Huddersfield v Tottenham

Saturday September 30, 9.30pm AEST

Huddersfield have made a good fist of things in their maiden Premier League season with their sole defeat in six weeks coming at West Ham. They’ve proven tough to break down as they’re yet to concede in the first half while at home they’ve not conceded from open play. However, the fixture list has been kind to David Wagner’s side thus far and this will be their first experience of taking on one of the big guns.

It doesn’t get much tougher than a Spurs side that look particularly dangerous on the road. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have started this season with four consecutive away victories in all competitions and netted 11 goals in the process. Moreover, they have an imperious record against promoted teams under the Argentine winning 18 of 19 unbeaten matches at all venues. They’re seven from seven away since 2015/16 with the latest a 2-0 victory at Newcastle in August. Whilst the Terriers have been stubborn at the back, they’ve netted just once in their last four so an away win to nil is the best way to get Spurs on side.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Spurs to Win to Nil at 2.3

Bournemouth v Leicester

Sunday October 1, 12:00am AEST

It was the same old issue for Eddie Howe as his team deserved at least one point at Goodison but left with nothing as they once again failed to deliver a clean sheet in the league. Bournemouth’s only two shut outs in their last 14 have come against relegated Sunderland and Middlesbrough, while at home they’ve conceded at least twice in 10 of their last 14, resulting in half of these matches seeing at least four goals.

However, excluding last season’s top six, the Cherries’ record at the Vitality Stadium is a decent W9-D2-L4 since the start of last term and with Leicester winning just two away games in this period we’re unwilling to take the hosts on. In fact, we’d say the Bournemouth look like fair value given the Foxes’ form on the road but preference is to back goals with two leaky defences on show.

Only West Ham and Palace have conceded more goals than these two this season while under Craig Shakespeare, Leicester have conceded an average of two goals per game on the road. 13 of their 22 away matches since the start of last season have featured at least three goals which makes the 1.67 for over 2.5 goals about right. Now that Junior Stanislas has returned to the Bournemouth line-up we’ll instead side with over 3.5 goals as 53% of the 19 game he’s started for the club have had four or more strikes compared to just 32% of the 25 he hasn’t.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 3.5 Goals at 2.44

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Sunday October 1, 12:00am AEST

Crystal Palace are the first side in English league history to lose their opening six fixtures without scoring and things don’t get any easier with a trip to high-flying Man Utd. The Red Devils have won five of six unbeaten games this term, scoring 10 times without reply in their three home victories.

However, United played in Moscow on Wednesday evening and the short turnaround from such a distance away certainly aids Palace’s cause. Seven of Utd’s last 10 at Old Trafford against bottom-half sides have had fewer than three strikes so this may not be the thrashing Palace received when visiting the blue half of Manchester last week.

Indeed, the Eagles have a woeful record at the Etihad, conceding 18 and scoring none in five fixtures since their promotion. Strip away these and if we only look at trips to Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and Utd since 2013/14, then Palace have never been beaten by more than a two-goal margin. Prior to their trip to Man City they’d conceded just five times in their previous four games, so with Roy Hodgson having had a bit more time to get them organised we should expect a more robust defensive effort.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – C Palace +2.0 Asian Handicap at 2.0

Stoke v Southampton

Sunday October 1, 12:00am AEST

Stoke fans will be relieved to watch their side play at home against a side from outside last season’s top-six for the first time this term. Four points from fixtures against Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea is a decent return though, but it’s not going to be straight forward against a well-organised Southampton side.

The Saints deserved a point last time out at home to Man Utd but their inability to put the ball in the back of the net cost them once again. It’s the fourth time they’ve drawn a blank this campaign and the ninth time in 12 going back to last season. Combine this with their defensive mindset under Mauricio Pellegrino, where they’ve yet to concede on the road this term, and we can expect many of their games to be tight. Given the Potters have the impressive Kurt Zouma back in their ranks after missing last week and since six of their seven home matches against middle-third teams last term saw fewer than three strikes, we wouldn’t put anyone off backing ‘unders’ here.

However, we think the best value lies in the draw at 3.14. Five of these seven matches for Stoke last term ended all-square as have six of Southampton’s 15 trips to middle-third sides in the last two seasons and in half of the 10 meeting between these two in the last five years.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Draw at 3.14

West Brom v Watford

Sunday October 1, 12:00am AEST

West Brom were luckless in their efforts at the Emirates on Monday night but nevertheless it was a fourth game without a win and it means they’ve scored just four times this term. Putting the ball in the back of the net has been an ongoing issue for Tony Pulis’ side as only once in their last 15 league encounters have they scored more than a single goal. They’ll take comfort from having a good home record against sides from outside the ‘Big Six’, but this season at the Hawthorns they’ve only beaten a struggling Bournemouth 1-0 and registered disappointing draws against sides that don’t usually travel well – Stoke and West Ham.

