The Scout: EPL Week 28

Arsenal v Brentford

Arsenal’s scintillating form was demonstrated again this week as they thrashed Sheffield United 6-0.

The record-breaking Gunners became the first side to win three consecutive away games in England’s top flight by five or more goals.

The victory was Arsenal’s seventh in a row in the league. They are now the Premier League’s highest scorers with 68 goals, 31 of which have come during this winning run. They also have the meanest defence with just 23 conceded.

This is the ruthless streak manager Mikel Arteta has demanded if they are to end a 20-year wait to be crowned champions.

What will especially please Arteta is how the goals are being shared around the team, especially as striker Gabriel Martinelli suffered a foot injury at Sheffield United. There were six different scorers at Bramall Lane (including one own goal) and Bukayo Saka is the only Arsenal player to have hit double figures in the league.

Because title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City face each other, Arsenal go into this London derby knowing a win will take them second or top come the end of the weekend.

Opponents Brentford were the only side in the bottom seven to pick up a point last week in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea. Five losses in seven league games isn’t great, but that sequence includes creditable defeats to Manchester City twice (3-1 and 1-0), Liverpool (4-1) and Tottenham (3-2).

The Bees beat Arsenal in their first-ever Premier League fixture, in August 2021. Since then, Arsenal have defeated Brentford four times, including once in the cup, with one draw.

Suggested Bet: Arsenal to win + Arsenal to score over 3.5 goals (Same Game Multi) @ $2.88*

Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur

These are two teams that are having terrific seasons with one or both in line for UEFA Champions League football next season.

Aston Villa currently sit in fourth place, five points clear of Tottenham who have a game in hand.

But with the Premier League in the running for a fifth spot in European football’s expanded premier competition, the two of them could hit the jackpot come the season’s end.

Villa extended their winning run to three games last week thanks to Lucas Digne’s late winner at Luton Town. Earlier, Ollie Watkins had struck twice to take his season EPL tally to 16, second behind Manchester City’s Erling Haaland who has 18.

The brace was Watkins’ sixth goal in his last five league games and makes him a strong contender for England’s Euros squad in Germany at the end of the season. He also scored the winner when Villa won 2-1 at Spurs in November.

Villa’s rise under Unai Emery has brought a European campaign this season and this week (early on Friday) they take on Ajax in Amsterdam in the Europa Conference League.

Tottenham have made great progress of their own and they showed their mettle last week in coming from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace 3-1.

Timo Werner scored his first goal for the club in his seventh appearance and the former Chelsea man earned special praise from manager Ange Postecoglou.

Spurs have now scored in 38 straight league games – a whole season’s worth of matches stretching back to 4 March 2023.

Suggested Bet: Aston Villa to win + Ollie Watkins to score + Both teams to score – YES (Same Game Multi) @ $4.50*

Liverpool v Manchester City

Liverpool and Manchester City will look to gain an initiative heading into the final 10 matches of the season when they meet at Anfield on Sunday.

The game also sees Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola clash one last time before Klopp steps down as Liverpool manager.

The German’s announcement in January that he would walk away at the end of the season brought a glowing tribute from Guardiola, who described Klopp as his biggest rival and admitted he would sleep better after his departure.

This rivalry dates back over a decade to when Guardiola coached Bayern Munich and Klopp was at Borussia Dortmund.

In terms of silverware, Guardiola usually has the last laugh and his City side are looking to become the first English club to win four successive top-flight league titles.

Last weekend, two-goal Phil Foden led City to a 3-1 win over Manchester United as they responded to Liverpool’s victory at Nottingham Forest the previous day.

Klopp’s Carabao Cup winners needed a 99th-minute header from Darwin Nunez to snatch their fourth straight win, and he has performed wonders to keep Liverpool at the top with an injury list that has included keeper Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander Arnold and Mohamed Salah.

Both had European fixtures in midweek, City beat Copenhagen 3-1 in the Champions League while Liverpool were due to take on Sparta Prague in Europa League action at Sparta Prague early on Friday.

Surprisingly, City have won only once at Anfield since 2003 and that came three years ago when there were no fans in the ground due to Covid.

Suggested Bet: City to win + Both teams to score – YES (Same Game Multi) @ $3.25*

*Odds correct as at 10am, 7th March 2024.

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