Friday, August 25, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 3

 Bournemouth v Spurs - Away

Arsenal v Fulham - Home

Brentford v Crystal Palace - Draw

Everton v Wolves - Away

Man Utd v Nottingham Forest - Home

Brighton v West Ham - Home

Burnley v Aston Villa - Home

Sheffield Utd v Man City - Away

Newcastle v Liverpool - Home

It's a massive game for Man Utd against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. After 2 un-inspiring opening matches, the Red Devils are in a much-needed win situation to keep up with the pace for the title. They were lucky to get the win against lowly Wolves and they deservedly lost against Spurs last week-end. Something is amiss in the cog wheel for Ten Hag's men and if they don't right the ship soon, it could be the start of the end for the Dutch manager. Much has been said about their lacking in midfield and newcomer Mason Mount will miss the match, which might actually be a blessing in disguise for their midfield; it could be bringing back Mc Tominay in the holding role is the catalyst that they need to get their fluidity back and kick-start their season. Forest were lucky to win their last match in stoppage time after a valiant effort against Arsenal on opening day. Steve Cooper's side will fancy their chances at Old Trafford and if they can keep the contest close, it would not be a surprise if they were to nick the winner in the later staages. I still think that Ten Hag will start tinkering with the team tactics and formation after the last 2 dubious efforts and have the hosts full-gun blazing from the start. Man Utd for the win.

I can't see Liverpool winning at St James Park, a place where the Magpies have developed into a fortress since last year. Although they were rather tepid against Man City in their last match, I don't think the hosts will have any reservation against a Liverpool team with a brittle defensive unit at the moment. The Kops are proving unable to get a clean sheet lately and this will be music to the ears of Isak and Wilson. Liverpool will again rely on the output of Salah up front, hopeful that their in-demand talisman will not succumb to the riches of the Saudi League. I think it best value to go for an outright Newcastle victory.

Win: Man Utd, Newcastle

Friday, August 18, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 2

Nott Forest v Sheffield Utd - Draw

Fulham v Brentford - Home

Liverpool v Bournemouth - Home

Luton v Burnley - Home

Wolves v Brighton - Home

Tottenham v Man Utd - Draw

Man City v Newcastle - Away

Aston Villa v Everton - Home

West Ham v Chelsea - Draw

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Away

Mid-week Super Cup winners Man City face a huge test this Sunday as high-flying Newcastle come into town. The Citizens are garnering trophies like never before and at their best are the best team in the world. They are however, not fully flowing at the moment. Their wins against Burnley and Sevilla were workmanlike and those teams are certainly not top notch. But the main problem right now for Guardiola is the loss of influential playmaker De Bruyne for months. His prolonged absence will be a huge blow to their title hopes. And here comes Newcastle, fully loaded to the hilt, and a team that has started strong in demolishing Aston Villa on opening day. The Magpies made it to the UCL last season and look set to be among the leading title contenders this year. The free-flowing Saudi money will aid to the cause for sure. This is a fantastic opportunity for Eddie Howe's men to bag full points against a City team still finding its feet. Haaland can change the match out of nothing, so I expect lots of goals in this match. If the Magpies do not edge this, a draw is very well possible, so I recommend a double chance or draw-no-bet on Newcastle.

Double-chance/Draw-no-bet: Newcastle

Friday, August 11, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 1

Burnley v Man City - Away

Arsenal v Nott Forest - Home

Bournemouth v West Ham - Home

Brighton v Luton - Home

Everton v Fulham - Away

Sheffield Utd v Crystal Palace - Draw

Newcastle v Aston Villa - Home

Brentford v Spurs - Home

Chelsea v Liverpool - Draw

Man Utd v Wolves - Home

Hope everyone had a great break and it's now time to roll again with this new EPL season. City conquered the Triple last season and after all the famous partying, the question will be whether they are still hungry for more silverware and if the rest of the pack can come anywhere closer. If history is any indication, Sir Alex's Ferguson Man Utd won the league in the next 2 years following their Triple. I have a feeling history will not repeat itself for the Citizens as Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool have reinforced well during the break and are very much a hungry pack of wolves ready to pounce. I cannot see the title out of those 4 teams.

For the inaugural week, I see easy wins for many of the main protagonists; Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd and Newcastle have been handed easy encounters and they will be hard pressed not to win. Having them in accumulators or in singles should make for a rewarding first week.

Win: Man City/Man Utd/Newcastle/Arsenal