Watford showed no signs of licking their wounds after being thrashed by Man City and they grabbed a last-minute winner at Swansea. That’s three away victories on the bounce this term as they look a completely different animal on their travels under Marco Silva to the side that lost seven consecutive away matches to finish last season. No one outside last season’s top six has scored more this term than the Hornets so we’re backing them 0 on the Asian Handicap.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Watford 0 Asian Handicap at 2.62

West Ham United v Swansea

Sunday October 1, 12:00am AEST

West Ham rallied, but rallied too late against the Spurs as they went down 3-2 to lose their fourth game of the season. They’ll welcome the visit of easier opposition here and look to build on their 2-0 victory over Huddersfield in their opening home fixture. Swansea, meanwhile, continue to struggle at home but away from the Liberty they’ve yet to concede, beating Palace and earning impressive draws at Southampton and Spurs.

If you include their win over Huddersfield then the Hammers have a decent W6-D2-L2 record hosting bottom-half sides at the London Stadium. They’ve not been particularly exciting games with seven featuring fewer than three strikes while seven have also been level at the break. Bilic’s men have made starting slowly a bit of a habit at their new home with six of these goalless at the interval and in their last 13 there versus all opposition, they’ve only led once after 45 minutes.

Swansea’s last eight on the road have all had no more than two strikes with the half-time draw landing in two of three this term. We’re expecting a cagey affair, at least to begin with, and are on the HT Draw to land.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – HT Draw at 2.04

Chelsea v Manchester City

Sunday October 1, 3.30am AEST

This has all the elements of a cracking encounter and the outcome will give us a better idea of whether Man City are deservedly odds-on for the title. There’s no denying how pleasing on the eye they’ve been this season, netting 16 without reply in their last three including putting five past Liverpool. However, that was heavily aided by Sadio Mane’s red card and last term their record against fellow top-six opposition was a measly W2-D4-L4. That included three defeats on the road while their opponents have done the double over them in the past two seasons.

Chelsea have a superb home record, winning 18 of 22 matches at the Bridge under Antonio Conte. The key will be to stop Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva dictating play for City and in N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko the Blues certainly have players capable of doing that, whilst they should also be dangerous on the counter-attack. Before Mane got sent off, Liverpool created plenty of chance on the counter at the Etihad and arguably should have been ahead, so with the likes of Hazard, Willian and Pedro to deal with, we expect City’s new found defensive solidarity to be truly tested.

Chelsea have been made slight outsiders but since the start of last season they’ve gone W4-D1-L1 hosting top six sides with their sole defeat coming before Conte reverted to three at the back. Backing the hosts 0 on the Asian Handicap looks a solid play here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Chelsea 0 Asian Handicap at 2.15

Arsenal v Brighton

Sunday October 1, 10.00pm AEST

Without being spectacular Arsenal have built some momentum in recent weeks having won four of five unbeaten matches where they’ve conceded just once. The latest of those was a 2-0 triumph over West Brom at the Emirates where the Gunners have now won their last eight, accompanying six of these with a clean sheet.

Brighton just edged out Newcastle in an unspectacular affair last time out as they look a side that will be able to hold their own on home soil but are likely to struggle on the road. They’ve only scored once in three away games this season, amassing just six shots on target across these and against an Arsenal defence that have found some solidarity recently we think they’re unlikely to be penetrative here.

Another victory would cap off a good spell between international breaks for Wenger’s side and given just one promoted team have scored at the Emirates in six fixtures since 2015/16, we’ll back an Arsenal win to nil.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arsenal Win to Nil at 2.05

Everton v Burnley

Monday October 2, 12.15am AEST

Oumar Niasse made himself an instant hero at Goodison as his two late goals against Bournemouth helped Everton get their season back on track. This came after managing just one point from matches with the current top-four sides in the league and on home soil if you exclude the ‘Big Six’ then their record is a fantastic W13-D2 under Ronald Koeman. Eight of these victories came without conceding, while nine were by at least a two goal margin.

Burnley have caused some upsets already on the road this season, winning at Chelsea and drawing at Spurs and Liverpool. However, the Blues went down to nine-men while at Anfield and Wembley they were dominated and were fortunate to pick up a point. We expect them to make life difficult for the Toffees but they only managed four shots at home against Huddersfield last weekend and just three goals in their last five games highlights their shortcomings up front. Preference is for an Everton win to nil rather than siding with them on the handicap as their attack has yet to start firing since the departure of Lukaku.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Everton Win to Nil at 2.6

Newcastle v Liverpool

Monday October 2, 2.30am AEST

Liverpool just about avoided another defensive capitulation at Leicester last weekend after a first half of outstanding attacking play. Much of this was down to Coutinho, who’s been reintroduced to the line-up and has immediately illustrated his importance to the club, and with Sadio Mane returning from suspension the Reds will be tough to stop going forward.

However, there are still major issues at the back for Klopp’s men, who have leaked 10 goals in their first three road games. They now have an opportunity to put in a more defensively astute performance against a Newcastle outfit that have not looked the most fluid going forward. Rafa Benitez will no doubt set his side up to be difficult to break down, as he did in defeat to Spurs in their season opener, and look to trouble Liverpool at set-pieces with the likes of Jamaal Lascelles.

Indeed, four of the Magpies six goals this season have come from crosses and while they may cause some issues we think Liverpool will have just too much fire-power here. They’ve won six of their nine trips to promoted sides since 2014/15 and at 1.71 look good value for all three points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool Win at 1.71


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