Man City v Leicester
A 4-0 win over Wolves last weekend certainly flattered Leicester, who only managed five shots to their opponents’ 21, though they’ll still take confidence from the result.
Man City have stumbled slightly after an electric start to the campaign, and have won just one of their last four in all competitions. While their home form has been a perfect played eight, won eight, with an average of 4.25 goals scored per game, their away form has been suspect, with a record of just W3-D4-L1 across all competitions, and this is by no means a foregone conclusion.
The Foxes have lost to nil in each of the last three league head-to-heads at the King power, though they kept the games tight with two of the defeats coming by just the one strike, and all three seeing the sides go in level at the break.
It’s also been 0-0 at half time in four of Man City’s last six away outings this season, while Leicester have only been behind at the break once on home soil this season and we’ll back the hosts to keep it tight for the first half at least.
Newcastle v Villa
Newcastle have proven to be one of the toughest sides to beat this season, despite their numerous attacking injuries. Indeed, they’ve lost just one of their 12 outings this season, with that coming deep into injury time at Anfield, but they look to have put that behind them now with an unbeaten run of W4-D3 since.
Villa looked a side who had burst free of their shackles when they took a 3-0 lead within 15 minutes against Brentford. Unai Emery hasn’t had much chance to work with his new side, though this provides the perfect opportunity for some of the fringe players to show their worth, and we’d expect them all to be at the races.
While the Magpies are the odds-on favourites, we expect Villa’s manager bounce to play a part here and the stalemate looks a decent price.
Bournemouth v Spurs
Three matches without a win now for Spurs across all competitions has seen the likes of Newcastle, Chelsea and Man United close the gap on them. In fairness, their two defeats have come against two of those sides and they’ll be more confident of taking three points against Bournemouth this weekend.
The Cherries have been in good form under Gary O’Neil, though after an unbeaten start they’ve now suffered back-to-back defeats-to-nil against Southampton and West Ham, and it’s not exactly going to get easier here.
Bournemouth have now failed to score in seven of their 12 outings this season, with no team having a higher percentage than that, while only Southampton and Nottingham Forest have picked up fewer points on home soil.
Antonio Conte’s men have a relatively poor away record this season (W2-D2-L2), though they’ve won all five matches they’ve played against bottom half sides this year, with three of those coming to nil and we’d expect Spurs to bounce right back here.
SPURS TO WIN TO NIL
Brentford v Wolves
Wolves are mired in a dreadful run of form that started in early April, going W2-D5-L12 as their only victories came at Molineux in narrow 1-0 wins over Southampton and Nottingham Forest. They struggled for goals last term as only the relegated trio registered fewer successful efforts, but there’s no sign of that improving and especially in the absence of injured attacking quartet Pedro Neto, Raul Jimenez, Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho. Their latest outing saw them humbled 4-0 at home to Leicester, representing a fifth defeat from six appearances, as even their usual defensive stability has deserted them.
In fact, no team has seen fewer goals in their games this term than the midlands club, with seven of their last 11 featuring fewer than three, while at least one team failed to score in nine of them. Brentford have also seen at least one team draw a blank in five of their last six, including a pair of goalless stalemates with Bournemouth and Chelsea. However, the Bees should edge this one on home turf, with the club an impressive W6-D3-L2 since March at the Community Stadium, with all but one of their victories accompanied by a clean sheet.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
BRENTFORD TO WIN TO NIL
Brighton v Chelsea
Brighton are yet to win since Graham Potter departed for the Chelsea dugout, losing three of five matches, even if these have included challenging assignments with Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City. They’re still creating chances, but the lack of a clinical marksman continues to thwart their efforts, with an increasing reliance upon winger Leandro Trossard for output.
Chelsea have seen their results pick up under Potter, who remains unbeaten at the helm after nine games. That includes six wins from the last eight, most notable for a pair of commanding victories over AC Milan in Europe, though like Brighton they also suffer from the absence of a reliable central striker.
Chelsea’s defence has taken a hit with Reece James, Wesley Fofana and N’Golo Kante all sidelined, while Kalidou Koulibaly is a slight doubt. However, the latter should be able to recover in time to help alleviate the situation and partner Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah at the back. Brighton have managed just the solitary goal across their past four outings, so it shouldn’t prove too taxing an afternoon for the visitors.
CHELSEA TO WIN
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Crystal Palace suffered a dispiriting 3-0 defeat on the road at Everton last time out, but there’s no need for any panic or overreaction. Their other three defeats this season have been inflicted by heavyweights Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea, while Selhurst Park is normally something of a fortress for them.
Indeed, the Eagles have only lost twice in 12 home league games (to Arsenal and Chelsea), winning five of the last eight there. They can blow a bit hot and cold when taking on elite sides, but hosting teams outside the top six, Palace have lost just twice in 17 games since the start of last season, including victories over the likes of Aston Villa, Leeds and Wolves this term alone.
The Saints may enter this fixture unbeaten in three, drawing home games with West Ham and Arsenal, as well as taking maximum points away to Bournemouth. However, they had lost their previous four appearances, while they’ve only scored four goals across the seven games in total. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are just W2-D3-L8 away in the league going back to mid-February, losing six of the last eight, so home advantage should prove key here.
PALACE TO WIN
Fulham v Everton
Fulham continue to go from strength to strength after back-to-back victories over Aston Villa (3-0) and Leeds (3-2). They’ve only lost one of six home games this season and didn’t fail to score in any of them, bagging at least two goals on five occasions as both teams also scored in five of them.
Everton come into this fixture off the back of their best performance so far this season, downing Palace 3-0 at Goodison Park. They had lost their previous three fixtures, but these were tough fixtures against Man Utd, Tottenham and Newcastle, while of their other two defeats this season, one was inflicted by another top side in Chelsea.
Still, it’s hard to ignore the Toffees form on the road, where they’ve won just twice since September 2021 (W2-D5-L16). They are however finding the net, despite the sale of Richarlison this summer, with both sides scoring in five of their last seven on their travels, as only Tottenham and Newcastle were able to register clean sheets.
Both teams have scored in a massive 10 of Fulham’s 12 games this season, with the Cottagers drawing a blank just once. However, with their only clean sheets to date picked up at lowing-scoring Wolves and against Aston Villa in Steven Gerrard’s last game in charge, we’re unconvinced they can keep a clean sheet.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
FULHAM TO WIN
Liverpool v Leeds
Jesse Marsch is under serious pressure with his side now having lost six of eight winless games, including each of the last four. That’s despite only playing one side from the current top six during this run, Arsenal, so a trip to Anfield was the last thing they needed.
Liverpool may have slipped up on the road at Nottingham Forest last weekend, but a commanding 3-0 win at Ajax midweek leaves them with four victories from their past five appearances. Rangers were annihilated 7-1 at Ibrox, while there were hard-fought 1-0 wins over both Man City and West Ham at Anfield.
Anfield remains a fortress, with Liverpool unbeaten there in 29 league games, including 17 wins from the last 20 as 13 were accompanied by clean sheets. Liverpool enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win at Elland Road last term before handing out a 6-0 mauling at Anfield,
LIVERPOOL TO WIN
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