Manchester United v Leicester

Saturday September 24, 9:30pm AEST

Manchester United have suffered a sharp reversal in fortunes after winning their opening three league games as they’ve since lost their last two, with a Europa League defeat at Feyenoord sandwiched in between. Leicester, conversely, responded to their heavy defeat at Anfield with a 3-0 win at home to Burnley, after they’d won their first ever Champions League game by the same scoreline at Club Brugge.

The defeat in the Manchester Derby ended a run of eight wins in nine unbeaten home games for United and was only their third defeat at Old Trafford since the start of last season. During that time, they’ve kept a clean sheet in 13 of their 21 home matches whilst conceding just 11 goals. When hosting top-six sides they’re W5-D4-L2 since 2014/15 as they netted in nine of these games but managed only four clean sheets.

Leicester have lost both their road games so far this season but they were of course strong travellers last term as they had a W11-D6-L2 record. If we narrow that down to trips to top-six finishers the Foxes were W2-D2-L1, with that sole defeat coming against Arsenal, though they could only keep a clean sheet at White Hart Lane. Indeed, since United have shipped five goals in their last two games, while Kante’s replacement, Mendy, is once again a doubt for the Foxes, we think there could be goals in this one and are backing both teams to net.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Both Teams to Score at 1.88

Bournemouth v Everton

Sunday September 25, 12:00am AEST

Bournemouth have had a tough start to the season as they’ve picked up only four points so far, though they’ve had some tricky fixtures as they’ve already played both Manchester clubs. The same can’t be said for Everton, however, as they’ve played West Brom, Stoke, Sunderland and Middlesbrough since hosting Spurs on the opening day, and whilst they impressed in these games, Ronald Koeman rightly dismissed talk of a title challenge as premature at this stage.

Bournemouth’s home record is W6-D5-L10 since the start of last season, while they were W2-D0-L4 when hosting sides that finished between 5th and 10th as they netted in each game but managed just one clean sheet and as a result five of these had more than two goals, while half had more than three. Indeed, the Cherries have managed just one clean sheet in their last 15, with both teams netting in eight of their last 11.

The Toffees themselves have only managed clean sheets against the bottom-two this season: Sunderland and Stoke, who have netted just six goals between them so far.  They’ve picked up just seven away wins since the start of last term, but four of those came in their eight trips to bottom-six sides as they only lost once. With that in mind, Koeman’s men are probably a touch of value at odds-against, given they look a much better side this season, whilst the win and both teams to score is also worth backing.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Everton at 2.2

Liverpool v Hull

Sunday September 25, 12:00am AEST

Liverpool continue to be very good in the big games under Klopp, having already beaten Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea this season and drawn at Spurs, but they lost their other game at Burnley and Liverpool fans will probably be more wary of this sort of fixture than their visit to Stamford Bridge last week! After a strong start to the season that saw them win their opening two, Hull were thumped 4-1 at home to Arsenal last weekend and have now picked up just one point from their last three.

Liverpool’s home record since Klopp arrived is W7-D7-L2 while if we narrow this down to games against bottom-seven sides the Reds are W0-D3-L1 as they conceded twice in each of these matches and proved particularly susceptible to counter attacks. Indeed under the German, Liverpool’s record when underdogs is an impressive W6-D3-L0, but they’re just W10-D7-L9 when favourites.

Hull are unbeaten on the road this term with a win at Swansea and a draw at Burnley and it’s certainly worth siding with them to be competitive against a Liverpool side that look on the short side at 1.26 given their record against lesser sides. We’re going to back Hull +2 on the Asian Handicap but wouldn’t put anyone off having a smaller bet on the draw, since Liverpool have drawn seven of their 15 home games when favourites under Klopp.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Hull +2 Asian Handicap at 1.88

Middlesbrough v Tottenham

Sunday August 14, 12:00am AEST

Having gone unbeaten in their first three, Boro looked to have made a seamless transition to the top division, but two of those games were against the current bottom two, Sunderland and Stoke, while they’ve now lost their last two and suddenly they have some questions to answer. Spurs, meanwhile, are one of only three sides to remain unbeaten, but they’ve been rocked by the news that Harry Kane suffered ankle ligament damage against Sunderland and will miss his first Premier League game in almost two years.

