Chelsea vs Man City
Chelsea have played Manchester City five times since June 2020, winning on four occasions – with Thomas Tuchel overseeing the three most recent victories, including the Champions League final. It’s difficult not to conclude that Tuchel has got Pep’s number.
And even if it’s been a case of fine margins in each of those wins for the Chelsea coach, the Blues are flying at the moment, unbeaten this campaign, winning four of their five games.
City have hardly entered crisis mode themselves – but they did fail to score in the goalless draw against Southampton last weekend.
While it’s perhaps unwise to talk of City’s goal troubles when they’ve scored 12 goals in two cup games in the last 10 days or so, a lack of a cutting edge did cost them against the Saints. City managed just one shot on target against a side that know all about conceding hatfuls of goals.
It’s tough not to think Chelsea have the slight psychological edge as these two sides head into this game. Backing the Blues to win at 7/4 would seem reasonable.
Man Utd vs Aston Villa
United haven’t lost to Villa in more than a decade, and the Villans may struggle to reset that record at Old Trafford. Still, the visitors’ chances of at least getting on the scoresheet seems a strong possibility.
United have conceded in each of their last seven league games at Old Trafford, and Villa have only failed to score in one of their matches so far this season – away to Chelsea, when they still produced nine shots against Tuchel’s side.
Dean Smith’s team should put up a fight here; United to win and Both Teams To Score is a 19/10 shot.
Everton vs Norwich
Norwich are already starting to look like the Prem’s whipping boys this season. Daniel Farke is searching for his first win of the season, but he seems unlikely to find it against Rafa Benitez’s canny Everton team.
The Canaries are on a 15-match losing streak in the Prem. Everton lost last time out against Villa, but that’s their only league defeat since the season started. In the Prem, Norwich have conceded at least two goals against every team they’ve played this season with the exception of an Arsenal side clearly lacking in confidence – and Norwich have mustered just two goals so far, too. Everton to win to nil is 7/4; if you’re looking for something with a bit more juice, Everton to win 2-0 is 13/2.
Leeds vs West Ham
Marcelo Bielsa is still seeking Leeds’ first win of the campaign, and may be frustrated by a West Ham side that are enjoying life at the moment. The East London club have put Mark Noble’s penalty hoo-ha behind them, knocking Man United out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
David Moyes’ team should give as good as they get against a Leeds side they defeated home and away last season. Compounding Bielsa’s woes, Leeds will be without a number of players, with the likes of Bamford, Koch and Llorente all liable to be missing – while there are injury doubts over Raphinha, Harrison and Ayling too.
Those absences surely tip the scales in favour of the visitors here. West Ham to win at 5/4 looks the way to go.
Leicester vs Burnley
The Foxes were turned over by Brighton a week ago but Brendan Rodgers can get back on track against a Burnley team that have earned only a single point so far this season. Sean Dyche’s side have also lost 11 of their last 14 league games.
Even with Rodgers persisting on using Kelechi Iheanacho sparingly – last season he scored 12 goals in the Prem, but so far in the current campaign he’s been restricted to making appearances from the bench – Leicester surely have the firepower to down Burnley.
The home win is an 8/15 shot; assuming Iheanacho is still cooling his heels on the bench, Jamie Vardy is still the likeliest man to score for the hosts. Vardy is 18/5 to open the scoring. Iheanacho could finally get the call-up though, having scored midweek in the Carabao Cup; the Nigerian is 23/20 to score at any time.
Watford vs Newcastle
Xisco Munoz has already steered the Hornets to two wins in the Prem; now they face a Newcastle side still seeking their first win of the season. And Watford have won five of their last eight league meetings with the Magpies.
The hosts are 5/4 to take all three points, with Ismaila Sarr looking the likeliest source of goals; Sarr scored twice against Norwich last Saturday, and the Senegal striker is 12/5 to find the net at any time here.
Brentford vs Liverpool
The Bees have acquitted themselves pretty well since joining the Prem, and swatting Arsenal aside on the first day of the season was a fine way for Thomas Frank’s team to announce their arrival. Taking on Jurgen Klopp’s undefeated Liverpool offers a whole new challenge, though.
The two teams haven’t even met in a league meeting since 1947 – which, for the record, was a 1-1 draw that saw Liverpool win the league, and Brentford relegated.
This match won’t have quite such seismic repercussions, but it could still make for a fine spectacle. The visitors are 4/9 to take three points, while Mo Salah is odds on at 22/25 to score any time – and with five goals in six appearances for Klopp’s side this season, it’s easy to see why the Egyptian King is fancied to find the net again here.
If you think Brentford can at least give the Reds a proper go, Ivan Toney looks the likeliest man to score for the hosts. With two goals in his last three games, the Englishman is 15/2 to find the opener here.
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