After a weekend off, the 2020-21 EPL season rolls into Week 9 – get your EPL tips for all 10 games, including a blockbuster between Tottenham and Manchester City.
History: Played 167: Chelsea 74 V Newcastle 54 (39 Draws)
Last meeting: January 18, 2020 (EPL): Newcastle 1 d Chelsea 0 at St James’ Park
Final Thoughts: Thirteenth-placed Newcastle went into the bye with a 2-0 loss at Southampton to mull over, a swift comedown from beating Everton a week earlier. The Magpies have three wins and three losses from eight games, frustrating fans with their inconsistency – because they have been superb on occasion.
Chelsea have just one loss against their name – to Liverpool in Week 2 – but find themselves in fifth due to a few underachieving draws. They went into the break in hot form, though, pounding Burnley and Sheffield by three-goal margins. Timo Werner has scored four goals from the Blues’ last four games, plus another three in recent UCL thrashings of Krasnodar and Rennes.
Chelsea boast seven wins and a draw in their last 10 games against Newcastle, but both teams banked a 1-0 home victory over the other last season.
Frank Lampard’s charges have been in electric attacking form and should have too much firepower for their hosts.
History: Played 25: Aston Villa 13 V Brighton 4 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: January 18, 2020 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Amex Stadium
Final Thoughts: Arguably the surprise packets of the season so far, Aston Villa are sixth courtesy and five wins and have a game in hand. Brighton, meanwhile, are hovering just above the bottom three after winning just one and drawing three of their eight games.
Villa – who crushed Liverpool 7-2 earlier in the season – bounced back from back-to-back losses to Leeds and Southampton (in which they conceded seven goals) to smash Arsenal 3-0. The hat-trick hero against Liverpool, Oliver Watkins bagged a three-minute brace in the second half to help sink the Gunners.
Brighton played out a scoreless draw at home to Burnley in Week 8, but their only loss in their past four games was a plucky 2-1 defeat at Tottenham.
Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last 10 games against Brighton, whose last victory in the rivalry came way back in 1980. Last season Villa won 2-1 at home and grabbed a 1-all draw on the road.
Remarkably, in-form Villa are only narrow favourites at home, an anomaly that should have punters licking their lips.
History: Played 161: Man City 63 V Tottenham 62 (36 Draws)
Last meeting: February 2, 2020 (EPL): Tottenham 2 d Man City 0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Final Thoughts: The blockbuster of the round sees second-placed Tottenham host a Man City side eager to move up their current 10th-place standing.
Spurs are unbeaten since their opening-week loss to Everton, winning five of their subsequent seven games – including their last three against Burnley (1-0), Brighton (2-1) and West Brom (1-0) as superstars Son Heung-min, Gareth Bale and Harry Kane found late winners respectively.
Man City have a game in hand and have only lost once, but they won’t be happy with a record of three wins and three draws. Though their Champions League form has been better, they have scored just the one goal in each of their last five EPL outings. They drew 1-all with Liverpool prior to the break.
After losing five of the previous six clashes between the heavyweights, Tottenham had the better of the rivalry last season. Spurs twice came from a goal down to secure a 2-all draw at Etihad Stadium, while two second-half goals powered them to a 2-0 home victory over the Citizens.
Tottenham look way over the odds as $4 home underdogs and should give City a torrid time.
History: Played 132: Man United 56 V West Brom 44 (32 Draws)
Last meeting: April 15, 2018 (EPL): West Brom 1 d Man United 0 at Old Trafford
Final Thoughts: The red half of Manchester are also waiting impatiently for their team to get going, currently sitting in 14th spot with three wins and a draw from seven games. But after scoreless outings against Chelsea and Arsenal, they were impressive in a 3-1 defeat of high-flying Everton in Week 8. Bruno Fernandes’ first-half brace put the wobbly Red Devils on course for the win.
West Brom are still searching for their first win, sitting 18th with just three draws to show for their efforts. Scoreless in losses to Fulham and Spurs in their last two, they have scored just twice in their last five outings.
West Brom will be aiming to channel the spirit of their last meeting with United, when they sprung a 1-0 upset at Old Trafford in 2018. The Baggies have managed four wins and two draws in their last 10 clashes with the Red Devils.
Unsurprisingly United are very short at $1.30 for the win, but there’s still a fair bit of value to be had.
History: Played 63: Everton 30 V Fulham 20 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: April 13, 2019 (EPL): Fulham 2 d Everton 0 at Craven Cottage
Final Thoughts: Fulham moved out of the bottom three with their 2-0 win over West Brom in Week 7 – their first of the season – but followed that up with a 1-0 loss at West Ham, the Cottagers’ fourth scoreless effort in eight games.
Everton have gone off the rails after winning their first four games and drawing with Liverpool, tumbling to seventh on the EPL ladder with three straight losses to Southampton (2-0), Newcastle (2-1) and Man United (3-1).
Fulham have won just two of their last 13 against Everton, but they did prevail 2-0 at Craven Cottage in the teams’ last encounter during the 2018-19 season.
