The English Premier League (EPL) leadership changed hands three times last weekend thanks to the staggered kickoffs and that trend could continue this weekend. Tottenham goes into the slate of games top of the standings, but they could be usurped by Liverpool, who travels to Brighton in Saturday’s opening fixture. The game of the weekend takes place at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when Jose Mourinho’s Spurs travel to Chelsea, who won three titles with the Portuguese manager in charge. Here are some soccer bets that stand out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook for this weekend’s slate of games.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Liverpool
The last time Brighton beat Liverpool was back in January 1984. Since then, Liverpool is unbeaten in the last 11 meetings and in reality that run should be extended to 12 this weekend in what could be an entertaining contest. If recent EPL matches are anything to go by, then there is a very good chance that both teams will score. It’s happened in six of Brighton’s last seven and in six of Liverpool’s last seven in the league. Last weekend’s 3-0 league win over Leicester was Liverpool’s first league shutout since September 20 when they won 2-0 at Chelsea. Brighton will hope to contain Mohamed Salah, who could still be feeling the effects of COVID-19 after twice testing positive during the international break. Salah, who played the first 60 minutes of the 2-0 loss to Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday, has five goals in his last five games against the Seagulls and has been first goalscorer four times. The Reds lead the league in scoring in both halves, which they have done seven times, and they did so in this fixture last season.
Manchester City vs. Burnley
The Burnley camp might be thinking this is a good time to face Manchester City, who has dominated recent fixtures to the point where Pep Guardiola’s side has won the last six meetings by a combined score of 23-2. Burnley has left the Etihad on the wrong end of 5-0 scorelines on their last three visits, but the goals have dried up for City, who have not scored two or more in their last six league games as well as their UCL tie at Olympiakos on Wednesday night. City, however, might think this is the perfect game to rediscover their goalscoring exploits. It has not been a great season for either side in the EPL, with Burnley 17th in the standings while City are already eight points behind the leaders. Sooner or later City will find their scoring touch and once again it could be Burnley to bear the brunt of it. It might be a different story if Burnley can score the first goal. If they do open the scoring they might want to break a trend of failing to score in the first half of their last six games. However, Sean Dyche’s side has given up the first goal in three of their last four league games.
West Bromwich vs. Sheffield United
This game may not be the prettiest contest played this weekend, but if one of these sides finds a way to their first win of the season, their manager will not care one bit. If West Brom wins, they will open up a five-point gap on United, who can climb one place in the standings and push the Baggies to the basement with a win. Goals have been rare for both of these clubs recently with United bagging just four all season while West Brom has managed just one goal in their last four. Five of West Brom’s six losses have been to nil, including their last three, while four of United’s seven defeats have come in shutouts. One goal might be enough to claim all three points in what is the biggest game of the season for both sides so far. There may be three quarters of the campaign left to play, but already this has the feel of a true relegation battle. Two of United’s four goals have come from the penalty spot and they have not scored a goal in the 71 minutes between the 13th and 84th minute of games.
Arsenal vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
A look at the standings will reveal there is very little between Arsenal and Wolves. Wolves have the slightest of advantages with 14 points from their nine contests compared to Arsenal’s tally of 13 points. And when it comes to recent meetings in north London, there has not been anything between the two sides. The last three meetings have ended in 1-1 ties, with Arsenal scoring the opening goal in two of them. Arsenal is another side who has found it difficult to penetrate opposition defenses with just one goal scored in their last five. And with three clean sheets in their last five league games, Wolves will not be giving up any goals easily. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will hope the three goals his side scored in their Europa League win in Norway on Thursday night will be the spark needed to get them back to winning ways in the league. Wolves have not had the distraction of European football this season which could benefit them in the latter stages of this contest.
Leicester City vs. Fulham
On paper, this looks like a mismatch and a game Leicester should win. And after 90 minutes, they probably will. The first goal will not decide who wins the game, but it could go a long way to determining who picks up the three points. The first goal record of both teams is intriguing. Fulham has conceded the opening goal seven times and lost all seven, including their last two against West Ham and Everton. Leicester has scored first four times and won all four. Even if Leicester does give up the opening goal, they have come from behind to win twice this season already. Fulham looked to have addressed their nightmare starts when they trailed by the 15th minute of four of their opening six matches, but they reverted to old habits when they allowed Everton to take the lead in the first minute last weekend. Fulham should know by now that it’s difficult enough to win games in the Premier League without giving their opponents a one-goal start early in the game. If Leicester can get ahead, they should see the game out and claim a fourth win in five.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is CharliePMullan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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