Nigel Seeley here, and we’re looking forward to another round of EPL fixtures and selecting for you my top 3 picks of the weekend’s action.
Leeds vs. Bournemouth (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
It was widely expected that Leeds would sack its American manager Jesse Marsch after the disappointing 3-2 home defeat to Fulham. It was a game they were desperate to win after a poor run of performances and – from my understanding – the board of directors were far from happy.
The club decided to give him a stay of execution ahead of the visit to Liverpool in what must have seemed a free hit and it worked as they pulled off a shocking 2-1 victory and this proved my view that although they have not been getting positive results their performances have been good. Their recent loss to Arsenal was tough to take given the amount of chances they created. Against Fulham it was a similar story, although they did score twice in that game. The problem was they conceded three and that shows that scoring has not been Leed’s problem. The issue has been keeping the ball out of their own net.
The club and their passionate supporters will hope the shock win at Anfield signals they have turned a corner and they can start to move up the League.
As for Bournemouth, the visitors started the season much better than many expected including me as I have relegation tickets on the Cherries. They suffered an embarrassing 9-0 defeat away at Liverpool and that led to the departure of manager Scott Parker. Following that, caretaker manager Gary O’Neil steadied the ship and results improved.
That initial impact from O’Neil seems to have waned and they have now worryingly lost three games on the bounce. The first two defeats were 1-0 and 2-0 against Southampton and West Ham. In both games, they failed to create any chances. In the last defeat they did lead Tottenham 2-0 but were pegged back to 3-2. They must try and correct their slide, and this is a huge game for the Cherries ahead of the World Cup break
They may find that too difficult a task because Leeds will be full of confidence after the Liverpool victory in front of their expectant home fans. This is their last home match before the World Cup and that will be a big factor for home teams across Europe this weekend and they are a very confident selection.
Pick: Leeds to Beat Bournemouth -136
Wolves vs. Brighton (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
It is our old column friends Wolves again! This weekend presents us with another opportunity to oppose them in some kind of capacity.
You will be under no illusions by now that I consider Wolves by some way the most boring team in the EPL. They currently have still not appointed a new manager and they look like a club who face a huge battle to retain their EPL status.
We are 13 matches into Wolves’ EPL season and they have only managed to score six goals. You will not be surprised to learn that is the lowest in the league and Under 2.5 goals has cashed eight times in those 13 games. I see no reason why this game will not follow the same pattern and be a dull affair with very few clear chances as Wolves try desperately not to get beat.
Brighton seem to raise its level of performance when playing the Premier League big teams. This was evidenced by the impressive 4-1 win over Chelsea and their old manager Graham Potter. They also had an excellent 3-3 draw with Liverpool and put up a good performance in the 3-1 defeat by Man City.
Against teams in the bottom half of the league, though, it has been different with many of the games being dull low-scoring affairs. In fact, every one of those matches has seen Under 2.5 goals cash and I like that play against Wolves at -136.
It would not be a Wolves match without our now regular pick of “Half Time Draw” and this bet is surprisingly still being offered at quotes of plus-money. In this case, you can get +110. Last week at Brentford, this bet cashed at HT for the sixth time in 13 games and against Brighton I think it is likely to cash again. I feel +110 is wrong, so you know what to do again!
Picks: Wolves-Brighton Under 2.5 Goals -136; Wolves-Brighton Draw at Half Time +110
Newcastle vs. Southampton (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)
My final pick of the weekend is Newcastle to beat Southampton at -110 in a match that features two teams I believe are headed in totally opposite directions.
I sense something special is happening at Newcastle with Eddie Howe in charge at St James Park. They have suffered just one defeat all season which was a somewhat unfortunate injury time loss at Liverpool. I think that the bookies and the betting public are undervaluing them and just waiting for them to implode. This is a big mistake and the opposite is true: they are getting stronger and stronger.
Southampton in comparison is having a torrid time of late, lacking any real goal threats and putting in generally poor team performances. They are looking like a team devoid of ideas and inspiration and this game is the last thing they need at the moment.
Unlike Southampton, Newcastle offers real flair and creativity in offensive areas and that is a key difference between these two teams. For Howe, this is a big game as he spent years at Southampton’s fierce local rivals Bournemouth. He will be determined to put one over his old club’s enemies and continue his current club’s impressive run of form. All in all, the price for him to do just that is a fair one.
Pick: Newcastle to beat Southampton -110
That’s all, folks. Let’s hope for another winning weekend!