchester United ($2.78), Draw ($3.40)
This is sure to be one of the most anticipated matches of the weekend. Liverpool is still looking for their first win after their worst start to a season in over 50 years. Importantly for Liverpool was the performance and influence of Joe Allen as well as the rise of Sterling. Allen had a huge 113 passes at 91% accuracy which suggests he’s starting to feel more at home in Liverpool’s midfield and he should only get better. United had a regulation win over Wigan without stars Rooney and Van Persie. With the expected return of Van Persie to the heart of United’s attack, it’ll be a difficult day for Liverpool to contain his influence. With Liverpool leaving stars Gerrard and Suarez at home for their Europa league clash against Young Boys of Bern, it shows their intent and real focus is on this Man United game. Last season this match resulted in a 1-1 draw at Anfield and this is starting to look like it could be a similar result.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Betting option: none
September 24th Fixture
Newcastle ($1.75) Versus Norwich ($5.60), Draw ($3.90)
Newcastle got out of jail against Everton in a controversial but exciting match ending in a 2-2 draw in the final stages. The disallowed goals and in particular the clearance by Mike Williamson from behind the goal line denied Everton another fine win considering they had almost 60% possession as well as double the shots on target. Newcastle will be breathing a sigh of relief and will look forward to their home encounter against a Norwich team that was unlucky to not snatch a win against West Ham at home. The Canaries were denied by a sublime keeping display from Jaaskelainen but more telling was their 9 shots on target to West Ham’s 3 which suggests they lack a bit of killer instinct. The last 4 games at St James Park have seen Newcastle win 3 and draw 1 with their last meeting here ending 1-0. Expect Newcastle to put in a stronger performance at home this week with the possible return of Tiote adding to their cause. Watch for Norwich’s Snodgrass to continue his good form.
Predicted result: Newcastle 2-1
Betting option: Newcastle to win at $1.75
Manchester City ($1.79) Versus Arsenal ($3.95), Draw ($3.90)
Another enticing matchup sees Manchester City host an in form Gunners team full of confidence after their 6-1 rout of Southampton and their 2-1 win over Montpellier away in the Champion’s league. Manchester City on the other hand has had it a little tougher with a draw at Stoke and then losing to Real Madrid 3-2 when they looked to have wrapped things up. They’ll be looking to bounce back quickly in front of their home crowd to get their inconsistent season back on track. It’s very hard to go against Man City at home but with Arsenal back on the winning list and full of confidence through the likes of Podolski scoring goals one must think that this will be a very close game. If Arsenal start strongly they can certainly get a result but they were a little shaky in their defence against Montpellier dropping an early goal which could hang in the back of their mind.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Betting option: none
Tottenham ($1.50) Versus QPR ($8), Draw ($4.50)
It took 3 games but Spurs finally got their first win of the season beating Reading 3-1. But they got more than just the 3 points – They regained some much needed confidence. They attacked from the outset and this is shown in their 8 shots on target out of 23 attempts compared to Reading’s 2 out of 6. QPR on the other hand put up a strong performance against Chelsea resulting in a 0-0 draw but what is important to note is that both teams were equal at 12 attempts on goal with Chelsea only having 1 more shot on target. Coming up against Spurs at White Hart Lane is going to be a tough task for QPR compounded by the loss of Andrew Johnson to an ACL. The last time these two met at White Hart Lane resulted in a 3-1 win to Tottenham with Bale scoring a brace. The only question over Tottenham is their form at home so far this season having let 2 wins slip away for draws in the final stages. But given they have some of their mojo back heading into a home game, it’s hard to go against Spurs.
Predicted result: 2-1
Betting option: Tottenham to win at $1.50
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. Bet at your own risk.
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