Your Expert EPL Tips 2019/20

The team at TPSS are giving their EPL Tips for the 2019/20 Premier League season.

With a focus on the Top Six, we’ll have previews for all the big games, every match week on the Betfair Hub.

To avoid confusion, that is, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.

When these teams clash with each other we will replace it with EPL tips from the remaining pool of games.

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

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Total Units Staked: 51

Total Units Returned: 45.53

ROI: -10.72%

(Note: Each bet is for one unit). 

Southampton v Chelsea

Chelsea are a similar price here as they were at Lille in the Champions League in midweek. The Blues came through that test with a late Willian winner after the French side quickly cancelled out Tammy Abraham’s first goal in the competition around the half-hour mark. The victory also marked the club’s first under Frank Lampard in Europe’s elite club competition and the Blues are certainly showing improvement under their record goalscorer. Last weekend they beat Brighton comprehensively with their first league clean sheet under Lampard although that Seagulls side is terribly out of form.

The Saints have lost four of their opening seven Premier League games including their last two against Bournemouth and Spurs. They’ve been a mixed bag under Ralph Hasenhuttl since the Austrian took over halfway through last season going W5-D4-L6 in their 15 home matches under him as they’ve scored in every game including once facing Man Utd, Spurs, Arsenal and Man City and in both their fixtures hosting Liverpool. Along with Arsenal, it’s fair to say that Chelsea have one of the leakiest defences in the Big Six so the Saints should have no problem getting on the scoresheet. 11 of the 15 have had Over 2.5 Goals and six have had Over 3.5 Goals while they’ve kept just once clean sheet (vs relegated Fulham).

Chelsea have scored 14 goals in their last six Premier League games and they will expect to net again here against a porous backline. Given the very similar trends for both sides we’re confident Chelsea will be involved in their fifth Over 3.5 Goals league game in their first eight under Lampard.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 3.5 Goals $2.90

Man City v Wolves

With none of the Big Six facing each other this round this is probably the highlight as last season’s champions face the side who came closest to breaking into the elite group.

Man City have responded to their shock 3-2 loss at Norwich three weeks ago in the best possible fashion by winning five in a row in all competitions by an incredible 18-1 aggregate. For the second week running they could be eight points behind rivals Liverpool before a ball is kicked but they showed no signs of nerves last week in a similar situation against a plucky Everton side.

Wolves are making a habit of scoring late this season and history repeated itself in the Europa League as Willy Boly struck deep in injury time to give them a much needed victory in Turkey. After a winless run of four games which included defeats to Chelsea, Braga and Everton the midland’s club have responded well by advancing in the EFL Cup, beating Watford in the EPL and then picking up their maiden main-draw European win.

Wolves had a fantastic record against the Big Six last season going W4-D4-L4 but this season they’ve picked up just one point from two of the easiest of the 12 hosting Man Utd and Chelsea. Interestingly, they’ve lost their last three to nil against the Big Two.

Man City are just $1.14 to win here and with good reason given they’ve done so in 20 of their 22 home games since the start of last season. They’ve won 12-0 on aggregate in their last two games and kept a clean sheet in five of their last six.

With Wolves’ struggles against the very best in the division we’ll back a fourth consecutive loss to nil against the Big Two for Nuna Espirito Santo’s side.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man City Win to Nil $1.90

Arsenal v Bournemouth

Arsenal’s second-string put in another brilliant shift in the Europa League as they thrashed minnows Standard Liege 4-0 at the Emirates. The victory showed the gulf in class between their reserves and those at Man Utd after the two respective first XI’s squared off in the final game of the previous Premier League round.

The old rivals deservedly shared the points at Old Trafford as Unai Emery’s side put in another impressive performance. Since losing 3-1 at Anfield, and it’s worth reiterating there is no shame in that result, Arsenal have won four of seven unbeaten games in all competitions scoring 20 goals. In the league, Arsenal have conceded in 11 of their last 12 games including letting in 10 in their last five and now they host free-flowing Bournemouth.

The Cherries are one of the most exciting sides in the division. All of their last eight Premier League matches have seen both sides score and the last five have all featured Over 3.5 Goals. Given Arsenal’s struggles in defence, Eddie Howe’s side will be very confident they can net in their 11th match in a row but their record against the better sides needs to improve if they are to remain in the top-half. Bournemouth have now lost 14 of their last 16 against Big Six sides including their last seven on the road as they’ve conceded at least three goals in six of the seven.

This game has all the makings for an end-to-end classic with the hosts coming out on top but given Bournemouth’s woes against the Big Six it’s worth having a couple of plays.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arsenal Win $1.49

 BACK – Dutch Correct Scores 3-1 ($11.5), 3-2 ($20) and Any Other Home Win ($4.2) for an average price of $2.65

Newcastle v Man Utd

With an international break starting after this match, this game has become crucial in Man Utd’s season. The Red Devils have looked limp since the opening day of the season. Since beating Chelsea 4-0, they’ve failed to score more than once in 90 minutes in all nine matches in all competitions which has including facing Dutch, Kazakhstani and fourth tier opposition plus league defeats to Crystal Palace and West Ham. Fortunately for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side one goal should be enough here.

Newcastle are odds-on to be relegated this season after their 5-0 drubbing at Leicester last weekend. Steve Bruce’s side have scored just four goals so far this season and picked up just one victory – a very fortunate three points at Spurs.

Man Utd’s second-string is not good enough to compete with the other members of the Big Six which is an embarrassment for a club with such riches. Their first XI though, with Martial through the middle and Pogba pulling the strings could well still break back into the Champions League spots. There are injury doubts over the two Frenchmen again this weekend and we’d want at least one of them starting before backing the Red Devils.

If there is one side going through a worse time than Man Utd it is Newcastle. The visitors have won 10 of 15 unbeaten trips to sides who went down over the last five seasons and we expect the Toon Army to finish rock-bottom this time around.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man Utd Win $1.92

Brighton v Spurs

After a European defeat that will live long in the memory, Spurs are just $2.00 to instantly bounce-back and pick up three Premier League points. Pochettino’s side were embarrassed 7-2 at home to Bayern in midweek though last year’s finalists should still progress to the knockouts given they’ve got the other two minnows in the pool at home to come. If the Argentine can get his players to realise that their season won’t be defined by the crushing defeat, they should see this as a chance to restart their campaign on a forward footing. After all, a victory here will move them into the Champions League spots and just two points behind Man City.

One thing is for sure though, Poch needs to get his team selection right and he needs to start Christian Erikssen. Without the troubled Dane, Spurs lack creativity. Over the last three seasons, Spurs have won 65% of their away matches against non-Big Six sides as 24 of the 43 such games have featured at least three goals.

After an opening day 3-0 win at Watford, Brighton have gone six games without a victory as they’ve failed to net in four of their last five. Worryingly, they’ve already travelled to City and Chelsea and been put to the sword by an aggregate scoreline of 6-0.

