English Premier League Season 2016/17 – Week 8
Saturday October 15, 10:30pm AEST
Having been outplayed by both Liverpool and Arsenal, Chelsea got back on track with a 2-0 win at Hull to move up to seventh, with Diego Costa continuing his good form to make it six goals for the season. Leicester, meanwhile, have had a slow start to their title defence as they’re down in 12th after winning just two games so far, while they’ve lost all three on the road.
Chelsea won their opening two home games against West Ham and Burnley but they proved that memories of last season’s disastrous campaign haven’t been entirely banished as they were very much second best against Liverpool and the 2-1 scoreline didn’t reflect the Reds’ dominance. John Terry should be fit to return to the backline, but Chelsea have in fact conceded fewer goals when the former England skipper has been out of the side since the start of last season, suggesting the bleeding could continue as they’ve already shipped nine goals this term, with just two clean sheets.
While Leicester have conceded just once at home, they’ve let in only 10 goals in their three road games. That’s of course in stark contrast to last season where they lost just twice on the road, but with Mendy set to return from injury having last played against Arsenal, Claudio Ranieri will hope that he can perform the role that Kante did for him last season. If he can, then Chelsea look very much on the short side at 1.62 for a side that has won just three of their last 13 home games (against relegated Newcastle, struggling West Ham and promoted Burnley) and so we’re going to take them on.
LAY – Chelsea at 1.64
Sunday October 16, 1:00am AEDT
After just one point from their first two games, Arsenal have since won their last five to climb up to third, just two points behind City. Swansea, meanwhile, parted company with Francesco Guidolin over the international break after five defeats in six games, with former United States manager Bob Bradley the man tasked with getting the Swans out of trouble.
After losing that seven goal thriller against Liverpool and nicking a somewhat fortunate win over Southampton in their opening two home games, the Gunners were much more convincing in beating Chelsea in their last home match, leading 3-0 at the break. Their record when hosting sides between 11th and 16th last term was W4-D1-L1 as they kept a clean sheet in three of these games and led at the break in five, though the defeat did come against Swansea themselves.
Swansea’s away record since the start of last season is W5-D5-L12 and when travelling to top-four sides they’re W3-D0-L9 since the start of 2014/15, though they did manage to score in all but one of these games. Two of their wins did in fact come at the Emirates, but we expect the Gunners to end that run against a Swansea side that looks one of the poorest since they joined the Premier League in 2011/12, so we’re backing Arsenal to be ahead at half time and full time.
BACK – Arsenal/Arsenal HT/FT at 1.9
Sunday October 16, 1:00am AEDT
Bournemouth have had a solid start to the season and currently sit in 13th, with Ronald Koeman suggesting after his side were beaten at Dean Court that relegation wouldn’t be a threat for Eddie Howe’s men this season. The same can’t be said for Hull, who have lost four of their last five after winning their opening two, though they have had a tough run of fixtures as their defeats have come against Man United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Bournemouth were in fact better on the road than they were at home last term, but they’ve won their last two at home after losing against United on the opening day of the season. When hosting bottom-six sides, they were W4-D1-L1 last term, though they failed to keep a clean sheet in any of these games as five saw more than two goals.
Hull have shipped 11 goals in their last three, but have scored in all but two of their games so far, and both of those were at home. With that in mind, we think there could be goals in this one and so we’re backing both teams to score at 2.05 and also Bournemouth to win and both teams to score to make it three wins in a row at Dean Court.
BACK – Both Teams To Score at 2.05
BACK – Bournemouth to Win and Both Teams to Score at 4.35
Sunday October 16, 1:00am AEDT
Having won his first 10 games in all competitions, Pep’s Manchester City stumbled just prior to the international break as they could only manage a draw at Celtic and were beaten 2-0 at White Hart Lane in the league. Everton have also suffered a dip after an excellent start as they’ve picked up just one point form their last two, losing at Bournemouth and letting a lead slip at home to Palace, though they nonetheless remain up in fifth.
