EPL: Gameweek 2

Premier League got off to a superb start last weekend. All of the ‘big-guns’ – with the exception of Unai Emery’s Arsenal – got their season off to a winning start. Interestingly enough none of the newly promoted teams were able to find victory, but nevertheless this weekend sees some tantalising encounters and another opportunity to get through that betting slip!

Cardiff v Newcastle

Cardiff’s trip to the Vitality stadium went as many expected it to last weekend. Cardiff offered nothing going forward and subsequently lost 2-0, although not unexpected it was disappointing for their travelling fans. If the Bluebirds are to survive this season, their survival is likely to be built around Cardiff City Stadium. Their Championship campaign wasn’t much different, winning 52 points from 23 games at home whilst winning just 47% of their away games.

The Magpies failed to take advantage of a fatigued Spurs outfit last weekend and although this game looks a solid Newcastle win, their away form isn’t the greatest either. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Magpies come away with all 3 but I don’t see them keeping a clean sheet either. For more value get on both teams to score @ 21/20

West Ham v Bournemouth

You can’t read too much into the West Ham game last weekend; it was always going to be a difficult way to start the season for the Hammers. Liverpool’s strike force is truly fearsome this season; in truth it could have been much worse for the London side.

Nevertheless, Manuel Pellegrini was granted full access to the clubs coffers and brought in some good attacking talents in Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Lucas Perez who will look to trouble a Bournemouth defence who have issue of their own to deal with.

Here’s a game where two fairly attacking teams are going up against rather shaky defences, expect goals!

Over 2.5 @ 15/20 is the tip.

Tottenham v Fulham

Fulham announced themselves in the Premier League splurging over 100 million quid in the market, but none of that seemed to help last weekend as they fell to a 2-0 loss at home to a really efficient Palace side. In fairness Fulham dominated large passages of play and on another day could have easily won the game.

Spurs were expected to field a weakened team last weekend against Newcastle as many of their World Cup stars had fitness concerns. A lack of fitness was evident at times during the game but their class prevailed and they got their season off to a perfect start.

Fulham are likely to sit in and defend here, and for that reason I’m going with a Spurs victory and under 2.5 goals @ 18/10

Everton v Southampton

Marco Silva would have come away from his first competitive game with many positives and just as many negatives. Their positives are naturally the performance of Richarlison who impressed, as well as the fact that despite playing with 10 men, they were able to the lead twice to ensure a draw against the bookie favourites, Wolves.

The Saints on the other hand were under pressure for most of their game against Burnley, and it took a great effort to ensure the game ended goalless. Southampton doesn’t offer anything in attack – which favours the Toffee’s and their pedestrian defensive line.

Get on the home side @ 9/10

Leicester v Wolves

Although Leicester went behind early on in the game at Manchester United, their response (albeit they were unable to equalise) was always positive. The only negative I have with Leicester is their apparent complete reliance on Jamie Vardy, especially with the departure of Riyad Mahrez.

Wolves come into the League with lofty expectations and showed their potential last weekend against Everton. Its difficult to refute the attacking threat Wolves pose and given that I don’t back the Foxes to keep a clean sheet, there is value in getting on Wolves/Draw with both teams to score @ 19/10

 

Chelsea v Arsenal

Although not everyone will agree, I think its fair to say that very early signs of Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea weren’t overly promising. They scored just three goals during pre-season and were outclassed by City in the Community Shield. This all changed last weekend, the Blues took some time to get into the game but eventually found some rhythm and looked a class side. Of course Huddersfield aren’t a great side but it was a well deserved three points nonetheless.

Arsenal struggled last weekend, and while the defeat can be forgiven, the performance seemed a little flat. They simply couldn’t gain a foothold in the game.

Despite the quality on the pitch, I don’t think this is going to be a game to run home about. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to see this game fizzle out to a 0-0 draw.

A draw @ 29/10 looks fantastic value.

Manchester City v Huddersfield

Although City (on the face of it) got their title defence off to a tricky start, Pep Guardiola’s men controlled the game from the off and never looked like dropping points. It was composed, efficient and a really routine victory if I’m honest, which doesn’t bode well for any potential challengers. At the time of writing I haven’t got much information on Kevin Du Bruyne’s reported injury, although his loss is massive for the club I think City won’t miss him as much as another club might have. I say this only because of the system employed at City.

David Wagner switched things up in the back, opting for a back three defence and soon realised that an opening League game against Chelsea wasn’t the time or the place for experimentation.

I hate saying this about any football game, but I cannot fathom any other outcome but a comprehensive City victory.

Back the hosts to win by 3 or more goals @ 7/10

Burnley v Watford

Burnley got off to a positive start, earning a draw at St. Mary’s on the back of their Europe League qualifier on the preceding Thursday evening. Watford made easy work of Brighton last weekend winning the game 2-0 and will come into this clash with the necessary confidence. Don’t expect many goals or an exciting matchup here; in fact a rather cagey afternoon could indeed be the order of the day.

Back Burnley to just edge this one @ 14/10

Brighton v Manchester United

Brighton was disappointing at Vicarage Road last weekend but if I’m honest it was an expected defeat. Brighton ended their last campaign with the worst away record in England’s top flight, picking up just 11 points from a possible 57.

United got off to a winning start against Leicester, but things do not seem well at Old Trafford. Their performance had its moments but overall it seemed rather average. Of course the three points were important, but it isn’t indicative of any threat levelled against the title.

As bizarre as this may seem, a Brighton result here isn’t too far fetched; especially if you look at the fact that United have an array of injuries at the moment, their away form last season let them down especially against bottom half sides in the League.

Get on United/Draw and under 2.5 @ 9/10

Crystal Palace v Liverpool

Palaces are one of those sides that will popup and get a shock result every now and again. It is for this reason Jurgen Klopp will be happy to travel to Selhurst Park so early in the League. Liverpool were brilliant last weekend, Naby Keita was absolutely outstanding and justified not only the price tag but also being handed the number eight jersey at Anfield.

Liverpool will be too much for Palace here, back them @ 9/20

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