Something is not quite right at Spurs, for sure, but that shouldn’t stop them beating a Brighton side that have struggled against the league’s best. We’ll be waiting on the away team news before striking our bets.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Spurs Win $2.00

Liverpool v Leicester

There is seemingly no stopping this Liverpool side. In the Champions League in midweek they rallied after letting a 3-0 lead slip to win 4-3 while last weekend they were below par in beating promoted Sheffield United 1-0. That was the only time in their current 16-game Premier League winning streak that they’ve failed to score twice and their first in 10 that they’ve not been in front at the break. While Liverpool don’t look quite as fluid as they did at the start of the campaign, they are surely too big here at $1.46 given their prowess at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are unbeaten in 43 home Premier League matches. Since the start of last season, they’ve gone W20-D2-L0 in front of their fans including winning all of their last 10, nine of which they beat by two clear goals, by an aggregate score line of 33-6. The Reds are fast starters too. They’ve led at half-time in nine of their last 10 at home as well.

Only their opponents have picked up more points than Leicester in their last five games as the Foxes have beaten Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Spurs and Newcastle. Vardy and co were on fire thrashing the latter 5-0 last week but they were helped by the Toon being generally terrible and going down to 10-men. There is no denying that Leicester have significantly improved under Brendan Rogers and they could well break into the top-six this season but they are a long way off the Big Two. The visitors have picked up just one point in three trips to the Big Six under the Welshman and they trailed at half-time at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool HT/FT $2.30

Man Utd v Arsenal

Once again Man Utd dominated a match on Expected Goals but ended up with less than they deserved as they went down 2-0 vs West Ham. Expected Goals is not a science though and any viewer will have found it difficult to justify the Red Devils deserving of three points. They should, though, probably have got one as they put in another solid defensive display.

After six games, United have conceded just 3.82 Expected Goals and only six actual goals as signings Wan Bissaka and Maguire over the summer have provided a great boost. Their problems lie in attack; partly due to transfer activity and partly due to injuries.

Rashford came off against the Hammers with a groin injury to join Pogba and Martial on the physio’s table but the French duo could return here. Once again given the doubts, we’d wait on team news before wading in.

Spirits are high at the Emirates after coming from behind twice with 10-men to defeat Aston Villa last week. The Gunners have now won three competitive games in a row after the Villa game was straddled by Cup victories over Nottingham Forest and Eintracht Frankfurt as the goals are flowing. They’ve scored at least twice in their last five matches in all competitions and have netted in all eight competitive matches this season.

Some readers might argue that Man Utd don’t deserve to be in the list, but Arsenal’s main problem remains their terrible record against the best clubs in the league. The last time the Gunners won away at any of the Big Six was in January 2015. Since then, they’ve lost 15 of 23 of the matches as they’ve conceded in every game. Similarly bad is Arsenal’s record at Old Trafford: W0-D4-L8 over the past 12 seasons.

Arsenal are certainly improving but if Pogba starts we’re happy to be on United given the Gunners woes at the Big Six.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man Utd Win $2.40

Sheffield United v Liverpool

The all-conquering European Champions kick off this round of Premier League fixtures as they look to extend their lead at the top of the division to eight points. Liverpool’s win at Stamford Bridge last week was their 15th in a row in the Prem and they are just $1.36 to make it 16.

Promoted Sheffield United were deserved 2-0 victors over a lacklustre Everton side last weekend as they registered their second win of the season. Their return of eight points from six games puts them in a respectable mid-table berth though the only Big Six side they’ve faced was Chelsea when they came back from a 2-0 deficit at half-time to nick a point at the death. The Blades have conceded just six goals so far this term but facing the Reds is a different ball-game.

Liverpool have not only won 15 on the bounce but they’ve scored at least twice in all of them as 12 have had Over 2.5 Goals and seven Over 3.5. 11 of the 15 have been against non-Big Six teams and in those matches they’ve netted at least three times on seven occasions. Jurgen Klopp’s side began their season with a couple of score draws in the Community Shield and the Super Cup. They’ve since conceded in five of their six Premier League games and been beaten 2-0 in Naples as their defence has looked more porous than last season with even the great van Dijk making mistakes.

With Sheffield United only failing to net once so far this campaign there’s value in another entertaining Liverpool success.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool Win and Both Teams to Score $2.90

Spurs v Southampton

After a limp display against Leicester last weekend, Spurs lost on penalties to fourth-tier Colchester in the League Cup in midweek to compound their woes. Meanwhile, Southampton racked up a confidence boosting 4-0 win over local rivals Portsmouth in a game that mattered a great deal to the Saints faithful particularly after they went down 3-1 at home to Bournemouth in the opening game of last week’s round of Premier League fixtures. That loss was particularly harsh on Southampton as they won the game 2.18-1.30 on Expected Goals.

Southampton have lost six of their 14 away matches under Ralph including all three against Big Six clubs. Spurs have won 23 of their 31 games hosting non-Big 6 teams over the past couple of seasons but have just one of their last four such matches.

This is another game where we don’t have too strong a lean and again were are keen to swerve the favourites. Apart from Spurs’ 4-0 thrashing of Palace a couple of weeks ago, when they scored all of their goals before the break, there have been major doubts every game this season including embarrassing results against Newcastle, Olympiakos and Colchester. On Expected Points so far there is nothing to separate these two so, like their London rivals Chelsea, they look too short at a similar price.

Betting Strategy

LAY – Spurs $1.47

Everton v Man City

Marco Silva’s position as Everton manager has come under threat after successive defeats including going down 2-0 at home to promoted Sheffield United last weekend but the Toffees’ board would be well-advised to not make any rash decisions. They deserved at least a point against the Blades as they dominated the opening half and won the match 1.50-0.80 on Expected Goals making their defeat the second least ‘fair’ result of the round after Man Utd’s loss to West Ham.

While seven points from six games is nothing to be ashamed of it’s telling that Everton are yet to face a Big Six team and worryingly, they face the very best next. Man City responded to their shock 3-2 loss at Norwich by winning 3-0 at Shakhtar and then putting eight (!) past Watford last weekend. The reigning champions have scored 24 goals already this season and with Liverpool playing earlier they could well start this game eight points off the top and needing a quick, positive response.

Under Silva, Everton picked up just one point from their opening seven games against the Big Six but they went unbeaten in their next five defeating Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd at home. Those three, though, are streets behind this City side. City covered the -1.5 goal handicap in both games against Everton last season. More generally, they’ve won by two clear goals in 17 of their 31 away fixtures against non-Big Six sides since 2017/18.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man City -1.5 $1.87

Bournemouth v West Ham

After six games these sides both sit in the top-six of the table.

Bournemouth come into the match on the back of successive 3-1 victories which followed a pair of 3-1 defeats. Both teams have now scored in the Cherries’ last seven Premier League matches. Since 2016/17, Bournemouth have won 21 of their 41 home matches against non-Big Six sides as they’ve made Dean Court a fortress against the not-so-elite teams.

We’re usually keen on Overs whenever Bournemouth play considering their attacking prowess and their defensive frailties but that doesn’t really match up with this West Ham side that have seen both sides score in just two of their five matches this term and who come into the game on the back of three consecutive clean sheets. Under Pellegrini, the Hammers have lost 10 of their 22 away matches so they look skinny at $2.80.

One huge positive for Bournemouth fans has been the regular appearance of striker Callum Wilson. Since the seaside club got promoted to the Premier League he’s missed 37 of their 79 home matches but he’s now started the last seven.  Bournemouth have won 16 of the 31 when he has started at home to non-Big Six sides.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Bournemouth Win $2.58

Chelsea v Liverpool

After impressive wins in the league last weekend, Chelsea and Liverpool lost to Spanish and Italian opposition respectively to get off to a slow-start in this year’s Champions League.

