After three winners in the Premier League last weekend, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's fixtures, with a score prediction and best bet for each clash.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Everton v Manchester City
- 1730 kick-off on Sky Sports Premier League
The going has been tough for Everton's Marco Silva and the visit of Manchester City, who have scored 11 goals in the last two games, is not ideal.
The Portuguese boss leads the way in the Premier League sack race, with Everton's stats not making good reading in our latest analysis piece.
The Toffees' creativity has been lacking, averaging less than a goal per game with a 6% conversion rate, far lower than it should be for the cost and talent in their squad. But they will surely up their performance against the champions at Goodison and it would be no surprise to see Man City win with under 3.5 total goals (11/8) or something along the lines of a narrow win.
The preference, though, is to avoid the result with the market stacked in favour of Pep Guardiola's men. Instead, the first-half shots on target market provides value.
Raheem Sterling has been in fine form in the early weeks of the campaign, scoring nine goals in 10 appearances for club and country.
He ended a two-game goalless drought (by his standards) by netting a brilliant effort at Preston on Tuesday and he plays a key role in this City team going forward.
He had to watch the Watford annihilation from the bench as an unused substitute, but if he does start this one the 11/4 price on him and Sergio Aguero to register at least a shot on target each in the first half is worth taking.
Five of Sterling's eight goals have come in the first half of games in 2019/20 while Aguero is on fire, scoring eight goals in total and netting in all six appearances, with five of his eight goals also coming in the first 45.
Sterling should benefit from Pep Guardiola's squad rotation to start in the Premier League again and both he and Aguero are a great price to feature in a flurry of City chances.
Prediction: Everton 0-2 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)
- Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has found the net in his last seven Premier League appearances – only three players have ever done so in eight in a row; Ruud van Nistelrooy (8 between December 2001-January 2002 and 10 between March-August 2003), Daniel Sturridge (8 between November 2013-February 2014) and Jamie Vardy (11 between August-November 2015).
- Everton have won just one of their last 12 Premier League matches against Manchester City (W1 D4 L7), hammering City 4-0 at Goodison Park in January 2017.
Aston Villa v Burnley
Aston Villa put up a fight at Arsenal last week, going 2-1 up at the Emirates in the second half but they could not hold on and left empty handed.
Dean Smith's side did bounce back well to beat Brighton in the Carabao Cup in midweek and they can end their three-game winless run in the Premier League against a hot and cold side Burnley.
The Clarets have won just one of their last six in all competitions and remain winless on the road this season, so Villa have the potential to capitalise.
The hosts have collected four points from their last two at Villa Park and they know that home form will be key to survival.
Summer signing Welsey Moraes got a confidence-boosting goal at Arsenal last week and the Brazilian, who has had at least two shots in his last five Premier League appearances, can find the back of the net in a home victory.
At a best price of 7/2 in a score-and-win double, it has the most appeal in this one but our preference is to side with other matches in terms of recommended bets.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Burnley (Sky Bet odds: 17/2)
- Aston Villa are looking to record three consecutive home Premier League clean sheets for the first time since December 2012. They’ve recorded a shutout in three of their last four top-flight games at Villa Park, as many as they had in their previous 19 such games.
- Burnley haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 10 away Premier League games (W2 D4 L4) and are winless in their last five on the road since a 3-1 win at Bournemouth in April.
AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
A 4-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Sky Bet League One Oxford could prove damaging to West Ham's promising league form and Bournemouth can be the beneficiaries.
Granted, Manuel Pellegrini made nine changes on Wednesday, but that side still had a number of senior players and that was an embarrassing result for the club.
It came just days after beating Man United at the London Stadium to extend their unbeaten run to five games, but the south coast can be a tricky place to go.
The Cherries were not much better though as they went down 2-0 at Burton. Still, at least it was not four.
But they have only been beaten by Man City on home soil all season and the Vitality often produces entertaining, goal-filled matches.
With a hangover from midweek and a quick start for the hosts, Bournemouth to be leading after half an hour could be the way to go here.
