Wolves v Watford
Both these sides have had an underwhelming start to the season, with Wolves in 19th and Watford in 20th. Some were tipping both to potentially challenge the top six and, although there’s still a long way to go, it looks like a bottom-half finish is more likely.
Watford parted company with Javi Gracia before the recent international break and replaced him with former boss Quique Sanchez Flores taking the reins. His first game showed signs of encouragement as they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2, but perhaps that was more telling of Arsenal’s current mentality.
They were well and truly dismantled by Manchester City on Saturday, as Pep Guardiola’s side recorded their biggest ever Premier League victory as they came out 8-0 winners. City recorded an Expected Goals (xG) score of 6.63 in that game, which shows that it was no fluke. Sanchez Flores is, supposedly, known for his defensive nous and he’ll be keen to tighten up the back four and improve on the Hornet’s poor record.
Just like Gracia was at Watford, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is feeling the pressure at the Molineux, with his side without a win and in the relegation zone. Their participation in the Europa League seems to be having an effect on their league form and, apart from the odd goal from Raul Jimenez, they’re struggling to find the back of the net.
With all this in mind, I doubt we’ll see goals in this game. Neither side can afford another defeat, so I envisage a cagey game that will probably end all-square. Both sides have collectively scored 13 goals in 12 games this season, so under 2.5 asian goals looks nice price at 1.840. No goals, one or two will see us land a winner.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 goals at 1.840
Everton v Man City
As I just mentioned, Manchester City absolutely demolished Watford on Saturday as they blitzed eight past the Hornets. This was after their 3-2 defeat to Norwich the week before, and they came back from that in emphatic fashion.
Guardiola could even afford to drop Raheem Sterling for that game, so whether he’ll come back into the starting XI for this game is yet to be seen. They have a plethora of attacking talent, with Gabriel Jesus bagging his second goal of the season in their Carabao Cup game against Preston on Tuesday, so perhaps he could be in line for a start in Merseyside.
Everton’s defensive record has actually been very good so far this season. Their defensive xG is almost as good as City’s this campaign, only conceding an Expected Goals of 6.83. However, they’ve failed to come up against any of the top six yet and have struggled, results-wise, despite this.
They’ve won one, drawn two, and lost three of their opening six games, scraping past the current bottom two to record those two victories. They’ve lost to Bournemouth, Sheffield United and Aston Villa, and they need a much-improved performance if they are to get anything from this game.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored two in the Carabao Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday so you’d imagine he might lead the line at Goodison Park, but the rest of their front three has struggled so far. I mentioned in last week’s preview that I think the likes of Alex Iwobi, Richarlison and Moise Kean will eventually click, I just don’t think it will be on Saturday evening.
When City are in the mood they’re in at the moment, it’s almost impossible to stop them. You can back them to win by two or more goals, which is -1.5 on the Asian handicap, and that looks like superb value at 1.860. They’re two teams in completely different form and I can’t see anything else but a convincing win for the Manchester side.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Man City -1.50 at 1.860
Man Utd v Arsenal
This is arguably the game of the weekend and it’ll be live on Sky Sports on Monday night. They are two teams with a lot of history against each other, so this will be an explosive game at Old Trafford.
Manchester United lost, again, on Sunday, against a West Ham team that haven’t pulled up any trees this season. To be totally honest, they didn’t look very good going forward, but it was their lack of cohesion in defence and midfield that worried me. Their two centre-back, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, are yet to form a solid partnership and, as long as Ashley Young is at left-back, the Red Devils will concede goals.
Arsenal snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they came back from a goal down, with 10-men, against Aston Villa. Nicolas Pepe got his first Arsenal goal from the penalty spot in that 3-2 win, and I think him and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang are starting to really gel.
Calum Chambers impressed against Nottingham Forest in the Gunners Carabao Cup game against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday so he could slot into Arsenal’s defence, however, if any of David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, or Shkodran Mustafi are on the teamsheet for this game, I be very keen to back goals.
And this bet is mainly down to the crazy imbalance between Arsenal’s defence and attack. They’ve conceded as many goals as 18th-placed Aston Villa, but scored 11 goals in six games, so I think it’s fair to say that you can expect an entertaining game when they’re involved. There’s been three or more goals in their last seven games in all competitions, so over 3 Asian goals looks value at 1.850.
Manchester United’s attack, despite it looking slightly depleted, shouldn’t have much trouble in getting past Arsenal’s defence, but their back four will struggle to contain Aubameyang and Pepe – so expect an exciting affair!
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.850
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