Your Expert EPL Tips: 2020/21 Season

For the upcoming Premier League season, Daniel Garb will be providing his expert Premier League previews across every match week on the Betfair Hub.

‘Garby’ has worked and been involved in world football for over a decade, being pitchside for some of the biggest games in the Premier League, the Champions League and the World Cup. His analysis and knowledge of football is almost unrivalled and his insights will be available all season long.

You can follow him on Twitter here.

Lastly, be sure to check out the Betfair Hub and the Betfair Exchange for up to the minute Premier League and football odds.

 


Man City v Aston Villa

It’ll be 19 days since Villa last took to the field due to a raft of postponements and while COVID has affected them badly they’re having a good season and will be desperate to get back out there.

City are flying and can go top with a win here but they’re backing up after their win over Palace pretty quickly so perhaps their fluidity won’t be at its best.

Villa with a +2 handicap is serious value. Get on.

BACK — Aston Villa +2 at $2.20


Liverpool v Burnley

Four games without a win for the Reds and with some tricky games coming up they know they need to win here. The signs were positive in the first half against United that the front three can find their old magic. I think their recent rut ends here and they get back to winning ways.

Look at Liverpool half time/full time/+2.5 goals or with a -2 handicap here for some extra value.

BACK — Liverpool HT/FT at $1.70. 


Fulham v Manchester United

Only two losses in their last nine games for a Fulham side who have shown they’ll stick in this relegation fight. United are in superb form especially away from home but the Liverpool game but the enormity of that clash for them may have taken a bit out of them mentally.

I like a draw here as a result in an upset. The Cottagers won’t be pushovers.

BACK — Draw at $4.50.


Liverpool v Man Utd

BACK — Liverpool at $2.08


Sheff Utd v Tottenham

BACK — Tottenham at $1.68


Leicester v Southampton

BACK — Draw at $3.95

BACK — Over 2.5 Goals at $1.95

BACK — BTTS? Yes at $1.83

Man City v Brighton

City are flying at the moment and will take on a Brighton side who needed penalties to get past Newport County in the FA Cup. They’re back in the title race in a big way Man City and with Liverpool and United doing battle on the weekend they’ll want to take advantage in a big way. I like them with a -2 handicap and that’s decent value as well.

BACK — Man City -2 at $2.00


Sheff Utd v Newcastle

I can’t believe the price for Newcastle here. They’re not in great form but they’re up against a Sheffield United side who have only mustered two points for the season and would be resigned to relegation already in their own minds.

Newcastle is hardly a side to rely on right now but the price for them to win or the double chance against the worst team in the league right now looks way overs. Worth taking up.

LAY — Sheffield United at $2.62


Wolves v Everton

Similar to Newcastle, Everton are way overs here. Wolves are battling away this season and the Toffees have enjoyed a resurgence to get them back amongst the top four. The price is juicy for Everton who has a stronger squad and a better form line right now. The win or double chance are the plays here.

LAY — Wolves at $2.62

Chelsea v Man City

Like Tottenham, Chelsea’s title challenge lasted about five minutes but they do have a tendency to lift for the odd big game and I think they could do so again here. City will be fresh after having a game postponed but they’ve also had a COVID scare go through the squad. The draw is staring at me in this one.

BACK — Draw at $3.75


Tottenham v Leeds

Spurs have gone four games without a win, Leeds are up and down like a toilet seat. Having had their game with Fulham postponed, Tottenham will be fresh and primed to start the year well and get back into this tight title race. Leeds have a tendency to be opened up easily and I think it may happen here. Tottenham with the -1 handicap is value.

BACK — Tottenham -1 at $2.33


West Brom v Arsenal

This will be fascinating. The Gunners have won two on the bounce, can you believe it! West Brom drew away to Liverpool and then got rolled 5-0 by Leeds so who knows where they are at but I’m tipping a much improved defensive display.

The draw or West Brom with the double chance look overs to me but my tip here is the under 2.5 goals. Not sure the Gunners have the quality to get past a West Brom defence if they do tighten up.

BACK — Under 2.5 Goals at $2.00

Everton v Man City

Massive game for the Toffees who sit in second and for City who can move to only three points off Liverpool if they win their game in hand. It’s been some revival for Everton who have won their last four in a row but City will travel to Goodison in form having conceded only one goal in their last six league games.