At first glance it’s surprising to see odds-against on Liverpool versus any side other than Man City given their domestic dominance either side of the summer break. The Reds have won a club-record 14 in a row in the league but none of the games were against Big Six sides on the road. They’ve beaten Arsenal (3-1), Chelsea (2-0) and Spurs (2-1) at Anfield in the mightily impressive streak.

Chelsea’s Premier League games under Frank Lampard have been full of excitement as four have featured both teams scoring and four have had Over 3.5 Goals. While their eight points from five games is decent, placing them in joint-third so far, they’ve had a very easy run.

Man Utd away in their opener has been their toughest game as they collapsed to a 4-0 defeat and at The Bridge they’ve let leads slip against Sheffield United and Leicester. Worryingly, they lost 1-0 at home to a Valencia side in the midst of a managerial crisis in midweek and now they host the European champions.

Virgil van Dijk had an off-day against Napoli in the week and so did the formidable front-three of Salah, Mane and Firmino. We can expect all to bounce-back to normality quickly though and provide a huge test for an attack led by Tammy Abraham. The 21-year old has seven goals in five Premier League appearances so far this season but now faces the best defence in the country, if not the world.

Chelsea have lost their last two against the Big Two by an aggregate 8-0 scoreline. They are unproven without Hazard and have lost their two biggest matches so far this season. We’re expecting that stat to read three in three come Monday.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool Win $2.06

West Ham v Man Utd

Man Utd travel to London after two wins in the last week after they got their Europa League campaign off to a successful, if not electric, start. They’ll be happier with their victory over a full-strength Leicester side at Old Trafford given their lengthy injury list.

The same is true here as Bailly and Shaw are certainly out while Martial, Pogba and James remain questionable. We’d be sure to wait for team news before piling in here given the importance of those three to United’s attacking output.

West Ham laboured to a goalless draw at Villa in the final game of last week’s slab of Premier League fixtures. Pellegrini will probably take the point though after his side were reduced to 10-men when full-back Masuaku picked up his second yellow early after the break.

That was the second time the Hammers have failed to find the net this term after they went down 5-0 on the opening day of the season to United’s local rivals Man City.

Under the Chilean, the hosts have faced Big Six opposition 13 times but netted more than once on one occasion as both teams have failed to scored in nine of the matches.

On top of United’s injury list is their worrying goal output. Last weekend they racked up just 0.39 non-Penalty Expected Goals at home to a side who sold them their best defender in the summer.

The Red Devils netted four times against Chelsea in the season opener but have scored just four in their four since. There is little pressure on these attackers from the second-string as best shown by them scoring just once at home against Kazakhstani-outfit Astana this week.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – BTTS – No at $2.50

Arsenal v Aston Villa

Arsenal are a tricky team to gauge at the moment. They were brilliant in drawing 2-2 with Spurs, rubbish in drawing 2-2 with Watford and average in winning 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt in their last three in all competitions but what is certainly evident is that their games are full of entertainment.

Despite the Germans failing to net in the Europa League match the Gunners still offered up ample chances so much so that they’ve conceded 55 shots in the last week!

That will give promoted Aston Villa reason to believe and they need as much hope as possible after picking up just four points from their opening five matches and failing to register in their last two.

Worryingly, they’ve faced just one of the Big Six so far this campaign and that was in the first game of the season when they let a lead slip in a 3-1 defeat at Spurs. We’re expecting something similar for Dean Smith’s side on their return to North London.

Arsenal are archetypal flat-track bullies. Since 2017/18, they’ve won 26 of 29 games hosting non-Big Six sides. That is a phenomenal record.

19 of the matches have had Over 2.5 Goals while 13 have had Over 3.5. They’ve led at half-time in 16 of the games and in 19 have won by two clear goals. Keep The Gunners on-side anyway you can here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arsenal -1.5 Asian Handicap at $2.25

Southampton v Bournemouth

A busy week of European Football continues with a south-coast derby early Saturday morning.

Despite their impressive 3-1 win over fancied Everton last weekend, Bournemouth are given little hope here with the hosts around the even money mark following a return of seven points in three games straddling the International break. Both of the victories, Southampton’s only wins this season, came on the road as their opening two home games have been against Liverpool (1-2) and Man Utd (1-1).

Both teams have scored in 19 of Southampton’s 27 league matches under Ralph Hasenhuttl and they face a Bournemouth team that are strong in attack but leaky at the back. Five of the Cherries’ last six games have had Over 2.5 Goals as both sides have netted in both.

Over a longer stretch, 62% of their games in the league since they gained promotion at the start of the 2015/16 campaign have had Over 2.5 Goals as they’ve consistently entertained. Furthermore, all of their last eight trips to non-Big Six teams have seen both sides register.

Their overall record in these games is an even W16-D15-L21 which is enough to put us off steaming into the Saints so goals is the option for us.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Both Teams to Score Yes – $1.67

Leicester v Spurs

These are two of six sides currently on eight points after five games. This will be the Foxes’ fourth match against sides that finished in the top-seven last season already this term, yet no side has scored more than once against them.

Last weekend they went down 1-0 at Old Trafford in a dull game where they failed to create much, registering just 0.57 Expected Goals from nine shots. Under Brendan Rogers, Leicester have gone W4-D2-L1 with the defeat a 1-0 loss to Newcastle. Similarly, no side has scored more than once against them and five of the games have had Under 2.5 Goals.

Spurs wrapped up their victory against Palace last week before the break but even with that extra rest they were lacklustre in Greece. Last season’s Champions League finalists let a two-goal lead slip and in the end were fortunate to get a point.

Despite keeping all of their stars over the summer and improving their squad there is still something that’s not quite right at White Hart Lane. Spurs are winless in eight on the road with six defeats on the spin at the end of last season, but closer inspection shows that five of the games were against other Big Six sides.

There are a lot of uncertainties here but with Spurs looking toothless in attack and Leicester ruthless at the back, Unders is our preferred route though we wouldn’t be surprised if the Foxes were to nick it.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 2.5 Goals $2.16

Man City v Watford

Man City rebounded from their shock defeat at Norwich with a 3-0 Champions League victory in Ukraine. The loss, City’s second time dropping points already, means that Liverpool now have a five-point lead but the reigning holders remain $1.79 favourites to win the title in May.

That’s doubly surprising given the injury list that City now have to cope with. This week we learned that Stones joined Laporte in the physio room but they can at least be bolstered by Bernard Mendy’s return after coming on against Shakhtar. Such is the attacking talent in this team that Pep was able to relegate Aguero and both Silva’s to the bench in midweek so they’ll have enough fresh power for this clash.

Watford produced one of the performances of the round as they came back from 2-0 down to draw level with Arsenal. In Quique Sanchez Flores’ first game in charge, in this managerial stint at least, they dominated the Gunners in all areas winning 3.06-0.85 on Expected Goals, racking up a stunning 31 shots!

