Looking for good matches to mark for home, draw or away in then I will start on Sunday, and more specifically in Wolverhampton. Wolves take on Newcastle, and although Nuno Espirito Santos’ team has not been 100% convincing so far this season, I definitely think they will be able to secure three points here. Newcastle is a strange team. They actually have a lot of usability and sometimes they show tendencies, but then they also have periods where they seem quite helpless. The match against Manchester United last weekend was an example of the latter, a match where they got a lead in the lap, but then seemed to turn off completely.
The Wolves had to ride out a small storm in the first round against Leeds on Monday, but it still ended up with three points. The team has so far this season had to lean a little on their impressive defenders, but with two wins in their last two games, Wolves have shown an ability to take three points even if the performance is not quite where they should be. Now Nuno has had a week to work with the team and I definitely believe that Wolves will have good opportunities to beat Newcastle here.
After the wolves on Sunday, we will actually jump all the way to Monday, where we will have both matches. I think Brighton should be able to beat West Bromwich, and I think Tottenham should be able to beat Burnley.
Brighton – West Bromwich
We start with Brighton, who were extremely unlucky not to take three points from Selhurst Park last weekend. The 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace had some of the wildest numbers I have ever seen: Crystal Palace had a finish throughout the match, and it came from a cheap penalty kick, while Brighton had a full 20 finishes. It is perhaps a little disturbing for Brighton that the trend continues, that they do a lot right on the field without getting paid in the form of goals. But at the same time, they will play against West Bromwich here, and it should be affordable.Brighton is, as I see it, one of the teams that has impressed the most so far in the Premier League this season, in the sense that they have a clear plan, and that they have players who fit into the system and who understand their role. They could have successfully had a little more effective finishers at the top, but if they continue to play as they have done so far, I really think the points will start to roll in. West Bromwich caused trouble against a Chelsea team that buzzed defensively and succeeded in taking a point against Burnley, but this is also the team that has produced the lowest “expected goals” so far this season and released the most “expected goals” against. West Bromwich looked like the worst team in the Premier League on paper before the season started, and they have done very little to disprove this hypothesis so far.Burnley – TottenhamSo, at the end of the triple, we will have Tottenham. Burnley have had a strange start to the season: Only West Bromwich and Crystal Palace have produced lower “expected goals” so far this season, but Burnley have also dropped to the second lowest “expected goals” against. In short: There have been very few clear goal chances in Burnley’s matches, either one way or the other. They have only one point after four games, and the best we can really say about Burnley is that they have had some sick leave and should theoretically get better over the season.
It is a bit difficult to know where to start against Tottenham. They showed in the second round against Southampton, against Manchester United and in the first round against West Ham that they have top-class attacking players who are in great shape and who can create trouble against anyone. Then they also showed in the second round against Newcastle and in the last quarter against West Ham that this is a team that is also able to turn off and let any opponent into the game again. West Ham’s equalizer is a shot that hardly goes in more than a couple of times in 100 attempts, but it should not cover that it was Tottenham’s fault that West Ham were still in the game at the time.
Although it intuitively feels problematic to rely too much on a team that just conceded three goals in a quarter of an hour, I have no problem including Tottenham on the triple here. They face a Burnley team that has done terribly little in their matches, and even though they have an ok defense, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min are in such good shape that Tottenham should somehow be able to find the goals they need. here. Tottenham are a much better football team than Burnley and should win this match.
A triple with Wolves, Brighton and Tottenham will normally give an odds of 5.50 – For three fairly decent favorite victories, I think it should be nicely paid!
Manchester United – Chelsea
On the singles front, we are first going to Old Trafford this weekend. We have succeeded well the last couple of weeks in speculating on goals in Premier League matches and we will continue a lot in the same track. Especially in games that have to do with Chelsea: Chelsea have some of the most exciting attacking players in the entire Premier League, but they also have a defense that has not yet fully convinced.
Here, Chelsea meet Manchester United, and the question we ask ourselves is really quite simple: Do we think Manchester United will be able to score goals against this rather messy Chelsea defense? We really believe that. And so, on the other hand, do we think Manchester United can keep a clean sheet against this Chelsea attack? We do not really think so.
I then simply end up with “both teams scoring”, but I register that the odds are set a little too low to be exciting. 1.52 in odds that both teams score will be at least made for me. But if we are willing to “sacrifice” 1-1 as the end result, ie that we take ” both teams score + over 2.5 goals in the match “, then we end up with a far more interesting 1.83 in odds.For fear of becoming predictable here, most of what Chelsea have done so far this season has indicated that both teams score + over 2.5 goals can be a good game in most of their matches this season, and until they show something completely different defensively so is it’s a game we will probably take in a number of Chelsea matches in the future.
Another team that delivers solidly on the “both teams score + over 2.5 goals ” front is Everton, who have delivered a sufficient number of goals at all ends for this game to go into six games in a row now in all tournaments. This should perhaps be a warning light: Carlo Ancelotti is no fool, and he will undoubtedly have noticed that even as his team has had a great start to the season, they have conceded a lot of goals. But even though Ancelotti may want to make an effort to close the gaps a bit backwards, his goalkeeper is still called Jordan Pickford. England’s national team goalkeeper has had a rough start to the season, and does not seem to have control of it all.
After a somewhat sluggish start to the season, Southampton have had things more on the right track in recent weeks, and they followed up victories over Burnley and West Bromwich with a good point at Stamford Bridge last weekend. With Ralph Hasenhüttl’s team, we always know what we are getting: A team that chases, runs and pushes as long as they can, and that always plays forward and wants to win the ball high in the field. Against Tottenham we got a brutal demonstration of what can happen with this high pressure when it is not carried out in a good enough way, while the match against Chelsea showed that this is also a team that can make life more difficult for far more expensive opponents.
There is no reason to overcomplicate this tip: I think Everton score goals against Southampton, but I do not think they keep a clean sheet. Both teams score + over 2.5 goals has thus gone into six straight Everton games in all tournaments, and I think 2.00 in odds that it happens for the seventh time here is more than playable!
Brighton – West Bromwich
Finally, I want this match on Monday afternoon as a single as well, for all the reasons I mentioned in the triple analysis. West Bromwich have not done much to disprove the hypothesis that they are this division’s weakest team, while Brighton have in my opinion played much better than their scoring would suggest. I think 1.82 in odds that Brighton takes three points at home here is very well paid, and I want it both on the triple and as a single.