The Scout: EPL Matchday 3

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace
24th August, 10pm WST

It was chocolates to boiled lollies for Manchester United who destroyed Chelsea 4-0 in their opening match before a 1-1 draw with Wolves in Week 2. Despite this, the Red Devils sit 4th on the Premier League table.

With only one point from their first two matches, Crystal Palace have been slow out of the blocks this season. A goalless draw with Everton followed by a 1-0 loss to newly promoted Sheffield United has them 14th after the opening fortnight. More worrying, is their grand total of zero goals, being one of just two teams goalless this season.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has Manchester United playing an exciting brand of football. The sale of Romelu Lukaku has breathed life into Marcus Rashford (2 goals, 1 assist) and Anthony Martial (2 goals) who both look set for breakout seasons. Martial has taken well to the role of striker, scoring in both games so far.

The Red Devils weren’t a great defensive side last season, but the additions of Harry Maguire (Leicester) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) has completely changed the dynamic of the United backline.

Crystal Palace haven’t beaten United in their last 22 Premier League clashes; with 18 of those being losses for the Eagles. Even worse is 11 losses of their last 12 visits to Old Trafford, goalless in all but one of those matches.

Suggested Bet: Manchester United Win to Nil @ $2.08*

Brighton vs Southampton
24th August, 10pm WST

5th placed Brighton have been the early season surprise packets with a 3-0 win at Watford and a 1-1 draw with West Ham. New manager Graham Potter has the Seagulls playing with a new flair, and no longer completely reliant on striker Glenn Murray for goals.

Southampton are still looking for their first points of the season after opening losses to Burnley and Liverpool.

Brighton have been exciting to watch this season with new signings Lenardo Trossard and Neal Maupay each having an immediate impact. Belgian Trossard looks to be Brighton’s most dangerous player. In his first start last weekend against West Ham, he scored a stunning equalizing goal and had another denied by VAR.

Southampton’s opening match was a shocker. They were routed by Burnley and looked every bit a team headed for a relegation battle. Back at home against Liverpool last weekend they were gallant, which points to the Saints being a team that will struggle on the road this season. Under their current manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton have won just 3 out of their 13 Premier League fixtures away from home.

Brighton appear revitalized by the new season. They’ve looked menacing in attack and should have the momentum here to continue their strong start.

Suggested Bet: Match Result Brighton @ $2.40*

Liverpool vs Arsenal 
25th August, 12.30am WST

Top of the table clash, the only two “perfect” sides in the League.

After a quiet summer transfer period, Liverpool are “running it back” this season, unchanged in their strategy and personnel on the pitch.

Arsenal sit second on the table with wins over Newcastle and Burnley; thanks largely to Aubameyang and Lacazette – the only goal scorers so far for the Gunners.

Despite having the same back four that dominated the 2018/19 season, Liverpool have looked vulnerable in defense conceding to both Norwich and Southampton. More worrying is the injury to goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who will be absent from the side for an unknown period.

Defense is also a worry for Arsenal, who had their hands full with containing Burnley last weekend. It doesn’t get any easier this week up against the Liverpool trio of Firmino, Salah and Mane.

The Gunners have been poor defensive record for an extended period of time, conceding 35 goals in their last 19 Premier League away games, more than the likes of Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Newcastle.

Both sides are looking shaky down back, while possessing world class attacking weapons, which leaves me confident we’ll see plenty of chances on goal. Arsenal’s last win at Anfield came all the way back in 2012, and ultimately with the firepower Liverpool possess, I don’t see the streak ending here.

Suggested Bet: Match Result Liverpool and Both Teams to Score @ $2.45*

*Odds correct as at 8.30am, 23rd August 2019.

Market Market