The Premier League kicks off on Friday night after a hectic midweek schedule and LB shares three big-priced picks starting with Spurs’ trip to Selhurst.
This feels like the sort of weekend where we will separate the contenders and pretenders. A lot of teams have looked a little below par so far and only four points separate the top five teams. Tottenham, the early pace setters, are the only team in the top nine that did not have the distraction of a midweek European game and have the chance to move five points clear on Friday night.
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Prediction
Fri 27 Oct 20:00
High-flying Spurs make the short trip across London to take on a mercurial Crystal Palace and I’m expecting a feisty encounter. Roy Hodgson’s side are very hard to beat at home, and only Arsenal have managed to escape Selhurst Park with three points since a controversial Man City win there in March. Their home record in that time is P13 W4 D7 L2 and this will be another early test for Ange Postecoglou’s side.
In defense of “Big Ange,” his refreshed-looking Spurs side have risen to every challenge so far. They play with an impressive mix of defensive discipline and attacking energy and the Greek’s stock is rising rapidly. That being said, it is hard to deny that Tottenham have been quite lucky in key moments. Yes, you can only beat what’s in front of you, and Tottenham have done exactly that. However, the referees contributed to the win over Liverpool, it took two late goals to beat a 10-man Sheffield United and on the whole, Spurs have been on the right side of a few breaks. With that in mind, I am not sure they warrant being odds-on here.
Crystal Palace are quite tempting at 7/2 but something tells me to back the draw. Spurs are still unbeaten and they seemed to have picked up some street smarts this season. A score draw looks very generous at 15/4 but with Palace having already ground out five nil nil draws at home in 2023 the straight draw is my pick here.
Chelsea v Brentford Prediction
Sat 28 Oct 12:30
Chelsea looked to be on their way to a first home win of the season last weekend before Arsenal blazed into life late on and snatched a draw. It’s hard to know how Poch’s side will react to that gut punch and this could easily be a no-bet game. However, Over 2.5 Goals and BTTS at 6/5 is juicy enough to back here. Chelsea’s expensive attacking options seem to have finally found their shooting boots and The Blues have 8 goals in their last three games.
Defensively, however, Chelsea do not look like the finished product just yet. They have managed just three clean sheets in the league, and those came against Luton, Bournemouth and Fulham. Brentford might be having some sort of early season blip but they are much more of an attacking threat than those three teams and have scored in eight of nine league outings so far.
I tend not to back early kick-offs but this price looks a bit off.
Wolves v Newcastle United Prediction
Sat 28 Oct 17:30
Wolves landed a winner for me at big odds last week and I am a bit surprised to see them at such a big price once again. Newcastle, on paper, look to be in great form. However, the Magpies are infamous home birds and through some scheduling quirks have played five of their last six fixtures at St James Park. They have only one competitive away win since beating Everton last April, and that came against Sheffield United, a team that are 1/7 to be relegated.
Wolves suffered a woeful start to the season but Gary O’Neil looks to have gotten things back on an even keel. The former Bournemouth manager was appointed just five days before the season opener after Julen Lopetegui walked out and a rough start to the season should have been expected. Although early performances were solid, the results were poor and pundits were beginning to question the hire. A run of four games without defeat has significantly changed the mood (W2 D2 L0) at the club. If that form seems trivial, it is the first time Wolves have managed such a feat since Christmas 2021.
Newcastle were picked apart by Dortmund midweek and that game looked like a real wakeup call after the dream-like win over PSG in the previous round. Despite the tight scoreline, Newcastle were under the kosh for most of the second half and I suspect they could be physically and emotionally drained from it. Eddie Howe’s men produced an impressive 32 blocks, tackles and interceptions against Dortmund and that could take its toll. Star signing Sandro Tonali has been banned for the season for gambling breaches and that leaves Newcastle with more questions to answer.
With so many reasons to bet against Newcastle, and Wolves coming into some decent form, the home side look a great bet a big price of 16/5.
West Ham v Everton Prediction
Sun 29 Oct 13:00
I won’t back anything in this game but Everton look overpriced at 12/5. West Ham played away to Olympiacos on Thursday night and the Europa League slog is well known. The Hammers could easily be caught out by an Everton side playing for their survival.
Manchester Utd v Manchester City Prediction
Sun 29 Oct 15:30
United have put together a few decent results since the humbling loss to Galatasaray and things are looking slightly more promising than a month ago. Plenty of people might be tempted by the 4/1 price available against City here and I must admit I was nearly one of them. However, once again I think United are flattering to deceive and they have still not beaten any team of note this season. Man City, though, do not look their best yet and I will most certainly not be betting on them at 4/6. I look forward to watching this one.
Premier League Betting Tips
Crystal Palace v Tottenham – Draw @ 11/4
Chelsea v Brentford – Over 2.5 Goals & BTTS @ 6/5
Wolves v Newcastle United – Wolves To Win @ 16/5
The above in a treble at a little over 33/1 (0.5U).