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Guardiola to add further pressure on Arteta – 21/22 EPL matchweek 3 preview

Ryan Liberty previews gameweek 3 of the 2021/22 Premier League season.

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Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Ryan Liberty previews gameweek 3 of the 2021/22 English Premier League.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Have any plans this weekend? Cancel them! The sport on offer is incredible and the Premier League is surely the highlight. A double-feature weekend serves up Chelsea’s trip to Anfield, as well as the Etihad hosting Arsenal…ok, ok just one real feature then…

Saturday 28 August

Manchester City 1/4 | Draw 5/1 | Arsenal 9/1 (13:30)

Arsenal have had a tough start to the season, and naturally, calls for Mikel Arteta’s head have begun to ring around North London. “Cowardly”, “lacking identity” and “shambolic” have been just some of the descriptions floating about by angry fans and pundits alike.

They are two games in and are yet to register a League point – let alone a goal – and have conceded four from their last two outings. They have quality players in their side, but I don’t think their attacking threat matters when they can’t seem to hold onto the football. Manchester City have seemingly hit their straps, and whilst this could be the game Arsenal would want to miraculously turn it around, I think City could make it a PG advised viewing experience.

At 1/4 I cannot tip the City win unless you’re seriously emptying the bank, but let’s try something a little different. Hollywoodbets offers a ‘same match bet builder’ option!

– Over 7.5 corners
– Both teams to score: no
– Jack Grealish to score anytime
– City to win
Gives you an enticing 5/1, get on!

Newcastle 16/10 | Draw 24/10 | Southampton 33/20 (16:00)

I was largely disappointed with the way Steve Bruce approached the Villa game at the weekend. With players like Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson, an energetic and front-foot playing mindset could earn Newcastle some big points this season. I thought they were flat and almost pedestrian, showing way too much respect to a largely insecure Aston Villa.

Southampton got themselves a huge result at home to United. They were up for the game and in parts looked to be imposing themselves onto the fixture well. I don’t think this fixture will shoot the lights out with excitement, but if Newcastle are up for it and Southampton defend with pride, I think the game fizzles out to a draw.

Brighton 13/10 | Draw 9/4 | Everton 22/10 (16:00)

Brighton haven’t exactly got off to a flyer this season in terms of performances, but they are two from two and somewhat under the radar. Everton on the other hand might look to shift a gear or two now. They would set up rather defensively against Leeds and looked to smother the waves of attack expected at Elland Road. They have quality in key areas, we can’t deny that, and I think the Toffees return to winning ways this weekend. At 22/10 I would recommend you get stuck in!

West Ham 11/20 | Draw 3/1 | Crystal Palace 48/10 (16:00)

West Ham have got off to a good energetic start this year. They have seemingly made the London Stadium their home, and whilst some fans might still remember the great days at Upton Park, this West Ham side under David Moyes is more than capable of creating modern history at their new home.

Palace have been much of the same, complete reliance on a handful of players and not really garnering much interest or belief based on their recent performances. They managed to hold Brentford to a draw last time out, but they never really looked to be in control and every time the Bees had the ball they looked as though they could change the game.

Patrick Vieira will know that patience isn’t usually part of the package, and if he’s to continue to enjoy his tenure at Selhurst Park his Eagles will have to get rid of the shackles and look to play expansive and risky football. Nonetheless, West Ham and their bubbles are a banker for all multiples.

Norwich 36/10 | Draw 26/10 | Leicester 15/20 (16:00)

I’m not sure what Norwich did to the fixture list organisers… but wow! Norwich’s first couple of games have been torrid. They don’t get much easier either this weekend when they welcome the Foxes to Carrow Road.

The pace and direct approach employed by Leicester has remained and why wouldn’t they hold on to it? Leicester outclass Norwich in every area and their pace might be too much for the Canaries to handle, but I don’t think Leicester have reached their best yet. They should win this, but I don’t have the greatest confidence in them to be fair. Leicester Win/Draw on the Double Chance + Over 2.5 at 11/10 offers incredible value.

Aston Villa 1/1 | Draw 26/10 | Brentford 26/10 (16:00)

The betting prices available for Brentford’s games are a huge indicator as to how well Thomas Frank’s side have done so far. After outclassing Arsenal in their first League game, they held their own against Palace and will probably be disappointed with the draw.

Villa will come into the game with a fair amount of confidence. Their victory over Newcastle was coated with merit. I’m still concerned about the narrative seemingly hovering over Villa Park – Jack Grealish is easily replaceable…

Now don’t get me wrong, football is a team sport, and an individual doesn’t make a team, I fully agree. But then by this very point, new players coming in or indeed players now playing without a vital cog will need time to adapt. Dean Smith is good enough to get that balance right though, and I’m not sure you’ll find Villa in this sort of game at this sort of price. Back the home side here.

Liverpool 15/10 | Draw 23/10 | Chelsea 18/10 (18:30)

Click here for full preview. 

Sunday 29 August

Burnley 21/10 | Draw 24/10 | Leeds 5/4 (15:00)

Burnley held their own against Liverpool last time out. I know the scoreline doesn’t exactly scream that but after Liverpool opened their account you got the feeling the floodgates might go on to open. This wasn’t the case albeit Liverpool continued to apply pressure until the final whistle.

I think Leeds at home will be a handful but I’m not as confident about them on the road. That isn’t to say that they won’t ask questions of Burnley’s defence and look to exploit them in the wide areas. If you’re looking to add a bet to the weekend multiples, this might not be the one, but a punt on the nose? I like the halftime/fulltime market: Draw/Leeds at 46/10.

Tottenham 9/20 | Draw 7/2 | Watford 6/1 (15:00)

If Spurs are to really be successful this season, it’s these sorts of games they will need to consistently achieve positive results. They seem to turn up for the big game or compete in the so-called ‘emotionally’ important fixtures…but the odd game against newly-promoted Watford is where they often stumble.

Watford, under Xisco Munoz, have for the most part remained defensively sound and as a result achieved some fairly decent domestic results. But I remain coy on their chances here, Spurs will win but I don’t think they steamroll the hornets as some might suggest. For some added value, consider backing Spurs Win + Under 2.5 Goals at 12/10.

Wolves 39/10 | Draw 11/4 | Manchester United 7/10 (17:30)

I wouldn’t touch United at 7/10 here. They have been brilliant on the road, equaling the record set by Arsenal in 2004 for unbeaten away fixtures, but they still have inconsistent elements to their game.

Why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to play Nemanja Matic and Fred in midfield, I have no idea. Such a defensive approach to a game that United should (and did) dictate. Early on there were so many chances and United had the Saints against the ropes but still Solskjaer didn’t go for the jugular.

The attacking threat United pose is unquestionable, and I’m a firm believer Raphael Varane will make the backline much calmer and more confident…but the midfield situation now is a little silly. Surely, if Scott McTominay is unable to start, give Donny van de Beek a start alongside Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes and just unleash the front three.

Anyway, Wolves asked serious questions of Spurs on Sunday and I really think Nuno Espirito Santo’s side did well to achieve another clean sheet. The narrow 4-3-3 approach has served them well so far and kept out opposing strikers wonderfully.

I’m not as convinced about United’s defensive attributes now, but I don’t think Wolves win. United Win/Draw on the Double Chance + Both Teams to Score at 12/10 could be the play.

TREBLE @ 6/1
West Ham Win 11/20
Chelsea Win 18/10
Tottenham Win 9/20

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