Hello again. Nigel Seeley here looking forward to another round of EPL fixtures and selecting my 3 best bets of the weekend’s action.
AFC Bournemouth vs. Leicester City (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
We cashed in last week on the Overs as Leicester thrashed Nottingham Forest 4-0 and this fixture, like that one, screams “GOALS!” Under Brendan Rogers, Leicester appear to know only one tactic and that is to attack, and though this fixture must be classed as a relegation battle it should be highly entertaining and like last week is a great Over bet.
When Leicester is on the attack, it is as potent as anyone except Manchester City, and though incredibly the win over Forest was their first victory of the season, their eight matches have featured 36 goals. They will certainly not be changing their tactics or style for the visit to Bournemouth. No side has conceded more goals than Leicester in the entire Premier League against whom they have now scored 14, which is the highest total of any team in the bottom half of the division. Their win to nil against Forest will have pleased Rogers, but Forest was awful and still should have scored at least one. Rogers will be under no illusions that they are suddenly defensive experts.
Moving on to Bournemouth, who since sacking previous coach Scott Parker has shored up defensively under new caretaker boss Gary O’Neil. I still have huge concerns about this Bournemouth team’s ability to defend against teams who come at them on the front foot and attack, and this Leicester side will certainly do that. I can only see goals in this fixture.
In seven of Leicester’s first eight EPL fixtures, the Overs have cashed. On Saturday afternoon, I fully expect that stat to read eight out of nine.
Pick: Over 2.5 Goals -125
Chelsea vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Chelsea is beginning to show signs of improvement under their new boss Graham Potter, who is now unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in his three games in charge there.
On Wednesday evening, the Blues produced their best performance of the season so far when they thrashed the mighty AC Milan 3-0 in a must-win game in the Champions League. This result will help to persuade fans that Potter, the former Brighton boss, is the man for the job!
Since Potter’s arrival, his influence defensively is apparent, and the Blues look much stronger at the back and ready to keep clean sheets. From an offensive perspective star, player Patrick Aubemayag is looking like a real force and scoring goals and he will look to terrorize the Wolves defense.
Last week, I wrote “don’t set your alarm” in the hope you will sleep through a Wolves game and miss it. They were as deadly dull as ever and remain the only team I offer to wash the dishes instead of watching. The owners finally lost patience this week with Bruno Lage and dispensed with his services as manager. The media is tipping former Spain and Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui to take over, but I cannot see any reverse in their negative approach before Saturday. Wolves have failed to score in their previous three games on the road in which they were defeated in two of them.
With Chelsea finally full of confidence and the fans behind them again, I would much prefer taking them to nil at the plus-money than the prohibitive odds on the money line.
Whilst I am very strong on my view of this game, I must end by telling you one surprising stat which adds an element of caution. That is, Chelsea has failed to beat Wolves in their previous four matches. I am confident Saturday will see them break that sequence.
Pick: Chelsea to Win to Nil + 110
Newcastle Utd vs. Brentford (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Newcastle, under its new Saudi owners, has played eight games this EPL season and drawn no less than five of them. That being said, in my view, they have made a strong start to the season and are on an upward curve which will please owners, manager Eddie Howe and their passionate supporters. Their eight games have produced only one defeat and they arrive back at St. James Park on the back of their best performance of the season, a 4-1 win away at Fulham.
Of course, with three home draws this season, that result must be of some concern to us, but that fear must be balanced out by the opposition, namely Brentford. You know my view of them is they will finish nearer the foot of the table than the top!
Brentford have been poor away from home and has failed to win on the road. I find it unlikely that they will get that elusive first win at Newcastle on Saturday.
Newcastle will look to attack, and this could be a long uncomfortable afternoon in the North for Brentford and their traveling fans.
Pick: Newcastle to beat Brentford – 125
Though not one of my official three selections, I cannot finish this week’s column by not discussing the EPL game of the weekend.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool (Sunday 11:30 a.m. ET)
This match up poses a real problem: namely Arsenal arrives in fantastic form and Liverpool doesn’t, BUT . . . Liverpool always beat them!
In their last 20 games (I must warn Arsenal fans to look away now), the Gunners have only won once. In the last two seasons, the teams have met an incredible eight times with Arsenal winning a grand total of none of them. These stats do not fill potential Arsenal bettors with great confidence about Sunday.
This is a huge match for both clubs with Arsenal defending a 100% home win record this season. Incredibly, Liverpool has failed to win away from Anfield so far this year, so its task is clearly a difficult one despite their dominance over Arsenal in recent seasons. Liverpool has to start picking up points now or this season will get away from them and it is a game I expect goals in.
Every Arsenal home match this season has seen bets on Over 2.5 goals cashed and that is a bet I like here at -162. If you fancy a bigger-priced selection for the pizza money, then how about a 3-3 draw at 45-1! In the last 18 clashes between these two teams, 3-3 has occurred twice. To add further weight to the wager, Liverpool arrives here after drawing at home to Brighton. That finished – you’ve guessed it – 3-3!