The Premier League was at it’s unpredictable best once again at the weekend as the world’s most competitive league flipped our expectations on their heads. League leaders Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, but they were able to keep top spot by virtue of the fact that Liverpool and Chelsea both dropped points, with the Reds drawing with lowly Fulham and Chelsea losing to Everton. Further down the table, losses for Sheffield United and West Brom kept them both in the relegation zone, while Arsenal’s awful form continued, with the Gunners falling to their third defeat in a row in the league.
Now, with the festival schedule clicking into gear, we have taken a look at all of the upcoming matches and compiled our best bets for the matches taking place across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
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Manchester City continue to battle their way up the league table following what has been a less than ideal start to their Premier League campaign. Five wins, four draws and two losses sees Pep Guardiola’s men sitting in ninth at the time of writing, six points short of Tottenham at the top of the table. Of course, City do have a game in hand over those above them, but with the league so tight at the moment along with their less than ideal form, they will not be taking anything for granted. West Brom meanwhile arrive sitting in 19th in the table, three points short of Burnley in 17th and safety. What will worry the Baggies is the fact that they have already conceded a massive 25 goals (a Premier League high) and only scored nine times (the second lowest total in the league). Clearly, their defence is not giving their forwards a solid base to build on, while their frontline is unable to breach the defences of the opposition.
Worrying for West Brom is that they are coming up against an opponent that will not likely give them much time on the ball, while the home side will be in ruthless mood as they know they cannot afford many more slip ups this season if they are to challenge for the title. Ultimately, we feel this is about as big a mis-match as it will get this season. Despite City misfiring in the league, West Brom seem to have a very little that will worry their hosts. On the other side of things, City’s attacking line coupled with the leaky defence of their opponents means we are backing a City win, and a big one at that. Utilising the Asian Handicap market, we are backing City with a -3.75 handicap at 12/5 with Unibet.
The current league leaders travel to the home of the reigning champions in what should be an enthralling contest at Anfield on Wednesday. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have looked out-of-sorts in the league despite siting in second in the table, although this is mainly due to their extensive injury list. With captain Virgil van Dijk leading that list, the Reds are in desperate need of some good news going into a period in which their squad will be stretched to breaking point. Tottenham meanwhile arrive following a disappointing 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace that saw Spurs lose the chance to build a two point lead at the top of the table.
What will be particularly interesting in this match is how the two forward lines fare in the game. Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son have been outstanding for Spurs this season, scoring 19 goals between them in the league. Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah has been in fine form, netting 10 goals in the league for the reigning-champions. Of course, it is worth noting that this match will see Jose Mourinho going up against another one of the so-called big six, meaning he will likely look to ensure he will not taste defeat. Against the top sides, Mourinho has been guilty of setting up in an effort to ensure he does not lose, and while this has worked out well against Manchester United and Manchester City this season, we question whether this will work against Liverpool at Anfield. Klopp may be without some of his best players, but the Reds still have supreme talent in their ranks, and if Spurs sit too deep then they could be punished by their goal-hungry hosts.
Despite this, we think that the position of the two sides in the table along with the absence of a few of Liverpool’s best players means that, in our opinion, this one will end in a draw.