After a few surprise results in Week 2, all 20 sides will reconvene for what appears to be an exciting Week 3 of action. Aston Villa and Everton kick us off on early Saturday morning, with Liverpool and Arsenal clearly the match of the round.
Chelsea will look for their first competitive win under Frank Lampard on Saturday evening, while new boys Sheffield United will be keen to continue their unbeaten start.
Sunday night sees Man City travel to Bournemouth to put last week’s result right, while Wolves play host to Burnley in the last match of the round. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best betting value on all 10 fixtures.
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Saturday, August 24, 2019
Aston Villa vs Everton
Venue: Villa Park | Start: 5:00am AEST
Aston Villa have had a relatively poor start in their return to the Premier League, dropping their first two matches to sit in 17th. Many thought they’d get off the mark at home to Bournemouth last week, however they couldn’t recover from 2 early goals. They statistically dominated with 22 shots and 63% possession, although much of this was circumstantial after going down so quickly. New signing Douglas Luiz flashed with a late wonder goal and forms a strong midfield with Grealish and John McGinn. Villa typically have a raucous home crowd that is sure to be useful under the floodlights in this Friday night fixture.
Everton got their maiden win of the campaign last time out, a solid 1-0 home win over Watford. Bernard impressed with a 10th minute goal, forming a very strong front four that gives opposing defences fits. Former Juve starlet Moise Kean also impressed in his home debut and could see a bigger role here. Everton admittedly weren’t the best road side last season, winning just 5 times and finding themselves 12th in the form table.
Despite their road struggles last season, I really like Everton at odds of $2.10 here. Villa have a ton of new signings that need time to bed in and now seems like a very good time to play them. Their defence looks particularly weak and Everton certainly have the talent and depth up front to exploit that. On the flipside, Villa also have some very talented attackers and should score against a leaky Everton road defence. 2-1 Everton is my predicted scoreline here, making the handicap draw at $4 look particularly attractive. For added value, I also like the look of over 2.5 goals and Both Teams to Score.
Norwich vs Chelsea
Venue: Carrow Road | Start: 9:30am AEST
The Canaries had a very impressive home opener last week, registering a 3-1 win over Newcastle at even money. Finish Striker Teemu Pukki continued where he left off, banging in a hattrick in what was a dominant display. Norwich were statistically very dominant as well, managing twice as many shots on target and 64% possession. This built off some solid offensive football against Liverpool the week prior and a truly outstanding season in the Championship where they were the leading scorers. Their defence does appear somewhat vulnerable, especially with the Centre Back injuries they’re dealing with.
Managerial life at Chelsea hasn’t started too kindly for Frank Lampard, who is still winless in competitive fixtures. They opened as relatively strong favourites against Leicester last time out, ultimately ending up with a draw in an evenly-matched fixture. Olivier Giroud added some more stability up front, while young Mason Mount flashed with another goal. They unsurprisingly lack a cutting edge out wide without Hazard, with both Pedro and Willian struggling. Chelsea are playing some attractive football under Lampard and this could be where the floodgates open.
After two relatively poor results to start out, I think there’s some decent line value on Chelsea at $1.91. With Kante and Jorginho in form, I expect them to dominate this one in midfield, which should ultimately prove the difference. Norwich are also potent up front and have the quality to nab at least a goal against Chelsea’s inconsistent defence. I like 2-1 Chelsea at solid $8.50 odds here, with the handicap draw at $3.75 a decent insurance policy. Given the likely attacking nature of this clash, over 2.5 goals and BTTS round out the recommended bets for this one.
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Brighton vs Southampton
Venue: Amex Stadium | Start: 12:00am AEST
Brighton have started the season very brightly, with 4 points and a +3 goal difference through their first 2 games. Their 3-0 road win over Watford a fortnight ago was particularly impressive, although unlikely to be a sign of things to come. They did also edge West Ham statistically last week, managing twice as many shots and 58% possession. Their home form last season was average at best, with 23 total points putting them 16th in the form table.
Southampton have had a fairly poor start to the campaign and are currently joint bottom with Watford. Their 3-0 loss at Turf Moor in round 1 was quite poor and they appear to lack cohesion up front. A 2-1 home loss to Liverpool last week was an improvement, although their goal was handed to them by Keeper Adrian. Southampton have been relatively poor with the ball this season, completing under 65% of passes in both games so far. They managed just 16 points on their travels last season, which was somehow enough for 15th in the form table.
It’s tough to properly assess these two sides given their very surprising week one results. Both of them tend to lack quality up front and are likely to be near the bottom this season. That said, Southampton’s relatively poor record on the road of late makes me like Brighton here. I think the $2.37 on offer is simply over the odds and really like the look of 1-0 at $8. It’s also another good opportunity for the handicap draw at $4. I don’t expect either manager to come out all guns blazing here and think that a conservative approach lends itself to under 2.5 goals and no in the BTTS market.