Middlesbrough had an impressive W16-D5-L2 record at home in the Championship last term as they conceded only eight goals at the Riverside Stadium, but they’ve picked up just a point from their two games there this season and are yet to keep a clean sheet.

Spurs, on the other hand, have conceded only twice this term while their road record is W10-D8-L3 since the start of last season, but with only six clean sheets. However, they’ve won nine of their 12 trips to bottom-six sides since 2014/15, while their record against promoted teams is a very impressive W22-D2-L0 since 2012/13. As a result, they look an excellent price here, despite Kane’s absence, which may be overplayed given he hadn’t looked in the best of form anyway this season after a disappointing Euros.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Spurs at 2.06

Stoke v West Brom

Sunday September 25, 12:00am AEST

It’s been a dire start to the season for Stoke, who’ve picked up just one point. They’ve conceded 13 in their last four and Mark Hughes has been backed into favouritism in the sack race. Just in behind him is former Potters manager Tony Pulis, whose West Brom side picked up a much needed 4-2 win at home to West Ham last weekend, their first Premier League victory by more than one goal since May 2015.

Stoke have had a tough couple of opening home games as they’ve hosted City and Spurs and suffered heavy defeats against both, but the concern is that historically the Potters have been strong against the top teams, beating both Manchester clubs and Chelsea at home last term. Indeed, they struggled more against the lesser sides as they lost four of five winless games against sides between 11th and 15th last term, trailing at the break in four of these and failing to score in three.

West Brom’s away record is W5-D8-L8 since the start of last term but if we only include fixtures against bottom-half sides (which is certainly what Stoke look like at the moment) they’re W4-D3-L4 in games that have been very low-scoring, with all 11 seeing fewer than three goals and nine with fewer than two. We’re siding with Pulis to get one over on his former employers, but we’re taking some cover on the draw in what could be a very cagey affair, with Mark Hughes aware that a defeat could cost him his job.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Under 1.5 goals at 3.1

BACK – West Brom +0.25 Asian Handicap at 1.85

Sunderland v Crystal Palace

Sunday September 25, 12:00am AEST

It’s been a tough return to the Premier League so far for David Moyes as his Sunderland side have picked up just one point, though they’ve proved competitive as the Scotsman’s former club Everton were the only ones to beat them by more than one goal. Palace, meanwhile, were also on just the one point after three games but have managed back-to-back wins for the first time this year buoyed by an excellent transfer window that saw them add Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend to their ranks and also keep hold of Wilfried Zaha, with that trio forming a potent front three.

Sunderland have lost both home games so far this term, having lost only seven of 19 at the Stadium of Light last term. Though Palace ended up down in 15th last season, they’re starting to look more like the side that was up in 7th at the halfway stage but Sunderland’s record when hosting sides that finished between 7th and 12th in the last couple of seasons is a decent W5-D5-L2 as they managed to net in all but two of the games.

Palace were strong travellers early on last term as they won five of their opening eight away games but the win at Boro was their first on the road since then. They’ve to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 away and in their last 10 overall. Sunderland’s record when they scored at home last season was W6-D4-L1. So it’s the Black Cats, who frustrated Spurs for large periods at White Hart Lane last weekend, for us particularly with Lee Cattermole back in the side and Ibrahim Ndong starting, and it could have been a very different story there had Steven Pienaar taken a clear chance just prior to the break.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Sunderland 0 Asian Handicap at 2.15

Swansea v Manchester City

Sunday September 25, 12:00am AEST

Pep Guardiola’s showing everyone what all the fuss was about as he’s won every game so far. The Swans, meanwhile had a promising start to the season as they won their opener at Burnley, but have since lost three of their last four and look as if they’ll have another relegation battle on their hands this term.

Swansea’s home record under Francesco Guidolin is W4-D3-L2 as they beat Chelsea and Liverpool last term and picked up a point against City themselves, to go with the somewhat fortuitous draw they managed against Chelsea in their last home game. Their record when hosting top-four sides is W2-D2-L4 in the last couple of seasons, though their defeats have been heavy as they were beaten by more than two goals three times.