We can expect Watford, and hopefully others, to follow in Norwich’s footsteps and try and take the game to City. Most sides have shown that by just sitting back and hoping to stymie the Big Two you are asking for trouble. City’s weakness is in defence. Worryingly, though, so is Watford’s. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in 17 games in the league and they’ve lost their last seven against the Big Two conceding 27 times!

City’s record hosting non-Big Six sides since 2017/18 reads: W26-D2-L1 with 18 HT/FT doubles, 21 wins by two clear goals and 13 by three. 15 of the games have seen City win and Over 3.5 Goals scored. The bet that most interests us is a Dutch of 3-1 and Any Home Win in the correct score market which pays around Evens.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 0.17u Correct Score 3-1 $11.5

 BACK – 0.83u Correct Score = Any Other Home win $2.40

Watford v Arsenal

Watford did what they do best over the international break by sacking their manager and bringing in a previously sacked manager.

The catalyst was Watford’s poor start to this season coupled with their dramatic drop off at the end of the last. No sympathy was given for the Hornet’s run to their first FA Cup Final in 35 years in May.

This is Arsenal’s second local derby in as many games and they will take mixed feelings from their test against Spurs last time out.

The Gunners trailed 2-0 so they should be happy with a point but they dominated the game and had great chances to put the seal on an historic comeback late on.

They’ve picked up seven points from four games which included facing their rivals and a trip to Anfield so they’ll be pleased with their return so far. Under Unai Emery, Arsenal have gone W8-D2-L5 travelling to non-Big Six sides keeping just two clean sheets in the process.

Watford, meanwhile, have lost all of their last 11 matches against the Big Six! For us, that is the standout stat across the slate of this weekend’s fixtures.

With a front three of Pepe, Aubameyang and Lacazette they can blow away this Watford side as we’re more inclined to judge Arsenal on their performance against Spurs rather than their trip to Liverpool.

Three points for Arsenal is the bet of the weekend.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arsenal to Win at $2.06

Norwich v Man City

Norwich are the next team up to face the Pep juggernaut and under the Spaniard, City have been formidable against promoted opposition.

In the 18 matches his side have faced Premier League new boys, they’ve won 14 of 18 unbeaten matches and their dominance is getting wider as they’ve won the last five by an aggregate score of 15-0.

Norwich are yet to keep a clean sheet this season as they’ve let in a league-worst 10 goals from their four games. In their opener they travelled to Anfield and were put to the sword before the break as they went in 4-0 down!

It’s $2.40 (Any other away win) that a similar heavy defeat happens here and it’s that market that interests us.

In City’s nine away games against promoted opposition under Guardiola they’ve scored more than three goals on just one occasion. Since the start of last season they’ve managed that feat in ‘just’ four of their 21 away league fixtures.

While Norwich are likely to be one of the leakiest sides in the division this year there is little to justify such a short price even for a team as good as City.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Any Other Away Win at $2.46

Man Utd v Leicester

Man Utd have won just one Premier League game so far but whereas at the end of last season they were truly deserving of their lack of points this time around they’ve been mightily unlucky. On Expected Goals, United have been the second best team in the division after Man City as they’ve been the better side in all four games. Interestingly, given the wholesale changes over the summer, it’s the defence where Solksjaer’s team have shone as Aarron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire have fit seamlessly into the backline though the former, along with Paul Pogba, is an injury doubt. They join Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard as a quintet of first team players that could miss out here and, as a result, we can’t have the Red Devils odds-on.

Leicester have coped with Maguire leaving admirably as they’ve conceded the fewest Expected Goals against in the league. Along with the Big Two they are the only unbeaten team left in the division and their overall record under Brendan Rogers reads an impressive W7-D4-L3 as they’ve conceded more than once on just two occasions.

Though United beat Chelsea on the opening day of the season they won only three games hosting the other top-half finishers last term. Odds against for the Foxes to get at least a point is value here considering the injuries, United’s problems up front and the stoic Leicester defence we’ve seen so far this campaign.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Lay Man United 1.90

Spurs v Crystal Palace

After typical transfer uncertainty all summer, Spurs managed to keep all of their star players including Christian Eriksen who looked destined to leave.

Last season’s Champions League finalists, then, had a great transfer window as they added to an already successful squad but injuries and the doubt over who might go contributed to a lacklustre start which included losing to Newcastle at home!

They are installed as $1.40 favourites with good reason. Crystal Palace are one of those sides that should be ‘too good to go down’ with the quality in their squad but equally it’s very unlikely they’ll challenge the top-six.

Over the past three seasons, Spurs have won 75% of matches against teams that finished in the 7th-14th bracket and they’ve won half the 24 games without conceding.

Spurs 1-0 loss to Newcastle was the first time in 26 games they’ve failed to score at home against a non-Big Six side.

That Newcastle (2.86) team are the only club with a lower Expected Goals scored than Crystal Palace (3.20) this season as the South London side have struggled to create good chances with star Wilfried Zaha looking frustrated.

Palace won 2-1 with a smash-and-grab at Old Trafford in Week 3 despite barely touching the ball. They’ve now gone W3-D2-L14 away to the Big Six since 2016/17 which suggests there is some juice in the Spurs win price. Given Palace’s struggles up top we’re inclined to back a home win to nil.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Spurs Win to Nil at $2.50

Wolves v Chelsea

Wolves hosting Chelsea looks the pick of the bunch in the fifth round of fixtures with the Blues by far the longest price of the ‘Big Six’ to gain three points. The market also has no firm feel on the expected number of goals as Over 2.5 Goals is around Evens in an archetypal anything can happen match.

This is already Wolves’ 11th game of the campaign as they won all six Europa League qualifiers but are still looking for their first victory in the Premier League.

They went down 3-2 in a classic with Everton just before the international break in a game they didn’t deserve to lose and they’ve already travelled to Leicester and hosted Man Utd so it’s been a very difficult start for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.

Chelsea have struggled under Frank Lampard as they adapt to life after Hazard. Just before the break they let a 2-0 lead at home to promoted Sheffield United slip away and after four games only Norwich have conceded more goals despite the Blues having not faced either of the Big Two yet.

Wolves often save their best for the big games and we’re expecting something similar again here now they are rested. Since they gained promotion, Wolves have gone W4-D4-L1 in their nine games against the quartet of Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs and both teams netted in all of the matches.

At their current level you could easily argue that their opponents here are in worse shape than any of the previous nine. Wolves have won their last three such home matches and look a huge

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Both Teams to Score at $1.82

 BACK – Wolves to Win at $3.05

Liverpool v Newcastle

Liverpool had a relatively easy start to the season facing just one side that finished in the top-half last term (Arsenal at home) and this is another game they will expect to win at ease. The market gives them an 85% chance of securing all three points and it’s tough to disagree with the difference in quality between these two teams. The Reds 3-0 thrashing of Burnley before the international break extended their Premier League winning streak to a club record 13 games. Furthermore, they’ve won 11 of 11 at Anfield against sides that either finished in the bottom-half or are currently in the bottom-half since the start of last season. Their victories in these matches are becoming more emphatic. Incredibly, in six of the last seven such games they scored at least four goals and the one they failed to do so in was a 3-0 win over Bournemouth when netting their third of the game after just 48 minutes!

Newcastle provided the shock of the season so far when they won 1-0 at Spurs in Week 3 and they followed that up with a point against Watford but worryingly they’ve scored just three goals in their four matches and they’ll surely need to net at least twice if they are to have a chance of a point against the European champions. This is a new look Newcastle team under a new manager in Steve Bruce but over the last two campaigns they’ve lost all four away games at the Big Two.

As we’ve mentioned previously, Betfair offer users a great way of taking advantage of one sided games. In the correct score market Any Other Home Win pays out if Liverpool score at least four goals and win, as they have done in six of their last seven similar games to this one.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Any Other Home Win at $3.00

Southampton v Man Utd

Saturday 31st August, 9:30pm

After poor starts last season, both Southampton and Man Utd changed managers in December 2018. Under Ralph Hasenhüttl, the Saints have picked up just 1.27 PPG while Man Utd under Solksjaer have gained an impressive 1.83.

Extrapolated over a season those PPG figures would suggest we’ve got a mid-table side facing one around 5th-7th in the table and that feels a fair assessment of the current state of both teams. Over the past five seasons, teams that have finished 8th-10th have gone W29-D18-L43 hosting sides that finished 5th-7th which suggests Man Utd should be around a $2.10 shot here which is broadly in line with the market.

Southampton have faced Big Six sides eight times under their new boss and they’ve lost five of the matches, conceding at least twice in six of the games as six have also featured Over 2.5 Goals. Man Utd have now conceded in 13 of their last 14 Premier League games and their only clean sheet was in this term’s curtain-raiser against Chelsea where they were very fortunate not to go behind in the first-half.

For the second week in a row Man Utd were unlucky to drop points but their 2-1 defeat at home to a Crystal Palace side that offered little going forward exposed their defensive weakness. Once again, Lindelof proved that he’s not up to the task at centre-back while captain De Gea made a catastrophic late error to gift Palace victory.

United’s back-line has further been weakened with the news that Luke Shaw is ruled out for a month. His deputy, Ashley Young, looked short of fitness coming on against Palace and the aging full-back could well be exposed here.

13 of United’s 18 matches against non-Big Six sides under Solksjaer have finished with at least three goals and we see no reason to switch strategy for their games currently.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 2.5 Goals $1.98

Chelsea v Sheffield United

Sunday 1st September, 12:00am

Chelsea picked up their first league win under Frank Lampard last weekend and here they face their second promoted opponent in succession as a limited Sheffield United side travel to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues certainly have problems at the back but you’d expect a team that finished third last season to be much shorter than $1.38 against one of the new-boys. Over the past five campaigns, top-six finishers have won 82% of their home fixtures against promoted sides suggesting the odds for a Chelsea victory should be closer to $1.20 than $1.40 (59% W/W HT/FT doubles).

The Blades have scored one goal in each of their three opening Premier League matches but this is by far their most difficult task yet. Last week they lost at home to a Jamie Vardy-inspired Leicester side that showed they were a good match to Chelsea a couple of weeks back so we’re expecting another defeat for them.

We’re reluctant to rely too much past data on Chelsea this season given Eden Hazard’s departure but it should be noted they’ve gone W7-D2-L0 hosting promoted sides over the past three campaigns and they’ve led at half-time in six of the wins.

Despite going down 4-0 to Man Utd in their opener they actually started the game well and they were fast off the blocks against Leicester and Norwich.

We can’t leave a Chelsea W/W at odds-against unbacked.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Chelsea/Chelsea HT/FT $2.10

Man City v Brighton

Sunday 1st September, 12:00am

After just three games, the Big Two are already occupying the top-two spots in the league and its difficult to imagine that changing anytime soon as the double on them both winning this weekend pays less than $1.50. Interestingly, for short odds-backers, they’ve both won in 11 of the last 12 rounds of Premier League fixtures straddling the summer break.

Brighton have a win, a draw and a loss from their first three games under Graham Potter but this a completely different ball game to facing Watford, West Ham and Southampton. We’re expecting the Seagulls to be a more exciting side under Potter than previous boss Chris Hughton but it’s still worth remembering that they’ve lost all eight versus City or Liverpool since they gained promotion to the Premier League netting just once in four on the road.

City dominated Spurs in their first game of the season but only managed a draw as they had a dubious goal ruled out at the death. Spurs, though, remain one of the best teams in England, if not Europe while Brighton almost went down last season.

Over the past two campaigns City have won 18 of their 20 games hosting sides that finished in the bottom-half which suggests the $1.11 for a home win is bang on. The Asian Handicap is set at around -2.75 which again feels about right given City have won nine of the 20 matches by at least three goals and seven by at least four.

City have looked a bit shaky at the back so far this season as they’ve given up over 1 Expected Goal per game (3.17 in total). With that in mind our preference for this week is the goals market. 12 of City’s 20 games from above featured at least four goals as have all of their last four in the league including their 4-1 win at Brighton to secure the title in May.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 3.5 Goals $1.90

Burnley v Liverpool

Sunday 1st September, 2:30am

Liverpool were deserved 3-1 winners over Arsenal last week in an impressive display that proved their title credentials once more. The victory stretched their streak to 12 in a row in the league. They’ve netted at least twice in each of the games as nine have featured Over 2.5 Goals and six Over 3.5.

Their next challengers are Burnley who have four points from their opening three games. Last weekend they travelled to a tired but impressive Wolves side and held a one-goal lead up until a controversial last-minute penalty for the hosts to square the game.

Since Burnley gained promotion to the Premier League at the start of the 2016/17 season, they’ve lost nine of their 12 games against the Big Two, including all four last time around, but interestingly they’ve found the net in nine of the matches (5/6 at Turf Moor).

The visitors once again look a bit underrated even at this short price. They went off at $1.50 at Southampton a fortnight ago and the $1.35 here looks huge against a side that narrowly avoided relegation last season.

Excluding games at the Big Six, Liverpool have won 13 of 15 unbeaten away matches since the start of 2018/19. They’ve kept a clean sheet in nine of those matches but given Burnley’s scoring record we’re inclined to leave the Match Odds & Both Teams to Score market alone.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool $1.35

Everton v Wolves

Sunday 1st September, 11:00pm

Backing Everton at home and laying them away has shown a great return so far this season and there might not be any reason to change tactic here.

This will be Wolves’ sixth game in 18 days such is the gruelling process of Europa League qualification. For their last away game we were happy to side with them given they could play their reserves in the second leg of their previous qualification round but after a five-goal thriller in Turin they’ll be playing their first choice XI on Friday morning against Torino.

Last week, they looked tired against a Burnley side that they would expect to beat with fresh legs as they needed a 98th penalty from Jiminez to secure a point and keep their unbeaten, albeit with three draws, start to the season intact.

In Everton’s last six home games they have faced Watford, Burnley, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool and, incredibly, they haven’t conceded a single goal. Liverpool were the only side to get a point in that spell as Marco Silva’s side have returned Goodison Park to a fortress. In the ‘Best of the Rest’ table the market is expecting a three-way battled between these two sides and Leicester with Wolves rated as the outsiders of the three.

Over the past couple of seasons, Everton have won half of their 22 home matches against top-half non-Big Two sides and we expected them to be around Evens here given the expected fatigue of their opponents. There is an International break next week and that can’t come soon enough for this Wolves side.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Everton Win $2.26

Arsenal v Spurs

Monday 2nd September, 1:30am

The final Premier League game before the first International break of the season is the eagerly awaited North London Derby between two sides that despise each other. The Emirates Stadium and the new White Hart Lane are just four miles apart in neighbouring boroughs in the capital and for both sets of fans no game is bigger.

