WEEK 2 of the Premier League and we got Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) to look over the Saturday fixtures.
Burnley v Liverpool | Saturday 15:00
Some start for Liverpool last week as they ran amok at various points at the Emirates on Sunday to collect a 4-3 win over Arsenal. At one point Liverpool were 4-1 up and anything seemed possible as Reds fans got increasingly excited.
In my season preview I suggested that the best we’ll see of Liverpool this season will be in those kind of games. At the end of the season it would be no surprise to see Jurgen Klopp’s side top of the mini-table amongst the Big 6.
On Saturday they face promoted Burnley and it’s these kind of games where I fear for Liverpool. Can they get over these awkward hurdles that require hard work and deep concentration?
Last season they failed. They dropped points to two of the three promoted sides, were stuffed 3-0 by Watford, lost to relegated Newcastle and squandered wins over eight of the bottom ten. Not good enough.
After the high of Sunday’s (at times) rampant victory over Arsenal spirits will be high for this fixture but there’s no guarantee for me that’ll take all three points.
Liverpool are as short as 1/2 to win here and best price 3/5. With that kind of pricing there’s an opportunity to look at Burnley in the handicap markets.
Why? Well one thing you can say for this side is that they’ll fight hard. Last Saturday’s opening day loss to Swansea was disappointing but it was hardly a shocking reintroduction to the top tier.
On their last visit to the Premier League in 2014/15 they gave a few clubs a bloody nose including Man City and Southampton and lost this fixture 1-0 at Turf Moor.
I’ll back Burnley +1 on the Asian Handicap here at 19/20. Avoid defeat and it’s a full payout while if they lose by exactly one goal I get my stake back.
Tottenham v Crystal Palace | Saturday 15:00
Two sides with negatives marks alongside them at the moment. The home side still look a little off the pace after a gruelling end of season and a tough summer for a number of their players while Crystal Palace simply must address their issues in front of goal.
I’m being a little harsh on Spurs to be fair. They did start the game against Everton last week pretty meekly as I suspected but came driving back into it in the second period to secure a point against a progressive side in their own back garden.
They may still be a wee bit of rustiness about them on Saturday but it’s hard to see them not escaping with three points. If this side are the real deal they have to win here and avoid the kind of August slip-ups we’ve seen a few times from the club in recent years.
Crystal Palace look in a real funk! They went on an atrocious league run from Christmas Day onwards last season which switched their objectives from getting into Europe to staying in the division.
2016/17 hasn’t started well either with Yannick Bolasie off to Everton and Palace succumbing on opening day to an ordinary West Brom side. You can feel the frustration.
At 1/2 there’s not much value in the pro-Tottenham propositions so I’ll get involved with a Total Goals bet and back 2-3 goals at Evens with Marathonbet.
I think this range covers me well as I can’t see Tottenham ripping Palace to shreds while they’re still capable of scoring two. If Palace get in on the act then the only thing that will floor this bet is if Tottenham score three or more.
This bet paid out in Tottenham’s game last week and indeed in five of the seven matches played last Saturday. Interestingly it paid out in four of Palace’s last six games in the previous season.
West Brom v Everton | Saturday 15:00
I’m keen on Everton this season and backed them Draw No Bet against Tottenham last Saturday. You know what? I’m going to do it again here.
The Merseyside club have an exciting squad and an intriguing new manager in Ronald Koeman, He claimed his side were just 70% fit last week and that played out at Goodison with the Toffees looking strong in then opening half before meekly surrendering their lead in the second period and escaping with a draw.
You would hope the seven further days they’ve had together will breed tougher stamina and a better understanding between manager and players.
Their opponents on Saturday are West Brom who ended Day 1 on a high after a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace. The form of that result is questionable with Palace being out of form for near enough eight months now and unable to find the back of the net.
Despite that win I still feel West Brom are in for a season of toil and frustration that could end in relegation and before that the demise of Tony Pulis at the club.
Everton look much fresher with a new guy at the helm and the exciting Yannick Bolasie joining the party. Marathon make them 13/8 to win at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
While those odds are decent, I’ll be more cautious and for the second week in a row back them on the Draw No Bet at 4/5. Everton won this fixture last season and there’s no reason why they can’t do it again on Saturday.
Before I go, just a wee saver that might work. If you consider West Brom generally have one of the toughest pre-season programmes and Everton were struggling last week with fitness the 40/1 on Everton/West Brom in the HT-FT market or 17/1 on Everton/Draw may appeal.
Burnley v Liverpool – Burnley +1 Asian Handicap (19/20 Marathonbet)
Tottenham v Crystal Palace – Exactly 2-3 Goals (Evens Marathonbet)
West Brom v Everton – Everton Draw No Bet (4/5 Marathonbet)