City’s record at home remains perfect this season as they’ve scored seven goals in their last two at the Etihad and also put four past Monchengladbach in the Champions League. When hosting sides between 6th and 10th (which is where we expect Everton to end up), they’re W12-D0-L3 since 2013/14 as they scored more than twice in nine of these games, but kept just seven clean sheets. As a result, 12 of these games saw more than two goals, while eight had more than three.
Everton have had a fairly gentle away schedule so far as they’ve travelled to West Brom, Sunderland and Bournemouth so far. They lost three of five winless trips to the top five last term under Roberto Martinez, netting just two goals in these games, but only Leicester beat them by more than one goal. Indeed, it was a similar story with Ronald Koeman’s Southampton side as he had a W3-D2-L6 record when travelling to top-six teams during his two seasons at the club and City were the only side to score more than twice against them. They did however trail at the break in five of these six defeats, while Everton have been behind at half time in five of their six away losses since the start of last season, so we’re backing City to make it four HT/FT doubles in a row at home.
BACK – Man City/Man City HT/FT at 2.3
Sunday October 16, 1:00am AEDT
19th host 20th here, with both these sides looking for their first win of the season, but they did manage to pick up a point apiece prior to the international break as Stoke netted a late equaliser at Old Trafford, while Sunderland also rescued a point with a late goal at home to West Brom.
Stoke had a couple of tough home games to start the season as they played Spurs and City, but their record when hosting bottom-six finishers is W7-D2-L3 since 2014/15, though it’s worth noting that the Potters managed just three clean sheets in these games as both teams found the net in eight.
Sunderland have also had some tough fixtures to negotiate on the road as they’ve travelled to Man City and Spurs already, proving competitive as they lost by just a single goal against each, whilst they managed a point at Southampton. However, they have some significant injury concerns with Adnan Januzaj and Jan Kirchoff, arguably their two best players so far this season, both ruled out. With Shaqiri returning for Stoke, we think they’re too big at 2.1 and so are backing them to pick up their first win of the season and pile the pressure on David Moyes.
BACK – Stoke to Win at 2.1
Sunday October 16, 1:00am AEDT
West Brom find themselves in ninth after seven games but they’ve had a relatively lenient start as their last five games have all been against teams currently in the bottom eight. However, they’ll face their toughest test of the season so far as they host a Spurs side that beat Man City 2-0 prior to the international break to climb up to second and narrow the gap to the league leaders to just a single point.
West Brom beat West Ham 4-2 in their last home game in what was an unusually high-scoring encounter for them and only the third time in 61 games under Tony Pulis that they’ve scored more than twice. When hosting top-six sides they’re W3-D3-L3 since the Welshman took over as they managed four clean sheets and trailed at the break in just two of these games.
Spurs’ away record since the start of last season is W11-D8-L3 while when travelling to sides between 11th and 16th (which is where we expect West Brom to drop down to eventually) under Pochettino they’re W8-D4-L0, though they didn’t keep a clean sheet in any of these games last season. Indeed, with West Brom in unusually good scoring form thanks largely to Chadli and Rondon, we’re going to back both teams to find the net.
BACK – Both Teams to Score Yes at 2.06
Sunday October 16, 3:30am AEDT
Having lost their first two games of the season, Crystal Palace have since won three of five unbeaten games to climb up to 8th. West Ham, on the other hand, have had a disastrous start to the campaign as they’ve won just once and find themselves down in 18th. If it weren’t for Dimitri Payet, who scored a wonderful individual goal to equalise against Boro, it could have been even worse for Slaven Bilic’s side.
Whilst Palace have undoubtedly improved, their victories have come over Boro, Stoke and Sunderland, all of whom currently sit in the bottom five and Pardew’s men are still looking for their first clean sheet the season. Their home record is W7-D4-L11 since the start of last term and when hosting sides between 11th and 16th they’re just W1-D4-L5 under Pardew as they managed only six goals in these matches, with eight of these games seeing fewer than three goals.
