Nigel Seeley here, looking forward to another round of EPL fixtures and selecting for you my top three picks for the final weekend of action before the World Cup break as all the sides will want to go out on a positive result.
Premier League Betting Splits
Manchester City vs. Brentford (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET)
Manchester City has won 11 matches from 11 at home in all competitions this season.
In the Premier League, it has won all 6 at home with the results being 4-0, 4-2, 6-0, 6-3, 4-0, 3-1 and 2-1. On Saturday, they entertain Brentford, who are yet to win on the road in the EPL and I can’t see that run ending at the Etihad. The B’s are a Jekyll-and-Hyde team, great at home where they play at a high tempo and strong press and really poor on their travels.
One important factor that I mentioned with VSiN’s Mitch and Pauly on “Follow The Money” on Thursday is that not all the players who are going to the World Cup will be giving their all in EPL games. There may be some who have one eye on the finals and will be desperate not to get injured.
However, two major city stars, Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez, are not going to the World Cup so Man City can build a team around those two and absolutely smash Brentford. Every conceivable rating points to this being very one-sided and this incredible City side averages 4 goals a game at home this season.
I believe Brentford will be ready for a long break from football when this game finishes as they are likely to get slaughtered. The bet has to be the -2.25 on the Asian Handicap at -110 as the only way we lose all our stake is if City fails to win by more than a one-goal margin and I can’t see that happening.
Pick: Manchester City -2.25 Goals on the Asian Handicap -110
Liverpool vs. Southampton (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
This game features probably my strongest pick of the weekend: That is Liverpool to beat a badly out-of-form Southampton side to nil at +130.
When I looked at this fixture list, I carefully thought about all the players who would be going to the World Cup. That made me think about the teams I wanted to fade for the reason I gave earlier. I, however, do NOT want to fade Liverpool.
Liverpool has a lot of very good players who will not be making the journey to Qatar, in particular the main man Mo Salah. Like Haaland at City, Salah is currently on fire and was certainly too hot to handle for Tottenham last weekend. Human nature tells you Salah will have a point to prove to himself as much as anyone because he will surely be jealous to see so many lesser talents flying off to the World Cup.
In its last 6 matches at Anfield, Liverpool has won no less than four of those to nil and in five of those games they have kept a clean sheet. Let’s compare that record with the visitors, Southampton, and their last five games on the road. They have featured no goals in four of them and they have lost four of those games to nil! That’s a depressing stat for their supporters ,and with form like that it is no surprise they dispensed with their manager Ralph Hassenhuttl and replaced him with Nathan Jones. The former Luton boss has inherited a terrible team that is in desperate need of a new striker.
When we look at the history of this fixture in the last six years, Southampton has not scored against Liverpool, which has won the last five years to nil and the last six results were 4-0, 2-0, 4-0, 3-0 and 3-0, plus a 0-0 tie. It is fair to say Southampton does not look forward to this fixture and with good reason.
I think Liverpool will win to nil and then let all those players go away on a happy note and it will be an equally happy note for the Anfield faithful fans who have endured a frustrating season at times.
For Southampton, it is an opportunity for Jones to see how bad a team he has inherited and then go away and work out a plan to keep them in the Premier League.
Pick: Liverpool to Win to Nil +130
Newcastle vs. Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET)
My final pick of the weekend is Newcastle to beat visiting Chelsea with the insurance of “draw no bet.“
High-flying Newcastle, under Eddie Howe, is third in the Premier League with Chelsea in seventh. Newcastle has lost just one game in 15 this season in all competitions, further underlining what a super job Howe is doing.
Chelsea arrives here after playing on Wednesday night in the League Cup (Carabao Cup). They faced Manchester City and put out a decent side, but I think they were embarrassed by City in a 2-0 defeat if not – and I do not say it lightly – humiliated. They suffered a similar fate in a shocking 4-1 defeat to Brighton, their manager Graham Potter’s former side. They were also booed off at the end after losing 1-0 at home to London rivals Arsenal. I feel several Chelsea players are currently thinking more about the World Cup than their club side. I question in a white-hot atmosphere at St James Park how many Chelsea players will be really going into 50/50 challenges at 100%? On the evidence of what I have seen recently from many of them, I can’t see it being many.
It’s a very different situation for Newcastle with their star winger Maximin not making the French squad. Also, Paraguay star Almiron won’t be concerned as his country did not make the finals. They will be 100% committed to securing another Newcastle win. Calum Wilson is off to the World Cup, but I will be surprised if he features.
Newcastle will be desperate to keep the momentum they have generated going on Saturday and I do think they are possibly a bet to win the match. But I have decided to play it safe with my pick here and have the insurance of the “draw no bet.”
Pick: Newcastle to beat Chelsea Draw No Bet -141
That’s all for this final weekend before the World Cup. Let’s hope for another winning week!