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Brentford v Tottenham
The Bee’s pulled off a famous win at the Etihad Stadium before the break commenced, a 90th minute winner against the defending champions to complete Ivan Toney’s brace was enough to seal a historic win over the best team in the world. Despite this match, Brentford have struggled for form this year and have only won four of the 15 matches played, although they have only lost one match at home which was a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal (W3-D3-L1).
Antonio Conte had some work to do in the Tottenham camp over this break, only three wins from their last eight competitive matches means that they will need to pick up there form in order to remain in the charge for the title. In the three matches they won, they came from behind in all of them which is not a common occurrence and it is because they struggle to get a hold of the game in the first half of play, Tottenham have scored 21 second-half goals (68%) this year which is over double the amount in the first (10).
Both sides need to do something about their current defensive form with Tottenham conceding at least two goals in their last five Premier League matches and Brentford have seen eight goals put past them in their last four games, including a 4-0 humbling by Aston Villa. These teams both lack a real leader in the defensive line and because of that we don’t see these getting better anytime soon.
OVER 2.5 GOALS
Crystal Palace v Fulham
The break came a little too early for Crystal Palace as they were just starting to pick up points. Through their last seven matches they have picked up 13 points (W4-D1-L2) whereas in their first seven matches they only managed to garner six points (W1-D3-L3), it must be said that during their first seven, five of the games were against Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle.
Fulham’s final two matches before the break were against the two giants of Manchester, both of which ended 2-1 and were lost by Fulham in added time, with a 93rd minute winner from Alejandro Garnacho for Man Utd and 95th minute penalty from Erling Haaland for the Sky Blues.
A win for the Eagles here could see them move up five spots to sixth place and judging by their home record they look good money for it. Fulham are also notoriously bad against London sides, the Cottagers have only won one of their last 26 Premier League matches against other teams from the capital (W1-D5-L20 since 2018/19 season)
There is certainly value to be found in the overs market with six of Fulham’s seven away games ending with over 2.5 goals and four of Palace’s seven having the same result. In all their matches, Fulham have seen overs in 13/15 and Palace are 50/50 split through their 14 matches.
PALACE TO WIN
OVER 2.5 GOALS
Everton v Wolves
Everton haven’t managed to get going this year, the loss of Richarlison has left a huge hole in the attacking end of the pitch and his replacement, Neal Maupay, is not on the same level as the former Everton striker. The Toffee’s are not in a good position as of now and through 15 matches are having their equally worst season in the last ten years (2019/20 had the same number of points).
Wolves have been through a torrid time as of late, their only win in their last nine matches came at home against Nottingham Forest (1-0) and they only managed to score five goals during this period of matches. Julen Lopetegui has his work cut out for him but he started off on the right foot with a 2-0 win over Gillingham in the EFL Cup, even if they did have to wait until 77th minute to break the deadlock.
During Lopetegui’s time at Sevilla, he managed 121 games for Sevilla and has similarities to the previous coach, Bruno Lage, in terms of defensive organisation and rigidness. Over the course of these matches, 77 of them finished with under 2.5 goals (64%) including the first five games that he was in charge of which says to us that he will focus on the defense before moving to a slightly more attacking approach later down the line. Everton have seen unders in 66% of their league matches this year whilst Wolves see slightly more with 60%.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Leicester v Newcastle
After winning just one of their opening nine matches (W1-D1-L7), Leicester picked up some decent form before the World Cup break. The Foxes have won four of their last five league matches and their only loss came against Manchester City (1-0). Over their last eight matches they’ve kept six clean sheets, conceding three goals in the process (1 v City and 2 v Bournemouth).
Newcastle are still on fine form despite the month break, a recent 1-0 win over Bournemouth in the EFL Cup wasn’t a flashy display but it was another clean sheet against a Premier league side which means that eight of their 16 matches against top-flight teams have resulted in a clean sheet for Newcastle.
The Magpies have a fantastic record this year, losing only one of their 15 league matches this year (2-1 v Liverpool) despite playing five of the big six already this season, three of which were away.
Although Leicester have been through a period of good form, they weren’t really tested during these games and the only test they had ended up in a loss but due to both sides having impeccable defensive showings recently we think unders is the where the value lies.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Arsenal v West Ham
Arsenal were dealt a hammer blow during the World Cup with Gabriel Jesus picking up a serious knee injury which could leave him sidelined for as long as three months. Although he only has five Premier League goals to his name in a red shirt, his influence on the way the Gunners play is unparalleled and he will be sorely missed.
West Ham had five players go to the World Cup, the most notable of these was Nayef Aguerd who led Morocco to the semi-finals for the first time in African history. He was solid as a rock in the middle of defence and proved the doubters wrong when it comes to his £30m price tag.
Eddie Nketiah will need to step-up if Arsenal are to carry on their title bid and although they don’t need to win this match to remain in the top spot, the Gunners will want to restart their season on a positive note.
Arsenal have only failed to win two league matches this year (3-1 v United and 1-1 v Southampton) and have won all six of their home games. Their H2H stats against West Ham are also very favourable with only one loss in the last five season (W7-D2-L1). The five home matches have all resulted in wins for Arsenal and they have won by more than one goal on three of the five occasions. They’ve also won by more than one goal in three of six home games this year and seven of their 14 total games.
ARSENAL –1 HANDICAP
Southampton v Brighton
The Saints will be buoyed by their 2-1 win in the League Cup over Lincoln City, especially having gone a goal down early on in the contest, and new manager Nathan Jones will be hoping they can transfer that over to the league where they look to be facing a relegation scrap this season.
Brighton have had a mixed bag of results as Roberto de Zerbi looks to get to grips with English football. A struggling start saw them winless across his opening five matches, although they did face all of Liverpool, Spurs and Man City in that run. Wins over Chelsea and Arsenal have got fans hoping again, though exit in the League Cup this week against Charlton shows there is still work to be done.
Three of the last five head-to-heads have ended all square, and there’s every chance we see something similar again here in what could be a low scoring, even contest. Early season form holds less gravitas here than it does in other matches as we have two relatively fresh managers going toe-to-toe, and while Brighton have been a strong side this season, they’re just W3-D3-L4 under current management, and the value looks to be with another stalemate.
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Liverpool played out another enthralling clash with Man City last week, though were on the wrong end of a 3-2 score line, leaving the FA Cup their most realistic chance of silverware this season. They showed some tired legs towards the end of that contest at the Etihad, though that’s understandable after a lengthy layoff, and they’ll be happy to get some competitive minutes in unlike their opponents here.
Villa have been strong at home this season going W4-D1-L2, a run which has included a win over Man United, an impressive 4-0 thumping of a tough Brentford side and a well-earned draw with Man City. Unai Emery looks to have turned things around somewhat as his side are pushing for a top-half finish, and they’ll be confident of getting something here against a below par Liverpool side.
Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s men have been poor on the road all season, winning just one of seven such matches against Premier League sides (W1-D2-L4), while even in their win over Spurs they could be considered very lucky to have held on. They’ll be hoping the rest will kick start their season, though they’ll feel deflated coming off the back of a cup exit, and we’ll get behind the home side on the handicap.
VILLA +1 HANDICAP
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