EPL Week 8 Best Picks
Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield in the early kickoff on Saturday knowing if they lose to their visitors that they will be 10 points behind after only eight games. Does this mean Liverpool’s title ambitions will be over? Maybe. A defeat would also put increased pressure on manager Jurgen Klopp because it would leave Liverpool on 12 points from eight games, the same tally when Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers was sacked.
The home side hammered Arsenal 4-0 but have since struggled for form and have only won once in the seven games since that scintillating performance, partly because Liverpool simply cannot defend. Liverpool have conceded 12 goals in their opening seven games, which is more than two of the Premier League’s bottom three sides and the joint third worst in the division.
Despite this, Bovada price Liverpool at +185 to win this game, with Manchester United available at +150 and the draw at +230. Liverpool will be without talismanic forward Sadio Mane who suffered a hamstring injury on international duty, but should welcome back Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino who returned from Brazil duty unscathed.
In a direct opposite to Liverpool’s defense, United have only allowed two goals in their previous nine games and look very organized at the back. Central defender Phil Jones withdrew from the England squad but is likely to return, but Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba and Michael Carrick are out. In-form striker Romelu Lukaku should also start despite complaining of an ankle problem.
United boss Jose Mourinho is an expert tactician in games like this and I can see United winning this game, perhaps by two goals. You can find odds of +700 on United winning by two goals and I like this bet because Mourinho will play a counter-attacking style that will take full advantage of Liverpool’s defensive frailties.
Palace Woes Look Set To Continue
Another game that looks exciting is Crystal Palace at home to Chelsea. Palace have had the worst start in Premier League history, losing all seven of their opening fixtures and failing to score in any of those games. They look unlikely to score in this game because they have no fit strikers thanks to Christian Benteke finding himself on the sidelines.
Chelsea lost to Manchester City in the final game before the international break but should bounce back in this game at Selhurst Park. Chelsea won 1-0 there last season and 3-0 the season before, which is what this game is likely to end up or thereabouts.
There is little value in backing a straight Chelsea win because they are -275 although a 2-0 Chelsea win at +600 looks incredible value despite the fact Alvaro Morata is out injured, as is midfield maestro N’Golo Kante.
The absence of these players should see Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi given a chance. Fabregas has 49 Premier League goals and if he scores he will become only the third Spaniard to score 50 goals in England’s top flight, the others being Fernando Torres and Diego Costa; Fabregas is +650 to score first and +210 to score at any time.
I like the look of Batshuayi getting on the scoresheet at anytime at +120 because he scored the winning goal against Atletico Madrid and knows this is the perfect opportunity to kickstart his Chelsea career.
Bovada will give you odds of +105 on Chelsea winning and both teams not to score and +120 on Chelsea recording a shutout victory. Both bets looks worthy of a few bucks.
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