Brighton v Everton | Saturday 26th October 2019, 15:00
Arguably the two most unfortunate sides in the Premier League so far this term do battle in Sussex this weekend.
Sixteenth-place entertain 15th here but I don’t think that tells the full story of the performance of these two sides to date this term. Brighton have lost four Premier League matches so far but two of those came against Manchester City and Chelsea while the other two – at home to Southampton and away to Aston Villa last weekend – saw them have a player sent off in the first half.
Last weekend, Albion were 1-0 up at the time and despite being down to 10 men they still recorded 20 shots on goal. The Seagulls also deserved more against West Ham, Burnley and Newcastle so I actually feel a lot better about their chances this season than the table suggests.
Everton too have been unfortunate. For example, they achieved just a single point – and failed to score a goal – against Sheffield United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace despite winning the shot count 38-16 across the three matches.
A draw is the most likely result in my view. Ignoring the Big Six, Brighton have drawn six of their 16 home games since the start of last season. However, at odds against a Draw No Bet angle on Graham Potter’s men side takes my fancy. I actually believe it should be they and not Everton who are marginal favourites in the outright market.
Under Marco Silva, the Merseyside club have won just five of their 17 matches away to sides outwith the aforementioned half dozen. They’ve lost eight of those matches, including three of the four this season. 53/50 with Marathon on Brighton in the Draw No Bet market gets my vote.
West Ham v Sheffield United | Saturday 26th October 2019, 15:00
Having previously discussed two sides who have been unfortunate, The London Stadium sees a meeting between a pair who have perhaps gained more points than their performances have deserved.
West Ham remain the Premier League’s most unpredictable side and this weekend they face a team whose performance levels are fairly constant. Chris Wilder’s side are extremely competitive and have featured in tight matches throughout the campaign so far. There have been just 15 goals in their seven matches so far and only one – their rather flattering 2-0 victory at Goodison Park – being settled by more than a single goal.
Under 2.5 goals at around Evens is certainly worthy of consideration but with the attacking quality West Ham possess – and their porous backline – it is one I will swerve on this occasion.
Instead, I will take the 6/5 with Matchbook on a home victory. Yes, West Ham are very inconsistent but they do have a far more talented side than their opponents and their comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Norwich a couple of months ago gives me confidence that they will overcome a tenacious Sheffield United side.
Ignoring the Big Six, The Hammers have won eight of their past 15 Premier League home matches, which further endorses such a bet. It probably won’t be pretty and I wouldn’t put anyone off taking a bigger price on the 1-0 or 2-0 scorelines, but I will keep it simple and back West Ham outright.