Watford vs West Ham
Venue: Vicarage Road | Start: 12:00am AEST
Watford have been surprisingly poor this season and currently find themselves at the foot of the table. They did put in a better performance at Everton last week, making me think they’re close to turning a corner. They’ve certainly got creative flair and firepower up front, with Hughes, Deulofeu, Deeney, and Gray all looking like strong options. Watford were an average home side last season, with 8 wins and 27 total points good enough for 12th in the form table.
West Ham bounced back after their opening day drubbing, managing a well-earned point at Brighton last weekend. They were edged by Brighton statistically, although their resolute defence and lethal strike force are reasons for optimism. Chicharito was given a start up front last week, while new Spanish acquisition Pablo Fornals was played out wide. The Hammers were decent on the road last season, 21 total points earning them 11th in the form table.
This has the makings of a very intriguing affair between two sides who should be comfortably mid table. Both of these sides have very solid attacking weapons and should really be scoring in this one. I see 2-1 Watford as the most likely outcome here, with Watford at solid $2.10 odds and that projected scoreline at $9. Watford by exactly 1 goal at $4 also appears to be strong value as I don’t anticipate a blowout in this one. The nature of this prediction also means that over 2.5 goals and BTTS are also decent value bets.
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace
Venue: Old Trafford | Start: 12:00am AEST
Manchester United: have been solid yet unspectacular to start the campaign, managing 4 points from 2 difficult fixtures so far. The stats suggest they had the better of the play, registering 9 shots to 6 and managing 65% possession. They had their opportunities against Wolves last week, with a missed Paul Pogba penalty resulting in a draw. One major positive has been the improved form of Anthony Martial, who was again on the scoresheet last week. United were pretty average at home last season, coming 6th in the form table with 36 total points.
It has been a fairly poor start to the campaign for Crystal Palace, who have just 1 point from their opening two fixtures. Their loss at Sheffield United last week was especially poor, conceding 15 shots to just 6 of their own. They look particularly weak up front, with the perennially out of form Benteke asked to lead the line. Wilfried Zaha returned to the starting lineup last week and again looks to be their main chance of survival this season. Palace have proven to be an astute road side of late, managing 9 wins and 29 points on their travels last season.
United have looked quite solid to start the season while Palace appear to already be battling relegation. I expect United to control this one throughout and think their improved forward line should be enough in this one. While $1.33 isn’t a great price, I like United to win to nil at $2.20, with 2-0 at $6.50 looking like the most likely scoreline. With Palace’s relatively anaemic forward line, I think under 2.5 goals and no in the BTTS market also provide some additional value.
Sheffield United vs Leicester
Venue: Bramall Lane | Start: 12:00am AEST
Sheffield United have started this campaign very strongly, a win over Palace last week giving them 4 points from their opening 2 games. John Lundstram scored the winner in the 47th minute, giving him a goal in each of English football’s top 4 leagues. The win wasn’t particularly pretty, although it highlighted their resolute defence and willingness to graft. This is a side that does appear to lack firepower up front and could have a relatively lean goalscoring season.
Despite opening the season with 2 draws, Leicester have looked fairly impressive so far. They were especially good against Chelsea last week, coming from behind and largely dominating towards the end. Ndidi and Tiemelmans provide a ton of quality in the middle of the park, while Maddison, Perez, and Vardy are an excellent Forward trio. The Foxes were a very good road side last season, coming in 7th in the form table with a solid 25 points.
I thought Sheffield United would be a tough side to beat this season and it has proven to be correct so far. They should take a ton of momentum from last week and look set for another resolute display here. Leicester are a quality opponent but Bramall Lane will be a difficult place for most sides to play this season. The Draw at $3.10 looks like strong value here, with 1-1 at $6.50 being the most likely outcome. Sheffield United +1 at the handicap is a decent additional bet, as is under 2.5 goals in what should be a low-scoring affair.
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Venue: Anfield | Start: 2:30am AEST
Liverpool fans have to be happy with their start to the campaign, managing maximum points from their first two and sitting top of the table. They weren’t great against Southampton last week until some Sadio Mane magic broke the deadlock in first half stoppage time. While the front 3 and back 4 look quite strong, this midfield 3 can definitely be outmatched by strong opposition. The Reds were outstanding at Anfield last season, dropping just 4 points at home to sit 2nd in the form table.
Arsenal have been solid but unspectacular to start the season, managing two single-goal victories against lower-level opposition. They had a strong 68% possession against Burnley last week, although they did allow a curiously high 18 shots. The duo of Aubameyang and Lacazette up front continue to cause trouble for opponents, combining for all 3 of Arsenal’s goals this season. New signing Dani Ceballos looked strong in midfield last week, while Nicolas Pepe showed flashes off the bench. Arsenal’s recent road struggles have been well documented, picking up just 25 points last season.
