The first Merseyside derby of the season gets the latest round of English Premier League (EPL) fixtures underway this weekend. For years, Liverpool has dominated these meetings, but they go into this contest playing catch-up to their neighbors, who sit at the top of the league with four wins from four. Everton has not won any of their last 19 league meetings with Liverpool but this could be their best chance of ending that barren run. Here are some bets that stand out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook for this weekend’s slate of games.
A tie would not be a disaster for either of these sides at Goodison Park. A point will keep Everton at the top of the standings while Liverpool will be glad to get anything after losing 7-2 at Aston Villa last time out. Historically, this particular fixture has a tendency to end all square. Eight of the last nine derbies at Goodison Park have ended in ties and that includes the last three, which have all ended without a goal being scored. In fact, this fixture in the blue half of Merseyside has produced only three goals in the last six seasons. However, goals have flowed in games played by these two sides this season. Matches involving Liverpool have produced 22 goals—the most in the league—while Everton’s four games have seen 17 goals netted. It took Liverpool 13 league games to concede 11 goals last season, but they have already conceded that number in just four matches. With the league’s leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin lining up for the Toffees, it could be an interesting match at Goodison Park.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has had a fortnight to figure out what his best starting XI is. That’s the problem when you are allowed to spend over $250 million in bringing new players in. Keeping all the players happy and giving them all playing time is the hard part of being a manager. The international break will have helped Christian Pulisic improve his fitness levels and push for a place in Lampard’s attack. This is the type of game Chelsea needs to win if it is to be considered serious title contenders. After four weeks of action, this campaign is shaping up to be another season where the title could go to a team nobody expected to be crowned champions. It happened to Leicester in 2016 and Chelsea is hoping it could happen to them this season, but they need to beat a Saints side that is looking to win their third successive game. Chelsea has scored nine of their 10 goals after halftime while four of the six goals Southampton has given up have come in the second half, which could be the highest scoring half.
This was a fixture in the Championship three seasons ago and if these sides are not careful it will be a second tier fixture next season. Neither side has won a point yet after four attempts so something has to give this weekend. Sheffield United’s struggles this season have been a surprise after the Blades’ impressive return to the top flight last season when they finished ninth. Both sides have conceded the first goal in all four of their matches this season and lost all four. Scoring the opening goal will probably go a long way to deciding the outcome of this game and it could take just one goal to claim that all-important first win. Fulham has a tendency of conceding goals in the opening 15 minutes of each half—four at the start of the first half and six at the start of the second half. If the home side can start each half fast, this could be where the game is won or lost.
One point is all these two sides have to show for their efforts in the opening month of the season. Burnley boss Sean Dyche does not seem too happy with how the club is being run behind the scenes. They were the only club in the EPL not to spend a cent on bringing a player in to strengthen their squad. In the past, Dyche has been linked with more attractive jobs than managing Burnley but he has remained loyal to the Turf Moor side. However, loyalty counts for nothing in sports and unless he finds a way to win, he could be out of a job. This could be a very cagey affair which both sides will happily win 1-0. Burnley has the better players and if they can manage to create a couple of chances, their forwards—Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes—should be able to bail them out in this fixture. However, it might not be pretty.
This has always been an attractive fixture throughout the existence of the EPL, and these two sides should be able to conjure up another 90 minutes of thrilling soccer. City are doing things the hard way without top forwards Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, but with Kevin de Bruyne pulling the strings in midfield, City should be able to manufacture opportunities for whoever is leading their attack. Arsenal star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not scored in his last three, but he found the net twice when the Gunners beat City in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spent over three seasons working alongside Pep Guardiola, who likes to play attractive football. That has rubbed off on Arteta and how he wants his side to play. Over 2.5 goals has paid out in all four EPL games Arsenal has played while both teams to score has landed in City’s three games.
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