Fulham vs Man Utd
Stressed Erik? Flat Erik? Erik Can’tona? It’s fair to say Erik ten Hag’s second season in charge with Man United hasn’t met expectations so far.
The Dutchman’s side has just suffered back-to-back 3-0 defeats. And even when they’ve won recently, Man Utd have been far from convincing.
There’s a possibility that United rally to some extent and do enough to take three points at the Cottage – but Fulham have won three of their last four home games.
Should we expect another iffy performance from the visitors, where they win by a goal going in off Harry Maguire’s arse? Or can the Cottagers take advantage of Ten Hag’s current tribulations, and move the United coach one step closer to the exit door?
It’s a boring verdict, but United might still edge this one. They’ve just about got the job done against the likes of Sheffield United and FC Copenhagen in recent weeks, and this could be a similar result.
Maybe it’s better to back over 2.5 goals at 10/13, though – that bet would have paid off in six of United’s last eight league games.
Brentford vs West Ham
With back-to-back wins including victory over Chelsea last time out, Brentford are feeling like the Bee’s knees for the first time this season. But David Moyes’ side should have a spring in their step after beating Arsenal in the League Cup on Wednesday.
Before that, the Irons had lost three times on the bounce. They were turned over at home by Everton last week in the Prem – not a great look, even if the Toffees are on the up.
Thomas Frank will also take comfort from the knowledge that his side has won all four of their previous Prem matches against West Ham. Is more of the same on the cards this time?
Last week we gambled Brentford could take a point, and lost out because they won. Let’s go for it this time; the Bees are 21/20 to bring the Irons back down to earth and take the win here.
Burnley vs Crystal Palace
Burnley’s fairy-tale Championship season last time out has given way to the current campaign of drudgery and dismay.
Can Vincent Kompany find a spark against a Crystal Palace side that look pretty listless without key men like Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze?
It remains to be seen whether either man will be fit to make an appearance for the Eagles this weekend. God knows Palace supporters need something to cheer them up; Roy Hodgson is well liked at Selhurst Park, but his decision to complain about his young players’ inefficacy against Spurs last week seemed misguided.
With five of Palace’s last six games in all comps seeing only one side find the net, BTTS NO at 9/10 is worth considering.
Otherwise, Palace have scored just two goals in their last six outings. Burnley games have tended to feature more goals – but not from Burnley themselves. Only twice this season have the Clarets scored more than one goal in a single league game. It could pay to take a crack at under 1.5 goals at 21/10.
Everton vs Brighton
With five wins in their last seven games in all comps, Everton have found a bit of form. Last time they faced Brighton, they won 5-1, too, improbably – although it should be noted that at Goodison Park last season, it was Brighton who administered the spanking, beating the Toffees 4-1.
Everton are mostly beating lesser sides at the moment; but interestingly, Brighton are mostly failing to beat lesser sides.
It’s one win in seven for the Seagulls in all comps; in the Prem, De Zerbi’s side have failed to win in four attempts. That’s understandable against Man City and Liverpool; against Fulham, even if they are a bogey team, it’s a bit more concerning.
And the fear is that other sides have figured Brighton out. For that reason, this game is low key fascinating; do Brighton come roaring back against a side that have often been vulnerable at home, or will the hosts continue their recent good run? A word of caution; as improved as Everton have been, they did lose at home to Luton just over a month ago…
Backing over 3.5 goals at 7/5 appeals once again. With Everton currently finding the net regularly and Brighton generally very good for goals, there’s every chance they could flow once more here.
Man City vs Bournemouth
City have a 100 per cent record against Bournemouth, winning all 12 of their games against the south coast side. We’ve come to accept that City will occasionally slip up, but the chances of that slip-up coming against this team is vanishingly small, based on previous experience.
You probably knew all that already. What’s the angle then? In six encounters between these sides at the Etihad since 2015, five have seen four or more goals scored. Backing over 3.5 goals at 4/5 looks sensible. This could turn into a real rout, though; over 5.5 goals at 6/1 isn’t unthinkable.
Sheffield United vs Wolves
With nine defeats and one draw in Sheffield United’s 10 league games so far, we’re not exactly sticking our neck out by advising you to back the visitors.
Wolves have held their own against Villa and Newcastle in recent matches, while winning against Bournemouth – and Man City! There’s every chance Gary O’Neil can claim the away win here, so backing Wolves at 23/25 looks the way to go.
Newcastle United vs Arsenal
Mikel Arteta paid the price for rotating his team on Wednesday night, Arsenal suffering a 3-1 defeat to West Ham in the Carabao Cup. But the Gunners may be able to shrug off that loss with a strong performance at St James’ Park in the tea-time kick-off.
The Magpies enjoyed a strong performance themselves midweek against Man Utd, winning 3-0. But the hosts have injury issues, with the likes of Alexander Isak, Harvey Barnes and Sven Botman all out.
The Gunners won 2-0 in this fixture last season, and have an unremarkable record against the north London side, winning just one of the last 10 Prem encounters between the two.
It might not be that useful to look at Newcastle’s older stats, given the transformation in the side’s fortunes since the Saudi takeover. Still, with the Magpies caught out at home by Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund this season, it’s clear that Eddie Howe’s side are hardly invincible on their home patch.
Arsenal will be eager to put that midweek disappointment behind them, and look a good thing to beat Newcastle at 23/20.
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