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Premier League Preview and Best Bets

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The Premier League announced its comeback in typically flamboyant style when the world’s most exciting domestic division delivered drama by the bucketful on the opening weekend of the 2022/23 campaign. The fixture frenzy continues in just a few days when the league’s 20 combatants prepare to wage war again and we’ve assembled a collection of betting tips for the action below.

Brighton vs Newcastle

Both Teams to Score – 9/10 (1.9)

The sound of “Ole” rang around Old Trafford last weekend, though the cries weren’t an ode to United legend and former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Instead, it was the buoyant Brighton supporters cheering every pass as the Seagulls put the Red Devils to the sword.

Albion boss Graham Potter was understandably brimming with enthusiasm after a performance backed to bursting with attacking intent. Brighton mustered 15 attempts in their 2-1 victory and the combination play between Danny Welbeck, Pascal Gross, Adam Lallana and Leandro Trossard was mesmerising.

Brighton should be supremely confident for the visit of Newcastle on Saturday afternoon then, and Potter will hope to utilise his team’s unorthodox shape in attack to trouble another flat back four on Saturday. Man Utd’s defensive quartet couldn’t get to grips with Albion’s movement and Howe’s structure at the back has a similar look.

The Magpies, however, should provide much stiffer opposition than Erik ten Hag’s listless louts. Eddie Howe penned a new five-year deal the day before Newcastle ran roughshod over Nottingham Forest when they racked up more shots than any other Premier League team (23) across the division’s entire opening weekend.

The rise in Newcastle’s application and attacking menace since Howe’s arrival has been remarkable, and the once talon-less Magpies have now scored in 17 of their last 21 Premier League fixtures, while only big-hitting trio Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea posted a higher xG than Newcastle’s 1.86 in the campaign’s opening round.

Brighton were next in line for that particular metric (1.73) and Albion and Newcastle feel well-matched in terms of penetration in the final third and sheer feel-good factor ahead of their tussle on the south coast.

Saturday’s fixture is a contest that both sides will feel they can win and the shackles could be thrown off at the Amex Stadium as a result. Both teams found the net in each of last season’s meetings between Brighton and Newcastle and a similar outcome looks possible here.

Manchester City vs Bournemouth

Over 2.5 Cards – 4/7 (1.57)

Bournemouth reintroduced themselves to the Premier League with a fine 2-0 triumph over Aston Villa last weekend and the aggressive streak that allowed them to battle their way to promotion from the second-tier last term was prevalent again against the Villains.

Many of the biting character traits that defined Scott Parker as a player have seeped into the Cherries’ ranks since he took the reins at the Vitality Stadium and Bournemouth committed more fouls than any other team (18) over the campaign’s first weekend, while only Man Utd (4) collected more yellow cards (3).

Bournemouth’s in-your-face style against Villa was a direct carry-over from last season. In the 2021/22 Championship, they ranked 6th for average fouls committed per 90 minutes (11.5) and third for total cards amassed (106).

On Saturday, Parker’s combative collective will need to put their powers of disruption into overdrive to disrupt Manchester City’s flow and the already whistle-happy referee, David Coote, could be in for a busy evening.

Coote brandished five cards and stopped play 22 times for fouls when he took charge of Sheffield United’s clash with Millwall last weekend, while the last seven Premier League fixtures he officiated over featured an average of 5.0 cards per game. His notebook could be just as full at The Etihad Stadium this weekend.

Manchester City, with Erling Haaland as their new spearhead, looked formidable in their 2-0 triumph at West Ham, where they controlled an incredible 75.4% of the ball. Scott Parker will know that tackles – and plenty of them – are the only way to knock the Cityzens out of their stride, so expect Bournemouth to throw their weight around.

As a consequence, the card count could make for interesting reading as Coote lives up to his impatient reputation.

Brentford vs Manchester United

Brentford Double Chance – 8/11 (1.73)

New season, same old Manchester United. The brittle optimism at Old Trafford for Erik ten Hag’s first Premier League fixture in charge started to crack less than ten seconds into proceedings when Diogo Dalot inadvertently set up a Brighton chance with loose touch, setting the trend for a rotten afternoon for the hosts.

United were thoroughly outplayed by Graham Potter’s slick Seagulls, whose neat passing and expertly-drilled tactical manoeuvres seemed to catch ten Hag and his new charges cold.