All things considered, I like the draw here especially just two days after both sides last played. There’s value for that.

BACK — Draw at $4.80


Brighton v Arsenal

Finally, a win for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal now the spotlight will be on to see if they can build on that. Brighton is proving tough to beat, they haven’t been beaten in their last three games. The price for Arsenal is too juicy though. I’m far from convinced the Chelsea win is a sign they’re back on track but the value for them is pretty generous. Arsenal to win is the smart bet.

BACK — Arsenal at $2.40


Man Utd v Wolves

It’s time to take United seriously now. This run has been far too impressive and a win of their game in hand puts them just two points behind Liverpool as it stands. Wolves have gone four without a win and while the draw with Spurs is a boost they seem to be grinding it out just to stay in games. I like United at the -1 handicap here.

BACK — United -1 at $2.00

Wolves v Tottenham

Spurs title challenge seemingly lasted about two weeks and they’ve now slipped all the way back to sixth but this presents a huge opportunity for them against a Wolves side that have lost three in a row.

Tottenham away from home play some excellent counter-attacking football and that may work for them here. Tottenham to win and Kane first goalscorer are the smart options.

BACK — Spurs win at $2.30

BACK — Kane first Goalscorer at $4.60


Leicester v Man United

Talk about a Boxing Day Blockbuster. Second against third to kick off the post-Christmas clashes. United are flying, in particular away from home where they have won 13 in a row domestically.

The Foxes have won three of their last four however including a victory over Spurs so they go into this feeling good about themselves as well. Picking a winner is tough – there’s value for all three options and the price for Leicester and the draw are both generous. The lock bet for me though is both teams to score.

BACK — Both Teams to Score at $1.60


Arsenal v Chelsea

Another episode in the Gunners crisis comes in a huge London Derby. It’s nigh on impossible to make a case for them at the minute the form is just too horrific, the belief just completely absent.

So Chelsea, straight out to win away from home for me and pile more misery on Mikel Arteta who could be gone if that happens. Needs a result here to save himself in the long run, you feel.

BACK — Chelsea to win at $2.04

Tottenham v Leicester

What a game this is. Second against fourth and both coming off significant defeats. Furthermore, these are two teams who both love to play on the counter attack – to sit back and soak up pressure before letting their star attackers pounce. Do they cancel each other out as a result? Perhaps.

I’m leaning towards Spurs though with their extra quality in attack, mainly the form of Heung Min-Son. But I like the over 2.5 goals as well and both teams to score.

BACK — Over 2.5 Goals at $1.88


Crystal Palace v Liverpool

The early game on Saturday sees the champions, now back on top of the table outright, take on a Palace side who have gone winless in their last four games. The win against Spurs could really galvanise the Reds further and the goal to Bobby Firmino provides a necessary boost to his confidence and strengthen that Reds attack even more.

Selhurst Park has not always been kind to them but this should be different. Liverpool with a -1 handicap and Sadio Mane to score.

BACK — Liverpool -1 at $1.89

BACK — Sadio Mane to score at $2.02


Everton v Arsenal

The Gunners’ woes continue and after dropping five points in their last two home games, they now venture away from home to an Everton side who have won their last two in a row and against quality sides in Chelsea and Leicester to boot. They’ve set themselves again for a top six finish. Anything over $2 is value for the Toffees. Take the win.

BACK — Everton at $2.46

BACK — BTTS? Yes at $1.72

Liverpool v Tottenham

Game of the season, without a doubt. A top-of-the-table clash that will have a big bearing on the title race. Both teams coming off surprise draws. Spurs are overpriced considering their form, no doubt about that, but the main reason is Liverpool haven’t lost at Anfield in 64 games.

The draw is worth a flutter here, Tottenham at the +1 or Liverpool just to win. I like Sadio Mane to score as well — he needs to step up with Diogo Jota out and he lifts in big games.

BACK — Tottenham +1 at $1.65

BACK — Sadio Mane to score at $2.32


Arsenal v Southampton

Arsenal in 15th take on Southampton in 4th. Yes, you read that correctly. The Gunners with four losses and a draw in their last five league games. They’re in complete crisis mode, with Arteta on the brink of the axe if this run continues for a week or two more.

