Club football took a break two weeks ago, giving way to International soccer. And within that time, new records got made: France won the UEFA Nations League, Germany zoomed into Qatar as the first country to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and Cristiano Ronaldo netted his tenth hat-trick for Portugal, becoming the first person to have achieved that feat in football’s history.
Now club football returns again, and betBonanza previews some of this weekend’s exciting games.
Southampton vs Leeds United
Southampton will look to rebound from their last game against Chelsea which ended in a 3-1 drubbing. The team’s Captain James Ward-Prowse was shown a straight red by referee Martin Atkinson, and that tilted the tie against The Saints. That punishment means Southampton will not have Ward-Prowse’s services in this encounter. A major blow, because when you want to play a team you lost to in both legs last season, you want to have present your captain who has played in all seven games of this season.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl will have to devise a containment strategy against Leeds who have won them fourteen times in the premier league – more than they have ever won any other EPL team. That containment has to be doubly effective in the absence of midfielder Ward-Prowse. But The Saints will play at home, and will seek to impress their fans. They will go all out. This is why we give Southampton a slim 55% winning chance.
Aston Villa vs Wolverhampton
This encounter is a near balance of power. Aston Villa has won three of the seven Premier League games played this season, drawn one and lost three. Two of those wins were against Everton and Manchester United, both of whom drew their own tie before the international break. Villa, however, later lost away to Tottenham.
Wolves, on the other hand, has won three and lost four of this season’s seven games. So both sides will be raring to inflict a defeat on each other.
Adama Traore, the body-building winger who runs defenders ragged, will be on duty for Wolves, to unsettle Villa’s Ezri Konsa and Matthew Cash. We expect also to feel the impact of Wang Hee-Chan, who has three goals to his credit in four games. But on Villa’s side is Danny Ings, the summer signing from Southampton who replaced playmaker Jack Grealish as he moved to Manchester City. Ings has two goals to his credit so far, and will look to add to that tally this weekend.
On their current forms, they almost share equal strength. But from where betBonanza stands, Aston Villa has a 57% win chance.
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
Mikel Arteta has the early-season pressure on him slightly eased since he went his last four games unbeaten. The Gunners enter this game with high hopes of an outright win. They were held to a goalless draw in their last game against Brighton. Now they will seek to leave this duel with all three points intact. And they have a reason to believe this is possible: Crystal Palace has lost four, drawn two and won only one of their seven games so far played this season. That is a miserable 14% win rate, and another awful 28% draw rate. It will also be interesting to watch how Patrick Vieira, himself an Arsenal legend, squares up to his old club for the first time as Palace’s manager. BetBonanza bookies are confident that Arsenal will win this, and give them a 70% chance of that outcome.
Everton vs West Ham
The Toffees and the Hammers. Another encounter with near power balance. Everton will be hosting David Moyes’ West Ham that knocked Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup in Old Trafford. That was a revenge mission against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men for daring to defeat them days earlier in a Premier League game at the London Stadium. That win over United got a section of the Old Trafford fan-base complaining, before Everton forced the Red Devils into a draw – at Old Trafford – and the tempo of complaints against Solskjaer got louder.
So both teams share something in common: giant-killing, or, for Everton, giant-shaking, since they did not particularly sink United into a defeat. Both will aim to leave the tie with a win.
But while the two teams have had a good start to the season, Everton’s form is superior to West Ham’s. Everton currently sits 5th in the league, with 14 points – two below league leaders Chelsea. Everton has only lost one game so far this season. And while West Ham has an amazing away form - something that might concern the Everton dug out - they have lost two of their last three EPL games, something that should worry Moyes. And added to home advantage, betBonanza gives Everton a slim 53% win chance.
Brentford vs Chelsea
Arsenal’s early season misery began with Brentford. The Bees, newly promoted to the Premiership, walloped Mikel Arteta’s men 2-0 on the season’s first day and in the first game. Arteta was derided by everyone for losing to League minnows, but that loss also served to announce Brentford’s arrival on the big stage. Seven games later, and it is clear the Arsenal defeat was no fluke. Brentford has since then won two other clubs – Wolves, and West Ham. They even drew the almighty Liverpool in a roller-coaster encounter that ended 3-3 and left spectators breathless.
Chelsea will be aware of Brentford’s impressive form going into this game, and would be mindful of Ivan Toney, Brentford’s slick danger man who will reply the threat posed by Romelu Lukaku. Sitting 7th on the league, with just 4 points off Chelsea at the top, the Bees will seek to cut into the gap between them and the Blues with either an outright win or a draw. Thomas Frank, Brentford’s tactician, will look to upstage Thomas Tuchel as the Bees eye European football next season. BetBonanza is aware of Brentford’s immense potentials, but believes Chelsea’s experience as the reigning European Champions will help them overcome Brentford with ease. This is why we give Chelsea a 73% victory chance.
Leicester vs Man United
The most high-profile of all games this weekend, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will seek a straight win to douse the pressure which a part of the United fan base has piled on him this season, especially after Everton held him to a draw before the international break.
But Leicester will also seek a win, coming from a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace whom they had hoped to win outright as they travelled to the Selhurst Park Stadium.
History, however, stands on the side of Manchester United. In 133 meetings between the pair, United won 68 times, while Leicester won only 35 times. They drew 30 times. While history can be upturned at any point, it is unlikely United will leave that encounter with less than a point, even with the absence of Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire, both of whom pulled injuries recently and are ruled out of games for some weeks.
But Brendan Rodgers will also sweat about the absence of defenders Wesley Fofana and James Justin, midfielders Nampalys Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi, all of whom have been out injured. Leicester has had only two wins so far this year, in their seven Premier League games. Worse, those wins were in August, and partly explain why the team is 13th on the league table.
There is a likely electrifying figure in the Manchester United attack: Marcus Rashford who is fit again. He underwent a shoulder surgery and missed all games from the start of season. But he is strong enough to do some minutes in the Leicester game. Because Leicester is a scoring side, they will likely score United, but betBonanza bookies think the array of attacking super talents in United will nullify Leicester’s goals, enough to hand the Red Devils the day’s victory. This is why we give Manchester United a 59% victory chance.
It will be an exciting weekend, and we can’t wait to relish the games and, maybe, get shocked by a few surprises.
Which of the teams are you rooting for?