Liverpool v Bournemouth
Winless after 3 Premier League games – Bournemouth? No, Liverpool. The club’s worst start to a league campaign in over a decade. The Merseyside club have endured a very frustrating start to their 7th season under Jurgen Klopp, drawing twice and losing to a highly underperforming Manchester United side on Monday Night. With all the media attention focused on how poorly United have been since Erik Ten Haag has taken over the reins, has almost allowed Liverpool to stay under the radar. Until now. As stated on numerous occasions during commentary on Monday night, this was Liverpool’s 7th league game where they conceded the first goal, continuously making it an uphill battle to get any form of result from the games.
With the injury and suspension list increasing, there are already major doubts of The Red’s capabilities of achieving any form of success this season. With a midfield three of Henderson, Milner and an inexperienced Harvey Elliott starting on Monday night there is cause for concern in the quality and depth in that area. High flying Bournemouth will be licking their lips at the thought of going against this midfield on Saturday. Having already played Manchester City and Arsenal in the last two game weeks, Bournemouth would have been dreading this fixture before a ball was kicked at the start of the season as in the five previous meetings Liverpool have been victorious in all five, scoring 15 times, conceding only once. But as previous weeks have shown – this could be the ‘easiest’ of the 3 fixtures.
Of course, we can’t underestimate the world class talent of Liverpool across the majority of their starting positions and in front of a home crowd at Anfield, if there is any time to send a message to the rest of the league, it is now. Conceding 7 and scoring twice on the opening day against Aston Villa, it is evident that Bournemouth struggle against teams who adopt the high press and explosive starts as they found themselves 3-0 at HT against Manchester City and 2-0 down in the opening 11 minutes against Arsenal. If Bournemouth can stay tight and compact and look to hit Liverpool on the counterattack, the longer the game goes on, the more nervous The Reds fans will be and the confidence will grow for Bournemouth, but if they choose to play out against Liverpool, we all know they will be punished.
I still struggle to see anything other than a Liverpool victory in this one, but it may not be as plain sailing as this fixture has been previously for The Reds.
Brighton v Leeds
2 of the 7 remaining unbeaten sides meet at the Amex on Saturday aiming to continue their great early run of form. Brighton, who come into this game on the back of a 2-0 victory away to West Ham where they looked comfortable throughout, scoring from their only 2 shots on target and dominating possession in the first half. As for Leeds, who picked apart a Chelsea side who in recent years have always got convincing results in this fixture. This trend didn’t continue as Leeds ran away with all 3 points in a 3-0 victory.
Rodrigo will continue his impressive form of 4 goals and 1 assist in the opening 3 games of the season who is filling the void left by injury prone Patrick Bamford who is still a doubt for this game on Saturday.
The last time these two met a Pascal Struijk 92nd minute equaliser rescued a point for Leeds United in a 1-1 draw. This was the first time both sides had found the net in the same game since Bobby Zamora scored an 89th minute winner in 2-1 victory for Brighton in 2015. Recent meetings have favoured Brighton with 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss since the 2015 fixture.
Brighton who have only conceded one goal so far this season come up against a Leeds side where only the top 2 (Manchester City and Arsenal) have scored more goals so far this season. The concerning stat for Leeds is that their 3-0 victory last week was their first clean sheet since a 0-0 draw to Crystal Palace back in April of last season.
I favour the home side in this one with not too many goals as the last 6 fixtures have been playing out with 2 goals or less.
Brentford v Everton
Brentford have been in goal scoring form from the off this season, and I’m backing them to have their shooting boots on once again! In all four matches they’ve played in all competitions, 2+ goals have been scored. Of course the midweek EFL Cup game at Colchester was one of these but having made a number of changes, they still managed a couple of goals. In terms of recent Premier League outings, well, the Bees thrashed Manchester United 4-0 and also scored 2 goals in their other games against Fulham and Leicester. Having now reached a total of 8 goals, this puts them as the clear second highest scorers in the league, only behind Arsenal and Manchester City.
The Toffees recent away record in the Premier League is abysmal, losing 9 of their previous 11 matches on the road. As well as this, they have conceded 2+ goals in 9 of these particular matches. Currently, there’s a real sense that Everton may be involved in a season just like last. This certainly does not bode well for the Merseyside club. Under fire manager Frank Lampard needs to turn things around quickly or could face the sack. Especially with young starlet Anthony Gordon rumoured to be leaving for Chelsea, with only a matter of days left in the transfer window.
This bet is a real hunch of mine at the weekend and I feel there’s every chance Brentford can score 2+ goals. Ivan Toney will lead the line once more for the home side, the inform striker will be aiming to be on the scoresheet, having already netted twice this season. Josh Da Silva is another to note, if given the nod by Thomas Frank. The midfielder has also scored twice this campaign and is certainly going under the radar in terms of recent excellent performances.
There are goals coming from all over the pitch for Brentford this season, with Mbuemo, Jensen and Mee to name a few. I feel if they put in another solid home performance then there’s every chance we’ll see them bagging a couple of goals in this one!
Arsenal v Fulham
Top of the table Arsenal will be hoping to continue their 100% winning start to the 2022-23 Premier League campaign, against a Fulham side who are yet to taste defeat since their return to the topflight. Two of the early in-form strikers go head-to-head in Gabriel Jesus and Aleksandar Mitrovic who have contributed to 5 goals and 3 goals respectively. Arsenal who have won all 3 games by at least a 2 goal margin will want to start brightly (as they did last week against Bournemouth – finding themselves 2-0 up inside 11 minutes thanks to a Martin Odegaard brace).
It’s the first-time since the 2004/05 season that Arsenal began the campaign with 3 victories – which couldn’t be a bigger contrast to the beginning of the previous season, where they found themselves rock bottom with 3 losses under Mikel Arteta. There has been a significant improvement defensively, where they have kept 2 out of 3 possible clean sheets so far and of course, the quality of their summer recruitment adding the goals to Arsenal side who are already being discussed as the biggest title challengers to Manchester City.
Fulham showed lapses of concentration but also character last week in their 3-2 win over Brentford after letting a 2-goal lead slip but eventually finding a 90th minute winner from their main man Mitrovic sealing the clubs first win in 25 Premier League London derbies.
This fixture heavily favours Arsenal with 4 wins and one draw for The Gunners finding the net 15 times in the 5 previous meetings, conceding only 3, and with Arsenal looking like a different beast this season compared to previous years I fear for Fulham who have been pegged back from winning positions on 3 different occasions already this season.
This game screams goals for the home side and I expect that to be the case with the relationships between Arsenal’s front four, continuously improving week by week.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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