Tottenham v Fulham
After Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with West Ham in the mid-week fixture, Spurs sit in 3rd place and are four points off the leaders and fierce rivals, Arsenal. When Tottenham signed their players early in the window it sent a message to the other teams that Conte got his targets early and that they would start on the front foot, whilst they haven’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination, they haven’t been as strong as many people thought they’d be.
Fulham have sent a message in their first four games and if they can carry on this form for even half a season then they are guaranteed to stay up. The Cottagers seem to have broken the mould of their former selves, the “yo-yo” style of being promoted then relegated the following season might just be over.
Fulham have shown themselves to be an exciting team to watch, four of their five games have had over 2.5 goals and two of those four reached 3.5 goals. They have only failed to score in one game (Wolves A 0-0) whilst Tottenham have hit the net in every game so far and three of their five matches have had both teams scoring.
The two most recent seasons Fulham were in the Premier League (2018-19, 2020-21) they didn’t record a win against teams based in London, their record was P22 W0-D5-L17. They most recently managed a win over Brentford to stop this run but may show itself again after a loss to Arsenal.
SPURS TO WIN AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Nottingham Forest v Bournemouth
Forest have a fantastic opportunity to get a second win in their Premier League campaign, they face off against a struggling Bournemouth side that has conceded 16 goals in goals in their last four games. A 0-0 draw against Wolves on Wednesday night would have been a confidence booster for the Dorset side.
Whilst Bournemouth haven’t been up to par, Forest have also struggled to put a good run of form together. A win and a draw in their second and third game followed by eight conceded goals without reply against Tottenham (0-2) and Manchester City (0-6).
Both sides are newly promoted to the Premier League which means they would have played each other in the Championship last year. Over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons they played one another four times and the results are heavily in Bournemouth’s favour, W3-D1. The two games played at Forest’s home ground were 0-0 and 2-1, the 2-1 was the only game out of the four with +2.5 goals.
Whilst the unders market wasn’t a particular theme for either team in the Championship last year, with 23/46 Bournemouth and 26/46 Forest games with under 2.5 goals, it seems to being under valued by the bookies.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Brentford v Leeds
The Bees have proved a lot of people wrong with the way they have started this year, lots of people thought they would suffer a similar fate to Sheffield United when they over-performed in their first year and were obliterated in their second season, but they have held their own and have set themselves up for a bright future in the Premier League.
Jesse Marsch has had a similar story to Brentford, when he arrived at Leeds after being sacked for doing a particularly poor job at Leipzig where he W7-D4-L9, the fans hopes for his success were at an all time low. His record at Leeds is W6-D5-L6 in the Premier League which is very respectable considering three of his losses were against Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Both sides have drawn a fair number of their opening games, three for Brentford (2-2 Leicester, 1-1 Everton, 1-1 Palace) and two for Leeds (2-2 Southampton, 1-1 Everton). The two games against each other last year both finished with +2.5 goals and there was a draw (2-2) and a win for Leeds (2-1).
When you consider the sides which both teams drew against and that they are of similar stature, the draw seems to be where the value lies.
Chelsea v West Ham
It’s been a troubling start to the season for Chelsea who sit tenth with a balanced W2-D1-L2, and with the money they’ve spent they’ll be hoping the new squad can jell. A tough London derby isn’t what they need at the moment, and anything other than three points will bring up questions over Thomas Tuchel.
West Ham have been growing into the season after a poor start, though they continue to struggle in front of goal. Antonio put in a solid display in their draw with Spurs in midweek, and the return of Gianluca Scamacca will be a welcome one, though the Italian talisman still needs time to adjust to the pace of the Premier League.
No side has scored less than West Ham’s two so far this season, though only five sides have managed to conceded more than Tuchel’s side, who’ll be desperate to get back to the defensive resolve that he’s been known for over the course of his reign so far.
This is not a side that Chelsea have had much joy against in recent years, or as much as you’d expect. Since the beginnings of the 2015/16 season, they have an equal record of W6-D3-L6 across all competitions, though what is in the blues’ favour is that they’ll be at Stamford Bridge. While their record against the Hammers leaves a lot to be desired, they’ve only lost once here in 17 outings against them now going back to 2002, winning three of the last four outings to nil.
The arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should provide more than enough competition up top, though he remains out with a broken jaw for a few weeks, giving Kai Havertz a few more opportunities to stake his claim as the starting forward. Reece James will likely return form illness for this one, and the narrative is that he’s being wasted on the right side of a back three. Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injury and Wesley Fofana’s arrival paves the way for James to return to right wing-back where he can cause the most damage.
Craig Dawson and Ben Johnson remain out in defence for David Moyes’ men who are struggling with their away form despite their victory over a weak Villa side last week. Indeed, they have a poor W2-D1-L7 away record since New Year’s Day, while they lost all six away outings against the ‘Big-Six’ last season.
The hosts will be going all out for the win to ease a bit of pressure, though West Ham’s intensity could be an issue. Both have struggled in front of goal, and with the visitors poor away record we’d expect this to be low scoring tight encounter, so under 2.5 goals appeals. It happened in four of those aforementioned six away outings last year, while both West Ham’s away games this year have ended 1-0.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Wolves v Southampton
The Wanderers have struggled in their opening games, they are winless through their first five and have never found that final touch to kill the game off. The way Wolves have started should be of some concern to the fans, they seem to be lost in the final third and quite often end up shooting from range and whilst this may work on occasion (Neves against Newcastle), it is usually a waste of the ball in a good area.
Southampton pulled off a great win against Chelsea in the previous game week, they may have secretly had one of the best windows with their new signings seeming to revolutionise their team in Romeo Lavia, Gavin Bazunu, Bella-Kotchap and Sekou Mara.
We’d like to steer clear of the over/under goals market for this one because of the conflicting data, Wolves have had four of their five games finish with under 2.5 goals whilst Southampton are the opposite with four of their five games finishing with over 2.5 goals. Also, in the last eight Premier League meetings between the two sides, there was a 50/50 split between the overs and unders market.
We do, however, think that the both teams to score market is good value here. Six of the last eight games between the two sides finished with a winning bet and four of Southampton’s five have had the same result. Wolves might ruin the bet here with only two of their five games finishing with both teams finding the net, but it is good value none-the-less and their home advantage should come into play at some point.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Newcastle v Crystal Palace
The Magpies have struggled in their opening games of the season, with only one win in their first five (2-0 v Forest) things have not been as easy as many Newcastle fans may have hoped. Their club record signing, Alexander Isak, has started in fine fashion with already a goal to his name in his first match and a second goal was also on the cards before being ruled out for offside.
Patrick Vieira’s Palace are standing out as one of the teams to beat and despite only having one win to their name, they have already played Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. Their recent draw against Brentford was one to forget for Palace, Wilfred Zaha put it best in his post-match interview; “I’m lost for words… Just one lapse in concentration and it ruins all the hard work (we put in).”
Eddie Howe has a fantastic home record for Newcastle having only two losses in his 16 games at St. James Park which were against Manchester City and Liverpool, his record stands W9-D5-L2 and the Magpies are on a run of eight wins from their last ten home games. Three of the last ten games between the two sides ended in a draw.
Over the last five seasons, both sides have played ten games against one another and have had a remarkable set of results, nine of the ten games finished with under 2.5 goals and we have only seen 14 goals over these same games. Despite both sides only having two of their five games finish with under 2.5 goals, this trend is too obvious to ignore.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Aston Villa v Manchester City
Aston Villa must be the biggest under-performers so far this season, after spending £28m on Diego Carlos he went on to tear his Achilles tendon just two games into the season and will be out for the best part of four months and could see himself side-lined for more than six months. This has now left them with the same issue they had last year, not knowing which centre-backs to start.
Erling Haaland is the talk of the town now that he has scored back-to-back hattricks and we are only five games into the season. His nine goals from five games is unprecedented in Premier League history and he is the fastest player to score two hattricks in the Premier League by a considerable margin, 2nd place falls to Demba Ba and it took him 16 games more than Haaland.
Steven Gerrard is our favourite for the next manager to leave post and because of this we think he’s going to throw the kitchen sink at Aston Villa, whether that pays off or not is a different question. Of the six head-to-head outings, only two have finished with over 3.5 goals but considering that Manchester City have had over 3.5 goals land in four of their five games so far (with their three latest games all having six goals in them).
Aston Villa’s confidence is at an all time low and we expect Manchester City to take advantage of that, and despite them only having +3.5 goals in one of their five games so far we believe this is still good value, Arsenal could’ve had four or five if they were more clinical.
OVER 3.5 GOALS
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