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Bournemouth v Brentford
Bournemouth had a tricky run at the beginning of the year but they have managed to turn things around with a manager replacement and five of their eight points have come in the last three games.
The Bees are sitting pretty in ninth place and are level on points with Liverpool as things stand. Talisman Ivan Toney has been in fine fettle this season, earning himself an England call-up even if he didn’t manage his debut, and he’ll be intent on continuing his good run of form ahead of the World Cup.
Brentford have been on a run of conceding first in their away games, with 16 of their last 18 away games resulting in the home side scoring first. The two times this didn’t happen were when the Bees went away to Watford and Norwic, both of whom were relegated last year. It could be worth a punt given that Bournemouth don’t seem as bad as Watford and Norwich were last year, especially under new management.
Another key trend in Brentford games is that nine of their last ten away outings have finished with over 2.5 goals. The only game that finished under was their recent 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.
OVER 2.5 GOALS
BOURNEMOUTH TO SCORE FIRST
Palace v Chelsea
After a good start to the season, Crystal Palace have somewhat dropped off and are winless in their last three matches. A loss to Manchester City is to be expected and while draws against Brentford and Newcastle aren’t exactly poor results, they’re games they’ll be needing to win if they want to get to the next level.
A 1-1 draw with Salzburg isn’t how Graham Potter wanted his first game for Chelsea to go, though there were positives to take. This will be the Blues’ first league fixture in nearly a month, giving Potter plenty of time to work with his squad in the time away, even if most were on international duty.
Teams with a new manager are always hard to call, and Potter will likely want to keep this game as tight as possible as he finds his way at the club. At Brighton, Potter was renowned for keeping his defence in shape but also not scoring maybe as many as they should have. His first game finished under 2.5 goals and eight of Palace’s last ten home games have finished with under 2.5 goals too.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Fulham v Newcastle
The Cottagers remain in the top six going into the eighth game week and even though they have played an extra game compared to Liverpool and Chelsea, if they keep up this form they’ll be in no danger of relegation this season.
Newcastle won 12 of their last 18 matches last season, and although they haven’t exactly carried that fine form over this year, they’re plodding along picking up a point at a time. They’re winless since beating Forest on the opening day, though have drawn five of those six games, losing only to Liverpool in the dying embers of the game.
The Magpies have only managed two points from their three away games this year, and they have something of an injury crisis to deal with now. Alexander Isak, Chris Wood, Allan Saint-Maximin, Bruno Guimaraes and Callum Wilson are among a number of absences/doubts, and it’s hard to see them competing without their star talents.
Fulham have two wins and a draw when playing at the Cottage. It seems the best bet here is double chance (Fulham-Draw) which has come off in all of Fulham’s home matches and all of Newcastle’s away games.
Liverpool v Brighton
Liverpool have struggled to find their footing this season and do not seem like the same team that finished one point off the Premier League trophy just last year and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping the return from the international break will bring with it a fresh impetus.
Brighton have been thrown in the deep end after Chelsea have raided them for their manager and coaching staff. Roberto De Zerbi has taken charge of the Seagulls and the former Shakhtar Donetsk man will be hoping he can hit the ground running, though Anfield isn’t exactly the first place you’d want to go for your debut.
Liverpool’s home form has been their saving grace this year, with seven of their nine points coming from their three home matches. They are now on a run of 26 league home games without a loss.
We think Brighton will set up in a different way to what we were used to seeing from them with Roberto De Zerbi usually setting up in a 4-2-3-1, this will then lead to a more open game with hopefully more goals from either side. One thing to keep an eye out for is that Liverpool have conceded first in four of their last five home games which coupled with Brighton scoring first in two of their three away games this year.
OVER 2.5 GOALS
BRIGHTON TO SCORE FIRST
Southampton v Everton
Southampton have carried on their ‘hit and miss’ form that they’ve built up in the last couple of seasons. Their two wins have come against a struggling Leicester and a poorer than usual Chelsea side, whilst their two most recent losses against Wolves and Aston Villa should have been turned into a result of some kind.
Everton and Frank Lampard have done a fantastic job of getting their defence in order, last year they conceded an average of 1.73 goals per game (66 through 38 games) and compared to their six goals in seven games (0.86 goals per game) this year you can see the improvement they’ve made.
Everton’s defensive improvement has resulted in the under market becoming more profitable for the Toffee’s. Six of their seven games have finished with under 2.5 goals whilst three of Southampton’s have had the same result, though with Mason Holgate, Nathan Patterson, Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey all out, and Jordan Pickford only just returning from injury we’re hesitant to get behind that outcome.
In 25 of Southampton’s last 33 games, both teams to score has come off against teams placed in the middle-third like Everton. The Toffee’s have also had all their away games this year finish with the same result, with the 1-1 draw certainly not out of the realms of possibility here.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
West Ham v Wolves
David Moyes is certainly feeling the pressure after a poor start to the season as his side only have four points after playing seven games, their worst start to a Premier League season for 12 years. They were relegated in 2010/11 and after seven games they still had an extra point compared to this year.
The new signings Wolves have made in the transfer market haven’t quite made the impact that Bruno Lage was expecting but there is still plenty of time for things to click, and the impact of Diego Costa is yet to be seen.
Since Lage’s appointment last season, the Wanderers have by and large had a very solid defensive block and it is no different when playing teams in the bottom-six, like West Ham. They have had under 2.5 goals markets come off in ten of their last eleven games against such opponents.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
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