This weekend’s Premier League action kicks off on Friday evening at Villa Park and is headlined by Manchester City v Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Friday 14th August / 7.45pm
|Aston Villa||Draw No Bet||31/10||BetVictor|
|Under 2.5||Total Goals||31/40||BetVictor|
|Wayne Rooney||First Goalscorer||9/2||William Hill|
Both of these sides won 1-0 on the opening weekend of the season but it’s United who are odds-on favourites, despite playing away from home.
The visitors can be backed at 7/10 generally – which seems a little short for a side that last season only won two games against teams that finished in the bottom half of the division (D6, L2). Villa certainly appeal at a huge looking 5/1 with William Hill, but we prefer odds of 31/10 with BetVictor on the hosts in the Draw No Bet market.
Last season this fixture ended 1-1, but both goalscorers (Benteke and Falcao) have moved on to Premier League rivals. Villa scored just 31 goals in total last season and Benteke scored 13 of those, while United are a low scoring side under van Gaal (just 21 goals away from home last season), so we like odds of 31/40 on Under 2.5 Goals.
Finally, with Wayne Rooney playing up front, we suggest backing him to score first at 9/2 with William Hill – that’s the best industry price and you’ll get your money back if he scores the second goal instead. Plus, you have their ‘Super Sub’ insurance on all televised Premier League games – if the player you have bet on is substituted, your goalscorer bet runs onto the player who replaces him at the original price.
Southampton v Everton
Saturday 15th August / 12.45pm
|Southampton||Clean Sheet||7/5||Paddy Power|
|Graziano Pelle||First Goalscorer||9/2||Ladbrokes|
|Southampton 1-0||Correct Score||6/1||Bet365|
|Southampton 2-0||Correct Score||8/1||Bet365|
Both sides drew 2-2 in their opening games, but with home advantage it’s the Saints who are favourites at a best price of Evens with BetVictor to get their first win of the season, while Everton can be backed at 7/2 (Coral) and the draw at 13/5 (Bet365).
Everton haven’t scored a goal in any of their last three visits to St. Mary’s and given the Toffees won just five games and scored only 21 goals on the road last season, we suggest backing the home side to keep another clean sheet at best odds of 7/5.
Graziano Pelle, who also started last season well, got his first goal of the new season last week, and we suggest backing him to score first here at 9/2 with Ladbrokes, as they will pay double the odds if that first goal is scored inside the first 25 minutes.
We also suggest backing 1-0 and 2-0, as those have been the last two results in this fixture and we anticipate another tight game. Back those at 6/1 and 8/1 respectively with Bet365 – who refund losing Correct Score bets on all games that finish 0-0.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Sunday 16th August / 1.30pm
|74+||Time Of Last Goal||10/11||Paddy Power|
|Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (ew)||First Goalscorer||10/1||Bet365|
|Over 2.5||Total Goals||20/23||BetVictor|
Palace have only beaten Arsenal once in their last 17 meetings in all competitions at Selhurst Park (D5, L11) – a 1-0 win back in November 1979. More relevantly, the Gunners have won both games here since Palace’s return to the Premier League.
But the Eagles only lost by the odd goal in 2-1 defeats last season and it wasn’t until injury time that Arsenal took all 3 points at the Emirates. There was also an injury time goal (by Palace) in this fixture at Selhurst Park, so the first recommended bet is on the last goal coming after the 74th minute at odds of 10/11 with Paddy Power.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, who celebrates his 22nd birthday on Saturday, scored twice in this fixture two seasons ago and is 10/1 with Bet365 to score first. Back him each-way (1/3 odds for the place – if your player scores at any time in the game).
Finally, we like the look of Over 2.5 Goals at best odds of 20/23 with BetVictor. Palace scored in all but five of their home games last season – including against every one of the sides that finished in the top eleven (Palace were 10th).
Manchester City v Chelsea
Sunday 16th August / 4pm
The bookmakers’ odds suggest that these two sides will battle it out for the Premier League title and after just one game City have replaced Chelsea as favourites having convincingly won at West Brom, while Chelsea only drew at home to Swansea.
This early season encounter will certainly be a fascinating marker as to who might come out on top and Manuel Pellegrini’s side can be backed at 23/20 with Betfred to win and open up an early five-point advantage on Jose Mourinho’s men. Chelsea are available at best odds of 29/10 with BetVictor and the draw at 5/2 with Bet365.
Last season both games between these sides finished 1-1 and Mourinho likes to ensure that, at worst, his team doesn’t lose to their big rivals – playing a packed midfield and two holding players away from home. It is dour but effective, as since he returned to Chelsea they have lost none of their six away trips to Arsenal, Man City or Man United (W1, D5), with three of those draws finishing 0-0 and two 1-1.
With that in mind we think the draw is a big price here at that 5/2 with Bet365, while we also suggest playing a couple of bookmaker special offers off against each other. Back 0-0 at 10/1 with Betfred who refund losing Correct Score bets, up to £50, on all televised games that finish 1-1 and back 1-1 at 6/1 with Bet365 who refund all losing Correct Score bets on all games that finish 0-0.
Finally, it is worth noting that Bet365 are offering their hugely generous Free In-Play Bet offer on this game – place a bet of up to £50 pre-match and they will give you a risk-free In-Play bet to the same stake.