Trickiest round of season so far!

September 25, 2020

Last week turned out much as expected, with this blog returning 7 out of 10 winning picks – and I also said that as a committed Chelsea fan I can’t go against them, even when there are vital Superbru points at stake.

I added that as a neutral I would have selected Liverpool to beat them. Which they did. So, it had the potential to be an 8/10 round and I hope your round was successful.

Nevertheless, that’s 12 out of 18 correct predictions for the blog’s first two rounds, which is a 66% winning strike rate. But … be warned!

As confident as I was last week, this third round of English Premier League action is littered with potential banana skins. From the first blog I have said that should you average between 50% and 55% in your tips you’ll have a successful season and while I shouldn’t be saying this, I’m not overly bullish about my selections week. But, that’s what I’ve promised – transparency and not pretending that I’m going to be on fire every week.

Again though, if you look at the first two blog’s sentiments, the patterns are clear and consistent. They are, as I mentioned from day one:

1) Expect higher scoring games until Christmas, given the good weather conditions. From New Year, there will be more 1-0s and 0-0s than is the case now. Last week there were 44 goals in 10 games, an EPL record and average of 4.4 goals per game.

2) Don’t be afraid to go for the away team. This is because home ground advantage has all but been neutralised with no crowds at stadiums, something which is now going to extend into October because of Covid-19 restrictions. The away teams therefore have nothing to fear from visiting “fortresses” until crowds return. In round one, 6 out of 8 away teams won. In round two, 5 out of 10 away teams won. That’s a significant stat – 61% of away teams have won so far this season!

Something that has baffled me is that there have been no draws in the 18 matches played so far, which is a record. By this time last season there had been four draws. So, expect a couple of draws this round – but good luck in finding them!I have gone for two draws and have identified them to be Burnley vs Southampton and Fulham vs Aston Villa. Both Southampton and Fulham are in the bottom three but could scrap hard enough to earn their first point.

My predictions below:

Brighton 1 Man United 2: Brighton have started well and their 3-1 defeat to Chelsea was flattering to the London club, and they then beat Newcastle 3-0 away. They face a United side who were embarrassed 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace last week, and GGGaming have given a price boost to even money for this fixture. But, surely, United can’t afford to drop points here?

Crystal Palace 1 Everton 2: Two unbeaten teams and the hosts come off that win at Old Trafford. This is one of those potential draws I’m talking about.

West Brom 0 Chelsea 3: Even though Chelsea have a porous defence, the fan in me says they have to stop the leaking soon, but I can’t blame you for thinking West Brom will score.

Burnley 1 Southampton 1:  Two of the dullest teams in the League. I’m even tempted to go 0-0 here.

Sheffield United 1 Leeds 2: Another that is trickier than it first looks. Am going for Leeds because they’ve been involved in two 4-3 results already this season, so goals are likely.

Tottenham 2 Newcastle 0: Spurs were better last week in wining 5-2 away from home, while Newcastle did what they’re brilliant at – winning away and then losing 3-0 at home. Tottenham is my most confident bet this round.

Man City 2 Leicester 1: Both teams unbeaten and a draw wouldn’t be a shock result. I’m settling for the home side because I tipped them to win the League this season in my first blog.

West Ham 1 Wolves 2: All three results are possible here and I’m tempted to go for the draw. The Hammers have lost 2 out of 2 but pushed Arsenal all the way last week, but I like the attacking way Wolves play.

Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1: Most will probably go Villa here, given Fulham’s poor start to the season – I had them to finish 20th –  and that Villa won last week. I’m going for the upset draw.

Liverpool 2 Arsenal 1: Don’t be surprised if this is also a draw, but actually I thought Liverpool were full value for their win at Chelsea, even though the game was over as a contest the moment Chelsea went down to 10 men just before half-time, when it was still 0-0.

Suggested bets with GGGaming: Best bet: Win treble: Man United, Chelsea and Tottenham (2.94-1)

Ambitious fiver: Wins for Man United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Wolves, Liverpool (10.82-1)

Result trends so far this season:
1-0: 3 times
2-0: 3 times
3-0: 3 times
3-1: 3 times
4-3: 2 times
5-2: 2 times
2-1: 1 time
4-2: 1 time

Gary Lemke’s season: Last week 7/10. Overall 12/18 (66% win).

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