Premier League football is about to enter another international break. Fortunately, we can squeeze in a round of fixtures before our attention is turned to World Cup qualification and frustrating friendlies.
Previews for the televised matches can be found across our blog, so here we are going to take a quick look through the 3pm kick-offs.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN vs WEST BROMWICH ALBION
After the joy of victory over Manchester United, David Wagner’s Huddersfield slammed back to Premier League normality as they were thrashed 3-0 by Liverpool. Wagner deserves all his plaudits, but how they respond to that defeat will be key and perhaps telling for how their debut Premier League season will go.
Tony Pulis’ sides traditionally struggle on the road. They are without a win since August 22nd, and the Welshman is coming under increasing pressure. The football has been typically turgid, but the defence has been short of the resilience associated with Pulis.
Attack has been an issue for both teams thus far. West Brom have scored just nine, while the hosts have failed to score in six of their last eight in the league.
The visitors will continue to pack the midfield, and would quite happily take a draw. Victory would be huge for Huddersfield, but this could descend into tedious stalemate.
TIP: Under 2.5 goals @ 4/9
NEWCASTLE UNITED vs Bournemouth
Any trip to Newcastle is a challenge. The Magpies almost always have a strong record in front of their partisan Geordie fans, and that trend is set to continue under Rafa Benitez this season.
It’s an even greater challenge for a Bournemouth side who are 19th in the table on seven points. All that made Eddie Howe’s team so popular – not to mention effective – has vanished. The attack is not creating anything, but the defensive errors remain.
Newcastle will be disappointed to see Mikel Merino miss out with a back injury. The hosts have the depth to fill in for the gifted Spaniard, however, and could bring Isaac Hayden back into the line-up.
It took a slick piece of Burnley play to unlock the Newcastle defence on Monday night. The Magpies are far from the ideal opponents given the current flaws of the Bournemouth team. The hosts may only need one goal to seal the three points, which could put them in the top six.
TIP: Newcastle to win @ Evens
SOUTHAMPTON vs BURNLEY
As seems to be the case with most of the teams in this piece, Southampton have been lacking in the attacking third this season. They are, however, on an unbeaten run of three matches.
Burnley, meanwhile, continue to defy all odds and data. A draw could take Sean Dyche’s side into sixth, while a win would put them level on points with Chelsea and Arsenal. The Clarets have been the story of the season to date, and Dyche is rightly attracting the gaze of other Premier League clubs.
Mauricio Pellegrino is yet to reignite the Saints’ attack. Chance creation has been at a decent level, but good opportunities are too frequently wasted. This has contributed to there being under 2.5 goals in eight of Southampton’s last 10 home matches. Burnley have seen under 2.5 in eight of their last nine league games, with the only exception being their defeat to Manchester City.
It might take a moment of individual skill or a set piece to treat the St Mary’s faithful to a rare goal.
TIP: Under 2.5 goals @ 3/5
SWANSEA CITY vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Swansea and Brighton show no sign of bucking the low-scoring trend, unfortunately.
Though the Swans are packed with talent, their goal-scoring relies almost solely on Tammy Abraham. Chris Hughton’s Brighton will be keen to keep the match tight, with an away draw being a pretty handy result given their 12 points from their 10 matches.
The visitors are unbeaten in three. Their defence has been solid, and their attack has done enough to pick up draws with Everton and Southampton. The 3-0 victory away at West Ham is the undoubted highlight, and will give the Seagulls confidence of another successful away day.
Swansea have lost four of five in the league and could fall into the bottom three if they fail to win at the Liberty Stadium again.
These two are fairly well-matched, so I’m going for a fence-sitter.
TIP: Swansea to win or match to be drawn @ 33/100
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*
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