SoccerWinners - EPL Week 9 picks (part 2)
Burnley v Everton - Burnley have not yet won a match this season. 4 Draws and 4 defeats puts them near the bottom of the table, and their prospects look bleak. Last weekend they lost 1-3 at home against West Ham. Despite putting in 13 shots, only 3 were on target. That is too wasteful, or perhaps a sign of desperation. They have only scored 4 goals this season, but conceded 13. Everton are also in the bottom half of the table, but their record is a lot better than Burnley. They have wins against West Brom and Aston Villa, and 3 draws. They have scored plenty of goals (16) and although they also conceded 16, 6 of those goals were against Chelsea (3-6). They gain good possession, and put in decent shots, so they should be able to get a couple of goals against Burnley. The computer gives them only a very small advantage, but I think they should win quite easily. I will back Everton at 1.93, Away Win.
Tottenham v Newcastle - Tottenham are in mid-table, which is disappointing for them and their fans. The one thing that stands out for me is the number of goals. They have scored just 10 times so far, which is below average, but 4 of those goals were scored against QPR, so the record is actually quite poor. They have had good possession in most of their games, but not made many shots on target. Attacking chances have been too rare. Newcastle have 1 win and 4 draws from their opening 8 games, and they are now in the relegation zone. The lone win was last weekedn against Leicester (1-0). They have been putting in more shots than Spurs, but the goal tally is worse, with 8 scored and 14 conceded. So they may lack the finishing skills. This match should be an easy win for Tottenham, but I'm nervous about their reluctance to score. The computer predicts an easy home win. I'll go with it, and back Tottenham at 1.69, Home Win.
Manchester United v Chelsea - After 2 wins I was ready to start backing ManU again, but that turned out to be a mistake. They drew 2-2 against West Brom, and it could even have been worse. Daley Blind equalised in the 87th minute. Problems clearly remain in this team, particularly in defence. I will resume my sceptical approach to their games. There are no such problems for Chelsea. They have 7 wins and 1 draw from their first 8 games, and heading the Premiership table by 3 points with a game in hand. The draw was against Manchester City, and the strategy Jose used in that match could be repeated today. He likes to "park the bus" in away games against top teams, and then play on the counter-attack. A draw is good enough, but if the opposition opens up then the Chelsea strikers are ready to pounce. So a draw could be beckoning. The computer predicts an away win, but I think I'll put a small (risky) bet on a draw, at 3.5.
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