After a cracking week 1, the English Premier League is back for an even bigger and better week 2. Man City play host to Tottenham early on Sunday morning in what is undoubtedly the marquee clash of the round. Liverpool will hope to cope with the injury to Keeper Allisson as they travel to St Mary’s to take on Southampton. Chelsea vs Leicester on Monday morning should also be an intriguing affair, while Man United will look to back up their opening-round win against Wolves on Tuesday. We’ve identified the best value bets on offer in each of the ten top-flight fixtures this weekend.
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Arsenal vs Burnley
Arsenal: It wasn’t exactly pretty, but Arsenal got their season off to a solid start with a gritty 1-0 win over Newcastle last week. This was made even more impressive by the injuries they were dealing with, having to start Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock upfront. You’d figure that Nicolas Pepe and David Luiz come into the starting lineup this week, with a more significant role also likely for Alexander Lacazette. Despite having a few lean seasons in a row, Arsenal has been a consistently strong side at home, especially against teams outside the top 6.
Burnley: While I thought Burnley were good value at $2.50 last week, even I was surprised at a 3-0 scoreline against Southampton. They had fewer shots, possession, and passes than their opponents, but Sean Dyche always finds a way. Expect Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes to be a handful for the Arsenal defence, while McNeill and Gudmunsson add much-needed width. In a similar vein to Arsenal, Burnley has been a considerably better home side than they have been on the road in the Sean Dyche era.
Betting Analysis: Although the $1.30 odds aren’t too enticing, I do think Arsenal should be considered comfortable favourites to win here. Their front three will prove especially valuable against the Burnley low block, which should ultimately prove the difference. I’m projecting a 2-0 scoreline in this one, which will surprisingly give Arsenal two clean sheets to start the season. Arsenal -1 at $1.91 is probably the best value bet on the board, while Arsenal to win to nil also has some appeal. I think the Arsenal defence can keep their one-dimensional attack at bay, meaning under 2.5 and no in the BTTS market also provide decent value.
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth
Aston Villa: Despite a late surge from Tottenham, Villa were quite competitive in their game last week. The game lent itself to Tottenham dominating both shooting and possession, although Villa was in it the whole way through. Their midfield trio appears to complement each other nicely, while Tom Heaton looks like a brilliant addition. If new Forwards Wesley and Trezeguet can hit the ground running, this can be a very well-rounded side. Villa’s home form in the Championship was relatively weak last season; however, a mostly new squad means that shouldn’t hold too much weight.
Bournemouth: The Cherries looked set for 3 points on the opening day until a late Billy Sharp equaliser saw them draw 1-1. Things were relatively even statistically, although they did edge Sheffield United in shots, possession, and passes. Wilson, King, and Fraser form a dangerous front 3, while Billing adds much-needed steel in midfield. Bournemouth wasn’t a good road side last season, securing just 16 points and conceding 45 goals on their travels.
Aston Villa: I think we are set for another tight contest here and like the look of the draw at decent odds of $3.25. Grealish and McGinn can potentially control this one through the middle; however, Villa could struggle to deal with a pacey Bournemouth front three. Bournemouth’s 3 Centre Halves provide good solidity in defence, which could also negate Villa’s new signings up front. 1-1 at $6.50 appears the best value in the correct score markets, tying in nicely with under 2.5 goals at even money. Bournemouth +1 and Both Teams to Score round out our best bets in what appears to be a very intriguing fixture.
Everton vs Watford
Everton: While it wasn’t an ideal start for Everton last weekend, they still managed a solid point at Crystal Palace. They dominated the game statistically, with 65% possession and nearly twice as many passes as their opponents. They probably would’ve pushed hard for the winner late if not for a 76th-minute red card to Morgan Schneiderlin. This Everton side has a lot of talent up front, boasting Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard, and Calvert-Lewin as a starting front 4. Everton was the 7th best home side in the Premier League last season, registering 34 points and a +9-goal difference.
Watford: I’m not sure anyone saw Watford losing 3-0 at home to Brighton last weekend. They weren’t dominated statistically, however, a Doucoure own goal in the first 30 minutes set them off on the back foot. They also boast a ton of talent up front, with Hughes and Deulofeu setting up a lethal strike force of Deeney and Gray. Their defence has proven vulnerable at times under Javi Gracia, and they could be in trouble here. Watford was admittedly a stellar road side last season, finishing 9th with 23 points on their travels.
Betting Analysis: Everton look like a dangerous side this season, and I can see them pushing the top 6. They’re a more well-rounded side than Watford, and I expect them to win the battle in midfield here. I think they’re decent value to take this one at $1.62, with 2-1 being my projected scoreline. The best value bet is probably the handicap draw (Everton to win by 1) which pays out a very neat $3.50. With both of these sides looking very strong up front, I like the BTTS and over 2.5 goals markets to round things out.