Unfortunately for crisis club United, a date with Thomas Frank’s Brentford in the “Christian Eriksen derby” on Saturday evening represents a similar challenge to the one Albion posed.

In Ivan Toney, the Bees have a frontman with the physical attributes to torment fledgling partnership Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez at the heart of United’s defence, just as ex-Red Devil Danny Welbeck did in Manchester.

United struggled to keep a lid on Welbeck’s line-breaking runs, while the fluid movement and exploitation of gaps by his supporting cast caused numerous headaches for ten Hag’s limp performers.

Brentford employ a comparable style and the stirring second-half comeback they produced at Leicester last week should arm them with enough confidence to really go for the jugular on Saturday.

The Bees were turned over 3-1 when they last hosted United in January, though the final scoreline belied an uncomfortable jaunt for the visitors, who could have been several goals behind by the break but for the heroics of David de Gea and some dismal finishing from Brentford.

Thomas Frank was even moved to say his team “destroyed” United in the first half before his intensity levels dropped after the interval, though the fallen Manchester giants don’t look anywhere near strong enough to weather a similar storm in this weekend’s rematch.

This has all the makings of another awkward assignment for ten Hag and you get the sense that a lot of money will move in Brentford’s direction ahead of kick off. Short on self-belief and quality personnel, United look alarmingly beatable right now and the Bees will smell blood.

Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur +1.0 Goal Handicap – 8/13 (1.62)

Antonio Conte returns to his old stomping ground at Stamford Bridge in Sunday’s showpiece fixture between Chelsea and Tottenham, where the visitors could gather some capital gains in the first major London derby of the campaign.

Chelsea squeezed three points out of their uncomfortable test at Everton last week, though they needed a converted penalty from Jorginho to get the job done. The Blues toiled in the final third at Goodison Park and found it difficult to create many meaningful chances without a natural striker in tow.

Chelsea have now scored one or fewer times in 11 of their last 20 Premier League assignments in a sequence stretching back to the turn of the year and Thomas Tuchel has been open about the club’s ambition to sign a new forward before September 1st.

However, Chelsea are unlikely to have that player in place for Sunday’s derby and while they are a match for Tottenham in most areas, they fall short of Spurs’ armoury when it comes to firepower.

Conte’s dark horses notched four times against Southampton in their opener and while the usually predatory duo of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min weren’t listed among the goalscorers, they did rack up seven attempts between them.

Tottenham seem to carry a much greater threat in front of goal than their hosts at present and that heightened ability to convert opportunities could give them the edge in London on Sunday.

Spurs failed to score when they last visited Stamford Bridge in January, though Kane was unaccompanied by Son and Kulusevski that afternoon, and that dynamic trio have developed exciting chemistry since.

That triumvirate will fancy their chances of troubling a Chelsea central defensive trio with a combined age of 100 this weekend and with the Blues’ lack of oomph at the opposite end a major factor, Tottenham could be worth backing with a slight advantage in the handicap markets.

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

Liverpool -1.0 Goal Handicap – 8/13 (1.62)

Liverpool are already playing catchup as they prepare to contest their first Premier League home fixture of the new campaign against Crystal Palace on Monday evening and with frustrations to exorcise, the Reds look primed to dish out their yearly thumping to the Eagles.

Jurgen Klopp revealed he was “happy for the punishment” after Liverpool unexpectedly dropped points at newly-promoted Fulham in their opener and admitted his side had deserved to slip up following an uncharacteristically sloppy display.

That early setback should mean that Liverpool approach their date with Palace with renewed focus and having been perennial punishers of the Eagles for several seasons, the Merseysiders could run up another big score at the Londoners’ expense.

Palace played well in spells without landing a punch against Arsenal (0-2), though they are unlikely to enjoy any dominant periods against a higher-calibre Liverpool outfit at Anfield. The Reds have won this fixture ten times in a row in the Premier League and their more recent victories over the Eagles were accompanied by buckets of goals.

Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s ferocious title hopefuls slammed a combined 19 goals past Crystal Palace in the teams’ last five encounters and Liverpool covered the -1.0 handicap on each occasion.

With Mohamed Salah and summer signing Darwin Nunez already up and running for the season, Colombian flier Luis Diaz will be keen to join the party and all three members of Liverpool’s new-look frontline will back themselves to notch on Monday.

Even though they were visibly nowhere near their best at Craven Cottage last week, Liverpool still posted the second-highest xG of the weekend (2.34) and with a little more elbow grease against Palace, they could run riot.

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