Premier League Game Week 4 Preview : Man Utd and Arsenal cannot keep clean sheets
- Sat 31 Aug - 1 Sep
- Live on BT Sport and Sky Sports
The Premier League table is already starting to take a familiar look just four weeks into the season, with Liverpool and Manchester City taking the top two spots and leaving the chasing pack in their wake. However, the rest of the division is wide open, making it tough for bookmakers to set prices and plenty of value to be had, so here are four cracking bets for Game Week 4.
The Manchester United defence has not been fixed just yet
When Man Utd kept a clean sheet against Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season, some fans rejoiced as the arrivals of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka had apparently fixed their leaky defence. However, a score draw with Wolves and defeat to Crystal Palace and the holes are quite clearly still there.
David de Gea is still struggling for his best form, as he was at the end of last season and with an injury to Luke Shaw, it might be a return to left back for 34-year-old winger Ashley Young. There are still serious concerns for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the back.
Southampton might not be the most prolific of scorers, but after a terrible first game of the season, they are growing in confidence. They breached Liverpool’s defence and could easily have got a point from that game against the Champions League holders. Since then they have beaten Brighton in the league and Fulham in the League Cup so will fancy their chances against the vulnerable Red Devils.
The Saints also conceded three against Burnley earlier this month, so let’s not get over-excited about their defensive capabilities either, but both teams to score looks good in this one.
The Foxes are looking sharp this season
Only four sides are unbeaten after four Premier League games and Leicester are one of them having picked up two draws and a win so far this campaign. Brendan Rodgers’ exciting young side are coming together nicely and appear to have the potential to get even better with developing talents throughout the first XI, led by the wily fox Jamie Vardy.
The threats of James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Ayoze Perez behind Vardy are potent and will produce plenty of chances.
Bournemouth look set for another season like the last couple, struggling for consistency but not likely to be in trouble of relegation. They have a win, a draw and a loss so far and that is the kind of run that we can expect from the Cherries over the next year. Rarely a walkover and capable of beating bigger teams, but never entirely reliable.
Leicester will certainly be finishing above Bournemouth this season so it is quite surprising that they are significantly odds-against to beat them at home in the Premier League. It is generosity we should not turn down.
Europa League to keep putting the brakes on Wolves
Along with Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester, Wolves are the other unbeaten team in the league so far this season. However, this has manifested itself in three straight draws and just two goals scored and two conceded. Only a last minute Raul Jimenez penalty last week saved them from a home defeat against Burnley.
While Wolves have done well to eek out results, that is all they have done, and that looks like it is largely down to their early-season Europa League commitments. It is often the case with clubs not used to European competition that being thrown into Thursday night fixtures can really damage their form in the early parts of the campaign, and it is happening to Wolves.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are playing again this Thursday as they host Torino. They have got themselves a 3-2 lead over the Serie A side from the away leg, but it is sure to be a hard-fought contest at Molineux for a place in the group stage.
Just three days later they must travel to Merseyside to take on Everton which will be a big ask for them. The Toffees have not exactly been convincing in their three games so far, scoring just one goal and losing to Aston Villa last week, but they have picked up four points and they will be far fresher than their opponents. The likes of Richarlison, Gyfli Sigurdsson and Bernard haven’t found their creative best yet this season, but there should be spaces for them to exploit against heavy Wolves legs. Moise Kean might also get a longer run out this time as well, ahead of the underwhelming Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
There will not be much in it, but Everton should come away with three points from this one.
The tastiest match of the weekend is almost certainly the north London derby as a new look Arsenal look to take advantage of a shaky Tottenham side that do not look half the team they were last season.
For the first time in a while, people are almost expecting Arsenal to win this one after Spurs’ slightly strange start to the season. Mauricio Pochettino’s men snatched a late win over Aston Villa, pinched a draw from Manchester City and then were beaten at home by Newcastle in a limp and lifeless performance which surprised many onlookers.
Arsenal have not been wholly convincing themselves, scoring narrow victories over Burnley and Newcastle before being comfortably seen off by Liverpool as their defensive frailties shone brightly.
These are two teams with flaws and it should make for a thoroughly entertaining contest at the Emirates.
The Gunners look pretty dangerous in attack but still extremely dodgy at the back. In contrast, Spurs look a bit limp up top but generally solid throughout. It is a really hard one to pick, but with neither the best in defence and with little to choose between them it seems like a score draw is sensible.
- Man Utd have one clean sheet in their last 16 competitive games
- Man Utd have not won back-to-back league games since March
- The last match between Man Utd and Southampton finished 3-2 to the Red Devils
- Leicester are one of only four undefeated teams in the Premier League so far
- Leicester have conceded just two goals in three league games so far
- Wolves are one of only two teams not to have won a league match yet
- Wolves are one of the four teams not to lose a league match yet
- Tottenham have not kept a clean sheet yet this season
- Arsenal have beaten Spurs twice in their last nine meetings
- Everton have scored one goal in three games