English Premier League Season 2016/17 – Week 7
Saturday October 1, 5:00am AEST
Everton suffered their first defeat of the season at Bournemouth and were very much second best all over the pitch and perhaps fortunate to lose by just the one goal. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, made it three wins on the bounce having won just twice all year prior to their current run as they came from 2-0 down to win at the hapless Sunderland.
Everton let a one goal lead slip at home to Spurs on the opening day of the season as they went on to draw 1-1 but they’ve won their last two at Goodison Park, against Stoke and Middlesbrough.
However, that’s consistent with last season as they picked up just three points against the top-nine but started well enough in these games, as they did against Spurs, as they trailed at the break just three times.
The question is then, even though Palace are up in 7th at the moment, are they really a top-half side? They’ve beaten Boro, Stoke and Sunderland on their current run, all of whom are currently in the bottom six and despite the likes of Christian Benteke, Wilfired Zaha and Andros Townsend flourishing in attack, the Eagles are without a clean sheet in 11 and have only managed two on the road since the start of last season.
Indeed, since both teams have scored in 14 of Everton’s home 22 home matches since the start of 2014/15 and 13 of these had more than two strikes, we’re avoiding the match outcome markets and are backing Over 2.5 Goals.
BACK – Over 2.5 Goals at 1.82
Saturday October 1, 9:30pm AEST
After winning on the opening day of the season at Burnley, Swansea have since picked up just one point from their last five to leave them down in 16th and Francesco Guidolin under pressure. Liverpool, meanwhile, have arguably been the surprise package so far this season as they’re now into 6.8 second-favourites for the title, having been double figures ahead of the season.
Swansea have managed just five goals this season and have conceded at least twice in four of their last five. Their home record is W8-D7-L7 since the start of last season while when hosting top-six teams they’re W3-D3-L8 since 2014/15 as they failed to keep a clean sheet in any of these games, but netted in nine. As a result, 11 of these games saw more than two goals and the Swans conceded more than twice five times.
Liverpool are in excellent scoring form at the moment having netted 11 times in their last three games, though they’re still looking for their first clean sheet of the season. Indeed, they’ve managed just two clean sheets in their seven visits to bottom-six sides under Klopp, but have won five of these games and four of those victories were in games that saw more than two goals. As a result we’re backing Liverpool to win and Over 2.5 Goals.
BACK – Liverpool to Win and Over 2.5 Goals at 2.1
Sunday October 2, 12:00am AEST
After wins in their opening two games, Hull have since lost three of their last four in some admittedly tricky fixtures against Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool. They shipped nine goals against the latter two and Chelsea have been on the wrong end of some excellent performances from the same opposition in their last two games, having picked up 10 points from their first four.
Hull have now played three of last season’s top-five at home as they’ve beaten struggling Leicester , were undone by a late United goal and were reduced to 10 men in the first half against Arsenal and subsequently struggled. Nonetheless, conceding nine goals in two games cannot be good for confidence and as a result we expect them to struggle once again.
Chelsea have looked extremely vulnerable defensively themselves in the last couple of weeks, but John Terry is expected to return to the side here and that should certainly help to stop the bleeding. Chelsea have won seven of their eight games following a defeat by at least three goals since 2001/02, including in a couple of away matches last term at West Brom and Bournemouth where they scored seven goals combined. Indeed, they’ve won five of six unbeaten trips to promoted sides in the last couple of seasons, with three of their wins by more than one goal and as a result we’re backing the Blues to bounce back strongly from their disappointing performance at the Emirates.
BACK – Chelsea -1 Asian Handicap at 1.8
Sunday October 2, 12:00am AEST
Sunderland’s woes continued as they failed to pick up any points at home to Palace last weekend, despite leading 2-0, and as a result just have a 1-1 draw at Southampton to show for their efforts this term. The Baggies played a similar role to Palace as they netted a late equaliser at struggling Stoke and Tony Pulis’s men remain in the top half.
Having lost only one of their final seven home games last term under Allardyce, Sunderland have lost all three at the Stadium of Light this season whilst conceding eight goals. Their record when hosting sides between 10th and 15th in the last couple of seasons is W3-D7-L2 in games that have tended to be low-scoring as eight saw fewer than three goals while five had fewer than two.
Indeed, this fixture has been goalless in the last couple of seasons and since West Brom’s three road games this term have seen just four goals, we expect this one to go in a similar manner. Under Tony Pulis, West Brom have a W2-D4-L3 record when travelling to bottom-five sides as six of these games had fewer than two goals so we don’t expect this one to be thrilling viewing.
BACK – Both Teams to Score No at 1.98
BACK – Under 1.5 Goals at 3.3
BACK – Draw at 3.3
Sunday October 2, 12:00am AEST
After impressive wins at West Ham and at home to Man Utd, Watford were beaten 2-0 at Burnley and find themselves in 11th with seven points from their six games. Bournemouth, meanwhile, are also on seven points thanks to two wins in their last three, the most recent being a 1-0 home win over an in-form Everton side.
Watford’s home record since the start of last season is W7-D6-L9 while if we narrow it down to games against bottom half sides they’re W4-D4-L1 in games that have tended to be fairly tight as six had fewer than three goals, while seven were level at the break.
Indeed, if we exclude their games against the Manchester clubs, Bournemouth’s four games this season have seen just five goals. It was a different story when they travelled to bottom-half teams last term as both teams scored in eight of these nine games and Bournemouth had an impressive W4-D3-L2 record. Having said that, the exception was at Watford where these two played out a goalless draw and as a result we’re backing Under 2.5 Goals.
BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 1.89
Sunday October 2, 12:00am AEST
West Ham continue to struggle as they slumped to their fifth defeat in six games at home to Southampton last Sunday and have now conceded 14 goals in their last four. Middlesbrough have also lost their last three having been unbeaten in their first three and find themselves down in 16th, just a couple of spots above the Hammers.