West Ham have lost all three of their road games this season, having lost just five of 19 away last term, though they’ve had a couple of tough fixtures as they’ve already travelled to Stamford Bridge and the Etihad. The form of Palace’s wins appears to have been overrated and since the Hammers were much-improved against Middlesbrough, we’re backing them to pick up at least a point.
LAY – Crystal Palace at 2.26
Sunday October 16, 11:30pm AEDT
Boro ended a run of three straight defeats with a point at the London Stadium, but they remain down in 16th and look to have a tough task on their hands if they’re to avoid relegation. Watford, meanwhile, look as if they’ll steer clear of the survival battle as they find themselves in 11th despite having already played United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Boro were excellent defensively in the Championship last term as they conceded just 31 goals in their 46 games, with 22 clean sheets. However, they’ve managed to shut out their opponents just once this term and much like last season they’ve not been prolific in front of goal as they’ve only scored more than once, against bottom of the league Sunderland.
Watford are also leaking goals as they’re yet to keep a clean sheet, but they’ve had more luck at the other end of the pitch as they put three past United and netted four times against West Ham. Their record when travelling to bottom-six sides is an impressive W4-D1-L1 since the start of last season and with that in mind they look a big price here at 3.4, allowing us to get the draw on side. Given both these sides are struggling at the back, we’re also going to back Watford to win and both teams to score as we expect the in-form Deeney and Ighalo to be able to outscore Boro.
BACK – Watford 0 Asian Handicap at 2.5
BACK – Watford to Win and Both Teams to Score at 7.0
Monday October 17, 2:00am AEST
Having been somewhat unfortunate to pick up just two points from their first four games, Southampton have since won two of three unbeaten games, keeping a clean sheet in each as they once again look set to defy the loss of key players over the summer, as well as their manager. Burnley, meanwhile, look like they’ll once again be tough to break down but a lack of goals remains the problem as they’ve managed just five in their seven games so far.
Southampton have lost just one of their last 13 home games while their overall record at St Mary’s since the start of last season is an impressive W12-D5-L5. When hosting bottom-six sides they’re W11-D3-L0 since the start of 2014/15 as they kept a clean sheet in half of these games and led at the break in eight, scoring an average of 2.9 goals per game as they’ve proven extremely effective against the lesser sides.
For a team looking to extend a run of clean sheets, Burnley, who are the league’s lowest scorers, look the perfect opposition and so we’re backing Saints to win this one without conceding and because they led at the break in 10 of their 12 home wins since the start of last season, while Burnley have had L/L doubles in both their road games, we’re backing Southampton to be ahead at the break and hold onto their lead.
BACK – Southampton/Southampton HT/FT at 2.1
BACK – Southampton Win to Nil at 2.15
Tuesday October 18, 6:00am AEST
Liverpool have certainly been the team to watch so far this season as they’ve scored 18 goals already but are yet to keep a clean sheet. They lead United by three points after Jose Mourinho’s men could only manage a draw at home to Stoke and have now won just one of their last four, having won their first three.
Liverpool have won both their home games at the redeveloped Anfield this season, netting nine goals in the process, while their overall home record under Klopp is now W8-D7-L2, though United were one of the teams to beat them. Indeed, United have certainly had the better of this fixture in recent times, winning six of their last eight clashes with the Reds.
However, Liverpool won both meetings in 2012/13 and this current side looks much closer to that team that came so close to the title than some of the others that have struggled in recent times. Indeed, since United have lost eight of their 13 trips to top-five sides since 2013/14, failing to score in eight of these games, we’re more than happy to side with Liverpool at odds-against here and since five of those eight United defeats were by more than one goal, we’re also going to back them -1 on the Asian Handicap in the hope that they continue their prolific scoring form.
BACK – Liverpool at 2.16
BACK – Liverpool -1 Asian Handicap at 3.2