The new Premier League campaign is only two weeks old, and already we’ve witnessed more excitement that you can shake a stick at. From Arsenal and Leicester’s classic to Tottenham and Chelsea’s game of ‘chess on grass’, we have learned plenty about most of the key protagonists and yet still have lots more to uncover to boot.
The early parts of any season are fraught with risk for punters. Players haven’t quite hit their mark as yet, and with the transfer window still ajar it’s hard to know whose hearts are in with their present clubs and who is idling towards a move away.
But we can always play the percentages, and so slow and steady is the way to go with your Premier League betting this weekend.
Hornets Buzzing Again Thanks to Silva
After the way they ended the 2016/17 campaign, many pundits were talking Watford up as potential relegation candidates, but we’re smarter punters than that and knew that new boss Marco Silva would turn the Hornets around.
He hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but instead brought in a couple of young English signings who know the division (Andre Gray and Nathaniel Chalobah) to replace those who so badly let their side down at the tail-end of last term.
Silva almost kept Hull City up last season – a remarkable feat given that bookies had almost stopped taking bets on such an eventuality, and handed the reins of a side with some quality already in the squad he was surely bound to do well. Victory over Bournemouth, and a 3-3 draw with Liverpool, suggests he’s off to a good start.
Brighton have retreated into their shell – a shame given the attacking fluency that ultimately got them promoted in 2016/17. It’s a natural reaction from a manager, protecting his players – many of whom are inexperienced at the top level, but such negativity often pervades the minds of those putting on the shirts.
Brighton are in a conservative place at present, whereas Watford are flying. Anything approaching the Even money offered by the bookies is fair game here.
Jose Mourinho is not a manager known for free-flowing, attacking play – certainly not since his first stint in charge of Chelsea, anyway. His is a managerial style that places a premium on defending like dogs first and asking questions later.
So it’s quite refreshing to see how his Manchester United side have started the campaign. There is a certain joie de vivre about their play, with Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan linking up well in the final third and Romelu Lukaku doing what he was brought into the side to do: score goals. All is well at Old Trafford after two games, two wins and a goal difference of +8.
Leicester have started well, but this week they’re in something of a pickle. Robert Huth is definitely injured, while Harry Maguire and Wes Morgan will have to pass late fitness tests on their respective ailments.
Factor in the absence of two potential midfield shields in Danny Drinkwater and Vicente Iborra, and the Foxes are in for a hiding to nothing on Saturday tea time. Manchester United with a -1 handicap is available at 19/20, and is appetising value the way Mourinho’s men have started.
Goals, Goals, Goals
Sometimes Sky Sports really let their viewers down with their televised match choice, and other times they come up trumps with a humdinger.
This Sunday they’ve managed to achieve both in one day, with the eminently-avoidable Stoke vs West Brom followed by Liverpool vs Arsenal (we’ll let you make your own mind p as to which is which here!).
Liverpool and Arsenal encounters bring goals….lots of them. In fact, their last ten meetings have accumulated 41 of them – that’s more than four per game, for the non-mathematically minded.
You only need to look at the woeful defending the pair have exhibited already this season to know that another end-to-end contest is likely. Tuck into the 5/6 about Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score at Anfield.