Nigel Seeley here, looking forward to another round of EPL matches and picking out my top three picks for you for the final weekend of action before the World Cup break, because all teams will want to get a positive result.
Premier League Betting Divisions
Manchester City vs. Brentford (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET)
Manchester City have won 11 out of 11 home games in all competitions this season.
In the Premier League, they won all 6 home wins with results of 4-0, 4-2, 6-0, 6-3, 4-0, 3-1 and 2-1. On Saturday they entertain Brentford, who are yet to win on the road in the EPL and I don’t see that race ending at the Etihad. The B’s are a Jekyll-and-Hyde side, great at home where they play high tempo and heavy press and really mediocre on the road. One important factor that I mentioned with VSiN’s Mitch and Pauly on “Follow The Money” on Thursday is that not every player who goes to the World Cup will give their all in EPL matches. There may be some who only have one eye on the final and will be desperate not to get injured. However, two big City stars, Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez, won’t be going to the World Cup so Man City can build a team around those two and absolutely crush Brentford. Every rating imaginable indicates this is very one-sided and this incredible City side are averaging 4 goals per game at home this season. I think Brentford will be ready for a long break from football at the end of this game because they are in danger of being slaughtered. The bet has to be -2.25 on the Asian Handicap at -110 because the only way to lose our entire stake is if City don’t win by more than a goal and I don’t see that happening.
Picks: Manchester City -2.25 goals on Asian Handicap -110
Liverpool vs. Southampton (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
This game features probably my strongest choice of the weekend: it’s Liverpool to beat an out-of-form Southampton side to zero at +130.
When I looked at this fixture list, I thought carefully about all the players who would go to the World Cup. This got me thinking about the teams I wanted to go away for the reason I gave earlier. However, I do NOT want to make Liverpool disappear. Liverpool have a lot of very good players who won’t make the trip to Qatar, including main man Mo Salah. Like Haaland at City, Salah is currently on fire and was certainly too hot for Tottenham last weekend. Human nature tells you that Salah will have a point to prove to himself as much as anyone, as he will surely be jealous to see so many lesser talents flying away to the World Cup. In their last 6 games at Anfield, Liverpool have won no less than four of those games to nil and in five of those games they have kept a clean sheet. Let’s compare that record with the visitors, Southampton, and their last five games on the road. They scored no goals in four of them and they lost four of those games to nil! It’s a depressing statistic for their supporters, and with such form it’s no surprise they got rid of their manager Ralph Hassenhuttl and replaced him with Nathan Jones. The former Luton boss has inherited a terrible side that is in desperate need of a new striker. When you look at the history of this game in the last six years, Southampton did not score against Liverpool, who won the last five years to nil and the last six results were 4-0, 2-0, 4- 0, 3-0 and 3-0, plus a 0-0 tie. It’s fair to say that Southampton aren’t looking forward to this game and with good reason. I think Liverpool will win at zero and then let all those players go on a happy note and it will be an equally happy note for loyal Anfield fans who have endured a frustrating season at times. For Southampton, it’s an opportunity for Jones to see how good a team he has inherited, then go and work out a plan to keep them in the Premier League.
Pick: Liverpool to win at zero +130
Newcastle vs. Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET)
My final pick of the weekend is Newcastle to beat visiting Chelsea with the assurance of ‘taking no bets’.
Top-flight Newcastle, under Eddie Howe, are third in the Premier League with Chelsea seventh. Newcastle have lost just one in 15 games this season across all competitions which further underlines the great job Howe is doing. Chelsea arrive here after playing the League Cup (Carabao Cup) on Wednesday night. They faced Manchester City and put out a decent side, but I think they were embarrassed by City in a 2-0 loss if not – and I don’t say this lightly – humiliated. They suffered a similar fate in a shock 4-1 loss to manager Graham Potter’s former side Brighton. They were also booed at the end after losing 1-0 at home to London rivals Arsenal. I have the impression that several Chelsea players currently think more about the World Cup than their club. I wonder in the white-hot atmosphere at St James Park how many Chelsea players are really going to take 100% 50/50 challenges? From what I’ve seen recently from a lot of them, I don’t see that there are too many. It’s a very different situation for Newcastle with their star winger Maximin not in the France squad. Moreover, Paraguayan star Almiron will not be affected as his country did not reach the final. They will be 100% committed to securing another victory for Newcastle. Calum Wilson left for the World Cup, but I will be surprised if he takes part. Newcastle will be desperate to maintain the momentum they generated on Saturday and I think they may be a bet to win the game. But I decided to play it safe with my choice here and have the assurance of the “no bet draw”.
Pick: Newcastle beat Chelsea Draw No Bet -141
That’s all for this last weekend before the World Cup. Let’s hope for another winning week!