Everton’s form slump is good news for punters – their head-to-head price is outstanding value against a Fulham side that will struggle against any team with its act together.
History: Played 89: Sheffield 38 V West Ham 30 (21 Draws)
Last meeting: January 10, 2020 (EPL): Sheffield 1 d West Ham 0 at Bramall Lane
Final Thoughts: What an abysmal turnaround it’s been for Sheffield. After their stellar promotion season last year, they sit last on the table with just one draw (against Fulham) on the board and four goals from eight games. Admittedly, their recent schedule has been tough, losing to Liverpool (2-1), Man City (1-0) and Chelsea (4-1), and the Blades will be eager to take an opportunity against a middle-of-the-road side.
But West Ham have been strong so far this season. Their only loss in their pass six games was 2-1 to Liverpool in Week 7, racking up big wins over Wovles and Leicester, and draws with Spurs and Man City. Hammers were lucky to escape with a win last time out against Fulham, however, with Tomas Soucek finding the 91st-minute winner for a 1-0 result.
West Ham have won just one of their last eight against Sheffield. Last season the teams drew 1-all at London Stadium, while the Blades prevailed 1-0 at home.
Sheffield’s toothless attack makes them tough to back under any circumstances.
History: Played 120: Arsenal 47 V Leeds 41 (32 Draws)
Last meeting: January 6, 2020 (FA Cup): Arsenal 1 d Leeds 0 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: Leeds have shown plenty of promise in their Premier League return – particularly on attack – and have picked up three wins and a draw so far. But they have proved brittle at the defensive end, losing to Leicester and Crystal Palace by 4-1 scorelines in their past two games. Leeds, 15th, have conceded the equal-most goals in the EPL.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are taking their fans on another inconsistent rollercoaster this season. The Gunners have won four and lost four. In their past four outings, they have beaten Man United 1-0 but lost to Man City, Leicester and Aston Villa without scoring.
Their 3-0 defeat to Villa was diabolical.
Leeds have not beaten Arsenal since 2003, though the teams’ only meeting since 2012 was the Gunners’ 1-0 FA Cup victory last season.
Neither team invokes much trust but Arsenal should at least be able to capitalise on Leeds’ defensive shortcomings.
History: Played 114: Liverpool 50 V Leicester 39 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: December 26, 2019 (EPL): Liverpool 4 d Leicester 0 at King Power Stadium
Final Thoughts: Liverpool’s title defence is yet to reach any significant heights, while the low of a 7-2 loss to Villa is a hard memory to erase. But they are nevertheless third with five wins and two draws, including a 1-all result on the road to Man City in Week 8.
Jurgen Klopp is negotiating an injury crisis, plus goal machine Mo Salah’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
Leicester will be eager to seize an opportunity to put some space between themselves and the depleted champs. The Foxes have stormed to the top of the table with six wins, including three straight against Arsenal (1-0), Leeds (4-1) and Wolves (1-0). Jamie Vardy scored in all three and is the EPL’s co-leader with eight goals for the season.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last six against Leicester, winning five. The Foxes went down just 2-1 at Anfield but suffered a 4-0 defeat at King Power Stadium, with Roberto Firmino scoring twice for the Reds.
Leicester hold all the value here, though, with Liverpool missing so many key individuals.
History: Played 49: Burnley 19 V Crystal Palace 13 (17 Draws)
Last meeting: June 29, 2020 (EPL): Burnley 1 d Crystal Palace 0 at Selhurst Park
Final Thoughts: Eleven spots separate these teams on the ladder, with Crystal Palace winning four games and Burnley none – yet they can’t be split in the head-to-head market.
Second-last Burnley have scored a league-low three goals, while their only two competition points have come from scoreless draws against West Brom in Week 4 and Brighton in Week 8. Palace, meanwhile, have proved a capable attacking outfit, thrashing Leeds 4-1 in their last outing.
Palace prevailed 2-0 at Turf Moor last season, but Burnley responded with a 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park – ending a four-match losing streak in the rivalry.
Home advantage aside, there’s very little that points to anything but a Crystal Palace victory.
History: Played 67: Southampton 27 V Wolverhampton 23 (17 Draws)
Last meeting: January 18, 2020 (EPL): Wolverhampton 3 d Southampton 2 at St Mary’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: High-flying Southampton go on the road to take ninth-placed Wolverhampton, aiming to solidify their shock top-four standing.
The Saints have not lost since Week 2, chalking up five wins and a draw since to claim third spot. They have beaten Everton and Newcastle by 2-0 scorelines either side of a 4-3 victory over fellow overachievers Villa in their past three.
Wolves have been their usual miserly selves, conceding just nine goals. They have scored only eight, though it’s been enough to secure four wins and a draw. They lost 1-0 at Leicester in Week 8.
Wolves have won five and drawn three of their last nine matches against Southampton. Last season the teams drew 1-all at Molineux Stadium before Wanderers grabbed a 3-2 victory at St Mary’s Stadium.
This is a big test for Southampton, but their recent form is too hard to resist.