Brighton vs West Ham
Brighton: The Seagulls were the surprise packets of week 1, managing an impressive 3-0 away win at Vicarage Road. They did only have three shots on target during the match but proved clinical when it mattered most. Glenn Murray continues to lead the line a month before his 36th birthday, while summer signing Neil Maupay grabbed his first goal off the bench last week. Aussie Aaron Mooy will join compatriot Mat Ryan at the Amex on a season-long loan and fixtures to rotate as part of a solid midfield.
West Ham: Big things are expected of West Ham this season, however they started with a very poor 5-0 drubbing at home to Man City. They were edged by City in each of the main statistical categories, although a 5-0 scoreline was somewhat harsh. While City figure to be a class above this season, a frail defensive line could prove to be West Ham’s undoing. The Hammers were solid but unspectacular on the road last season, finishing 11th in the form table and managing 21 points on their travels.
Betting Analysis: I think West Ham is the slightly better of these two sides, however Brighton have been solid at home in the two seasons since coming up. The Hammers will be motivated to put things right after a shambolic result last week, while Brighton will try and build on an impressive start. I see 1-1 at $6.50 as being the most likely outcome, meaning the draw at $3.20 is also decent value. Both sides also possess some talent up front and I expect both to get on the scoresheet, making BTTS and West Ham +1 solid additional plays.
Southampton vs Liverpool
Southampton: Few sides started the season worse than Southampton last week, suffering a relatively poor 3-0 defeat to Burnley. The Saints haven’t been a good side for the past two seasons, barely avoiding relegation in both campaigns. That said, last week’s game was still tied after 60 minutes and they weren’t dominated statistically. The Saints weren’t great at home last season, coming in 14th in the form table with 23 points at St Mary’s. It’ll be interesting to see Danny Ings go up against his former side here, while new signing Che Adams got the start up front in his debut.
Liverpool: Liverpool got off to a relatively routine start against Norwich last week, scoring 4 goals in the first 45 to win 4-1. Their front three was at their dazzling best, although the defence did appear to be somewhat vulnerable. Goalkeeper Alisson has been ruled out for roughly six weeks, meaning former West Ham Keeper Adrian will be in net. They play Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on Thursday and it’ll be interesting to see if that affects preparations here. Sadio Mane and Virgil Van Dijk return to their old stomping ground and will look to put on a show for the St Mary’s crowd.
Betting Analysis: Even with the Super Cup on Thursday, I don’t see it altering Liverpool’s preparations too much here. They are comfortably the better of these two sides and I expect their front three to cause plenty of problems for Southampton. The pacey Southampton attackers could also cause some issues in turn, leading to my score projection of 3-1. Liverpool at $1.40 looks a likely bet, although -1 at even money seems like even better value. I see a relatively high-scoring affair here, meaning that BTTS and over 2.5 goals are excellent additional value bets.
Norwich vs Newcastle
Norwich: It was a predictably tough start for Norwich in their return to the top flight, falling 4-1 at Anfield last week. While they were largely outplayed, their attacking threat was on full display. Aarons and Lewis look like excellent young Fullback prospects, while striker Teemu Pukki should be among the goals this season. They scored for fun in the Championship last season and now come up against a Newcastle defence that may not be as resolute without Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle: It wasn’t an ideal start for Newcastle in the Steve Bruce era, falling at home to an undermanned Arsenal side. They didn’t create too much going forward and surrendered a lot of the ball to their opposition. The midfield three of Shelvey, Longstaff, and Hayden does look like their strongpoint on paper, although I could see them lacking goals this season. Newcastle was an average road side last season, coming in 13th in the form table and picking up 20 points on their travels.
Betting Analysis: Despite losing 4-1 last week, I think Norwich showed enough positive signs that they could stay up this season. Their home fans will be up for this home opener and Newcastle hasn’t exactly been great on the road of late. Norwich’s attacking fullbacks could definitely push back Manquillo and Ritchie, allowing them to be on the front foot throughout. I think they’re decent value for the win at $2.20 and see a 2-1 win as the most likely scoreline. I also particularly like the handicap draw, where Norwich to win by exactly 1 goal is $4.50 odds. Norwich are certainly leaky at the back, meaning BTTS and over 2.5 goals also seem like good value.
Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester City: City started the season right where they left off in 2018-19, demolishing West Ham in a 5-0 road romp. Raheem Sterling continues to silence the critics by managing a hattrick, while Jesus and Aguero were also both among the goals. They added Joao Cancelo at the end of the window last week, a gain which appears to be offset by an Achilles injury for Winger Leroy Sane. City still has excellent depth, with Rodri and Mahrez both performing well in week 1. They won 18 of 19 home games in their title defence last season, unsurprisingly putting them at #1 in the form table.