Both fixtures last season saw a man sent off and since the Premier League started in 1992/93 11 players have been given an early bath. Arsenal have had the better of this head-to-head in the Sky-era, winning 20 of the 54 games including 15 of 27 at home as Spurs have only won twice.

For the first 24 seasons of the Premier League, Arsenal finished above their opponents every year however Spurs have had that honour in each of the last three campaigns as they’ve taken their rivals Champions League berth. The Reds strength at home has persisted though and it’s been over two decades since they failed to score at home against Spurs in the league.

Arsenal were taken apart by Liverpool last week but six points from their opening two means they remain third in the table. They didn’t impress in either of those victories against Newcastle or Burnley though so this will be the best barometer of where they are under Unai Emery.

Spurs have had a very strange start to the season. After their heroics a few months back as they consolidated a top-four spot while marching to the Champions League Final they came into this season on a high having kept hold of all of their stars. What has been obvious, though, is that they’ve dearly missed the control and creativity that Eriksen and Alli bring as they’ve been absent from the starting lineups.

The Dane came on to rescue Spurs against Villa in their opener but couldn’t have the same impact against Newcastle last week while Pochettino is reluctant to rush the 23-year old England star back from another hamstring injury.

Both teams, then, have a lot to prove here. It is the hosts we have the most doubt over and even though Spurs were dreadful last week we can’t look past Arsenal’s record against the Big Six. Over the past three seasons they have won just six of their 31 games as they’ve lost 16 of them. We’re not too keen to get involved in anything here given the doubts over each XI but the Gunners look on the short side.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Arsenal $2.50

Bournemouth v Man City

Sunday 25th August, 11:00pm

Spurs ended Man City’s 15-game winning streak last weekend as the chinks began to show in Man City’s formidable armour in the second half. Despite that though, they netted at the death with a goal that would have stood in all Premier League seasons up until now so that shows what a difficult feat Bournemouth have ahead of them. In the opening 45 minutes last week City could have put five past one of the best teams in Europe.

This is the Cherries fifth season in the Premier League as they’ve impressively consolidated their position in England’s top-tier but one thing has also remained consistent: they’ve been beaten by Man City. The Citizens have won all of their eight matches since their opponents came up including four Any Other Away Wins.

We can’t see last week’s results having an effect on this City team. They just create too many good chances and have too many great players to convert the goalscoring opportunities. Betfair’s Correct Score Market gives us a fun way of getting involved with City in this form. Their Any Other Away Win market settles as a winner if City score 4+ goals and win the game. Last season, City notched 95 Premier League goals and they have seven in two already this term. Bournemouth conceded more goals than any team that stayed up last season (70). We’re expecting another rout.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Any Other Away Win $3.30

Spurs v Newcastle

Monday 26th August, 1:30am

Spurs have four points from six games but that’s papering over the cracks of two performances. They trailed at half-time in both matches and once again were, correctly, saved by the video ref. This fixture should be much easier though given they are the second shortest to win of any of the 20 teams in action this weekend.

Newcastle look like relegation fodder after two games. They created little at home to Arsenal in their opener and then lost 3-1 at Carrow Road to newcomers Norwich. Even last season under Rafa they struggled in the biggest games as they lost 11 of 12 against the Big Six. On the road they’ve been even worse losing all 12 at top-six finishers over the past two campaigns completely justifying the $1.25 on a Spurs victory.

Since the start of last season, Spurs have won 12 of their 15 home matches against non-Big Six teams and there is nothing to suggest they won’t make it 13 in 16. Pochettino’s side gave up a lot of chances against Man City last week but that was a game dictated by their opponents which won’t be the case here. Spurs won all six at home against the bottom-six last season and kept a clean sheet in four of the games.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Spurs Win to Nil $2.00

Aston Villa v Everton

Saturday 24th August, 5:00am

We’ve an earlier game than usual in this week’s slab of EPL fixtures as new boys Aston Villa host the Toffees. This is the third tricky game in a row for the promoted side as they are still in search of their first point of the campaign.

In Week One we were against Everton at Palace as they stuttered to a goalless draw. That stalemate meant they’ve now won just five of their 20 away matches since the start of last season and two of those came at teams that went down. That same fate might await their opponents here at the end of this campaign but it’s too early to be confident in backing Everton at $2.30 on the road.

Villa netted in their defeats to both Spurs and Bournemouth and they can count themselves a bit unlucky to be pointless. They’ve picked up an expected Points of 1.66 from their two games as they’ve looked good going forward. One goal here should be enough for the promoted side to get at least a draw given Everton have scored more than once in just three of their last eight Premier League matches either side of the summer break.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Everton $2.30

Norwich v Chelsea

Saturday 24th August, 9:30pm

Norwich are the next team to take on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and they will be buoyed by how the Blues struggled against Leicester last weekend. After a fast start, Chelsea fell off a cliff and they were mightily fortunate to get a point from Frank’s first league game in charge at the Bridge. In attack it seems in news that will shock no one that Giroud and Abraham’s are no match for Hazard and at the back they look a mistake waiting to happen.

The Canaries were involved in another high-scoring match as they dispatched Newcastle 3-1 at home last week after getting thrashed at Anfield in their opener. Neither game gives us much to go on here as Chelsea are a lot better than the Toon but equally much, much worse than the Reds.

We’ve taken on Chelsea with success in both games so far this season and there is no reason to change path just yet. Since the start of last season they’ve won just nine of their 20 games on the road and they are a much weaker team now than they were for much of those matches as they continue to adapt to a new manager and their best player’s departure.

It’s still early in the season and we’re still learning about each side but we couldn’t back Chelsea odds-on.

Betting Strategy

 LAY- Chelsea $1.89

Man Utd v Crystal Palace

Sunday 25th August, 2:30am

Man Utd once again impressed in a tough early season fixture in the final game of the round against Wolves but they were unable to convert decent chances either side of the half-time whistle to take a two-goal lead before Paul Pogba missed a penalty to put them back in front after Neves’ wonder strike drew Wolves level.

Four points from Chelsea at home and Wolves away is a decent start to the season, though, and only Man City have a higher Expected Points after two games (despite Liverpool and Arsenal sitting on maximum points). The Red Devils win price of $1.38 shows that they have impressed the market too but it’s surely aided by two terrible Palace efforts so far.

Roy Hodgson’s team had a poor transfer window and showed no threat against Sheffield United. Even the re-addition to the team of Wilfried Zaha did nothing to lift the spirits of one of the oldest teams in the league and now they face one of the youngest and hungriest.

Last season, Crystal Palace went W2-D2-L8 against the Big Six as they conceded at least a brace on nine occasions. Seven of the 12 had Over 2.5 Goals as their counter-attacking game shone through against sides that dominated possession. Though they were leaky, a pair of 3-2 wins at Arsenal and Man City are enough to put us off backing United here given we are only two games into the season.

