Aston Villa v West Ham
It’s the battle of the claret and blues on Sunday afternoon, with both sides in desperate need of a positive performance. Steven Gerrard is already feeling the heat from the media regarding his future with bookmakers having him sat 3rd favourite at 6/1. Villa’s inability to keep clean sheets is a major worry for the former Liverpool and England captain, after the owners backed him heavily once again during the summer transfer window. Aston Villa’s last clean sheet came in 2-0 victory over (now relegated side) Norwich City, back in May. Since then, Villa have conceded in 8 league games in a row with a total of 14 goals. Something Gerrard needs to find a solution to quickly.
As for the visitors, Premier League life couldn’t get any worse. The Hammer’s sit rock bottom of the table after 3 games, 3 defeats, 0 goals scored with 5 conceded. Having finished 7th last season and qualifying for the Europa League Conference League, everyone expected West Ham to build on this and have a positive start to the season, but it has been quite the opposite. After a positive 6-1 aggregate win in Europe this week, it should hopefully fuel West Ham to take that form into the league campaign.
Steven Gerrard and his Villa side with be cringing at the head-to-head performances against Sunday’s visitors as the home side have only managed a single win in the previous 12 meetings, with this victory coming back in 2015. Since then, Villa have gone on to draw 5 and lose 6 of them. This fixture has averaged over 2.5 goals in the previous 4 fixtures with both teams scoring in the last 5.
West Ham will be desperate to find the back of the net for the first time this season and stop a repeat of the 2006-2007 season where they didn’t score in the opening 5 fixtures of that season.
It’s a hard one to call, both sides desperate for the win with either side evidently unable to defend! This fixture has mustarded up plenty of goals in recent times and I expect Sunday afternoon to be no different.
Wolves v Newcastle
Wolves have made a disappointing start so far this season having only picked up a single point. This came in the 0-0 draw with Fulham a couple of weeks back at Molineux. Jose Sa made a late penalty save to secure the point in what was another under par performance. At the other end of the pitch, they’ve only managed to score once in the league. This came in the loss to Leeds on the opening day, Daniel Podence the scorer. Goals are not easy to come by in this moment for the home side and with the Magpies looking assured in defence, I can see this one being a real dour affair.
In recent H2H matches, under 2.5 goals has returned a winner 5 in the last 6 and I see the easily happening once more. Newcastle have looked assured at the back under Eddie Howe, and we can turn a blind eye to the game against Manchester City last weekend. In all previous other games they’ve kept clean sheets, and away from home here, this will be the priority against similar opposition. In the last 20 away Premier League away fixtures, Newcastle have only scored 2+ goals on 4 occasions. Leading us to lean on the fact they are most likely to not score at all or just strike once within the game.
So far we have seen Wolves generate an average of only 0.91xG per game, the third worst in the league. This worrying statistic confirms their struggles in front of goal. On the plus side they do have Raul Jiminez back in contention after managing minutes against Preston in the EFL Cup midweek. After the road back from injury, it’s never easy to hit the ground running, especially in a team struggling for goals and creating so little.
I’m expecting a really tight game, with goals coming at a premium. There’s every chance they’ll cancel each other out or a single goal could win it. Consequently, I’m taking under 2.5 goals as the pick!
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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