The Premier League returns to action from the international break with a bang, as Liverpool vs. Manchester United kicks off a full program of fixtures in the EPL this weekend.

Here’s our rundown of the weekend’s games:

LIVERPOOL vs. MANCHESTER UNITED

Liverpool +162 / Draw +230 / Manchester United +162

The lunchtime kickoff between the two North West rivals is so close the bookies can’t split them. But we certainly can.

United are the clear pick here even though they’re playing away from home.

The Red Devils are the form horses, having won their last three, scoring nine goals and conceding none.

Contrast that with Liverpool’s recent run of results, a 1-1 draw at Newcastle, a narrow 3-2 win at Leicester and another 1-1 draw, this time at home to Burnley.

There’s always the derby day x-factor to consider, plus the fact that United haven’t managed to beat Liverpool in their last four outings, but all signs point to Jose Mourinho’s men getting the win here.

BURNLEY vs. WEST HAM

Burnley +150 / Draw +230 / West Ham +175

In the claret-and-blue battle between Burnley and West Ham the home side face the task of breaking an unwanted streak. The Clarets haven’t beaten the Hammers in the last six matches, with West Ham winning each of the last five encounters between the pair.

But if ever there was a time to snap that run of defeats, it’s this weekend. Sean Dyche’s men haven’t lost in their last five games, including draws with high-flyers Spurs and Liverpool, plus a 1-0 win at Everton in their most recent outing.

The Hammers, meanwhile, are all over the place, form-wise. A 90th-minute winner from Diafra Sakho gave them a much-needed home win over Swansea last time out, but finding consistent form has been an issue in recent weeks.

Throw in the home advantage and this could be the day Burnley not only break that run of losses, but actually pick up a win.

CRYSTAL PALACE v CHELSEA

Crystal Palace +700 / Draw +350 / Chelsea -250

Any side looking to take on Chelsea and come away with points needs to be tight at the back, clinical up front and, ideally, in good form. So let’s take a whistlestop tour through Palace’s key stats…

  • Palace have lost all seven of their Premier League games so far.
  • They’ve conceded 17 goals in those seven games.
  • And they haven’t scored a single goal.

Need we say more? Chelsea. By a hatful.

MANCHESTER CITY vs. STOKE

Manchester City -600 / Draw +600 / Stoke +1400

This one could get ugly. City are absolutely flying and have dropped just two points so far this season, while Stoke are laboring in mid-table without looking like the traditionally-tough proposition for the big guns they used to be.

Stoke were put to the sword by Chelsea at home, and there’s a better than average chance City will outdo the Blues’ 4-0 hammering of the Potters this weekend.

Backing City isn’t going to net you much of a profit, but a look at the under/over goals markets could. If you can get a half-decent price on City to score more than 3.5 goals, that’s the bet.

SWANSEA vs. HUDDERSFIELD

Swansea +105 / Draw +230 / Huddersfield +275

Thank goodness this one isn’t on live TV. Neither side has won a game in their last four outings, and they’ve only mustered eight goals between them in the league so far.

Huddersfield have done the better of the two at eking out results and sit in mid-table, a remarkable feat given they’ve only scored five goals so far this season.

The Terriers have failed to score in their last three matches, and with Swansea playing at home, I think the most likely outcome here is a drab, uneventful, (possibly goalless) draw.

My advice? Avoid betting on it, and probably avoid watching it, too. If you simply must, consider betting under 2.5 goals. Other than that, steer clear.

TOTTENHAM vs. BOURNEMOUTH

Tottenham -550 / Draw +600 / Bournemouth +1200

Here’s a bit of pub ammo for you. Despite sitting as high as fourth in the EPL table, Spurs haven’t actually won a league game at their adopted home ground of Wembley so far this season.

Thankfully they’ve been on fire away from home, going goal crazy in each of their last three away matches, hitting three or more in each one.

But against Bournemouth that winless home run could, and should, come to a long overdue end. The Cherries have lost each of their away games so far this season and sit second from bottom of the league table, with only pointless Crystal Palace propping them up.

There’s always a concern the big sides can be a little stagnant after an international break, but Spurs should have more than enough firepower to dispense with Bournemouth and give their fans their first league win at Wembley this season.

WATFORD vs. ARSENAL

Watford +400 / Draw +300 / Arsenal -163

The televised 5:30 p.m. kickoff at Vicarage Road pits one of the early-season surprise packages Watford against perennial big guns Arsenal.

Remarkably, given the huge disparity in resources, they’re only separated by a solitary point in the table, and have scored the same amount of goals so far – 11.

After an opening day win, the Gunners lost two on the bounce but haven’t conceded a goal since, winning three and drawing one in their last four outings.

Watford’s form isn’t too bad, either, with three wins and two draws in their last six games. The only blot on their copybook was a 6-0 home thrashing at the hands of Manchester United.

That aberration aside, Watford showed in their thrilling 3-3 draw with Liverpool on opening day they have the ability to go toe to toe with some of the better sides in the league, and if they can start well against the Gunners, they can cause Arsene Wenger’s men plenty of problems.

But you can’t ignore Arsenal’s recent form, both at the back and going forward. I suspect it’ll be highly competitive until the first goal. If it’s scored by Arsenal, expect the floodgates to open.

BRIGHTON vs. EVERTON (SUNDAY)

Brighton +210 / Draw +230 / Everton +130

The Sunday lunchtime game sees the Seagulls entertain the Toffeemen on the South Coast in a battle between two teams with decidedly iffy form.

Everton are the betting favorites but actually have worse form, having lost four of their last six, but Brighton aren’t much better. The pair sit on equal points, and home advantage could split the two.

Ultimately, though, neither side’s form is consistent enough either way to nail your colors to the mast of either team here.

I’d steer clear of the Win/Draw/Win market and bet the under.

SOUTHAMPTON vs. NEWCASTLE (SUNDAY)

Watford +400 / Draw +300 / Arsenal -163

The Saints haven’t lost to Newcastle in their last six meetings, and I don’t see anything changing on Sunday when they meet in the late afternoon kickoff at St Mary’s.

Newcastle have won just once from their last 14 away games in the league, while Southampton haven’t scored at home in eight of their last nine at home.

Chuck into the mix the fact that both sides are struggling in front of goal, and I’d look to back under 2.5 goals rather than pick a particular winner.


Follow Simon Head on Twitter @simonhead.


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