Gameweek Six is upon us, and that means we are nearly 1/6 of the way through the Premier League campaign. But rather than being one of those weirdos that starts counting down the days ‘til Christmas in June, let’s instead reflect on the magnificence of what has gone already and stake a claim for one or two betting tips of note this weekend.
The division’s form horses at the moment are Manchester City, natch (five wins from five and counting); Everton, with four wins on the spin, and Liverpool, who have beaten Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea before the leaves have fallen from the trees. That is pretty impressive going, with lots of easier trips to come.
But which Premier League fixtures offer us up some juicy betting value this weekend?
Manchester United vs Leicester City – Both Teams to Score (7/10)
Oh, Jose. After such a promising start where we were ready to put the ‘Special’ bit of your name back before the ‘One’, three defeats in the space of a week to Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford have left many pondering whether your effectiveness as a manager is in decline.
What a task faces the Portuguese pouter: he has to somehow find a way to get the best out of Wayne Rooney, help £80 million man Paul Pogba to justify his price tag, and keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford wrapped in cotton wool long enough for other United stars to find some form.
Defeats mean goals conceded means defensive problems, and that will be music to the ears of Leicester City, who have never been shy in the final third of the pitch – certainly not in the past year or so anyway.
They’ve notched eight in their last three outings in all competitions and bagged in their last three visits to Old Trafford. It would take a punter of some confidence to back against them making it four.
Bournemouth vs Everton – Everton to Win (6/5)
When you’re in a position that you have fired more shots on target this season than any other Premier League side, plus had the fewest shots on target pumped at your goal into the bargain, clearly you’re going to be winning plenty of matches.
That’s exactly what Everton have done this term, and the proof of the pudding is I the eating: six gals scored in their last two games, one conceded. The return to full fitness of Romelu Lukaku is clearly no coincidence to this, and if the burly Belgian remains fit and firing who knows there this Toffees run will end.
Bournemouth? On their day they are a handy side, but their proclivity for being beaten by strong sides that attack in numbers cannot be ignored. Backing Everton at odds-against anywhere at the moment is smart, but especially by the seaside against a limited Cherries outfit.
Swansea City vs Manchester City – Man City -1 Handicap (21/20)
You know the drill with Manchester City right now: five games, five wins, fifteen goals scored, four conceded. To have them available at odds against with a -1 Handicap against a Swansea side treading water at the moment is an absolute liberty on the part of the bookmakers.
The Swans have scored four goals – three of those by one player – so they are hardly basking I firepower right now. And defensively they have already lost by two clear goals to Hull, should have done against Leicester but nicked a late consolation goal when the hosts went to sleep, and against Chelsea the Blues were cruising at 0-2, took their foot off the gas and in three mad minutes paid the ultimate price.
You could argue that Swansea have been a bit lucky then; they won’t find Man City 2.0 under Perp Guardiola such unforgiving opponents.