That light you are seeing at the end of the tunnel isn’t that of an oncoming train. In fact, it’s altogether more encouraging. More like the English Premier League finally, after six riotous rounds of action, returning to a semblance of normality, writes Gary Lemke.
In my first blog, which seems a long time ago, I did say that after five rounds we’d be able to start seeing formlines emerge, but I am more convinced than ever that the lack of crowds due to the Covid-19 restrictions has made a bigger difference than we could have imagined. In many instances it’s as if the EPL has been a succession of friendly matches and the lack of crowds in the stadiums has contributed to the away sides being able to play with more freedom.
Last week on Superbru, the average correct results were again less than three out of 10 for the round.
But, here are the updated season score trends which will hopefully convince you that normality is on the way.
1-0: 11 times
1-1: 7 times
3-0: 6 times
2-0: 5 times
2-1: 5 times
3-1: 5 times
5-2: 3 times
3-3: 3 times
0-0: 2 times
4-0: 2 times
4-2: 2 times
4-3: 2 times
3-2: 1 time
4-1: 1 time
6-1: 1 time
7-2: 1 time
2-2: 1 time
The 1-0 win and the 1-1 draw have now finally come to the top of the pile, followed by 3-0 and then 2-0 and 2-1. Which tells us that while we might still get the odd 5-2 or 4-3, the goals are starting to settle. With that in mind, here are my tips for this week.
Wolves 2 Crystal Palace 1: Both teams have won three, lost two and drawn one. Wolves looked in control against Newcastle last week but faded alarmingly late to concede the equaliser and in fact their lack of goals (six from six games) is a concern. This is tight to call.
Sheffield United 0 Man City 2: The Blades are in trouble, scoring three times in six matches and second from bottom. City are 13th and looking anything but title challengers, but they have the squad and quality to pick up the points here.
Burnley 1 Chelsea 3: After Spurs edged Burnley 1-0 on Monday, Jose Mourinho praised Sean Dyche for making Burnley such a tough side to beat. But I’m going with Chelsea to look more threatening in front of goal than they have been, despite having returned from the long Champions League trip to Russia. I’m also going for Chelsea to concede because they wouldn’t be Chelsea without a defensive lapse.
Liverpool 2 West Ham 1: The Hammers have lost to Arsenal, beaten Wolves and Leicester, and drawn with Spurs and Man City. They’ve had a tough six games and it doesn’t get easier against the champions. They’ll be up for it, but under Anfield lights the Reds always seem to find an extra gear.
Aston Villa 1 Southampton 1: After five wins, including a 7-2 drubbing of Liverpool, Villa were hammered 3-0 by Leeds. Southampton clipped Everton’s wings last week – the craziness continued – but on form Villa should edge it. Still, I’ll opt for the draw.
Newcastle 1 Everton 2: Last week I said, “what happens next with Newcastle”, who had started out WLDWL. Well, obviously it was another D to follow the sequence and they duly got that late equaliser against Wolves! Everton meanwhile have gone WDL in their last three. Newcastle are due another “W” – but I’m leaning towards the visitors.
Man United 1 Arsenal 1: United seem to have found their rhythm again and Ole has the wheel under control for the moment. They’re on a high following their 5-0 Champions League midweek win and they also have the benefit of more rest given Arsenal were in Europa League action on Thursday. Still, I’m going for the upset draw, although the Gunners have lost three of their last four.
Tottenham 3 Brighton 1: Last week’s clean sheet against Burnley was the first of Spurs’ season and I think they’ll revert to the trend of leaking again this week. Still, there’s too much firepower at the other end and I expect them to have too much for Brighton.
Fulham 2 West Brom 1: The hosts have lost five of six and are rooted to the bottom and haven’t scored in 50% of their matches. This is a desperate “six-pointer” for them though and I think they’ll treat it like a Cup final. Defeat against 15th-placed West Brom will go a long way to already sealing Fulham’s fate, ie relegation, for the season. For this game though, desperation can win the day.
Leeds 2 Leicester 3: This game surely has goals in it. Leeds have been an attacking inspiration, scoring 12 and conceding nine, while Leicester have a 13-8 ratio. It’s just that as good as Leeds look going forward, they’re suspect in defence and Jamie Vardy will be licking his lips ahead of this match.
Best bets: Wins for Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs (3.58-1 on GGGaming)