It’s matchday 12 in the Premier League and BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen is here to provide his thoughts ahead of all the action.
Both Teams To Score
Leeds v West Ham
I covered both these sides last weekend. Leeds played well against Chelsea only to be undone by a very good side.
West Ham were on top for the first hour in their match against Manchester United. Again, VAR was the big talking point as it looked like the ball had travelled well over the line for a throw-in before Paul Pogba’s equaliser. All in all, I think West Ham played a lot better than the result suggests.
With both sides in such good goal scoring form, I reckon West Ham will come out on top, with both teams finding the net, in an entertaining match.
Under 2.5 Goals
Wolves v Aston Villa
Injury to Raul Jimenez means that Wolves will be missing another quality player for a period. They said goodbye to Messrs Docherty and Jota in the summer, both of whom were key to their style of play and it’s clear those changes have had an impact in terms of goals scored. In their last 4 home matches, there have been under 2.5 goals.
Aston Villa have had over a week to prepare for this after last week’s game with Newcastle was postponed. Dean Smith’s side have turned in some big performances this season. Wins against Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester – all away from home – is a mighty achievement.
However, Villa played on the counter-attack in those matches, knowing that they wouldn’t have much of the ball. I don’t see that kind of situation happening here and feel it may be Wolves who land the points in a cagey affair.
Newcastle To Win
Newcastle v West Brom
Newcastle had a bit of time off after last week’s match against Villa was postponed. They should come into this one fresh and face a West Brom side that suffered a heavy defeat on home soil against Southampton.
The Baggies were well in the match until the red card. They capitulated after that incident and now will have to turn the corner very quickly before it’s too late.
The away side have lost 10 of their last 11 matches, and if Newcastle are anywhere near full-strength, I think they’ll take maximum points.
Man City To Win and Both Teams To Score
Manchester united v Manchester City
With Manchester United so inconsistent, it’s very hard to get a handle on what to expect every time they play.
For City it’s been a lot steadier, having hit form after a shaky start. It’s likely they’ll have most of the possession here, which interestingly could suit United.
Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s side are far more suited to playing on the counter but with City in a far better place just now, I think this will end with a win for the blue half of Manchester.
Giroud To Score Anytime
Everton v Chelsea
I covered the Chelsea game last weekend and was particularly impressed by Giroud. He continued his great run of form and I loved the cuteness and cleverness of his runs – he really was a joy to watch.
Chelsea are bang in form. They are undefeated in their last 9 matches and can also boast 3 clean sheets in their last 3 away fixtures.
Unfortunately, I’d have to say the opposite regarding Everton’s current form. One win in their last 7 Premier League matches is grim reading for Toffees fans, especially after such a promising start.
One shining light has been the emergence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. He’s continued his goal-scoring form, so Everton will still carry a big threat in front of goal. That said, with Chelsea in such good form, I can’t see anything other than an away win.
Southampton v Sheffield United
I covered Sheffield United’s game last weekend and they definitely aren’t the worst side down at the bottom. They had loads of chances in that match but ended up empty handed.
Southampton are playing well at the minute. It could be argued that they’re punching above their weight, however, Ralph Hasenhüttl has his side well drilled and I expect them to approach this match in the manner we’ve become accustomed to.
I do expect Sheffield United to start picking up results soon. However, they face a side here that are bang in form, so I think Southampton will come away with all 3 points.
Tottenham To Win -1 Goal On The Handicap
Crystal Palace v Tottenham
This will be an interesting game. Crystal Palace are comfortable playing on the counter-attack and with Wilfred Zaha fit once again, they can be very dangerous.
The same can be said for Tottenham. They don’t mind being patient and get a lot of joy on the counter-attack. They’ll have to be a more positive here, and I think they will be.
Pound for pound they have the better team by quite a distance, so I fancy Jose’s men to take the points.
Liverpool To Win and Both Teams To Score
Fulham v Liverpool
Liverpool were very impressive last week at home to Wolves. Despite having a depleted squad, they’re still getting results.
Although Fulham have looked good in patches, I fear they will fall short this season. Their dangerman, Mitrovic, needs a goal. He might fancy his chances here, but I can’t see past Liverpool notching up another win.
Arsenal To Win To Nil
Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal have been disappointing this season, so far. Mikael Arteta has his work cut out; however, he’ll see this as the ideal opportunity to get back on track.
I go through a lot of stats in this line of work, and unfortunately for Burnley, they come last in most of them.
I expect the Gunners to get back on track here, albeit by a slender margin.
Leicester to Win
Leicester v Brighton
I covered Leicester when they nicked a late goal to beat Sheffield United last week. They should finish in the top 6 this season and once Brendan Rodgers has a fully fit team to choose from, they’ll likely go from strength-to-strength.
Despite Brighton looking nice on the eye, they’ve simply not won enough points this season and I think this could be the case again.
For me, Leicester simply have too much quality and I think they’ll run out comfortable winners here.