Manchester United v Manchester City

Saturday Septmeber 10, 9:30pm AEST

The Premier League returns after the international break in style with the most eagerly anticipated Manchester Derby in years that sees old foes Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola face off, having both had 100% records so far. United were handed an early boost with the news that Sergio Aguero won’t feature after he was given a three match ban for elbowing Winston Reid  and the Argentine will be a big miss having netted six times already this term in all competitions.

United have won 27 of their 39 home games (69%) since the start of 2014/15, while their record when hosting top-four sides in that time is W3-D4-L0, though they only managed two clean sheets as both teams netted in five and it’s also worth noting that United were ahead at the break in each of their wins.

City struggled on the road last term, where they only won seven times, and their record when travelling to top-four teams isW0-D4-L5 since 2013/14, as they trailed at the break in four of their  five defeats, while both teams netted in eight. Indeed, both teams netted in three of the four meetings between Mourinho and Guardiola in Spain and in all six of their clashes in all competitions in 2011/12, Guardiola’s last season with Barca.

With the attacking talent on show in these teams, despite Aguero’s absence, we’re backing both teams to find the net. Since City have won three of their last five trips to Old Trafford, there is an argument that United are on the short side at 2.4, but Aguero’s absence is a concern as the Citizens’ PPG drops 14% on the road without the Argentine since 2011/12 and as a result we’re going to leave the match outcome market alone.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Both Teams to Score Yes at 1.83

Arsenal v Southampton

Sunday September 11, 12:00am AEST

After a busy end to the transfer window that saw them splash £52m on Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez, Arsenal finally look ready to start the season, with the likes of Giroud, Ozil and Koscielny also now fit to play after the Euros. Southampton were also busy in the window as they broke their transfer record to sign attacking midfielder Sofiane Bougal from Lille as Claude Puel searches for his first win.

Arsenal have won 24 of their 39 home games since 2014/15 (62%) and their record when hosting sides between 6th and 10th since 2013/14 is W9-D3-L3, though they only managed one win in the last six of these matches, failing to score in five. Indeed, at least one team failed to score 11 of these 14 matches as they’ve tended to be low-scoring, with nine seeing fewer than three goals, while six had fewer than two.

Saints have been slow starters both in terms of this season overall and their games so far as they’ve gone behind in all three, but rescued a point at home to both Watford and Sunderland. They’ve lost 17 of their 39 road games since 2014/15 (44%), while their record when travelling top-four teams in that time is W2-D2-L4 as they failed to find the net in half of these games, while at least one team failed to net in five.

At least one team has failed to net in all four of the meetings between these two sides in the last couple of seasons and as a result we’re backing that trend to continue here. Arsenal’s recent record against similar opposition to Southampton puts us off backing the Gunners at 1.63, but Saints have looked more like a bottom-half side so far this season in truth, and with that in mind the prices look about right so we’ll just stick to backing at least one team to draw a blank.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Both Teams to Score No at 2.04

Bournemouth v West Brom

Sunday September 11, 12:00am AEST

Bournemouth have taken their poor form from the end of last season into this as they’ve only picked up a point so far and just two from their last eight going back to last season. Eddie Howe won the race to sign Jack Wilshere and will hope that the Arsenal man can get them out of their current rut, provided he stays fit, of course. It’s been a mixed bag for the West Brom as they’ve had a win, a loss and a draw, but that win on the opening day at Palace was their only one in their last 12 as they also had a poor finish to last season.

Bournemouth’s away record is in fact slightly better than their home record in the Premier League as they’ve managed only five wins at Dean Court since the start of last season. However, when hosting sides between 11th and 15th they were W1-D4-L0, including a 1-1 draw with West Brom themselves, though only one of these draws was goalless as both teams netted in four of the five games and indeed eight of Bournemouth’s last nine as it’s been 14 matches since their last clean sheet.

West Brom are similar to Bournemouth in that they have a marginally better record on the road since the start of last season than they do at home as they’ve only lost seven of these 20 away games, with four defeats against top-six sides. Indeed, the Baggies’ record when travelling to bottom-six teams under Tony Pulis is W2-D5-L3 and more broadly the draw is the most frequent result in the Welshman’s trips to bottom-six sides throughout his Premier League career, with a 38% ROI from backing the stalemate in these games. Given Bournemouth’s strong draw trend in relevant fixtures last term, the draw is a standout selection in this one between two sides that have found wins tough to come by in recent times.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Draw at 3.35

Burnley v Hull

Sunday Septemebr 11, 12:00am AEST

Two of the promoted sides clash here having both recorded some surprise results this term as Burnley managed to beat Liverpool 2-0 at Turf Moor, while Hull won their opening two before they were undone by a 92nd minute Marcus Rashford winner against Man Utd in their last game.

