Top Four Race Gets Interesting in EPL
The top four picture in the English Premier League is getting incredibly interesting. Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United entered the top four for the first time this season after defeating Everton last weekend. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Manchester United are right behind them. Chelsea and Manchester United are both involved in two of the games of the week but there are plenty worth paying attention to. Let’s review the major matches in the Premier League this weekend and run through the EPL Matchday 14 odds.
Games of the Week:
Leicester City vs. Manchester City
Date, time (TV):
Location: King Power Stadium, Leicester
The Matchday 14 EPL Schedule kicks off bright and early with a Leicester City vs. Manchester City matchup. The Foxes have won their last two matches after languishing in the relegation zone. Meanwhile, a Man City win and Arsenal draw or loss vs. Nottingham Forest would propel the Cityzens to first place. Both teams play positive football and their last match finished with nine goals total.
Despite losing 6-3 that day, Leicester City have a couple wins over Man City in the last few years. In fact, they’ve won two of the last five meetings in all competitions. Still, the Foxes are +875 home underdogs and still in a precarious 17th place in the table. There are definite signs of improvement, with four clean sheets in their last five EPL matches. Meanwhile, Man City just sealed first place in their UCL group with a scoreless draw at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola was able to rest Erling Haaland for a half and sat out Kevin De Bruyne altogether. They should both be ready to go on Saturday. City are priced at -340 odds but have dropped points three times on the road this season. Incredibly, none of the last 13 EPL fixtures between Leicester and Manchester City have finished in draws. Punters wanting to put money on the trend to buck can bet on a draw at +500 odds.
Brighton vs. Chelsea
Date, time (TV):
Location: Amex Stadium, Brighton
Graham Potter returns to Brighton on Saturday after departing to manage Chelsea last month. Since then, the fortunes of the two clubs have diverged. Brighton haven’t won any of their five games under Roberto de Zerbi. Meanwhile, Chelsea are unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions under Potter. With their 2-1 win over RB Salzburg on Tuesday, the Blues qualified for the Champions League round of 16.
Although Chelsea have done well lately, they’ve drawn two consecutive matches in the Premier League. Another draw isn’t too unlikely, as the EPL Matchday 14 odds price a draw between Brighton and CFC at +240. In fact, the last three meetings between these two sides have finished in draws. Since Brighton were promoted to the EPL in 2017, they’re winless in 10 matches vs. Chelsea.
So, it’s not exactly shocking that Chelsea are favorites. The Blues sit at +140 odds, while Brighton show a +200 price to win their first Premier League match over Chelsea. Potter left on good terms at Brighton so there’s not exactly bad blood. However, he’ll certainly want to save the embarrassment of losing to the club he left. Brighton have really struggled offensively in recent weeks as Leandro Trossard is the only player who has scored in the De Zerbi era.
Manchester United vs. West Ham
Date, time (TV):
Location: Old Trafford, Manchester
Both Manchester United and West Ham had poor starts to the season but have successfully rebounded. Man United are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches and are sixth in the English Premier League standings. While they’ve done well recently under Erik ten Hag, Cristiano Ronaldo has made headlines for the wrong reasons. He refused to come on as a sub in the 2-0 win over Tottenham and left the stadium before his teammates made it back to the dressing room. After training alone for a few days, he appears to be back in the fold after speaking to Ten Hag.
The 37-year old was Man U’s leading scorer last season but it’s unclear how much longer he’ll be with the club. Marcus Rashford has done well under Ten Hag and should keep getting opportunities. Meanwhile, West Ham have gone from the relegation zone to the top half in one month’s time. Still, their away record is dreadful and winning at Old Trafford is a tall task. West Ham haven’t won an EPL match there since 2007.
Now, the Hammers are +380 underdogs heading into Sunday’s match. United are priced at -140 odds but center back Raphael Varane injured himself in last weekend’s 1-1 draw vs. Chelsea. If he misses time, it’ll be a big issue for Ten Hag as the center back pairing of Varane and Lisandro Martinez quickly became one of the league’s best. Victor Lindelof or Harry Maguire could fill in if Varane is out. It seems like the uncertainty surrounding Varane is playing a part in West Ham sitting at -190 odds to score on Sunday.
Other Matches of Interest
Bournemouth vs. Tottenham
Tottenham head to Bournemouth on Saturday carrying a two-match EPL losing streak. These are exactly the kind of games Tottenham need to win if they’re going to be in the title race this season. Spurs are -145 road favorites, according to the latest EPL Matchday 14 odds. However, Harry Kane hasn’t gotten much help in the month of October.
He and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are the only two Spurs players to score EPL goals this month. A loss here would be Tottenham’s fourth in the last six Premier League matches. Bournemouth are also on a two-match losing streak, though. The Cherries, who have been shutout in both recent losses, come in at +420 odds to win
Liverpool vs. Leeds United
Liverpool’s last two matches have summed up their season so far. They defeated Manchester City 1-0 at Anfield then lost to last place Nottingham Forest. It is time to consider that Liverpool’s dynasty might be over but not many predicted the demise would happen so quickly. Still, there’s a lot of time left in the campaign and Jurgen Klopp will still be aiming for a top four finish. Meanwhile, Leeds United’s Jesse Marsch will be aiming to keep his coaching job past Saturday. Leeds have lost four straight matches and find themselves in the relegation zone ahead of their trip to Anfield. The major odds for Saturday’s match are as follows: Liverpool (-285), Leeds United (+725), Draw (+455).
Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest
Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday was a big disappointment, which speaks to how high the expectations have gotten. The Gunners are still in first place in the EPL and host last place Nottingham Forest this Sunday. Forest shocked Liverpool last weekend and did splash the cash on a bunch of talented players over the Summer. So, Arsenal need to be careful, especially given they also play on Thursday night at PSV.
Arsenal’s offense hasn’t been as explosive lately and they’ve managed just one goal in each of their last four matches, in all competitions. Still, the Gunners are two-goal favorites and stand at -550 odds to defeat Forest. They’ve also won their last nine matches at the Emirates Stadium in all competitions.Follow us on Twitter