After seven rounds of fixtures, there is a familiar name at the top of the English Premier League (EPL) standings with champions Liverpool holding a one-point lead over Leicester. Behind the Reds, eight teams are separated by just three points while at the bottom of the table, Manchester United finds themselves just four points above the bottom three. How will the standings look as the season takes a break after this weekend’s slate of games for the second international break? Here are some bets that stand out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook for this weekend’s slate of games.
Everton vs. Manchester United
The pressure is beginning to grow on Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following United’s 2-1 Champions League loss at Basaksehir in Istanbul on Wednesday. Defeat at Everton could be the final straw for the owners, the Glazer family, who have made three managerial changes since David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson. Everton goes into this game with back-to-back losses at Southampton and Newcastle that saw them relinquish top spot in the standings. Both meetings last season ended in 1-1 ties and after disappointing recent results, both sides might be happy to settle for a point. Whether a point will be enough to save Solskjaer’s job remains to be seen. In the first goal market, Everton has done so in the last three meetings but neither side has opened the scoring in their last three EPL matches this season. The first goal in this contest could go a long way to deciding who wins.
Chelsea vs. Sheffield United
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea team is arguably the most balanced team in the EPL right now. We knew they could score goals, but after a shaky start to the season, their defense is one of the best around. Their clean sheet in a 3-0 Champions League win at home to Rennes was their fifth straight shutout in all competitions. That defense should not be troubled too much by a Sheffield United side that has managed just three league goals this season. The Blades have now failed to score two or more goals in their last 11 league and cup matches since beating Chelsea 3-0 in July. Over 2.5 total goals has paid out in the last three meetings while both teams to score has not happened in three or the last four encounters between these two sides.
Leicester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Let’s hope this fixture can produce a goal, which would be one more than the two meetings last season managed. Both sides have recovered from losing back-to-back games this campaign to get their seasons back on track. Wolves has scored first in their last four league games while the home side has given up the opening goal in four of their last six EPL games. There could be late drama in this contest given the number of goals scored in the final 20 minutes of matches involving both teams. Of the 26 total goals scored in Leicester’s seven games, 12 have been scored in the 70th minute or later while six of the 16 total goals scored in Wolves’ seven EPL games have been scored in the same period of time. Leicester has not been involved in a tie in their last 15 league and cup matches, while Wolves has had just one game finish all square once in their last 12 in all competitions. There isn’t too much between these two sides, which makes a tie in this contest a possibility.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool
The EPL champions from the last three campaigns meet for the first time this season at the Etihad. Liverpool, the current champions, go into the game with a five-point lead over City. However, if City picks up the win this weekend and wins their game in hand, they know they will move ahead of their rivals. Both contests last season saw exactly four goals scored with both sides winning on home soil. This is a fixture that often produces goals with over 2.5 total goals scored in seven of the last eight meetings. However, scoring league goals has been a bit of an issue for City, who has not scored two or more goals in their last four EPL games despite scoring three in each of their three Champions League ties this season. Liverpool has scored in their last 13 league games since losing 4-0 in this corresponding fixture at the start of July.
Arsenal vs. Aston Villa
Aston Villa started the season with four straight wins, but they travel to Arsenal having lost their last two EPL games. However, the good news for Villa is that they have a 100 percent record on the road this season and they have yet to concede a goal on both those occasions. Villa’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has extra motivation to keep a clean sheet having joined Villa from the Gunners in the off-season. Four of Villa’s last five league encounters have seen over 2.5 total goals scored, but they are facing an Arsenal side who has been involved in three successive 1-0 results in the league. Their narrow win at Manchester United followed one-goal losses to Manchester City and Leicester. Arsenal has not scored a first half goal in their last four while Villa is without a goal before halftime in their last three. The first goal will be crucial. All four of Villa’s league wins this campaign have come when they have opened the scoring while their two losses were in games where they gave up the first goal. Arsenal, at home, will look to establish control of the game early and go on to secure the win.
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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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