6th November 2020
Last season, Liverpool usurped Manchester City to become the dominant force in the Premier League, and those two will surely serve up the pick of this week’s matches when they clash at the Etihad on Sunday. However, that’s not the only talking point of this round of fixtures. Tottenham, Chelsea, and Southampton look to continue their impressive form that has put them into European contention at this early stage. Meanwhile, West Brom, Sheffield United, and Burnley are still in search of their first win of the season, with the latter two both currently stuck on a single point. Brighton and Fulham are also struggling, as the early pressure begins to mount. As usual, we have Premier League previews and the latest UK sports betting odds right here at LeoVegas.
Neither of these sides can claim to have had the most auspicious of starts to the season, but Brighton sit outside the relegation zone with a win to their name. Top scorer Neal Maupay was left out of the Seagulls’ trip to Tottenham last weekend, and it remains to be seen if he will be included for this fixture. On the flip side, Burnley are rock bottom of the league - although they’ve played a game fewer than their Friday night opponents - but they’ve rarely threatened the opposition goal. A lack of creativity and a lack of ideas could see the Clarets fall to defeat here too, for what would be the sixth time in seven games.
When Southampton slipped to successive defeats in their opening two Premier League matches, fans could have been forgiven for thinking they might be drawn into an early relegation battle. Since then, however, they’ve won four and drawn the other. Newcastle United, on the other hand, have ground out a few impressive results of their own so far - including a draw at Wolves and a win over Everton in their most recent outings. That said, when it goes wrong for the Magpies, it really does go wrong, and with the Saints performing very well at home, they should win this. Danny Ings will be missing, but James Ward-Prowse has shown that he’s ready to dig deep to lead Southampton to victory.
Everton raced into an early lead at the Premier League summit courtesy of four straight wins, but a draw followed by two defeats has brought them back down to earth. They’ve had injuries to contend with, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men need to raise their levels if they’re going to return to the right path. Any hopes that Man Utd had that their defensive issues could be behind them were silenced with an awful display in Turkey mid-week. Having lost at home to Arsenal for the first time in 14 years just a few days prior, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s days at Old Trafford appear to be numbered. In fact, if Dominic Calvert-Lewin puts on another talismanic display, Solskjaer may have already managed his last game from the Red Devils’ dugout.
It’s been a topsy-turvy season for these two sides, but both would have bitten your arm off to be seven points clear of relegation after just seven matches. Before a ball was kicked, there were claims that Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson would struggle this season, but while he has overcome them relatively well so far, there are still doubters. A win here would be a big statement. Leeds returned to the Premier League with a bang, but have now begun to approach each fixture in a more considered manner. This attitude has kept them ticking along nicely, but it remains to be seen what impact a 4-1 home loss to Leicester has had on morale. A tough one to call, but with most of the action expected in the middle of the park, a cards bet may have value.
Chelsea have only conceded in one of their past seven matches in all competitions, and yet public perception seems to only just be taking them seriously as contenders for success this year. Part of that surely comes down to a few of their expensive signings not hitting the ground running, but as the likes of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech begin to contribute, they’re becoming a real force. Last season, Sheffield United were a team you had to stand back and admire, as their tactical nous was a thorn in the side of many teams. This year though, they look disjointed, and while they haven’t yet suffered a drubbing, they’ve looked defensively fragile for the most-part. There have been a few clumsy challenges from the Blades, and Chelsea like to burst into the box at pace.
It may not be the London derby that grabs all of the headlines, but Fulham make the 12 mile trip from SW6 to E20 to take on West Ham in a game that has plenty at stake. The Hammers were on an unbeaten run of four matches before a narrow defeat at Liverpool, and they look in good stead to get back on track and move towards the top half of the table. Former West Ham midfielder and current Fulham boss, Scott Parker, appears slightly less assured of himself, but a 2-0 win over West Brom last weekend has steadied the ship for the moment at least. He has called for Mitrovic to deliver assists as well as goals, but West Ham seem capable of scoring a couple even without Michail Antonio in the side.
Despite being at the top of the relegation zone, there’s a very clear reason why West Brom are in it at all, and that’s a lack of attacking quality. A 3-3 home draw with Chelsea has been the highlight of their season so far, but apart from labouring to a couple of other points, they have very little else to show of merit. They’ve also been poor defensively, shipping the most goals (16) of any side in the division so far. That’s likely to be music to Tottenham’s ears, as Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, and Gareth Bale all look as if they’re going to take a shot or create a goal whenever they get the ball. Although they’ve had a couple of blips here and there, Spurs will surely view this as a great opportunity for three points.
Out of nowhere, some serious discussions are being had about Leicester being able to repeat their feat of winning the Premier League title in 2016. While we at LeoVegas believe that to be fairly premature, they’re in decent form, winning five matches on the spin in all competitions and conceding just twice in that run. Wolves are also in good form, boasting an unbeaten record across their four league games in October that featured three victories. The Foxes have been loud and ruthless in securing their wins, while Wolves have been a lot more considered, eyeing up their prey for long periods before striking. It’ll be an interesting encounter at the least, and we can see both sides scoring.
In 2018, Manchester City finished 25 points clear of Liverpool. In 2019, that was cut to just a single point after an incredibly well-fought campaign. While City stumbled, Liverpool came back just as strong as before, and won the Premier League for the first time with an 18 point margin between the two last season. This year, it’s a similar story, as Manchester City have won just half of their six matches so far, and have yet to win two in a row. Meanwhile, Liverpool sit top of the table, but haven’t been without their obstacles either. An historic 7-2 loss at Villa last month was followed by a draw with fierce rivals Everton, and they’ve staggered to wins over West Ham and Sheffield United since. The result of this is by no means clear-cut, but we do expect to see some goals.
Arsenal’s early approach to the season has generally been to try and soak up pressure before hitting the opposition on the counter-attack, with mixed results. That said, a 1-0 win away to Manchester United was well-earned, even if the first half was in danger of sending many viewers to sleep. Aston Villa were rightly being lauded for their solid displays that saw them win their four opening matches, but successive home losses to Leeds and Southampton have no-doubt dented their mood. Emiliano Martinez returns to his former club Arsenal on the back of conceding seven goals across those two games, but will be keen to return to his heroic best. Thomas Partey’s arrival is getting the best out of his teammates, which means the Gunners can be more expressive on the attacking front. One man in particular could benefit from that.
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*all odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change