Burnley had a W15-D6-L2 record at home last term in the Championship as they were excellent defensively, conceding just 14 goals in these 23 matches with 12 clean sheets, including in a 1-0 victory over Hull themselves, the same scoreline they beat the Tigers by at Turf Moor when they were both in the Premier League in 2014/15.

Hull could only win 10 of their 23 away games in the Championship last term and lost four of their six trips to fellow top-six sides, failing to score in four with three 1-0 defeats. Indeed, all promoted teams have a W14-D5-L5 record when hosting fellow promoted sides since 2012/13 and as a result we’re siding with Sean Dyche’s men in this one. Since four of their last five Premier League home wins have been 1-0 or 2-0, we’re going to back them to win by one of those scorelines again.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Burnley to Win and Under 2.5 Goals at 3.6

Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace

Sunday September 11, 12:00am AEST

Middlesbrough have impressed so far upon their return to the Premier League after seven seasons in the Championship, picking up five points from their opening three games. Next up they host a Crystal Palace sides that have had a dreadful 2016 so far, winning only two of their 22 games, but they sought to rectify that with some late transfer activity that saw them add Christian Benteke and Loic Remy to a team that has only scored five goals in its last nine games.

Middlesbrough had a W16-D5-L2 record at the Riverside Stadium in the Championship last term as they remarkably conceded just eight goals there, with 15 clean sheets. Indeed, they were particularly impressive when hosting fellow top-six sides as they won four of these games whilst conceding just one goal.

Palace were excellent travellers in the first half of last season as they had a W5-D2-L2 record from their opening nine road games, but they’ve failed to win on their travels since. However, the Eagles are W6-D2-L0 when travelling to promoted teams since 2013/14 as they kept six clean sheets in these games. Pardew has only lost two of his 20 trips to promoted teams in his Premier League career and as a result we have to take on Borough here at 2.34, with Palace boosted by their new signings.

Betting Strategy

BACK – C Palace +0.25 Asian Handicap at 2.0

Stoke v Tottenham

Sunday September 11, 12:00am AEST

Stoke have only picked up one point so far this season and going back to last term they’ve now lost six of their last nine, with just one win in that time. Goals have been the problem for Mark Hughes’s men as they’ve netted just seven in that time, but Potters fans will be hoping that loan signing Wilfried Bony can help rectify that. Spurs have five points so far but haven’t yet looked like the side they were last term, with the form of Harry Kane in particular a concern after his disappointing Euros.

Stoke have a W28-D13-L17 home record under Mark Hughes and when hosting top-six sides they’re W7-D5-L6, with a 76% ROI from backing the Potters in these games. However, Spurs are the only side to have beaten them twice in this time, including a 4-0 thumping towards the end of last season as the North Londoners have now won at the Britannia in three of the last four campaigns.

Spurs are W9-D8-L3 on the road since the start of last season, with two of those defeats on the opening and final day last term. When travelling to sides between 7th and 12th they’re W4-D5-L3 under Pochettino, though they’ve only managed two wins in the last 10 of these games. Moussa Dembele’s still serving a suspension and Pochettino himself has stated how important the Belgian is to their side by claiming that “Tottenham does not exist without him”.

That’s reflected in the stats as they had a W15-D11-L1 record with him in the starting line-up last season, but are just W5-D4-L5 without him since the start of last term as they kept just three clean sheets in his absence and only scored more than once three times. That, together with Stoke’s strong record when hosting the top teams means that we simply have to oppose Spurs here at odds-on.

Betting Strategy

LAY – Spurs at 1.88

West Ham v Watford

Sunday September 11, 12:00am AEST

Both these sides have had some tough fixtures to start the season, with West Ham losing at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad, while Watford have lost at home to Chelsea and Arsenal, but did pick up a point in their opener at Southampton and were ahead against Chelsea, before the Blues mounted a late comeback. It’s not all been for the Hammers either as they won their opening game at the London Stadium and return there here in the hope that star man Dimitri Payet should be fit enough to start for the first time this season.

After losing their opening two home games last term, West Ham have since only lost one of their last 18 at home. However, when hosting sides between 11th and 16th they were only W1-D3-L2 last term, though that victory was a 3-1 triumph over Watford themselves. Both teams found the net in all six of these games, while four saw more than three goals as the Hammers shipped four against both Bournemouth and Swansea.

