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EPL – Matchweek 17 in Review

Matchweek 17 of the 2022-23 EPL season saw the big clubs show few signs of post-World Cup blues, as almost all saluted in dominant fashion.

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

Contenders dominate

There was a sense that, following a rare mid-season World Cup, some of the big EPL clubs — particularly those with a number of players that featured in Qatar — could make a sluggish return to the domestic season. However those fears were quickly dismissed with a host of dominant performances in the first EPL match week since the first half of November. Incredibly, seven of eight clubs inside the EPL top eight all won. And they did so handsomely. Each club bar Spurs, who drew 2-2 with Brentford away on Boxing Day, won by two or more goals. The most impressive of these, from an odds perspective, was yet again Newcastle United. The Magpies brushed aside Leicester 3-0, away from home no less, to continue a run that has seen them win six on the bounce. They’ve also not dropped points in 10 EPL matches. Eddie Howe’s men started at $9.10 giving up a two-goal head-start in Palmerbet’s handicap markets. Yet they appeared to cover that with ease.

Gunners keep on keeping on

The biggest surprise packet of the pre-World Cup period of the 2022-23 EPL season, Arsenal started $1.50 favourites to continue a run that had seen them win seven of their previous eight clashes and take three points against West Ham at home. But things didn’t quite start as planned. At 1-0 down at the break, the Gunners were struggling with former boss Arsene Wenger in the stands. However the break proved a perfect tonic. With an increased tempo, goals to Saka ($3.20 anytime goalscorer with Palmerbet), Martinelli (also $3.20) and Nketiah ($2.75) saw the Gunners 3-1 before the 70th minute. The score remained the same by full-time, delivering $2.50 for -1.0 handicap punters.

Despite the emphatic win, and the fact they maintained a five-point buffer atop the EPL table, the Gunners lengthened from $3.25 out to $3.60 in Palmerbet’s title market. That was due in no small part to (now $1.40 favourites) Manchester City saluting 3-1 away to Leeds. Still, given Mikel Arteta’s men started the EPL season as $34 title chances, it continues to be an impressive season. And they still remain a significant title hope.

New record for dominant Haaland

If there seems to be a theme this EPL season that has continued after the World Cup break — Newcastle overachieving and Arsenal impressing, for starters — then there’s a third theme that similarly didn’t change in among the Boxing Day games. And that is Erling Haaland dominating the English Premier League. Travelling away to Leeds United, a club father Alfie once plied his trade for and who Erling once almost joined as a teenager, the Manchester City striker picked up where he left off prior to the World Cup, which he didn’t play owing to Norway’s failure to qualify. Haaland’s double within 20 minutes following the half-time break took his EPL season tally to 20. Prior to the match, the Norwegian was $2.65 to score two goals or more in the clash.

Despite Harry Kane’s impressive tally to date (13) for Spurs, Haaland is an almost unbackable $1.12 favourite to finish as this season’s top goalscorer. His second at Elland Road also broke a new EPL record.

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