Liverpool v Arsenal
Although we’re only two games in, this match is the two Premier League front runners going head-to-head. Both Liverpool and Arsenal are the only teams with a 100% winning record at this early stage of the season, but they cannot both end the weekend with this still intact.
After a gruelling Super Cup victory, Liverpool managed to follow that up with a 2-1 win over Southampton. Jurgen Klopp’s side looked reasonably comfortable for the opening 80 minutes, but when an Adrian mistake let former Red Danny Ings pull one back, they were lucky to escape with all three points.
They’ve now conceded in both league matches this season, without really being tested by Norwich or Southampton, and the absence of Allison could be starting to have an impact on the defence. They’ve conceded an Expected Goals (xG) of 2.73 across both matches – including 1.89 against Southampton – and, if they let Arsenal have similar chances on Saturday, they’ll struggle to keep up what was a good defensive record last season.
Arsenal beat Burnley 2-1 at the Emirates last weekend, after a win against Newcastle in their opening game. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both scored for the Gunners, whilst new signings Nicolas Pepe and especially Dani Cellabos had an impact on the game.
However, whilst their defence has improved since last season with the additions of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney, the goal they conceded against Burnley was a sign that there are some issues still there. And they’ll arguably face their toughest test of the season on Saturday when they come up against Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
I don’t usually pay too much attention to head-to-head results but it’s hard to ignore the amount of goals games between these two have produced. Since 2016, there has been 35 goals in the last seven matchups, which is an incredible five goals per game. That includes 5-1 and 4-0 Liverpool wins.
So, with this in mind, along with the fact we might have Salah, Firmino, Mane, Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe on the same pitch, goals is the play in this one. Over 3.25 goals, which would see a full pay out if four goals are scored and have your stake refunded if there are just three, looks a nice price at 1.960, so I’ll be taking that, here.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.25 goals at 1.960
Tottenham v Newcastle
VAR saved Tottenham again on Saturday, as it adjudged that Aymeric Laporte handled the ball before Gabriel Jesus scored a last-minute winner for Manchester City at the Ethiad. It was actually a very poor performance by Spurs, who recorded an xG of just 0.11, compared to City’s 3.23.
Newcastle could only hope for any such luck with VAR, as they were smashed 3-1 by newly promoted Norwich. They couldn’t stop Teemu Pukki netting a hat-trick and they showed very little going forward, with their xG numbers showing up at just 0.61.
Steve Bruce has been unable to win over the Newcastle supporters after consecutive defeats, and the new signings have struggled to make an impact. Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin have shown flashes of brilliance, but not enough to help the Toon to their first point of the campaign. Jonjo Shelvey, Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden is a midfield that looks short of goals, and you have to wonder where they will come from in this team.
Tottenham will enjoy playing back at home in a game where they’ll be far more comfortable than they were against Man City. However, Mauricio Pochettino won’t want his team to go into this game with that mentality and will be keen to build on their point in Manchester at the weekend. Spurs have lost just one of their last ten Premier League home games, and their comeback against Aston Villa showed that they’re capable of winning, even when going behind.
They’ve scored 20 in those ten games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and Harry Kane & co will be keen to add more goals against a struggling Newcastle side. Newcastle did well to keep Arsenal to just the one goal at St James’ Park, but the fact they conceded three against Norwich – who are hotly tipped for relegation – shows that their defence might not be up for it. With Heung-min Son also returning, the 1.910 available on Tottenham at -1.75 on the Asian handicap looks a nice price. If Pochettino’s side win by two you get a half pay out, and a full pay out if they win by three or more.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Tottenham -1.75 – 1.910
Wolves v Burnley
I opposed Wolves against Leicester two weeks ago because of their involvement in the Europa League the week before. They travelled to Torino on Thursday and, whilst I’m not betting against them, I’m taking a similar angle.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side played 90 minutes in Italy during the week, and to have to play again on Sunday, is a tough ask for any squad. They don’t have the biggest roster of players either, so the weekend’s game at the Molineux won’t be as easy as it seems on paper. They played Leicester a fortnight ago after a Europa League game, and they drew 0-0 at home, only due to VAR disallowing Leander Dendoncker’s second-half strike.
Ruben Neves’ wonder strike on Monday night secured them a point against Manchester United, but they did only have an xG of 0.31 in that one. They obviously failed to score against Leicester, where their xG was a slightly better 0.81. They haven’t looked too menacing going forward, with Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota failing to have too much of an impact as of yet.
As for Burnley, they were unlucky not to get something from Arsenal at the Emirates, with Ashley Barnes’ equaliser giving them some hope in North London. This came after their 3-0 demolition in their first game, meaning their start to the season has been a lot better than what most people expected.
Their Expected Goals in both games has been decent, accumulating an xG of 2.3 against two decent teams. Ashley Barnes has three goals already and he will be hoping to add to his tally in Wolverhampton on Sunday.
I think Wolves’ European trip will have an impact on this game and whilst I’m not going to back against them, I think under 2.25 goals at 1.85 looks a good price. Wanderers have struggled going forward so far and potentially tired legs won’t help that. Burnley haven’t had trouble scoring but Wolves’ back three is solid, and it’s always tough to break them down. No or one goals would see a full pay out, whilst two goals would see a half pay out, making this an appealing bet.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.25 goals at 1.850
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