Bournemouth vs Southampton
Worryingly for Wednesday’s visiting Southampton side, they arrive at the Vitality Stadium as the only team that has failed to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season. In fact, The Saints have conceded in their last 16 matches in the division, a run that arrows back into the 2021/22 campaign.
Gary O’Neil has worked miracles for his chances to land the Cherries job full-time. Under his brief caretaker reign, Bournemouth are yet to lose a match. Interestingly, suppose O’Neil can navigate Southampton’s visit without ushering his first loss through the door. In that case, the seven unbeaten games will match the club’s longest-ever unbeaten run in the Premier League.
If that’s not going to land you a job on the back of a visit from one of your local rivals, what will? Unfortunately for Southampton, it’s a different set of circumstances in their dugout.
Ralph Hasenhüttl finds himself under ever-increasing pressure as questions over his management of the team surround the squad. The German head honcho will be hopeful that Southampton’s recent record of winning at the Vitality on four successive occasions can continue here. However, it’s a big ask, considering how Bournemouth are fairing under Gary O’Neil.
Dominic Solanke spoke with reporters after the Fulham game on how there is a lot of belief in the squad, with the players operating with a new lease of life under O’Neil. Bournemouth’s frontman scored his 50th Cherries goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage, making it two goals and three assists in his recent five games.
Given the above and the momentum found in Bournemouth, the Double Chance selection in the hosts’ favour seems like a decent angle. With Southampton’s appalling clean sheet record and inability to shut teams out away from home propping up a run of form without a run in six games – the Cherries appear a solid bet.
Liverpool vs West Ham
The Reds have fallen to defeat only once in their 49 matches at Anfield versus West Ham. That should put West Ham’s visit on Wednesday into perspective.
However, the quality within the Hammers’ ranks now perhaps overshadows that of previous sides presenting themselves on Merseyside. Bowen, Paqueta, Samacca and Rice, to name just a handful, will pose any team in the Premier League a headache on their day.
We’ll likely see an electric Anfield crowd behind a fervent Liverpool eleven on Wednesday, considering Sunday’s performance against Manchester City. That will ramp up West Ham’s task tenfold, but don’t be surprised to see The Hammers on the scoresheet. West Ham’s firepower in forward areas have found the net in 13 of West Ham’s last 15 matches.
If that’s to happen at Anfield, the over 1.5 goals selection should ease in as Liverpool aims two to clinch the win. Klopp will expect his big-name players to step up once again as they stare down the barrel of a gun riddled with injuries. Speaking of big names on Merseyside, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah proved just how crucial he is to this side during the 1-0 Manchester City victory, as he spun away from Joao Cancelo before easing past an on-rushing Ederson.
Against West Ham, Salah has scored nine goals in ten Premier League appearances. The winner against City was Salah’s 69th Premier League goal at Anfield, with only Robbie Fowler ahead of Liverpool’s talisman on home soil.
If we see a Liverpool eleven resembling the performance on show on the weekend, they should walk over West Ham. David Moyes’ men are starting to warm up to the Premier League season after a disastrously slow start, though that’s beginning to change alongside winning outings in Europe.
However, a wounded Liverpool with light at the end of the tunnel could be one obstacle too tall at this stage.
Brentford vs Chelsea
On the face of things, Chelsea’s win at Villa Park seemed straightforward on paper. A Chelsea goal in each half and a 0-2 away victory. Easy.
However, the heroics of Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal ensured it was a different outcome entirely. On another day, Aston Villa converts their gilt-edged chances and run out victors in a reasonably even match. Nevertheless, the wasted Chances from Villa’s frontline showcased that this Chelsea team is there to be got at.
Yes, there is an abundance of talent at Graham Potter’s disposal, both in attack and at the back, but as a defensive unit, they will afford opponents chances. If they do so in Brentford, rest assured Ivan Toney will gobble them up. The Englishman leading The Bees’ line up top has scored six goals in his last five Premier League games.
If Chelsea’s capitulation last April is anything to go by, Brentford will undoubtedly be confident of finding the net at home. Four goals in the second half at Stamford Bridge ended the match 1-4, with Thomas Frank engineering one of the most significant results in the history of Brentford Football Club.
Chelsea may just have enough here to take the win. They’ve won their last five games in all competitions, including all three Premier League matches under Graham Potter. So, it’s difficult to overlook them in terms of a result, but they shouldn’t have it all their own way.
Brentford’s 14.3xG from ten games is bettered by City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and Newcastle. Chelsea, with 12.1xG this term, are not quite up to The Bees’ mark at this stage of the competition. That will have Frank and his gang in the capital confident enough to work the Chelsea backline.