It’s just hard to see them turning it around against a team with far more belief and confidence than them. I’m laying the Gunners.

LAY — Arsenal at $2.36


Leicester v Everton

Two strong sides back in form — Leicester up to third off back to back wins, Everton snapping out of their funk with a victory against Chelsea. This looks really even on paper.

I can see the Toffees getting a little run of solid results going now and that would include a point in this one. The draw is value and a smart play here.

BACK — Draw at $3.70


Man Utd v Man City

BACK — Man City at $1.79


Everton v Chelsea

LAY — Chelsea at $1.85


Arsenal v Burnley

BACK — Arsenal at $1.60

BACK — Under 2.5 Goals at $2.00


Tottenham v Arsenal

BACK — Tottenham at $2.06

BACK — Under 3.5 Goals at $1.35


Liverpool v Wolves

BACK — Liverpool at $1.56


Sheffield Utd v Leicester

BACK — Leicester at $2.06

Brighton v Liverpool

Brighton may have won last time out against Villa but prior to that they went five without a win and Liverpool rarely lose two in a row. Expect a bounce back from the champions with some stars getting a rest in midweek. Liverpool at the -1 handicap.

BACK — Liverpool -1 at $2.10


Chelsea v Tottenham

What a game this is. First against third and two sides on wonderful unbeaten streaks in the Premier League. Tottenham seems to have a bit of extra steel about them at the moment and at the price being offered for them represent really good value here for what is an even game form wise. Laying the Blues here.

LAY — Chelsea at $2.18


Southampton v Man Utd

Southampton are in good form and have the advantages of being at home and having a week’s rest, while United had Champions League football. But the Red Devils cruised at home against Istanbul and have some confidence building going into this one. It’s a tricky assignment but purely and simply on form, they represent value. United to win.

BACK — Man Utd at $2.06


Liverpool v Leicester

LAY — Liverpool at $2.02


Newcastle v Chelsea

LAY — Chelsea at $1.55 


Tottenham v Man City

LAY — Man City at $1.89


Leicester v Wolves

BACK — Draw at $3.30 


Man City v Liverpool

BACK — Liverpool at $3.55


Everton v Man Utd

LAY — Man Utd at $2.46


Sheffield Utd v Manchester City

BACK — Manchester City at $1.34


Manchester United v Arsenal

BACK — Manchester Utd at $2.10 


Leeds v Leicester City

BACK — Leicester at $2.70


West Ham v Manchester City

BACK — West Ham +0.5 at $3.56


Manchester United v CHelsea

BACK — Draw at $3.75 


Arsenal v Leicester City

BACK — Arsenal at $1.96


Everton v Liverpool

BACK — Liverpool at $1.98


Man City v Arsenal

BACK — Man City at $1.47 


Newcastle v Man Utd

BACK — Newcastle at $5.20


Man Utd v Tottenham

BACK — Man Utd at $1.98


Leeds v Man City

BACK — Draw at $6.00


Chelsea v Crystal Palace

BACK — Chelsea at $1.46


Liverpool v Arsenal

BACK — Liverpool -1.5 at $2.25


Man City v Leicester

BACK — Man City -1.5 at $1.76


Brighton v Man Utd

BACK — Draw at $3.85


Chelsea v Liverpool

BACK — Liverpool at $2.26


Southampton v Tottenham

BACK — Tottenham at $2.48


Leeds v Fulham

BACK — Leeds at $1.67


Fulham v Arsenal

BACK — Draw at $4.50


Liverpool v Leeds

BACK — Liverpool at $1.30


Tottenham v Everton

BACK — Tottenham at $1.94

The Big Six

Can the dominant, unbearable Reds go from a 30-year drought to back to back champions? Of course they can. There may not be an influx of signings (even if Thiago joins), but they didn’t have that last season either and still won the thing by 18 points.

Keeping the front three geniuses, fullback superstars and the indomitable Van Dijk fit will be necessary again. Still, injuries to them have been rarer than a day of humility from Donald Trump. It’s always a big task to topple Liverpool.

