Southampton v Manchester United
Che Adams was agonisingly close to a hat-trick last weekend after coming on in the 59th minute and scoring a brace, then hitting the post in the 90th minute of the game. Sekou Mara replaced him up top and managed to get a goal but it was chalked off due to an offside.
Everyone assumed that Man United didn’t have a chance going into their Monday night fixture against Liverpool. They came out of the blocks much faster than Liverpool, who failed to get into the game until the last 15 minutes of play and by then it was too little too late.
The Red Devils performed extremely well against Jurgen Klopp’s outfit and looked the more threatening side, with their tiki-taka one-two style of football that Erik ten Hag so clearly favours. United look good value to win this game considering that Southampton are winless in their last 10 against United (D6-L4). Moreover, the players will feel confident after their last performance, in addition to being boosted by the capture of Casemiro, who should be fit enough to start the game.
MAN UNITED TO WIN
Chelsea v Leicester City
The Blues were humiliated in their last outing against Leeds at Elland Road. A 3-0 scoreline didn’t quite reflect the true nature of the game, but Chelsea rank ninth in the xG table and have thoroughly underperformed in this stat over their first three games, with a total xG of just 4.46. They’ve only managed to bag three goals so far, only reaffirming the need for a central striker.
Leicester only have a single point to their name, which will leave the fans disappointed especially after throwing away points from winning positions. They were 2-0 up against Brentford in the first week, only to be pegged back to 2-2, while last week they went 1-0 up thanks to a beautiful James Maddison free-kick, but a brace from Che Adams meant they lost the game.
It has been a close fought affair in the last ten outings between the two sides, though Chelsea just come out on top with a record of W3-D5-L2. However, their record at the Bridge is an even W1-D3-L1 against the Foxes, while the Foxes also got the better of them on neutral territory at Wembley in the 2021 FA Cup final.
Of the six combined games that the teams have played so far, the only one to finish with under 2.5 goals was Chelsea’s first game against Everton (1-0). Further, with Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Chelsea and Wesley Fofana unavailable for selection at present, with the Blues attempting to bring the French defender to London, both sides should be weaker at the back as well.
OVER 2.5 GOALS
Brighton v Leeds
Brighton are undefeated going into this game against the Peacocks, securing wins over Man Utd on the opening day and at West Ham last time out, sandwiching a goalless stalemate when hosting Newcastle. Graham Potter has demonstrated that he is quality manager and the club appear well-placed to build upon a ninth-place finish last term, with a push for a Europa Conference League spot a possibility this time around.
With a difficult end to last season, everyone had written Jesse Marsch’s Leeds off as a middle to lower-table side, but he’s proving the doubters wrong with the same string as results as Brighton. The two teams here are level on points with Man City and Tottenham, with little to separate them so far.
When Brighton are playing, we normally recommend under 2.5 goals because it is an extremely profitable market for the Seagulls (25 of their 38 games last year). It has come off in their last two outings, but Leeds seem to be on a rampage recently with all of their games finishing with over 2.5 goals. However, we are definitely still tempted by this market, with all four meetings over the past two years resulting in a winning bet for under 2.5 goals.
Brighton have only lost one of their last 12 games (W7-D4-L1), against Man City, but they did also manage a pair of wins over Man Utd and West Ham twice each, as well as victories over Arsenal and Spurs. We believe they will be able to carry on this strong form against a Leeds side punching above their weight.
BRIGHTON –2.5 GOALS (0.5PTS)
Man City v Crystal Palace
The Citizens were winless in their games against Palace last year, with a 2-0 loss at the Etihad one of the surprise results of the season, while they also drew 0-0 at Selhurst Park. Despite Palace being a bogey team last season, things will most likely change this time around, with City looking even stronger following the addition of Erling Haaland.
The Eagles have had a tricky start to the season having already faced both Arsenal and Liverpool. Despite only getting one point from these two games, there was plenty for Patrick Vieira to be pleased about, specifically the stand-out performance of Joachim Anderson who has proved to be a fantastic signing for Palace.
Since the start of the 2017/18, Guardiola has played 80 games against teams that finished in the middle-third and has a record of W62-D9-L9. Over the last 32 games they have only had six results that weren’t a win, two of those being against Palace. During these games, 19 of the 32 finished with under 3.5 goals (10 of the 16 home games as well).
Patrick Vieira has had a full season in charge now and over his 12 games against teams that finished in the top six, ten of them have finished with under 3.5 goals, while five of the six away games had the same result.
UNDER 3.5 GOALS
Liverpool v Bournemouth
Liverpool have started poorly this season and are winless throughout their first three games, with only two points to their name. There have only been two occasions where a team has failed win any of their first three games and went on to win the league, both of which were Man Utd in 1992/93 and 1998/99.
After a strong start to the season when the Cherries beat Aston Villa on the opening day of the season, they have gone onto lose 4-0 to Man City and 3-0 against Arsenal. Whilst these aren’t games that they should be winning, it may emphasize some of the issues that Bournemouth have defensively.
If Liverpool can’t get a win here then their title chances would seemingly be all but over and it would be seen as nothing but a failure. However, they are normally very strong at Anfield and we expect that to continue despite not flying out the blocks this season.
When Liverpool play newly-promoted sides at Anfield, they are force to be reckoned with (W13-D1-L1) and managed to keep a clean sheet in nine of these games. On the inverse, Bournemouth have played 18 away games against top six teams from 17/18 - 19/20 and have a record of W2-D0-L16 as they failed to score in eight of these games.
LIVERPOOL TO WIN TO NIL
Brentford v Everton
The Bees’ were 2-0 down in the first half against London rivals Fulham, but managed to get the game back to level pegging. However, it wasn’t to be for Brentford, with Mitrovic scoring a winner in the dying embers of the game. By and large it has been a good start for Brentford though, with a stunning win over United and a draw against Leicester after coming back from 2-0 down.
Everton have had an awful start to the season and currently hold just one point, thanks to a late Demarai Gray goal in their most recent game against Nottingham Forest. If they can’t beat Steve Cooper’s outfit at Goodison though, it begs the question of where Frank Lampard’s side are going to pick up points throughout the season.
Brentford won both of their encounters with Everton last year (2-0 H, 3-2 A) and had a good record against bottom-six sides. Over 12 games against such opponents, they have a record of W7-D1-L4, with 10 out of the 12 games finishing with over 2.5 goals.
Everton’s poor away form has continued into this season. They won two games on the road last term and walked away with just 10 points from their 19 away games. 12 of the 19 road trips finished with +2.5 goals.
BRENTFORD TO WIN
OVER 2.5 GOALS
Arsenal v Fulham
The Gunners are the only team to have won their opening three games and look in fantastic form going into this London derby. The important thing for Arsenal is to see if they can carry on this good run of games into a prolonged period of time, which has been their biggest issue over the past few years.
Fulham have been one of the stand-out performers of the Premier League so far, and are currently undefeated with a win and two draws to their name. Their opening game against Liverpool was a perfect example of the importance of not underestimating your opponent, especially in the Premier League.
Arsenal are undefeated in 15 home games against newly-promoted sides (W12-D3) over the last five seasons. Whereas, Fulham have only two wins in their 24 most recent games against top six sides (W2-D3-L19).
Both sides have had two of three games finish with +2.5 goals, but Arsenal have had nine goals in their last two games. We believe that Arsenal’s attack will be too much to handle for the backline of Fulham.
ARSENAL TO WIN AND OVER 2.5 GOALS
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