Eddie Howe's side have scored five goals in the opening 30 minutes (versus West Ham's two in this period), four of those coming inside 15 minutes and the 14/5 best price for them to be ahead in this interval is worthy of a small play.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 West Ham (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
- Bournemouth are unbeaten in five Premier League matches against West Ham United (W3 D2 L0) since losing 1-0 in August 2016.
- Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson has scored six goals in six Premier League appearances against West Ham – more than against any other opponent.
Chelsea v Brighton
Brighton failed to find an opening against Newcastle after dominating at St James' Park, but Chelsea's style of play might be more suited to Graham Potter's side.
Frank Lampard's men have lost two of their last three at home in all competitions and they do have vulnerabilities at the back this term. A result for Brighton may be a tough ask, but they can look at Sheffield United's Stamford Bridge performance and take inspiration.
The Seagulls have shown a definite improvement from 2018/19 and a new playing style under the former Swansea boss, but have found it tough to break down more defensive-minded opposition like Burnley and Newcastle.
Lampard's side have a different approach though, failing to keep a clean sheet in all nine of their fixtures this term in all competitions, including their midweek thrashing of League Two Grimsby.
Brighton will give it a good go and even if they leave empty handed, this could be a good one to consider for your BTTS acca.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Brighton (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Best bet: Both teams to score at 5/6
- Chelsea have shipped 13 Premier League goals so far this season and are yet to keep a clean sheet. The last time they failed to keep a single clean sheet in their opening seven games to a top-flight season was in 1990-91.
- Chelsea are winless in their three Premier League home games this season (D2 L1). The last time they failed to win any of their first four at Stamford Bridge in a league season was 1986-87.
Crystal Palace v Norwich
Norwich have so far lost three out of three away games in the Premier League, so a trip to Crystal Palace could be exactly what is needed.
Roy Hodgson's side have, to be fair, collected five points from nine at Selhurst this season, but they have mustered just two goals in that time and Daniel Farke's side can be confident of getting something here.
Last week's showing at Burnley was poor, so the Canaries need to look at their home wins over Newcastle and Man City for inspiration.
They have netted eight goals in three home games this term but just one on the road, so they need to improve this side of their game if they are to avoid a relegation scrap later in the campaign.
The Eagles are there for the taking and backing Norwich at above evens in a draw no bet is a good option with the insurance of a stalemate in hand.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Norwich (Sky Bet odds: 22/1)
Best bet: Draw no bet - Norwich at 49/25
- Norwich’s Premier League games this season have seen 12 goals scored in the opening 30 minutes of the match (four goals scored, eight goals conceded) – no side has seen more in this time (Manchester City also 12).
- Teemu Pukki has been involved in 89% of Norwich’s nine Premier League goals this season (6 goals, 2 assists) and has also taken 36% of their 59 shots (21) – both are leaguehigh ratios so far this season.
Tottenham v Southampton
Tottenham have won just twice in all competitions this season and the penalty shootout defeat to Colchester in midweek saw things go from bad to worse.
Mauricio Pochettino is not having a great time this campaign and plenty have questioned whether he will last the season in north London.
It was always going to be tough after the highs of last year in the Champions League and a glimmer of hope for the Argentinian and Spurs this weekend is the fact their two victories have both come at home.
Of all clubs to make things worse for Spurs, it could be Pochettino's old club Southampton, who beat them at St Mary's just over six months ago.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's side avoided an upset by beating rivals Portsmouth 4-0 on Tuesday, to give them extra confidence and extend their unbeaten run on the road to four matches in all competitions.
But the hosts' injury list is looking better and they should be able to field a strong side on Saturday, who will surely be playing for their manager.
Spurs have been poor defensively this term, with over 2.5 goals in six of their last seven Premier League games and it might take a win-at-all-costs approach here.
With this in mind, and Southampton's ability on the break, the visitors could get plenty of chances and they are worth looking at with an 11/10 price to register four or more shots on target.
But Sofiane Boufal is due a goal after his recent displays. We tipped him last week against Bournemouth and he racked up an astonishing five shots and is now a tempting 8/1 shot to get on the score sheet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Morocco international is hungry, performing well, at least finding openings and it should come sooner rather than later. This could be the perfect game for him.
