Matchweek 1 didn’t have many surprises on the scoresheet but we learned a lot about several clubs including who they’re starting, what formation/style they’re implementing and who’s still recovering from the World Cup. It should be exciting to see if the good clubs can continue their form or if there will be any slip ups this weekend.
The weekend was kind to me considering the uncertainty of most of the matches I picked, but my style of not having any bold picks and sticking to a conservative system seemed to work as I went 5-3-2 (W-L-D).
Let’s get right into this week’s matches…
This Season: 5-3-2 (+1.2 Units)
Last Matchweek: 5-3-2 (+1.2 Units)
Saturday, July 18th
7:30 am EST
Newcastle @ Cardiff City – Newcastle had a tough matchup in Matchweek 1 against Spurs at home but are now facing a much easier test in newly-promoted Cardiff. Spurs didn’t play their best against Newcastle and both teams were actually level on total shots, but in the end Spurs were too much as Newcastle could only muster 2 shots on target out of their 15 total shots. Cardiff had a very similar match at Bournemouth the other day but rightfully so as they had to start their first Premier League season in years on the road. The line sits at a pickem in a situation where Cardiff have a real shot at getting their first points of the season at home. I think the energy will be high and the players will be buzzing from the start for Cardiff, and I like them on the pickem here even though I smell a draw. Cardiff City (Pick +125).
10:00 am EST
Southampton @ Everton – Everton drew at Wolves last weekend after they got a red card in the first half, making it tough to get all three points while Southampton had a snoozefest of a 0-0 draw at Burnley. Everton actually looked fantastic being down a man, even taking the lead at one point. Southampton meanwhile looked empty and let a weakened Burnley side get the points they wanted away from home. I like Everton at home in this one as they looked fantastic against a solid Wolves side, while Southampton looked lifeless at home. Everton (-0.5).
Wolves @ Leicester City – I don’t know what to make of this one as Leicester didn’t look bad against United but could’ve (and should’ve) lost 2-0 while Wolves churned a point against a short-sided Everton team. I actually liked how Wolves has already started to gel with their new pieces while Leicester still seemed kind of lost especially when not starting Vardy and a few other regulars from the last few seasons. I like Wolves as underdogs to get the points again here as they’ve shown that they can grind for the result they need. Wolves (+0.5).
Fulham @ Tottenham – As I said earlier, Spurs weren’t overly convincing in their win on Saturday but neither were Fulham at home to Palace. Although Fulham looked good on paper with more possession and 15 shots, 6 of which were on goal, they finished with a 0.7 xG (expected goals) score not boding well with the amount of chances they created. Although Spurs haven’t been historically good at Wembley, they are going to be running into a Fulham squad who are somewhat lost. Tottenham (-1.5).
Bournemouth @ West Ham – These two teams couldn’t have had a more different starts to their Premier League seasons as West Ham got throttled 4-0 at Liverpool while Bournemouth beat Cardiff 2-0 at home. Although West Ham looked absolutely horrible against Liverpool last weekend, I like them to bounce back at home in their opener at the London Stadium. I like the Hammers as favorites here. West Ham (-0.5).
12:30 pm EST
Arsenal @ Chelsea – Chelsea come into this match after a convincing win at Huddersfield by the tune of 3-0, while Arsenal were beaten by City 2-0 at the Emirates. Arsenal will be playing their first away match of the season and nobody really knows what to make of them for now as their manager made some questionable decisions and their new signings are yet to prove themselves. I did like Emery’s style of play and a few of their young players showed some promise but I think they need more time to gel under that style and I think Chelsea are more fit to win this one. Chelsea (-0.5).
Sunday, July 19th
8:30 am EST
Watford @ Burnley – It’s been quite the week and a half for Burnley as they qualified on Wednesday for the final Europa League playoff spot and got a result away from home against Southampton. As for Watford they started the season off well with a home 2-0 win to Brighton where they looked brilliant and exposed Brighton all over the pitch. Burnley are known for grinding out results and are currently doing that on this stretch of matches. After a huge home win in the Europa League for Burnley, I expect the Turf Moor to be electric in their home opener even with the large possibility of a push. Burnley Pick (-145).
Huddersfield @ Manchester City – Obviously the big news coming out of the City camp outside of their new Amazon documentary has been the injury to Kevin De Bruyne. Word is that he will miss up to three months with a knee injury but they have the depth to survive that span considering they’re playing the 6 most recently promoted teams in the league over the next 6 matches. I hate spreads that are 2 or more but this is a City team that is almost unstoppable right now and with their home opener being against a Huddersfield side who lost to Chelsea 3-0, I expect them to run all over them. Manchester City (-2.5).
Manchester United @ Brighton – Brighton looked really poor against Watford last Saturday and now go up against a United team who although are in some sort of turmoil, they are miles away the better side. United did lose to Brighton last season in this exact same fixture and I expect Mourinho’s men to be ready for revenge in this match. Manchester United (-0.5).
Monday, August 20th
3:00 pm EST
Liverpool @ Crystal Palace – I was really impressed with how Palace beat Fulham away from home last weekend and I’m generally high on them overall this season. Liverpool also looked good but they were home and up against a really poor side in West Ham when they won 4-0. Although I don’t expect Palace to win and maybe not even draw, I don’t think Liverpool run away with this one. Crystal Palace (+1).
I hope everyone enjoys the matches this weekend! I will be in Barcelona for this upcoming week so I have NO clue what I’m gonna do for the next preview, but that’s part of the fun.
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.