We backed Overs in United’s game against Wolves and suffered a bad beat with the penalty miss but that won’t put us off going in again with a team that creates a lot of chances but are still suspect at the back. We’ve also got the cover here that Palace could well capitulate and United can chalk up at least three themselves at Old Trafford as they did against Chelsea.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 2.5 Goals $1.82

Liverpool v Arsenal

Sunday 25th August, 2:30am

The only all ‘Big Six’ clash this weekend pits the only two teams with maximum points off against each other. The two Big Six games so far this season have been great watches as Man United and Chelsea played out a much closer than it sounds 4-0 home win while Man City and Spurs drew a much more one-sided than it sounds 2-2 draw. The visitors have won just six of the 32 all-Big Six matches since the start of last season and at $6.40 Arsenal aren’t given much chance to make it seven in 33.

Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Southampton was their 11th in a row in the league though it didn’t come easily as the Saints won on Expected Goals 1.89-1.51 while Danny Ings missed an 85th minute sitter to level it up. That being said this is a phenomenal Liverpool team and their current streak has been a thrill to watch. They’ve netted at least twice in eight of the 11 victories and they’ve led at half-time in in eight including the last five.

Arsenal’s six points so far have come in two games they were expected to win comfortably as they faced a Newcastle club in crisis before hosting a very limited Burnley side.  This is a much bigger test. Arsenal have failed to win their last 22 away Premier League matches at any of the Big Six clubs stretching back to January 2015! Their record in these key games is actually getting worse as they’ve lost 11 of their last 14 with eight having Over 3.5 Goals. Over the past three seasons they’ve lost all six away to Liverpool or City with five L/L HT/FT doubles and five Over 3.5 Goals games.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool HT/FT $2.26

Wolves v Man United

Tuesday 20th August, 5:00am

Wolves put their Europa League qualifying match to bed in the first leg with a 4-0 victory in Armenia last week and they’ve been gifted a late kick-off with this fixture not kicking off until Tuesday morning in Australia so we shouldn’t expect any midweek hangover for the midlands club.

Wolves had a fantastic first season in the Premier League. They should, perhaps, have even done better than they did given Expected Points had them finishing in the top-six.

Against the better teams in the league, they excelled as they went W5-D2-L2 (8/9 O2.5 Goals) against the other sides that finished in the top half. That record improved as the season went on as they won their final four such games.

In opposite fashion, United won their opening six away games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but then picked up just one point from the next four as they stuttered at the end of the season.

Sunday’s game against Chelsea was just the 16th that Pogba, Rashford and Martial have started together and we can’t see Ole making changes given their emphatic victory. United have won 12 of the 16 and 10 of the games have had Over 2.5 Goals.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 2.5 Goals 2.20

Chelsea v Leicester

Monday 19th August, 1:30am

Chelsea has been given an extra day’s rest than Liverpool after their Super Cup efforts but it’ll still be a tough task to be ready for this test. It’s been a difficult week for the Blues after they went down 4-0 at Old Trafford and then lost on penalties in midweek but they actually impressed in both games.

While they fell apart after the break on Sunday they had the better of United in the opening 45 and on Wednesday they took it to the European champions creating lots of chances against one of the best defences in the world.

Chelsea’s problem remains at the back where they look incredibly shaky and vulnerable on the break. With the pace Leicester have that should suit their game perfectly. Leicester have avoided defeat in eight of their last 10 Premier League games including beating Arsenal and drawing with Chelsea on the final game of last season.

Though they’ll surely hurt with the departure of Harry Maguire they look a much happier outfit under Brendan Rogers and we expect them to continue to improve.

The Welshman will relish this test against a much more inexperienced opposite number. We wouldn’t put anyone off backing Leicester at $5.50 but at this stage of the season while we are still learning we’ll keep the draw on our side.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Chelsea $1.76

Arsenal v Burnley

Saturday 17th August, 9:30pm

Arsenal were worthy winners in a drab opener against Newcastle while Burnley once again defied the Expected Goals model with a 3-0 stuffing of Southampton. Incredibly, Expected Goals had the Saints winning the match 1.19-1.02.

We mentioned in our season preview that we are keener on Burnley than others given they aren’t handicapped by Europa League qualifying like last year but this game is a huge test.

Arsenal have been imperious in similar fixtures over the last couple of campaigns as they’ve won 25 of their 28 games hosting non-Big Six teams. That would suggest they could be as many as 10 ticks big at the current $1.33. The Gunners have had W/W doubles in over half the matches in that sample.

Burnley conceded a whopping 17 goals in their visits to the Big Six last season and with a strong attack Arsenal can put this to bed before half-time.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arsenal / Arsenal HT/FT at $2.06

Southampton v Liverpool

Sunday 18th August, 12:00am

Southampton is the next team to attempt to cool Liverpool’s hot streak. The Reds have now won their last 10 in the Premier League and within that spell they’ve lifted the Champions League and the Super Cup. They added the latter to their bulging trophy cabinet this week but there’s a lot of expected fatigue built into their $1.50 starting price here.

The win on penalties over Chelsea in Istanbul came after a hard-fought 120 minutes and this is a quick turnaround for Klopp’s side. They’ve notched 29 goals in their recent streak though and have lost just once since the start of last season so it’ll require some performance from Southampton to get three home points.

Southampton played well at Burnley despite the 3-0 loss but worryingly they’ve kept just three clean sheets in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s 24 games in charge now.

The Saints have lost all of their last eight in the league against the Big Two and last season they were defeated by an aggregate 12-3 in the four games conceding at least three goals each time.

For us, the market has moved too far anticipating Liverpool’s tiredness. If this was later in the season we’d be looking at some alternate Reds wins but after the Super Cup we could well see Liverpool get ahead and keep possession as they ease to a comfy three points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool Win $1.50

Everton v Watford

Sunday 18th August, 12:00am

Everton were the better team against Crystal Palace but with Schneiderlin’s dismissal in the second half they’ll probably be happy with their point.

They face Watford here in a game which has much more needle after Everton had to settle a £4m case for tapping up their current manager when he was in charge of their opponents last year. Everton improved under Marco Silva last year to win six of their final 11 games including their final four at Goodison Park.

Watford had a shocker on the opening day as they went down 3-0 at home to Brighton. That was their fourth Premier League defeat on the spin and the 13th in a row that they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet.

Everton have won 17 of their 24 home games when netting against non-Big Six opposition over the past couple of seasons giving us a fair bit of juice in their win price.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Everton Win $1.75

Man City v Spurs

Sunday 18th August, 2:30am

The highlight of the weekend’s fixtures sees Spurs try and stop Man City’s stunning winning streak of 15 in a row in the Premier League. Spurs had a shocking end to last season as they lost their final six on the road! That included a pair of losses to nil at the Big Two as they almost threw away their Champions League berth.

City’s dominance over the last couple of years has been stunning. In their 10 home games against the other Big Six teams they’ve taken 27 points and they led at half-time in eight of the victories. Their record would be 10/10 if it weren’t for a Paul Pogba inspired second-half comeback for United in 2017/18.

If anything, City are getting even stronger every time we see them play and we can’t see anything other than Pep’s side making it five in a row against Spurs and 16 on the bounce in the league.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man City / Man City HT/FT $2.08

Newcastle v Arsenal

Sunday 11th August, 11:00pm

Two teams we are very bearish on this season square off at a possibly half-full St James’ Park in their opener.