I don’t think Liverpool have looked all that great this season and this clash represents their first big test. The duo of Lacazette and Aubameyang look capable of scoring against anyone, while Ceballos and Pepe add a new dimension to their attack. Liverpool also appear somewhat vulnerable without Allisson in goal and I’m going to project a draw here at strong $4.33 odds. 1-1 at $10 looks like great value for money, as does Arsenal +1. As somewhat of a hedge, I’m also looking to play BTTS, despite also projecting under 2.5 goals in this one.
Bournemouth vs Manchester City
Venue: Dean Court | Start: 11:00am AEST
Bournemouth have been stellar through 2 games, picking up 4 points and sitting in 7th place. They picked up a very handy 3 points at Villa last weekend, with an early Josh King penalty and cracker from Harry Wilson ultimately proving enough. This backed up a strong display against Sheffield United the week prior where they were unlucky to drop 2 points to a late Billy Sharp equaliser. While they’ve historically taken beatings from City since their promotion in 14/15, a new play style saw a close 1-0 defeat in their last meeting. Bournemouth were very solid at home last season, managing 29 points and a top 10 spot in the form table.
Manchester City have looked very strong this season yet still find themselves 3rd after dropping 2 unlucky points to Spurs last week. If the 30 shots to 3 don’t tell the full story, an XG of 3.3 to 0.2 surely does. Kevin de Bruyne looks in particularly good form after an injury plagued last season, delivering another beautiful assist last week. Raheem Sterling has also impressed with 4 goals in his 2 starts so far, while Gabriel Jesus is likely to start up front this week. City were outstanding on the road last season, picking up 44 points and top spot in the form table.
Manchester City have been very good after a loss under Guardiola and I don’t anticipate that changing here. They haven’t dropped points to Bournemouth in any of their meetings over the last 4 years and head into this one full of confidence. I expect a low block from Bournemouth in this one, although I don’t anticipate this changing the result. 2-0 to City at $7.50 looks like the most likely scoreline to me, also making the handicap draw at $3.75 look like solid value. I anticipate a clean sheet from City here, meaning that Under 2.5 goals and no in the BTTS market also offer decent value.
Monday, August 26, 2019
Tottenham vs Newcastle
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium | Start: 1:30am AEST
Despite not playing particularly well in either game, Spurs are surely happy with their 4-point return from their first 2. They were comfortably outplayed at City last weekend, although a similar fate will await most opponents at the Etihad this season. Their 3-1 win over Aston Villa was a strong statistical display that is likely more indicative of what they’ll deliver this season. New signing Tanguy Ndombele has slotted nicely into midfield, while Son Heung Min returns from suspension this week. Spurs managed 38 points in 19 home games last season, with their new stadium likely resulting in better performances in 2019-20.
It has been a predictably poor start to life at Newcastle so far, with 0 points from their first two games. They were run off the park by an energetic Norwich side last week, Fin Teemu Pukki giving their defence nightmares. They weren’t particularly close either, conceding twice as many shots and 64% possession. To compound matters, major new signing Joelinton went off injured and appears in doubt for this clash. Newcastle picked up a solid 20 points on their travels last season, although it’s tough to see them repeating that without Benitez.
I think Spurs have the talent to get 85+ points this season and Newcastle at home looks like an automatic 3 points. Especially if Joelinton is out, Newcastle lack the offensive firepower to really get at this Spurs defence. While the $1.20 moneyline isn’t all that great, I do see some value in Spurs -2 goals at $2.88. My projected scoreline of 3-0 offers even better odds, currently paying $8. I expect Spurs to score enough to get this over 2.5 goals but recommend playing no in the BTTS market for this one.
Wolves vs Burnley
Venue: Molineux Stadium | Start: 1:30am AEST
Wolves have had two hard-fought draws so far, getting a well earned 1-1 draw at home to United on Tuesday. The stats suggest they were somewhat outplayed, managing just 6 shots and 35% possession. They’ve still got a ton of talent across the park, with Neves, Dendoncker, and Moutinho comprising an excellent midfield. Their preparations for this clash will be impacted by the Europa League, where they will travel to Torino on Friday morning. Wolves were still a very strong home side last season, picking up 34 points and 8th spot in the form table.
Burnley backed up a strong opening day win with a spirited defeat at Arsenal last week. They ceded possession in typical Burnley fashion, although still managed 18 shots and a few close late chances. Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood form an extremely physical duo up front, while Dwight McNeil looks like a quality winger at this level. Burnley picked up just 4 wins on their travels last season, however the 2017-18 campaign saw them manage 28 points and a top 6 spot in the form table.
Wolves have a talented starting XI but manager Nuno typically likes to work with a small squad. I think the Europa League will really hamper their preparations here and that Burnley can get something from this. Their resolute defence likely frustrates Wolves en route to a 1-1 draw, currently paying strong $7 odds. I like Burnley +1 at even money here and give them the outside chance at a 1-0 upset. I don’t anticipate a high-scoring affair here, making under 2.5 goals a decent complementary bet.