Prediction: Spurs 3-1 Southampton (Sky Bet odds: 10/1)
- Tottenham’s last eight Premier League victories have been in home games – they last had a longer run of wins coming exclusively at home between April 2000-January 2001 (10).
- Southampton are looking to win three consecutive away top-flight games for the first time since February 2015 (a run of four), while the last time they did so without conceding was in April 1992. However, Saints have lost eight of their last 10 league games in London (W1 D1).
Wolves v Watford
A meeting between the Premier League's surprise packages of 2018/19, but in contrasting circumstances this time around, with that first win continuing to elude both Wolves and Watford.
The Hornets will also be keen to right the wrongs of their 8-0 thrashing at Manchester City under new manager Quique Sanchez Flores', whose side went some way to bouncing back with a midweek cup win over Swansea.
Wolves' much-changed side drew with Reading in the cup, conceding a late equaliser and going through on penalties, and we reckon this Molineux clash could be the one to end their wait for a Premier League win at the seventh time of asking.
They are well fancied in the betting (10/11 favourites). For this reason, it could be worth backing a goalscorer instead - or combining them in a score-and-win double.
It has to be between Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota for Wolves, the heroes of last season who have barely got started in the league this term. Jimenez has eight goals so far, just two of those in the league, while Jota has four and just one in the league - both saving it for the Europa League.
Jimenez is due a strike after failing to find the back of the net in his last three appearances in all competitions and he averages over two shots per game in the Premier League.
He is 2/1 in a score and win double, but the preference is to stick with him to just score anytime against a Watford side which started so brightly 12 months ago but have really struggled to get going this time around.
Prediction: Wolves 2-0 Watford (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Best bet: Raul Jimenez to score anytime at 13/10
- Watford have conceded at least once in each of their last 18 Premier League games – only between September 1999 and March 2000 have they had a longer run without a clean sheet in the top-flight (20 games).
- Watford are winless in 10 Premier League games (D3 L7), their longest such run in the competition since January 2007 (11 games).
Sheffield United v Liverpool
- 1230 BST kick-off on BT Sport
Sheffield United have started well on their return to the Premier League, collecting more points (eight) than the other newcomers in Norwich and Aston Villa and they will be fired up for this one.
Chris Wilder's side have showed a fearless and battling approach so far and providing plenty of entertainment in the process, including coming from two down to draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
They welcome league leaders Liverpool, who have won six of six and look like they will take some stopping at the minute with efficient and effective performances.
In total, Jurgen Klopp's men are on a 15-match winning run, unbeaten in the Premier League for a total of 23 games. But it has to end sooner or later.
With the home crowd behind them, there is plenty of value in backing the hosts in a +1 handicap at 2/1 but both teams' corner stats make interesting reading when looking towards the betting markets.
The Blades sit sixth in the standings for total corners taken this season with 38 and they average an impressive nine per home game. Liverpool, meanwhile, are second in the overall corner standings with 44 and they average seven a game on the road.
With this in mind, looking at overall corners taken is an appealing option with action expected at both ends.
Over 12.5 corners stands out with a best price of 27/10, with no reliance on the result in the event of a shock result from the battling Blades in the early kick-off.
Prediction: Sheff United 1-1 Liverpool (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)
Best bet: Over 12.5 total corners at 27/10
- Bramall Lane is one of only three grounds Liverpool have played at without winning in the Premier League (three games), along with Nottingham Forest’s City Ground (five games) and Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road (one game).
- In Liverpool’s current run of 15 consecutive Premier League wins, they’ve scored 42 goals. Their front three of Sadio Mane (12), Mohamed Salah (9) and Roberto Firmino (6) have scored 64% of those goals, with there being just one game in which none of the trio have found the net during this run (2-0 vs Cardiff in April).
Premier League podcast
Where has it all gone wrong for Marco Silva and Everton this season?
We look at how it got to this, what Silva says and the damning stats around his spell - click the image below to read...
Odds correct as of 1400 BST on 26/09/19
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