Newcastle lost Rafa Benitez in the summer and sold their two best attackers in Ayoze Perez and Solomon Rondon. Replacement Brazilian Joelinton promises a lot but is a huge weight of expectation on his shoulders. Such is the change in manager, team and atmosphere for the Magpies that little from last season should be taken into account but one thing is for sure they’ll need to tighten up at the back. They got very lucky last season as they should have conceded 15 more goals than they actually did and that’ll be music to the ears of Arsenal’s attackers.

In the news this week were rumours of Arsenal’s interest in signing Coutinho on loan from Barcelona. At the time of writing that sounds ludicrous and hasn’t happened yet but it could well be another attacking addition to a team lacking defenders. Last season they conceded over 1.5 expected goals per game which was by far the worst in the Big Six.

Their star performer in attack was Aubameyang and it’s him we want to keep on side. With 22 goals last season he shared the spoils for the Golden Boot with Liverpool’s duo of Salah and Mane.

58% of Arsenal’s games in Unai Emery’s first season in charge had Over 2.5 Goals and that increased to 71% when away to non-Big Six teams (10/14). They won just seven of those 14 so despite the worries over Newcastle we won’t be backing Arsenal odds on.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Aubameyang Anytime Goalscorer 2.10

 BACK – Over 2.5 Goals 1.83

Man Utd v Chelsea

Monday 12th August, 1:30am

The highlight of the opening round of fixtures sees two sides who are expected to compete for the Champions League spots square off at Old Trafford.

For the first time in Premier League history, both teams start the season under the management of former players.

Despite a terrible end to their campaign once fourth position was out of reach, Man Utd impressed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as they made decent progress in the FA Cup and Champions League while picking up 41 points from his 21 Premier League games in charge.

Last season was also darkened by the doubts over the future of two key players whose form fell off the side of a cliff in the closing stages in David De Gea and Paul Pogba. United fans will delight in the former signing a lengthy contract extension and most are ambivalent about the latter though he’s an asset the Board will want to keep.

Chelsea has a huge test on their hands if they are to compete on both domestic and European fronts. The off-season saw them lose their best player in Eden Hazard and their manager Maurizio Sarri. With Lampard’s arrival spirits are high in the Chelsea camp but he’s far from tested at this level and Derby were very lucky to finish as high as they did in the Championship season.

United have had a great pre-season and the capture of Harry Maguire this week makes a back line of De Gea – Wan Bissaka – Maguire – Lindelof – Shaw looks solid. The home team came out on top in 16 of the 30 all-Big Six clashes last season and United look a good thing at $2.28.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man Utd Win $2.28

Liverpool vs Norwich

Saturday 10th August, 5:00am

The Premier League is back as the Champions of Europe host the Champions of the Championship!

For the third time in the past decade, Norwich achieved promotion to the Premier League and they’ve reason to be more confident about their hopes this time around after finishing top with 94 points. As we mentioned in our Outright Preview they’ll also be buoyed by the fact that all of the last five Championship winners have avoided relegation the following campaign. The Canaries overperformed last season and after a quiet transfer window they are thrown straight in at the deep-end.

Liverpool ended last season with their sixth Champions League victory which came on the back of a stunning domestic effort. They won their final nine games of the season and in six they’d wrapped up victory by half-time. Interestingly, despite their dominance they only netted more than three times in two of those games.

Liverpool have improved every year under Klopp – though it would be some ask to do better this time around than last – and they were faultless against the promoted sides last time out with six wins from six.

They’ve now won their last 11 against promoted opposition and at home under Klopp they’ve won all 10 against teams that have recently come up. Liverpool rarely embarrasses teams though as they scored 4+ in just two of those matches and on seven occasions won either 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0.

The Reds looked sharp against Man City in the Community Shield last week and have a formidable defence.

Betfair has a handy tool to dutch multiple options in a market and this is a great opportunity to take advantage of it.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Dutch 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0 at 10.0, 7.4 and 7.6 respectively for a combined price of 2.67

West Ham v Man City

Saturday 10th August, 9:30pm

This should be a fun season for West Ham fans as they shouldn’t have to worry about a potential relegation battle – though their fans have been tricked into a false sense of security in the past.

The Hammers have struggled against the best teams in recent years. Over the past two seasons, they’ve won just four of their 24 Premier League games against the Big Six and worse still they’ve picked up just one point in eight against the Big Two. Fans of the ‘Other Four’ might get annoyed with our referencing the Big Two this season but with Chelsea (3rd) finishing closer to Crystal Palace (12th) than Liverpool (2nd) last time round we feel completely justified.

Man City will be confident they can get their attempt to win a Premier League hat-trick off to a flying start. They come into this game after lifting the first trophy of the season last weekend and on the back of their stunning end to the 2018/19 campaign where they won their final 14 games.

The numbers put up by Pep’s boys last year were outstanding as they averaged 2.4 Expected Goals For per game while allowing just 0.75 Expected Goals Against. That differential was by far the biggest in the league and they are rightly favourites for another third consecutive title.

Their record against non-Big Six sides over the last two seasons is a quite phenomenal W49-D5-L2 including 24 wins from 28 on the road. 18 of the victories were HT/FT doubles and with West Ham’s horrible stats in similar games anything bigger than 1.6 is a gift.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man City HT/FT 1.75

Crystal Place v Everton

Sunday 11th August, 12:00am

This is the first of two games this weekend that will give us the first hint of which team is likely to finish as Best of the Rest (the other being Leicester v Wolves).

Crystal Palace sold full-back Wan Bissaka to Man Utd early in the transfer window for nearly £50m as they cashed in on the 21-year old. At the time of writing they’ve still got star-man Wilfried Zaha in their ranks, though, and they look overpriced here.

After a poor start to last season the South London side bounced back to finish a very respectable 12th as they picked up 31 points from their final 20 games. That’s one point more than their opponents here yet it’s the Toffees that are favourites away from home.

Everton won just five away matches all season and three of those came against the bottom-six. Palace, meanwhile, have won nine of their last 15 against non-Big Six sides with just two defeats.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Everton 2.50

Spurs v Aston Villa

Sunday 11th August, 2:30am

As always seems the case with Spurs there is rife speculation of players in and out as the Transfer Window closes. At the time of writing Christian Eriksen is still a Lilywhites player though the Dane wants out apparently and Man Utd are interested.

If Eriksen does leave and no one is brought in as a replacement then the window will probably be deemed a failure given Kieran Trippier has already departed for Atletico Madrid even though they smashed their transfer record on Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele.

Spurs won just three of their final 12 games last season as they limped over the line to maintain a top-four finish but their attentions were elsewhere with their run to the Champions League Final and with star-striker Harry Kane lame. Pochettino’s side remain settled and they are firm $1.31 favourites to get their season off to a quick start.

Closer inspection of their results shows that price to be absolutely justified. At ‘home’ last season they won all of their 10 games against sides that finished in the bottom half as they conceded just three goals.

Aston Villa came up through the play-offs last season and they’ve had a huge squad overhaul this summer. The money they’ve spent will decide whether they stay up or not but you have to expect they’ll take a few games to bed in, giving Spurs the chance to prosper.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Spurs Win to Nil 2.10

Extra Betting Resources

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