Wolves v Manchester City
Wolves welcome the Premier League champions to The Molineux in the lunchtime kick off on Saturday. This will be the home side’s biggest test so far this season – one that has already been far from impressive. After 6 games, we’ve seen Wolves find the net 3 times and concede 4 in many lackluster performances. It’s clear that Wolves are lacking a typical number 9 to find the goals – something that is the complete opposite for the visitors, their new number 9 Erling Halaland has contributed to 11 goals (10G, 1A) so far this campaign already and after finding the winner against his former side, midweek in the UCL, the Norwegian will want to continue his form domestically.
Wolves are unbeaten in their last 3 games (1W, 2D) but only finding the net twice in those 3 games is a big concern coming into this one, as it will be a rarity that Wolves find themselves in possession to create chances. Wolves haven’t been able to score more than once per game so far this season. This is a complete contrast to Manchester City who for the first-time last game week against Villa, failed to find the net less than twice with a clear average of 3.33 goals per game – Wolves are in for a tough 90 minutes on Saturday.
In recent times Manchester City have been victorious in this fixture, running riot last time out against Wolves in a 5-1 victory back in May. Wolves last victory over the visitors came back in a 3-2 win back in December 2019. Since then, it has been plain sailing for the champions, scoring 13 in the last four against Wolves conceding only 3.
Wolves need to be up for this one, and after finding their first victory of the season against Southampton last time out, it will give manager Bruno Lage and the rest of the squad a big lift. Wolves also welcome free signing Diego Costa into the mix, the former Chelsea man will look to be a nuisance to the Manchester City defence (a role he played so well for Chelsea). This will hopefully be Lage’s short term answer to a number 9, so all eyes will be on the Spaniard to find the net on Saturday lunchtime.
I feel this could be another day at the office for Haaland and co and if they visitors score first, I can only see an empathic win for City – the PL champions have only lost once after scoring first on the road since the beginning of 2020.
Newcastle v Bournemouth
Eddie Howe welcomes his former side to St James Park on Saturday afternoon for the first time since taking over at Newcastle. His Newcastle side are currently winless in their last 5 which is a concern going into this one, although no better time to get back to winning ways than against your former club.
Bournemouth on the other hand recorded their 2nd win of the season in a remarkable comeback last time out against Nottingham Forest, finding themselves 2-0 down at half-time yet managed to take all 3 points back down to the coast scoring 3 goals in 36 minutes to complete the comeback. Newcastle fans will be quietly confident with their home form in recent times having lost only once in their last 13 home league games (8W, 4D) – a stat that the fans will want to continue post Saturday.
Bournemouth are still on the lookout for a new manager, since the sacking of Scott Parker after their 9-0 humiliation against Liverpool. Caretaker boss Gary O’Neil is currently unbeaten since taking the reins (1W, 1D) so the excitement for Saturday will be massive for him. Bournemouth have conceded 18 goals already this season, 15 of which have come away from home, a trend that needs to end if they are to get anything from Saturday’s fixture.
Alexander Isak will look to continue his impressive start to life at Newcastle by helping the Magpies to all 3 points on Saturday afternoon and with Newcastle unbeaten in the previous 5 meetings between these sides, it’s hard to look past a Newcastle win here.
Tottenham v Leicester City
Bottom of the league Leicester travel to the capital on Saturday evening to face off against Tottenham. The hosts currently sit in third position in the table and remain unbeaten, having picked up 4 wins and 2 draws. They’ve won all 3 of their opening home Premier League matches, however slumped to defeat versus Sporting in Lisbon midweek. We’ve not seen Leicester in action since their 5-2 humbling loss at the Amex a couple of weeks back.
Spurs have scored in 15 of their previous 17 matches at home, including every single game this season. Richarlison has been a key player in recent weeks having now settled into the squad. His two fabulous headed goals in the home game against Marseille in the Champions League saw him get off the mark. Now he’s managed to open his account, I’m expecting he’ll be ready to add to this total as soon as possible. Whether or not Conte decides to start him this weekend, he’s bound to be involved and can be a menace in attack. As always, I have to mention Harry Kane. The Englishman is the clubs outright top scorer, now up to 5 goals in 6 games. His attacking prowess is well known to us all and he could be on the premises again in a goal scoring capacity. The formbook reads exceptionally well for Tottenham here, I firmly believe they’ll keep up the 100% scoring record against a Leicester side who have conceded in all of their league games. All the data points us in the direction of seeing Spurs put at least one past the lowly ranked Foxes.
Although the home side have been in fine form of late, they have still conceded goals along the way. Now, Leicester currently sit rock bottom of the table at this moment of time. However, they have managed to score in 9 matches in a row away from home. This fairly surprising statistic is why I’m backing them to do so once more at the weekend. James Maddison is set to play a vital role in the midfield for the Foxes, the playmaker can not only score but provide too. With 2 goals and an assist to his name this campaign, I feel he could play a pivotal role in this one. The backline of Spurs can look suspect at times and in my opinion is one of the weaker defences out of the ‘top 6’ sides.
As mentioned, Leicester are on a long goal scoring streak away from the King Power. I’m optimistic about their chances and all we need is a single goal, therefore I’m taking BTTS as the pick here!
Brentford v Arsenal
A real stand out fixture for me this weekend is Brentford v Arsenal on Sunday lunchtime. Both sides have been in excellent goal scoring form which has enabled me to lean on the selection of BTTS. Most recently we saw Brentford put 5 goals past Leeds at home, a game in which Ivan Toney hit a stunning hat trick. Having earnt his first ever England call up on Friday, he’ll no doubt be keen to impress further and look to add to his tally of 5 goals achieved so far.
It’s now 7 games in 8 at home that the Bees have managed to find the back of the net. In addition to this, they’ve scored in every single Premier League fixture this season. This brilliant form has now been sustained over a period of time, which I believe they’ll keep up on Sunday. In last season’s H2H’s with Arsenal, they also notched on both occasions. As mentioned, Ivan Toney will be the main threat up front; however others have chipped in too. Josh Da Silva, Bryan Mbuemo and Yoanne Wissa have each netted a couple of goals over the course of their opening 6 fixtures. I believe Brentford will be able to create a number of goal scoring opportunities throughout and I fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet here.
On the other hand, we have their opponents Arsenal. The Gunners have been in fine scoring form themselves this season. They maintain a 100% record, much like Brentford, in that they’ve notched in every match in the campaign thus far. The front 4 looks set to stay much the same for Arteta’s side, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli are all set to start. All of these attackers have contributed to the goals; they’ve reached a total of 10 between them in their opening games. All we’re after here though is any Arsenal goal in the game and there’s more than enough quality in this side to score at least once in this contest.
Both teams will fancy their chances in this one and I can comfortably see the BTTS pick being a winning one!
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