Man City should provide the most significant challenge yet again, even without the signing of Lionel Messi. Not content with spending the GDP of Russia on their defence, City has splashed out again this time for Nathan Ake, and Guardiola should meld their problematic back four back into shape.

Pep will be hurting from last season’s weak title defence and Champions League exit and therefore primed to strike back. In De Bruyne they still have the best midfielder in the league and if he stays fit for the majority of the season City will be in it up to their eyeballs once more.

If there are financial implications of COVID-19, someone forgot to tell Roman Abramovich. Or maybe he’s just striking will everyone else suffers. Shrewd. It’s like 2004 all over again for Chelsea. Splashing their owner’s Russian Rubles and signing star in sight. Werner, Ziyech, Havertz, Chilwell, Silva.

Frank Lampard has a serious squad now, and they’ll be expected to contend for the title for a prolonged period as a result. That brings pressure, however, and while Lampard excelled last season, he did it with that lens removed. They are easily the most fascinating team to watch ahead of the new season.

Mykonos may have got the best of captain Harry Maguire, but a Bruno Fernandes inspired mid-season revival has plenty excited for Manchester United’s hopes this season and understandably so. His link-up play with Martial and Rashford has brought back that old United verve consistently for the first time since Sir Alex’s departure.

But doing it week in, week out will be the challenge. City and Liverpool have shown in recent seasons that you can’t afford to lose games if you want to win the title. The Red Devils finished third last season but were still closer to relegation than Liverpool at the top. Changing the mentality and delivering every week is Solskjaer’s biggest challenge if they want to contend.

Arsenal should improve. I mean, they have to improve. They finished eight last season for goodness sakes. Eighth! The FA Cup triumph lifted spirits, and Mikel Arteta certainly looks like a man with a plan, but there is enormous ground to make up.

Aubameyang is the one player that walks into any other team in the league and again looms as the key to a revival, but he could use some mates. There is plenty of young talent there though, and if they can accelerate their development, the Gunners can get back in the top four.

Well, this season will tell us all we need to know about the managerial status of Jose Mourinho. Still special or past his best? It’s hard to know what to make of Spurs prospects. Like it wouldn’t shock you if they finished as low as mid-table or as high as third.

They still have bonafide superstars in Kane, Alli, Son, Lloris and Alderweireld and right-back Matt Doherty is a smart signing. But so much of it comes down to Jose. If he can galvanise and steel them like he’s done with so many sides in the past, they’ll be right back up there. If no, it could be another morose campaign. And time to finally do away with that ‘Special One’ Mourinho moniker.


Middle of the Pack

Yes, Leicester were top six last season, but they’re not ‘big six’ yet. Another campaign like the previous though, and they might just change the status quo. With the golden boot winner in Vardy and a top manager in Rodgers, they shouldn’t drop off too much.

The same applies to Wolves and their Portuguese posse. Burnley can maintain a mid-table spot, but Sheffield United will find it far tougher to replicate their fantastic season this time around.

The team to watch though is Everton. Big money signings and a couple of managers have come and gone in recent signings with bugger all to show for it. Yet they’ve managed to bring in a three-time Champions League winning manager in Carlo Ancelotti and a superstar in James Rodriguez. Expect them to rise this season. They simply have to.


Bottom Bunch

Long gone are the days of a plethora of Aussies flying our flag in the biggest league of all but with Leeds back in the top flight, at least we can reminisce about the glory years of Kewell, Viduka and co once more.

There has been no greater anticipation around a promotion side than Marcelo Bielsa’s team in Premier League history, and after 16 years out of the top flight, they can make a splash on their return and finish clear of the drop zone.

The same can’t be said of Fulham and West Brom sadly who came up with them. Expect them to struggle come the end of the campaign but Villa, who narrowly avoided the drop last season can stabilise now and move to closer to mid-table. Maty Ryan is our only Aussie in the top flight. Another big season from his at Brighton and bigger clubs will no doubt come calling.


Final Predictions

Golden Boot: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal

Top Six in Order:

  1. Liverpool
  2. Manchester City
  3. Chelsea
  4. Manchester United
  5. Arsenal
  6. Tottenham

Relegated

  1. West Brom
  2. Fulham
  3. Brighton

EPL Futures Markets

Top Goal Scorer

To Be Relegated


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