Below is this week’s Premier League Preview courtesy of Tipstrr
Saturday’s Premier League action gets under way with a lunchtime kickoff at the King Power Stadium, where Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur will be battling it for the three points that will take them (temporarily at least) into second spot.
Leicester’s early-season momentum stalled last weekend when they suffered their first league defeat at Old Trafford, where they could perhaps count themselves unlucky to lose 1-0 to an early penalty. Prior to that, the Foxes had built on consecutive draws with Wolves and Chelsea to enjoy back-to-back wins at the expense of Sheffield United and Bournemouth, and Brendan Rogers will still maintain hopes of rubbing shoulders with the top four.
Tottenham sit level with their hosts on eight points, although their start to the season has not been without its troubles. After needing late goals to beat Aston Villa 3-1 on the opening day, excellent 2-2 draws at Manchester City and Arsenal were separated by an almost unfathomable 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle. They found their mojo during the international break, however, with a four-goal first-half blitz helping them cruise to a comfortable 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Just one clean sheet each so far this season illustrates both defences might be susceptible to the attacking threat of their opponents. History between the two teams suggests the same, with Spurs 2-0 win in last season’s corresponding fixture producing the only clean sheet in their last six encounters. This intriguing game could swing either way, leaving the best value resting with Both Teams To Score, an outcome supported by the tip of BTTS Portfolio.
Should Tottenham win their lunchtime game to leapfrog their way into second spot, then Manchester City will not have to wait long to reclaim their position, as they welcome Watford to the Etihad for a 3pm kickoff.
City are sure to be smarting from last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Norwich City, who were not daunted by the champions and took them on with their own brand of attacking football. Having already dropped two points in the 2-2 home draw with Spurs, City are already five points behind Liverpool at the top of the table, but they looked back to their imperious best when brushing Shakhtar Donetsk aside 3-0 in Wednesday’s Champions League opener.
After kicking off their season with three straight defeats, Watford already look set for a long season in the relegation zone. However, they at least steadied the boat with a 1-1 draw at Newcastle before the international break, while last week they defied the odds and their critics by battling back from a two-goal half-time deficit to earn an unlikely 2-2 draw at Arsenal.
Pep Guardiloa’s critics were soon in full voice after last weekend’s slip-up, but City’s performance in the Ukraine suggests they have not lost their mojo. Since Watford’s return to the Premier League in 2015, City have won all nine of their encounters, scoring 31 goals in the process and conceding just four. Only one of their last six meetings have produced less than four goals, which makes the tip of JosueSantos for Over 3.5 goals look all the more appealing, especially with City having a point to prove.
Four Sunday Premier League programme commences with a lunchtime game at London Stadium, where an improving West Ham United team will fancy their chances of picking up all three points against Manchester United.
It already seems a long time ago since the Hammers kicked off their league campaign with a 5-0 drubbing at home to United’s Manchester neighbours, City. Undaunted, Manuel Pellegrini’s men regrouped with a 1-1 draw at Brighton, which proved to be a springboard for successive wins over Watford (3-1) and Norwich (2-0) either side of a morale-boosting League Cup win over Newport County. On Monday, a goalless stalemate at Aston Villa was their third straight clean sheet, despite playing half an hour with ten men, hinting at a more robust defence than in seasons gone by.
Manchester United are level with West Ham on eight points, but it already seems a long time since they enjoyed a 4-0 romp against Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season. Their next home game ended in a dismal 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, which was sandwich between back-to-back 1-1 draws at Southampton and Wolves, both of which saw United squander half-time leads. They managed to buck that trend last week, when an early Marcus Rashford penalty was all that separated them from visitors Leicester City, although they were made to work hard for their eventual 1-0 win.
A combination of West Ham’s improvement and United’s inconsistency put all the value in favour of the home side, with the tip of I OAP I Soccer for West Ham +0.25AH looking particularly appealing at better than even money.
This weekend’s Premier League action concludes with two 4.30 kickoffs, and there’s an intriguing game in prospect at the Emirates, where Arsenal will be looking to cement a place in the top six at the expense of Aston Villa.
After kicking off with successive wins over Newcastle and Burnley, they were a distinct second best at Anfield, where they lost 3-1 to Liverpool. Their two games either side of the international saw the Gunners experience both sides of two-goal comebacks, fighting back from 2-0 down to earn a point in the North London derby, before squandering a two-goal half-time lead of their own last weekend and allowing Watord to steal a 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.
Newly-promoted Aston Villa look likely relegation contenders, but not without scrapping for every point along the way. Back-to-back defeats to Spurs and Bournemouth were offset when they surprised Everton with a 2-0 win, but it was back to square one when they lost a scrappy game 1-0 at Crystal Palace just before the international break. Villa failed to take advantage of a half-hour one-man advantage against West Ham on Monday night, having to settle for a goalless draw, but manager Dean Smith should at least be encouraged by the clean sheet.
Before Villa’s drop to the Championship, their last three visits to the Emirates saw them lose 5-0 and 4-0 twice, and indeed they have conceded 18 goals in their last five games against the Gunners. It’s difficult to see that pattern changing on Sunday, with Arsenal looking well-priced at -1.5 AH, a view backed up by the tip of PhilOddie10.
The most eye-catching game of the weekend is at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea and Liverpool will both be looking to bounce back after opening their Champions League campaigns with disappointing defeats on Tuesday night.
Only Liverpool and Manchester City have scored more league goals than Chelsea this season, but by the same token only Norwich City have conceded more. Eleven goals for and eleven against are an illustration of Chelsea’s strengths and weakness, but Frank Lampard will be generally pleased at how his players responded to their opening 4-0 defeat at Manchester United. Frustrating home draws with Leicester City and Sheffield United have alternated with exciting wins at Norwich (3-2) and Wolves (5-2), so it was something of a surprise that Tuesday’s European 1-0 defeat at home to Valencia only produced one goal – although Ross Barkley’s late penalty miss did not help.
Liverpool were similarly ineffective in their 2-0 loss at Napoli, which was all the more frustrating for Jurgen Klopp after seeing his team score at least twice in all six previous competitive games this season. Indeed, only in their 2-1 win at Southampton have they failed to score more than twice, with front trio Salah (4), Mane (4) and Firmino (2) already making a mark on the Premier League goalscoring charts.
These two teams battled out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the Super Cup final last month, which Liverpool won on penalties. Their have been no goalfests between these two teams in recent years, but just five clean sheets means that both teams have scored in fifteen of their last twenty encounters.
Lampard’s Chelsea are likely to take their expansive game to Liverpool, which could in turn leave them vulnerable to the Reds’ slick counter-attacking ripostes. It might not be the expected goalfest, but it’s difficult to see such a scenario not resulting in Liverpool finding more defensive holes than their hosts, and at even money a Liverpool win has certainly attracted a lot of interest from tipsters, including Money Time.