The first week of the Premier League season brought plenty of entertainment as it always does. There is a lot to glean from Matchday 1 but it is also important to take into account that this was 1 of 38 matchdays. With that being said, let’s get into some plays I like for the 2nd week of the campaign.
Brentford-Manchester United 12:30pm ET, Saturday
Brentford looked less than impressive in their first match vs Leicester despite clawing back from 2-0 down to get a point. On the other side, United looked in as much disarray at Old Trafford as last season. Newly appointed manager Erik Ten Hag walked into the stadium to cheers and walked into the dressing room at halftime to whistles and boos. That is how quickly things change among United supporters and the pressure is already on. Both of these clubs will be looking for 3 points and this will create a great Saturday night spectacle of football. It is important to take into account what has happened so early on in the season but also look into last season’s numbers to have an idea of what can unfold going forward. Brentford was in the top half of the Prem in xG at home last season while also allowing slightly more than a goal a match. On the other side, United was in the top 5 in the league away from home in xG while also allowing nearly 2 goals a match. These numbers and the attitude around this match lead me to believe O2.5 goals -115 is the play.
Fulham-Wolverhampton 10:00am ET, Saturday
f/t Getty Images Europe
A tale of two different clubs here. Fulham came out firing in the 1st match, nearly snatching 3 points against Liverpool while Wolves was put out by Leeds. These two feel as if they are going in different directions at the moment, especially with the sale of Wolves star, Conor Coady, to Everton this past week. Fulham looks like a club that could avoid the yoyo back to the Championship and has the quality around the starting 11 to do just that. I can’t say the same of Wolverhampton as of now. Wolves were only ahead of Norwich last campaign regarding xG at home and are without their starting striker in Jimenez for the foreseeable future. They must find someone to bang in goals going forward and the backline now has a gaping hole in terms of quality and leadership. I’m not tapping Fulham to win this match outright but I do believe the Pk/+.5 (+¼) -115 is the best play here.
Tottenham-Chelsea 11:30am ET, Sunday
The match of the week resides in London between two of the bigger Prem rivals, Tottenham and Chelsea. Both got 3 points in pretty straightforward ways to start the season. This London Derby feels as if it could be an early season indicator of where they stand not only in the city but also in the league. Spurs have certainly made quite a step up in quality on the pitch and in the dugout in the past calendar year. For Chelsea, they’ve stagnated a bit in terms of transfers in, that really improve the quality of their starting 11 and compete with Liverpool or City. Everyone knows the narrative that follows the matchup in terms of history. The Blues have been dominant in this fixture for years now but this is Tottenham’s first real chance to get a result at Stamford Bridge in years. Spurs scored 4 goals last Saturday without Son or Kane contributing for the first time since 2019. The quality in the starting 11 and who can contribute off the bench shows a different and much-improved mentality. Do I think Tottenham can take 3 points here? Not out of the question but the safer option is at least for Spurs to get a result. They’ve been one of the most prolific clubs in the Prem away from home in regards to xG since Conte was appointed in November. With all that being said, Tottenham Pk, +.5 (+¼) -115 is the best play here.
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