Watford were excellent in the opening half of last season but they fell away somewhat once their Premier League status was secure and they’ve now lost nine of their last 14 games. Their away record since the start of last term is W6-D4-L10, though they’ve lost eight of their last 11 on the road, netting just seven goals in that time. When travelling to sides between 6th and 10th they were W1-D1-L3 as they conceded at least twice in four of these matches, but netted in three. With that in mind, and given the Hammers’ strong goals trend in relevant fixtures last term, we’re going to back both teams to net.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Both Teams to Score Yes at 1.94

Liverpool v Leicester

Sunday September 11, 2:30am AEST

Both these sides have picked up four points so far and it’s been as up and down as ever for Liverpool already as they followed their 4-3 win at the Emirates with a 2-0 loss at Burnley and then drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane as this is the first time they play at Anfield this term after its redevelopment. The Champions, meanwhile, followed their shock opening day defeat at Hull with a home draw with Arsenal, before they got their first win at home to Swansea in their last game.

Liverpool’s home record under Klopp is W6-D7-L2 as they’ve struggled somewhat defensively, with just five clean sheets and both teams have netted in nine of these games. The German hosted each of the top six last term and had a W2-D3-L1 record as United were the only side to beat them. They were level at the break in five of these games, while four had fewer than two goals.

Leicester’s defeat at Hull was only their third away defeat since the start of last season, while their record when travelling to the top-eight last term was W3-D2-L2, with defeats at the Emirates and Anfield. They only managed one clean sheet in these games, with both teams netting in five as Liverpool were the only of these sides that they failed to score against. They were very much second best in that game as Liverpool had 26 shots to the Foxes’ seven and the Reds also had 65% possession. The Foxes have looked far from secure defensively this term without Kante shielding their defence and the likes of Firmino, Coutinho and Mane should take advantage. As a result, we’re backing Liverpool to mark their return to Anfield with a big win.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Liverpool -1 Asian Handicap at 2.09

Swansea v Chelsea

Monday September 12, 1:00am AEST 

After winning at Burnley on the opening day, Swansea have lost their last two, at home to Hull and at Leicester. Chelseahave a 100% record under Conte so far, though they left it late against both West Ham and Watford, but given their start and with a couple of deadline day signings in defence they’re now into 5.9 to win the title.

Swansea’s home record under Francesco Guidolin is an impressive W4-D2-L2 as they’ve managed wins over Liverpool and Chelsea themselves, together with a 1-1 draw with Man City. The Swans have a strong ‘unders’ trend at the Liberty Stadium since the Italian took over as seven of their games have had fewer than three goals, while half had fewer than two.

Chelsea’s win at Watford was their seventh in their last 11 road games as their away form improved dramatically once Hiddink took over after they’d only picked up five points from their first eight on the road under Mourinho. When travelling to sides between 8th and 13th they were just W0-D2-L3 last term, but if we go back to 2014/15 then they won five of their six games against these teams.

With it still too early to judge how close this Chelsea side are to the title winning 2014/15 team, we’re not going to plough into the Blues at 1.62 just yet and instead the best play looks to be backing Swansea’s home games to continue to be low-scoring under Guidolin. Three of Chelsea’s five trips to sides between 8th and 13th last term saw fewer than two goals, while four of the last five meetings between these two at the Liberty had fewer than three, so we’re backing Under 2.5 Goals.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 2.04

Sunderland v Everton

Tuesday September 13, 5:00am AEST

David Moyes has managed just one point so far this season and if we go back to his spell with Sociedad, the Scotsman has now lost six of his last eight games in management. For Ronald Koeman and Everton, however, it’s been an excellent start as they’ve picked up two wins and a draw, having only managed two wins in their final 11 games last term under Roberto Martinez.

Sunderland have a W6-D6-L8 record at the Stadium of Light since the start of last season and they were W2-D1-L2 against sides that finished between 6th and 10th with their defeats narrow 1-0 losses against Liverpool and Southampton. Indeed, if we go back further, Sunderland have only lost 4 of their 12 games against these teams , suggesting Everton may be worth taking on at 2.16.

The Toffees only won six times on the road last term as they drew nine of their away games. Indeed, their record when travelling to bottom-six sides since the start of 2014/15 is just W4-D4-L4, including a 3-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light last term.

The Toffees have only won once in their last seven visits to Sunderland and as a result we’re taking Koeman’s men on. Sunderland brought in Ndong on deadline day and he should add some much-needed steel to their midfield in Cattermole’s absence and make them once again tough to beat at home as they’ve only lost one of their last 19 home games by more than one goal.

Betting Strategy

LAY – Everton at 2.18

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