Chelsea v Brighton | Saturday 28th September 2019, 15:00
It’s a familiar feeling for me this weekend, as I once again attempt to get on goals in a game with Frank Lampard as manager.
Since he began his managerial career at Derby, Lampard has managed in 52 league matches, with 33 of them (63%) seeing both sides oblige. That includes five of his six games as a Premier League manager.
I have been quite impressed with Chelsea from an attacking standpoint this season, evidenced by the fact that they’ve averaged two goals a game in the league.
Unfortunately for them, they’ve conceded one more goal and in every match this term. Conceding four against Manchester United was not a fair reflection of that game but they’ve also let Norwich, Wolves and Sheffield United score twice against them so they clearly possess a soft underbelly at the minute, much as his Derby side did.
Their opponents Brighton must be the most unfortunate team in the Premier League so far this campaign. They’ve lost two games so far – away to Manchester City and at home to Southampton when they had 10 men for an hour – and drawn three, all of which they were the better side in.
Across those three matches – against West Ham, Burnley and Newcastle – they’ve won the shot count 46-26, shots on target 12-8 and the expected goals battle in each. Their goal return of five does not reflect the volume of chances they’ve created and with the generally prolific Neal Maupay one of the biggest culprits I am confident that this is just variance.
All things considered, Both Teams To Score looks simply too big to me at 17/20 with Betway.
Crystal Palace v Norwich | Saturday 28th September 2019, 15:00
While my Chelsea pick was backed up with logic and statistics, I am backing Norwich here despite recent evidence suggesting that they will really struggle away from home in this division. Betway are offering 3/1 on a victory for The Canaries but while I can understand why they are such a price, it still looks too big to me.
Norwich have lost their last two away matches – against West Ham and Burnley – by two goals to nil and they can have few complaints about either scoreline. However, I am far from convinced by this Palace outfit and feel that the Norfolk side have the firepower to edge this game.
Given that they have already faced Manchester United and Tottenham away from home Palace fans will reasonably pleased with a tally of eight points from six games even though the last-minute equaliser from Wolves last weekend must have been a sickener.
The Eagles transfer business over the summer really surprised me. They sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka for £50m and only spent around £6m – on James McCarthy who has had an injury-ravaged last few seasons and Jordan Ayew, a striker who managed just one goal in 20 league games on loan for them last season. Ayew already has two this term but it feels like he has already used up his allocation for this campaign and I really struggle to see where the goals are coming from in this side.
In Wilfried Zaha they have one of the best players outwith ‘The Big Six’ and their defence still looks fairly solid. However, I struggle to see how anyone can take the Evens on them outright. If I was to side with Palace it would be in the correct score market as a 1-0 home victory is 17/2 with Bet365. They’ve only managed four goals so far this season, compared to their opponents nine (including three against Manchester City) and at 3/1 I think Norwich are worth a poke.
Tottenham v Southampton | Saturday 28th September 2019, 15:00
There is no doubt it has been a poor start to the season for Tottenham. Their tally of eight points from six games leaves them 10 points adrift of Liverpool already and they’ve been knocked out of the EFL Cup by League Two Colchester. Spurs have let two goal leads slip at Arsenal and Olympiakos in the Champions League and Leicester game from behind to defeat them last weekend.
With this in mind it is likely to be quite a nervous atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and while I think they will ultimately prevail, I don’t expect Southampton to make life easy for them.
The Saints have scored in 26 of Ralph Hassenhuttl’s 31 league matches as their manager and with the likes of Nathan Redmond and Danny Ings among their ranks I do believe they have the firepower to hurt Tottenham.
Ultimately I do expect the home side to win this one but like the look of a Tottenham victory and both sides finding the net. This has occurred on Southampton’s last two visits to North London and in two of their three league defeats this season. Such a bet is 19/10 with Coral and seems like the way to go for me.