The match of the English Premier League round also happens to throw up the best bet because one thinks that Arsenal is worth backing at odds of -125 with Betfred and Totesport to beat Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.
One has seen all four English Premier League games featuring Arsenal and Liverpool this season and, while the Gunners put in a shocking performance to lose 0-2 at home to West Ham in the opening round, their display in winning 2-1 at Crystal Palace in their subsequent match was excellent and miles ahead of what the Reds produced in their back-to-back 1-0 victories away to Stoke and at home to Bournemouth.
Football is like horse racing insomuch that one should be willing to forgive a soccer side one bad performance. The manner in which Arsenal beat Crystal Palace – the Gunners looked terrific going forward, although they were lucky to finish with 10 players because Francis Coquelin should have been sent off – means that one is reluctant to oppose Arsene Wenger’s team at home to an unconvincing Liverpool outfit.
Liverpool has won each of its first two English Premier League games but the Reds would have had few grounds for complaint had they failed to defeat either Stoke at the Britannia Stadium or Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool required a spectacular Philippe Coutinho to beat Stoke, while refereeing decisions were the difference between the Reds and Bournemouth – Eddie Howe was right to be angry.
Arsenal thumped Liverpool 4-1 in last term’s corresponding English Premier League fixture and the Gunners have won each of their last three Emirates Stadium clashes with the Reds.
Aston Villa strikes one as an English Premier League side that may struggle to score a truckload of goals this season following its understandable decision to take Liverpool’s millions in exchange for Christian Benteke. Crystal Palace strikes one as an English Premier League side that may end up being one of the division’s highest scorers outside the big five teams and, therefore, one likes the Eagles at odds of -118 with BetVictor and PaddyPower to beat Aston Villa on Saturday.
Crystal Palace lost none of its growing army of admirers in losing 1-2 at home to Arsenal and one senses that the Eagles will hand out a hammering or two once Alan Pardew works out how best to use the attacking players at his disposal. Few non-English Premier League title contenders – if any – have attackers to match those of Crystal Palace, with the Eagles boasting Yannick Bolasie, Connor Wickham, Wilfred Zaha and last term’s English Championship star man, Patrick Bamford.
Aston Villa did not excel without Benteke whenever the big Belgian striker was unavailable last term and now that he has moved up the M6 to Liverpool it is difficult to get excited about what the Villans have going forward.
None of the last four English Premier League games between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa has featured more than one goal but, while one thinks that the Villans may not create much in the way of scoring opportunities, one is confident that the Eagles will be enterprising at Selhurst Park.
Finally, odds of +240 with Bet365 about Saturday’s English Premier League match between Sunderland and Swansea being a draw are more appealing than backing either side to win.
One picked Sunderland as the probable English Premier League wooden spoon recipient before the competition kicked off and the Black Cats have surged into favouritism following their two-goal losses away to Leicester and at home to Norwich – there is no disguising how poorly those results read.
Swansea has begun its English Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw at Chelsea and a 2-0 home win over Newcastle and one is sure that the Swans will have their supporters at favourite odds against Sunderland. But Swansea is a team that one expects to slide down the English Premier League ladder as the season progresses and one cannot come into Garry Monk’s side at not much longer than even money.
Arsenal to beat Liverpool
24th August 20:00 GMT
Palace to beat Villa
22th August 15:00 GMT
Sunderland v Swansea – Draw
22th August 15:00 GMT
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