It’s time for another weekend of football fun
Week three in Premier League betting and already the football games served up thus far have sports betting fans enthralled. This weekend’s offering promises more drama, sublime skill and, perhaps, more controversy. And it’s only after three league games where the first true league tables appear and can be properly assessed.
WEEK 3 SATURDAY:
Chelsea vs Burnley
It remains early days but already Antonio Conte seems to be getting more out of what is essentially the same group of players who so underperformed last season. Hard-fought wins over West Ham and Watford (not to mention Bristol Rovers in the Capital One Cup) have brought three straight wins. Of course, the real tests are to come but newly promoted Burnley should be dispatched with something to spare. On saying that, Burnley are buoyant after a fine 2-0 success over Liverpool, despite only enjoying 19 percent of possession. The financial inequalities between the sides are evident but Sean Dyche’s team will try and make life difficult for the hosts.
Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth
Effectively, this is a clash of the bottom two (not that you can read anything into the league table at this stage). How a win would be welcome for either side. Palace, having won just twice in 21 league games this calendar year, will be ready to unleash record signing Christian Benteke on the Cherries. Bournemouth, meanwhile, wait for their own record signing, Jordon Ibe, (until recently a team-mate of Benteke) to inspire his new team with a display of his undoubted potential.
Everton vs Stoke City
Remember this one last season?! How could you not. It was a seven-goal thriller which comprised one of the goals of the season (from Xherdan Shaqiri of course) and a controversial last-gasp penalty which earned Stoke a thrilling win. Mark Hughes continues to make progress at Stoke and, but for some bizarre interpretations of the laws by Mike Dean last weekend, may well have been level with Man City before their late collapse. Ronald Koeman could hand starts to new signings Yannick Bolasie and Ashley Williams and may well keep hold of Romelu Lukaku but, either way, seems keen to bring in another striker before next week’s transfer deadline.
Leicester City vs Swansea City
Do you remember this one last season?! Just when the title run-in was threatening to get interesting, a routine 4-0 victory settled the Foxes’ nerves. After an underwhelming opening day showing against Hull, the champions showed glimpses of verve and vigour against Arsenal last time out, although the ankle injury sustained by new signing Nampalys Mendy is a worry. Swansea have plenty of talent, particularly in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, they just now need to get going.
Southampton FC vs Sunderland
Both managers chase a first win of the campaign at the third attempt with one club already feeling gloomy. David Moyes has recruited well at Sunderland but his admission it could well prove to be another season of struggle has hardly boosted morale. Their first league victories over the past three seasons haven’t arrived until October and they can ill afford a similar wait. Claude Puel needs a quick victory to get Saints’ supporters on side.
Watford FC vs Arsenal
Mistakes cost Watford at least a point at home to Chelsea. Now the next capital test for new boss Walter Mazzarri. Arsenal should have too much class at Vicarage Road but they are only one defeat away from a full-blown crisis as Arsene Wenger faces renewed calls to open his chequebook.
WEEK 3 SUNDAY:
Hull City vs Manchester United
After victories in the first two games for both sides, something has to give here. All the pressure is on the visitors who were expected to win their opening matches. Hull, who were expected to lose their first two, are the first promoted team to win their opening two Premier League matches since Bolton in 2001/02. Caretaker boss Mike Phelan, for so long the trusted assistant of Sir Alex Ferguson, will receive an excellent reception from United fans.
West Brom vs Middlesbrough
It could be a frantic week for Tony Pulis as he bids to strengthen the Baggies before the transfer window closes. He’s desperate for more signings to continue his impressive work at a club fast becoming established in the top flight. After securing a first top flight away victory in almost eight years, what price Boro sealing a second in a week? They ran out of energy after an hour against Sunderland but contrasting finishes from Cristhian Stuani had put them in the ascendancy. Can he repeat the trick at the Hawthorns?
Manchester City vs West Ham
Last season the Hammers shocked City at the Etihad just when it looked like they were going to run clear at the top after a blistering start to the season. Such is City’s strength in depth under Pep Guardiola it’s easy to see them doing the same again. Yet they will not underestimate a West Ham side which took four points off them last season. Manager Slaven Bilic’s admission that he may no longer be able to rely on the injury-prone Andy Carroll could be offset by the return of Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini.