The international break is over and bet365’s 6 Scores Challenge is back, and Sam Matterface and Steve Freeth have had their say on this week’s fixtures…
(This article was originally published on 29.09.2022)
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The game gives customers the chance to win cash prizes by predicting the scores of six football matches, every week. The premise is very simple… yet the reward could be huge!
Crystal Palace have only lost twice all season - to Manchester City and Arsenal - and are against a Chelsea side that aren’t in a particularly great run of a form. They’ve got a new manager to get to grips with, they’ve had players on international duty.
Graham Potter will eventually get his message across, but he won’t have had that much time to work with them, and Palace are a good team who can get something from this.
It’s been a frustrating start to the season for this Crystal Palace backer who thought they could mount a surprise challenge for a Top 6 berth.
Patrick Vieira is clearly missing the effervescent Conor Gallagher as well as the influential James McArthur in the middle of the park.
Gallagher’s club now have Graham Potter at the helm but the Eagles might land a surprise here.
There’s no Joao Palhinha, which is bad for Fulham, but there is Aleksandar Mitrovic playing against his old side, which is good for Fulham.
Newcastle are under-performing on their xG and should be further up the table than they actually are, but Alexander Isak is a big, big miss for them.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has taken the plaudits this season and he will be out to prove a point against his former club in this one.
Joao Palhinha, the player with the most tackles won, most pressures and two goals, has been the one to catch my eye and he’ll be sorely missed after reaching five cautions.
Newcastle have their own problems and although it feels like Eddie Howe is under no immediate pressure, he’d like his second win of the season on the board sooner rather than later - but not in this one.
Roberto De Zerbi will face a baptism of fire at Anfield - possibly the second worst possible trip he could have to start his Brighton tenure.
We had a debate on the bet365 Discussion Show about whether Liverpool would make the top four or not. I can’t believe that’s even being suggested. Let’s be clear, this is a team that came from nowhere to finish in the top four two years ago and almost won the title last year from 14 points back.
I think Liverpool will beat Brighton - but only just.
Steve: Roberto De Zerbi has some big shoes to fill at Brighton, but he’ll endear himself to the Seagulls faithful if his new side continue their good recent record at Anfield.
The Italian likes to play on the front foot and encourages his team to play through the press, so this Premier League baptism could be one of interest.
Talk of Liverpool’s demise might be premature and we all remember what happened the last time a south coast club went to Anfield.
The hosts to win in a nervy victory.
This has the potential to be one of the worst games in Premier League history bearing in mind they’re the lowest scorers in the division with both managers seemingly under pressure - Bruno Lage I can understand; David Moyes I really can’t.
The idea that Diego Costa is going to revive Wolves’ fortunes seems fanciful to me, but the Hammers have enough in their ranks to cause problems. I think they’ll win, but it’ll be narrow.
I’m really going to try and put a positive spin on this game, but I’ll forgive you if you’re watching Ninja Warrior UK instead come 5.30pm on Saturday.
Both sides have only managed three goals each after seven games, so goals might be at a premium.
Wolves did a brilliant job in announcing the signing of Diego Costa on their social channels, but the truth is, he’s had more cards than goals since he left the Premier League.
Go back to November last year and a dominant display showed just how far ahead of the game City are in comparison to United. There have been a lot changes at United over the summer, but they’re still miles behind their rivals, who have torn up the early stages of the Premier League - in an attacking sense at least.
One thing I will say is they’re conceding quite a few goals and that defence can be prodded. Obviously Erling Haaland is a force to be reckoned with, but United will sit deep and hit on the counter, and I think they’ll get on the scoresheet.
Manchester United looked to have turned the corner under Erik ten Hag and this will be a good test having come through unscathed against Liverpool and Arsenal.
The Red Devils suffered a hammering in this fixture back in March and the hosts have also added the outstanding Erling Haaland to their ranks, but United can leave the Etihad with a bit of pride in what could be tighter than some expect.
Leeds have kept a clean sheet in just one of their last 15 home league matches and I think Aston Villa will take advantage of that.
I think it’ll be one of those games where Steven Gerrard gets his team well-structured, and Leeds, who have injuries in the forward part of the field, will struggle to do what Leeds usually do at home.
If you look back to earlier in the season, there was a lot of optimism after the Chelsea result when they won so convincingly, but since then they’ve taken one point from three games.
They’ll be bruised from the Brentford performance, but it was a long time ago now, and I can see the two sides cancelling each other out.
It’s not been ideal for Leeds to have not played for a month having suffered a 5-2 defeat in their last match and unfortunately for Jesse Marsch, opponents Aston Villa seem to have found a bit of form in that time.
However, I can sense a packed Elland Road crowd cheering on their charges against a side who I’m yet to be convinced by and the return of the influential Patrick Bamford cam only be a good thing.