Now all that ‘international break’ guff is over and done with, we’re back to business in the Premier League. Here are some tips to aid your weekend’s betting. Remember to bet carefully and responsibly.
Chelsea have only four points from their opening four games, their worst tally at this stage since the 1995-96 campaign. That’s certainly a poor start, but the stats suggest the Blues’ fortunes are about to change. Jose Mourinho’s side have won their last three matches against Everton, and the Toffees are yet to win at home this season. If they fail to win again, Roberto Martinez’s men will have gone their opening three home league games without a win for the second season running. Three of the last four meetings have ended in 1-0 scorelines, two of which in Chelsea’s favour. Everton will likely keep it tight as they did at White Hart Lane two weeks ago. Don’t expect a repeat of last season’s corresponding fixture, which saw Chelsea run out 6-3 winners.
One for your BTTS accumulator. Palace won this one 2-1 last season, but City are a different side this term and I expect them to win. That won’t stop Alan Pardew’s side from giving them a battle though; the Londoners will still be on a high after their impressive 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago. Regardless of the hosts’ form, they have kept just one clean sheet in their last eighteen home games. Overconfidence might leave them short at the back, something City will exploit. Only Chelsea have won their five opening games without conceding a goal. A clean sheet would see City equal that, but don’t count on it. There’s goals in this one.
After becoming England’s all-time leading goalscorer earlier in the week, Wayne Rooney will be hoping to get back among the goals for his club. He has failed to score in his last 10 Premier League appearances, something he hasn’t done since his time at Everton. Rooney is one goal away from becoming Manchester United’s joint-third all-time leading league goalscorer alongside Dennis Law (171), a tally he would have reached a while back if it wasn’t for a dip in form. Liverpool are the perfect opponents; the Manchester United captain will be raring to go against the Red Devils’ biggest rivals.
Speaking of England legends, I’d almost forgotten about Wayne Rooney’s record breaking goal in midweek; I was too busy basking in the glory of one of our own - Harry Kane. His strike against Switzerland was his third England goal in four appearances, reiterating a superb start to the striker’s international career. Kane is yet to score for Tottenham this season, but with two goals in his last two England games he has quietened his doubters. The goals will come, that’s clear enough. The question is when. Bottom of the league Sunderland could be the place to start as Kane looks to match his 31 goal tally from last season. Let’s hope so, anyway.
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City - AWAY WIN
Norwich vs. Bournemouth - HOME WIN
West Brom vs. Southampton - AWAY WIN
Watford vs. Swansea - DRAW