City have scored 15 goals already this term, despite the fact that Aguero has missed their last two, and with the Argentine returning to the starting line-up here and the likes of De Bruyne, Sterling and Silva all in excellent form, this could be a long afternoon for the Swans and we’re backing the Citizens -1.5 on the Asian Handicap.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Man City -1.5 Asian Handicap at 2.15

Arsenal v Chelsea

Sunday September 25, 2:30am AEST

After picking up just one point from their opening two games, Arsenal have since won their last three to go with a somewhat fortuitous draw at PSG in the Champions League as things are starting to look much better for the Gunners, with a couple of late signings and their Euro stars returning to fitness. Chelsea slumped to their first defeat under Antonio Conte against Liverpool and though the scoreline only read 2-1, in truth they were played off the park by Klopp’s side.

The Gunners’ defeat against Liverpool on the opening day was only their fourth at the Emirates since the start of last season, though none of the three last term were against top-six sides as performance against the top teams has certainly been an area of improvement for Wenger’s side in the last couple of seasons. They’ve only lost five of their 20 games against top-six finishers since 2014/15, while their record at home against these teams was W4-D5-L1 as United were the only side to beat them. The Gunners netted in eight of these games but managed just three clean sheets and as a result six saw more than two goals.

Indeed, these sides have managed just two clean sheets between them so far this season and with John Terry likely to be out for the Blues and Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi still establishing their partnership at centre- back, we think there could be goals in this one. Arsenal last beat Chelsea in the league back in October 2011 as the Blues have certainly been a bogey side for the Gunners in recent times.

Indeed, they even lost both games against them last term when everyone else seemed to beat them and as a result we’re going to side with the Blues as the market looks to have overreacted to their defeat against a Liverpool side that excels when travelling to the top teams.

Prior to that, Chelsea had been very impressive with Diego Costa and Eden Hazard both in excellent form and while the Gunners have undoubtedly improved, they were certainly fortunate to beat Southampton and could well have been beaten 4 or 5-1 at PSG. That said, goals is the standout bet here.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Over 2.5 Goals at 1.85

West Ham v Southampton

Monday September 26, 1:00am AEST

It’s been a terrible start for the Hammers in their first season at the London Stadium as they failed to qualify for the Europa League and have lost four of their opening five league games, with the defence the main problem as they’ve already shipped 13 goals. Southampton, meanwhile, have taken some time to get going under new manager Claude Puel, but they were unfortunate not to get a point at the Emirates and picked up their first win of the season last time out against Swansea.

The Hammers’ record at Upton Park last term was W9-D7-L3 but at the London Stadium it took until the 85th minute to get past 10-man Bournemouth, whilst they let a 2-0 lead slip against Watford in their last game there as they went on to lose 4-2. Injuries haven’t helped the Hammers as Aaron Cresswell, Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew are all out at the moment, whilst Winston Reid is a doubt for this one and with Tomkins joining Palace, they look a little short at the back.

Southampton have scored only four goals this term and have themselves been a little unfortunate as their big summer signing, attacking midfielder Sofiane Boufal, has been sidelined by injury, while Shane Long and Charlie Austin have struggled to fill Graziano Pelle’s boots. Austin did come off the bench to grab the winner against Swansea and he could have more joy against this leaky Hammers defence. Saints have had tough away games so far at United and Arsenal but they finished well on the road last term as they won five of their final nine, losing just twice and as a result we’re siding with them here in what is virtually a pick ‘em match, allowing us to take some cover on the draw.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Southampton 0 Asian Handicap at 1.9

Burnley v Watford

Tuesday September 27, 5:00am AEST

Both these sides have had some tough fixtures to negotiate at the start of the season, with Burnley already having played Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester, while Watford have faced Chelsea, Arsenal and United, picking up an impressive seven points, compared to their opponents’ four.

All three of Burnley’s home games have had fewer than three goals as they continue to be tough to break down at Turf Moor, having only conceded 14 goals in their 23 Championship home games last term, with 12 clean sheets. Indeed, they conceded only 21 times at home in their last spell in the Premier League as 13 of their games saw fewer than three goals, while 11 had fewer than two.

Having lost eight of their final 10 away games last term, Watford have picked up four points from a possible six on the road this time around. They were particularly strong when travelling to bottom-six sides last term, with a W4-D1-L1 record in these fixtures, with that sole defeat coming in their penultimate game of the season against Norwich when their form had dropped off after their Premier League status was secure. We’re expecting the Hornets to continue that strong record and their impressive start to the season.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Watford 0 Asian Handicap at 1.9

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