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Bournemouth v Southampton
Bournemouth have surpassed all expectation so far and actually remain unbeaten under Gary O’Neil (W2-D3). They haven’t been enthralling by any stretch of the imagination, though they’ve been effective, and they’ll be happy to be sitting in the top half of the table at this stage of the season.
Southampton earned themselves a point at home to West Ham at the weekend, though they conceded 25 shots across the 90 minutes, and they can ill afford to be as defensively frail again here if they want to pick up points.
The Saints have now lost six of their last seven away games, scoring twice and conceding 17 times across those six defeats, while the exception came narrowly over a struggling Leicester this season. Four of those defeats came by at least three clear goals, though we wouldn’t expect Bournemouth to put them to the sword having not won by a single strike since the opening day of the season.
It’s strange to see Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men as favourites here, and the hosts on the double chance looks a really strong bet.
BOURNEMOUTH – DRAW (DOUBLE CHANCE)
Liverpool v West Ham
Many had Liverpool written off in their Sunday clash with Man City as the visitors came into the game odds-on favourites, though Jurgen Klopp’s men proved Anfield remains the hardest ground to come to in the league, and West Ham have a serious challenge on their hands.
A 1-1 draw at St Mary’s isn’t the best results for West Ham, who converted just 4% of their total shots at the weekend. With that said, they’ll be happy with a performance that, on another day, could have yielded a much more favourable scoreline, and a similar performance here could cause Liverpool issues.
The Reds are on a 28 match home unbeaten run now, so we’re ruling out the away win on that basis alone, though a stalemate isn’t out of the question. With their win at the weekend, it’s easy to forget how unconvincing Liverpool have been this season, as aside from their anomalous 9-0 win over Bournemouth, they’ve drawn with Brighton and Palace here, scraping past Newcastle in the dying second too, and we’re happy to get behind West Ham nabbing a point at a lengthy price.
Brentford v Chelsea
A 2-0 win over Villa at the weekend is a scoreline that flatters Chelsea, with Kepa Arrizabalaga’s heroics the only thing stopping them going into the break behind. Mason Mount looks back to his best, though the Community Stadium is a tough place to go and this certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion.
It’s hard to know which Brentford side is going to show up. After hammering Leeds 5-2, they then went on a run of three games without a goal from open play and conceding eight times, before bouncing back with an impressive 2-0 win over a tough Brighton side last weekend.
The Blues were lucky to come away with three points here last term with Ben Chilwell’s goal supported by a string of Edouard Mendy wonder-saves, though their luck ran out in the reverse fixture as they lost 4-1 to Thomas Frank’s men.
Against the ‘big-six’, the Bees have taken points off Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and Man United since their promotion last season, and we’ll back them to put a halt to the Blues’ momentum.
BRENTFORD – DRAW (DOUBLE CHANCE)
Newcastle v Everton
Newcastle have lost just once this season, away at Liverpool, but six of their 10 matches so far have ended in a stalemate. Although they’ll be happy with a point each from clashes with Man City and Man Utd, with the latter their latest result, they’ve dropped points to Brighton, Wolves, Palace and Bournemouth this season and Everton could frustrate them in this one too.
The Toffees head into this fixture off back-to-back defeats, against Man Utd and Tottenham, but they’ve been involved in a number of low-scoring games this term and will seek to keep things tight. Seven of their 10 matches to date have featured fewer than three goals, while none of them exceeded that tally.
Newcastle aren’t exactly struggling for output with 17 goals in 10 games this season, though both Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak are injured with hamstring and thigh problems respectively, denying the Magpies a couple of key attacking weapons. In any case, the club’s transfer moves since the Saudi-led takeover have been primarily focused on the backline, as Newcastle actually hold the best defensive record this term.
Everton have only shipped two more goals at the back as this looks set to be a low-scoring affair. Indeed, only Wolves, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest have scored fewer goals than the Toffees this season, so don’t expect them to go for the jugular even if Dominic Calvert-Lewing could make his return from injury here.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Man Utd v Tottenham
Arsenal and Man City’s Erling Haaland may be generating the headlines this season, but Tottenham are quietly going about their business and are level on points with Pep Guardiola’s side. United are in fifth place following the weekend’s results, but will feel that they’re heading in the right direction under Erik ten Haag.
The Red Devils struggled for creativity versus Newcastle in absence of Christian Eriksen, but the goalless stalemate leaves them with a W8-D1-L2 record in all competitions since mid-August, with the defeats inflicted by Real Sociedad in Europe and away at Man City domestically. The Danish midfielder may return here, as could Anthony Martial, while Scott McTominay will be available again following suspension.
Antonio Conte will be without Richarlison after the attacker went down with a calf complaint at the weekend, while Dejan Kulusevski remains a major doubt on the comeback trail from a hamstring injury. That could necessitate a change in formation, with one of the three attacking slots sacrificed to bring Yves Bissouma into the midfield, whilst elsewhere Matt Doherty should continue to deputize for the suspended Emerson at right-back.
These two sides have shared some explosive encounters of the past few seasons, with five of the last six meetings seeing both sides register on the scoreboard, as each of the last four produced a minimum of three goals at an average of 4.75 per game. Man Utd have seen both sides score and over 2.5 goals in clashes with Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City this season, suggesting this could be a common theme against the top sides. Meanwhile, the same has occurred in Tottenham’s two toughest clashes this season, against Chelsea and Arsenal, as those games saw four goals apiece.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE AND OVER 2.5 GOALS
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