The second round of EPL action concludes this Sunday and Monday with three matches, including the massive clash of Manchester City v Chelsea at The Etihad Stadium. After a slow start that has seen them defeated by Arsenal in the Community Shield and draw with Swansea in their league opener, plus the massive controversy over Jose Mourinho and team doctor Eva Carneiro from that game against Swansea, sees the champions struggling. Can they kick start their season with victory against the side top of the week after the first week of matches?
Our EPL Picks on this trio of matches playing at the conclusion of the weekend are previewed in conjunction with online sportsbook Unibet.com.
Man City v Chelsea: 2.08 – 3.55 – 3.80
Following a comfortable 3-0 win at West Brom in the Monday Night Football last week Manchester City were the side that set the pace in the EPL thanks to a brace of goals from Yaya Toure and a goal from defender and captain Vincent Kompany. Despite being out with illness just days before that match David Silva was one of the star players and with Sergio “Kun” Aguero rested for the majority of that match he’ll be chomping at the bit to start this match and grab his first goal of the season.
Chelsea saw goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois red carded against Swansea and he’ll miss this match through suspension leaving former Stoke shot stopper Asmir Begovic to take the gloves against City. This is a major loss, despite the skills of their new ‘keeper, and with the behind the scenes issues between manager Mourinho and the medical staff continuing to rumble on there are questions over the mindset of the team for this match.
While no second week match could realistically be described as a must win game Chelsea will not want to leave themselves five points behind City and with four points from the last two visits they will be confident. We, however, are not so confident in the Londoners chances on the blue half of Manchester and we believe that the home side are the ones who look the better coming into this match. As a result of this we’re backing the biggest players to step up to the plate fire the home side to victory, so our money is on Aguero to score anytime and City to win @ 3.60 in the Unibet Sportsbook.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal: 5.15 – 3.95 – 1.72
Selhurst Park hosts a South versus North clash of two London clubs as Crystal Palace look to start the season with back to back wins and Arsenal look to avoid successive defeats. Palace can consider themselves slightly lucky to have recorded a 3-1 win over Norwich last weekend with the EPL newcomers having a valid goal ruled out at 2-1 before £10m signing from PSG Yohan Cabaye netted an injury time winner, while Arsenal huffed a puffed against West Ham but produced nothing going forwards while errors from new goalkeeper Petr Cech saw the Hammers bag two goals to win.
Despite this Arsenal will be confident in arriving in this area of the capital as they have won all four meetings with Palace since Alan Pardew’s men returned to the top flight two seasons ago, but with Arsenal winning 2-0 home and away two seasons ago and 2-1 home and away last season is it time for this new look Eagles side to take something from the match?
Palace are a nice team to watch under the stewardship of Pardew and they can back up this attractive football with some nice attacking football so we can see them making chances against their guests this weekend. Arsenal will be desperate to bounce back, hence why Unibet have them as the favourites for this game, and will make chances too so we expect goals in this opening game from Sunday’s match card. Back both Crystal Palace and Arsenal to score at odds of 1.78.
Liverpool v Bournemouth: 1.46 – 4.60 – 8.00
The opening round of EPL football saw neither Liverpool or Bournemouth set the world alight as Liverpool edged past Stoke with a late goal and Bournemouth defeated by a 72nd minute goal against Aston Villa as they both played out 1-0 games. Both will know that they must improve if they are to take all three points at Anfield in this week’s Monday Night Football match.
The last two meetings between the sides came at the start of the 2014 as both teams were drawn together in both the Capital One and FA Cups, and it was Liverpool who ran out two goal winners on both occasions. They have the stronger squad on paper by far and we feel that they should easily win this match against a side that will be fighting for survival in the league this season. As such, our money is on a home win with new striker Christian Benteke to open his account with an anytime goal at odds of 2.48 with Unibet.com.