Tottenham: After another top 4 finish and a trip to the Champions League Final, Spurs look like they mean business this season. New signing Tanguy Ndombele got on the scoresheet last week, while Harry Kane’s late surge saw them beat Villa 3-1. They dominated statistically, although this is partially due to circumstance as they were trailing until late on. Spurs didn’t manage the signing of Paulo Dybala, although the additions of Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso look very promising. They have lost each of their last 4 league matches to City, although they did manage a solid 3rd place in the road form table last season.
Betting Analysis: While this is a cracking matchup, City have turned the Etihad into a fortress of late. I think their midfield has a substantial edge over Spurs here and the front three can cause that defence plenty of problems. The quality of Spurs’ attackers means they likely pull one back, with 3-1 City my projected final scoreline. Although City to win at $1.33 isn’t great value, getting them -1 at near even money looks like a reliable option. With another attacking affair likely in store, I also see value in Over 2.5 goals and BTTS.
Sheffield United vs Crystal Palace
Sheffield United: The Blades secured a solid away point last weekend, with club legend Billy Sharp managing a late equaliser at Bournemouth. They held their own statistically and looked like a resolute defence that will be hard to break down. They had a solid home record in the Championship last season and the crowd is sure to be buzzing on their return to the Prem in front of the tv cameras. Veteran David McGoldrick and new addition Callum Robinson started up front last week, although I can see former Swansea striker Ollie McBurnie get the nod here.
Crystal Palace: Despite some off-field controversy, Palace should be relatively happy with a home point against Everton last weekend. The performance admittedly wasn’t all that stylish and they were comfortably outplayed in the statistical department. Wilfried Zaha appears to have reached a truce with the club and should be in for a more prominent role in this one. He should join Benteke and Ayew up front in a talented front three that should create some chances. Palace was also excellent on the road last season, coming an impressive 6th in the form table with 29 points and a positive goal difference.
Betting Analysis: This looks very similar on paper to Sheffield United’s fixture with Bournemouth last week and I can see the same result here. I expect intense running and resolute defence from United, although I think Palace have a slight talent edge. 1-1 seems like a reasonably likely scoreline here, making the draw at $3 look like the best value. This match also has the potential for a goalless draw, so I think under 2.5 is the next best bet, with Palace +1 rounding out a solid trio.
Chelsea vs Leicester City
Chelsea: Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Frank Lampard and Chelsea last week, copping a poor 4-0 loss to Man United. That scoreline was somewhat harsh, as Chelsea were in the game until a relatively late second goal. Sections of the Chelsea fans already want Frank Lampard gone and losing the home opener won’t do him any favours. Kante, Giroud, and Pulisic are all likely to be back at full fitness this week and have every chance of starting. Chelsea was quite strong at home last season, losing only once and finishing 4th in the home form table.
Leicester: The Foxes had a solid but unspectacular start to the season, managing a home draw against Wolves. They benefited from VAR when what looked like a clear goal for Wolves was ruled out in the second half. Losing Harry Maguire is undoubtedly a big blow for their defence, although the attack looks as good as ever. Jamie Vardy is still leading the line, while Perez, Tiemelmans, and Maddison combine for a lethal midfield. Leicester was a solid road side last season, managing 7th place in the form table with 25 points.
Betting Analysis: Having received a ton of negative press over the past week, I think Chelsea will be raring to go for this one. They do have the Super Cup against Liverpool mid-week, although I doubt it’ll impact their preparations too much. The likely return of Kante to their starting XI should be huge for their midfield and I think he will be the key man here. I’m predicting a 2-1 victory to Chelsea, currently paying substantial odds of $8.50. Leicester have the firepower to get on the scoresheet, making BTTS and over 2.5 goals solid additional bets.
Wolves vs Manchester United
Wolves: Wolves were solid in their opening fixture last week, managing a well-earned point away at Leicester. They did appear to be outplayed statistically, although had a goal controversially ruled out with VAR. They have a Europa League second leg early on Friday morning, although I believe their 4-0 advantage will mean they rest most of their key players. Wolves had a very strong home record last season, managing 34 points and securing 8th place in the form table. They defeated United twice at home last season and will be hoping to replicate that here.
Man United: It was a dream start for Solskjaer and United last week, managing a 4-0 thrashing of rivals Chelsea. Marcus Rashford led the way with two solid goals, while Daniel James also managed an emotional goal on debut. The acquisitions of Wan-Bissaka and Maguire look to have shored up what was a leaky defence last year. For all of their struggles last season, United was still a solid road side, managing 30 away points and a top 4 spot in the form table.
Betting Analysis: Despite having the European tie on Friday, I still feel as though Wolves are overpriced in this one. They match up very well with United and I expect them to win a crucial midfield battle here. I like them as $3.25 home underdogs and can see 2-1 Wolves as the most likely scoreline. Wolves +1 is another solid bet, providing useful cover in the event of a draw. With the robust attacking options of both sides here, I do also like over 2.5 goals and BTTS in what should be a cracker on Tuesday morning.