After a win against Bournemouth in their opening fixture at the London Stadium, West Ham have lost their last two whilst conceding seven goals, this after losing just one of their last 17 at Upton Park. When hosting bottom-six sides they’re W4-D2-L1 under Bilic as each of their victories were without conceding. Indeed, the Hammers have only lost one of 25 at home to bottom-six sides since 2012/13, with 16 victories in these games.
With that in mind, the Hammers certainly look like value at odds-against, despite their struggles this term. Boro weren’t the most prolific scorers in the Championship last term as their success was built largely on an excellent defence, but they’ve looked shaky in the last few weeks as they’ve conceded seven in their last three but have only managed to score more than once against hapless Sunderland. We’re siding with the Hammers to get back to winning ways and continue their excellent record when hosting the lesser sides.
BACK – West Ham at 2.2
Sunday October 2, 10:00pm AEST
After back-to-back defeats against City and Watford, United bounced back with an emphatic 4-1 win at home against the champions, leading 4-0 at the break, while they also managed to win in the Europa League as they beat Zorya 1-0. Stoke, meanwhile, looked like they’d pick up their first win of the season at home to West Brom but the Baggies equalised in injury time to leave Mark Hughes’s men with just two points so far this season.
Utd’s win over Leicester was their ninth in their last 11 home games, the exceptions being last season against the champions and this term against the league leaders. Their record when hosting bottom-half sides is an impressive W17-D1-L2 since 2014/15 as they kept a clean sheet in half of these, while 12 of their wins were W/W doubles and 11 were by more than one goal.
Indeed, Stoke have trailed at the break in four of their games this season and already suffered three defeats by more than two goals. What’s more, Utd have won all eight of their home league games against Stoke since the Potters joined the division in 2008/09, with five wins by more than one goal. Stoke, meanwhile, have lost 14 of their 16 visits to top-four sides since 2012/13, trailing at the break in 10 of these games and with eight defeats by more than one goal.
BACK – Man Utd/Man Utd HT/FT at 1.99
BACK – Man Utd -1.5 Asian Handicap at 2.03
Monday October 3, 12:15am AEST
The Foxes’ title defence hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts as they find themselves down in 12th at the moment, but they’ve had more luck in Europe as they’ve won both their Champions League games, including a 1-0 win against Porto in midweek. Southampton were also in European action as they drew 0-0 at Hapoel Be’Er Sheva, but they have won their last two league games having failed to win any of their first four.
Despite their slow start, the Foxes have won two of three unbeaten home games and now have a W14-D7-L1 record at the King Power Stadium since the start of last season. Leicester won four of five unbeaten games against sides between 6th and 10th last term, leading at the break in four of these games and keeping three clean sheets, while they’ve only conceded once at home so far and that was a late consolation goal for Swansea.
After losing tough trips to Old Trafford and the Emirates, Southampton got their first away win of the season at the London Stadium on Sunday. However, that was the only game that they’ve scored more than once in this season and since they’ve failed to score in four of their last five away defeats, we’re backing Leicester to win this game without conceding.
BACK – Leicester Win to Nil at 4.0
Monday October 3, 12:15am AEST
The top two and the only remaining unbeaten sides in the division clash here with Spurs having won their last three and conceded only three goals this term. City lost their 100% record in all competitions under Guardiola as they were held to a draw at Celtic in midweek, but Spurs got off the mark in the Champions League as they won at CSKA Moscow.
Spurs’ home record since the start of last season is W12-D7-L3 and when hosting top-four sides they’re W3-D3-L2 under Pochettino though they managed just one clean sheet in these games but managed to score in five. It’s also worth noting that they conceded first in all of these games in which at least one goal was scored and since City have scored within the first 15 minutes of their last four Premier League games, backing the visitors to net first here looks the standout selection.
City will have to make do without the star of the season so far, Kevin De Bruyne, for this one and the fact that they lost against Man Utd, Liverpool, Leicester and Spurs themselves last term without the Belgian, whilst scoring just two goals, will give Spurs some hope. However, Spurs have some injury concerns of their own with Kane out, while Dier, Rose, Sissoko and Dembele are all doubts. With that in mind, City look too big here at odds-against. Spurs’ biggest tests in the league so far have come against the Merseyside clubs and they went behind against both and were perhaps slightly fortunate to pick up a point against each. City will provide them with their toughest test and could expose them.
BACK – Man City to Score First at 1.85
BACK – Man City to Win at 2.36
Monday October 3, 2:30am AEST
Burnley have had a solid start to the season on their return to the Premier League as they find themselves in 13th with seven points from their opening six games. Arsenal, meanwhile, have won six of seven unbeaten games in all competitions, including at home to Basel in the Champions League in midweek, after they picked up just one point from their first two games of the season.
Burnley have already played four home games, picking up seven points from their last three after they lost against Swansea on the opening day. They managed to beat Liverpool 2-0 but that was something of a freak result as Klopp’s men had 80% possession and 26 shots, to Burnley’s three. Nonetheless, the Clarets proved in 2014/15 that they were a tough nut to crack for the top teams as they had a W1-D2-L3 record against the top six as five of these games saw fewer than two goals and four were goalless at the break.
The Gunners have won 16 of 19 unbeaten trips to bottom-six sides since 2013/14 as they kept a clean sheet 10 times. Burnley, meanwhile, have failed to score in each of their three defeats this term and with the Koscielny-Mustafi partnership looking better with each game and particularly impressive against Diego Costa and co., we’re backing the Gunners to win this one without conceding, but since Burnley are tough to break down at home, we think it might only be 1 or 2-0.
BACK – Arsenal to Win and Under 2.5 Goals at 4.0