The EPL returns with some mammoth games


The Premier League returns this weekend after a two-week break.

Due to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth and the recent international break, no matches have been played in the EPL since Sunday 18 September. And some teams haven’t played for a long time. Liverpool’s last game was on September 13 and their last league game was on September 3. Yes, the Reds will be almost a month between league games. Same goes for Manchester United. The Red Devils have not played since a Europa League game on September 15 and have not played a league game since beating Arsenal 3-1 on September 4.

The long hiatus and bundled schedule due to the upcoming World Cup means teams will play even more games in the first part of 2023. And for this column, it throws an interesting twist on the betting games this weekend. Will the teams be fresh even if they had a lot of players playing for their countries during the international break? Will they rust? Maybe both?

Manchester United’s last EPL game was a win over Arsenal almost four weeks ago. United play Manchester City on Sunday while Arsenal play Tottenham on Saturday. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

Some of the league’s biggest teams can’t get into the weekend either. There are two matches between teams in the top 5 of the table and the other team in the top 5 plays against Liverpool, the team in eighth place. The weekend begins with EPL leaders Arsenal meeting third-placed Tottenham in Sunday’s Manchester Derby, while second-placed Manchester City meet fifth-placed Man United. Fourth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion put Liverpool on the road.

It’s a big weekend. The EPL is finally back. And it’s back with a bang. Here are the odds for this round of play.

Arsenal vs. Tottenham (over/under 2.5 goals)

  • Armory (+105)

  • Tottenham (+240)

  • tie (+260)

Tottenham seem likely to let Arsenal dominate possession and hit the counterattack. A draw seems the most likely outcome here, even if it has the highest odds.

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea (2.5)

  • Palace (+340)

  • Chelsea (-120)

  • Tie (+250)

This is Chelsea’s first EPL game with Graham Potter as manager. The Blues only played once during Potter’s tenure following Thomas Tuchel’s sacking. Palace have only six points in six games and we go on the road with Chelsea.

Southampton vs Everton (2.5)

  • Southampton (+115)

  • Everton (+230)

  • tie (+230)

Both teams have seven points in seven games. Southampton are such an up and down team. We’ll go for the Saints because Everton aren’t exactly the best example of consistency either.

Liverpool v Brighton & Hove Albion (2.5)

  • Liverpool (-275)

  • Brighton (+725)

  • tie (+425)

Liverpool’s chances here seem a little too high, although that could be because Potter is now at Chelsea. Maybe this is a game you bet live on after the first 30 minutes.

Bournemouth v Brentford (2.5)

  • Bournemouth (+230)

  • Brentford (+115)

  • tie (+240)

Bournemouth had a difficult start but stabilized after Scott Parker’s shot. Brentford appear to be the better team so we’ll be rolling with them because we’re not sure how important current form really is going into the weekend.

Fulham vs Newcastle (2.5)

  • Fulham (+200)

  • Newcastle (+130)

  • tie (+240)

Let’s get excited. Fulham have played very well so far this season and are just a point off the top five.

West Ham vs Wolves (2.5)

  • Westham (-110)

  • Wolves (+300)

  • Tie (+250)

Wolves have struggled to score despite West Ham actually having fewer points this season. We go with the favorites here and hope West Ham can score a few goals.

Manchester City vs. Manchester United (3.5) [Sunday]

  • City (-300)

  • United (+675)

  • Tie (+450)

United are perfectly capable of hitting City on the counterattack. But is the defense good enough to withstand 90 minutes of pressure? We would bet the under at -145.

Leeds v Aston Villa (2.5) [Sunday]

  • Leeds (+135)

  • Villa (+185)

  • tie (+240)

Villa have been less than the sum of their parts so far this season, while the opposite can be said of Leeds. We take a risk and bet on the draw.

Leicester City v Nottingham Forest (2.5) [Monday]

  • Leicester (-135)

  • forest (+350)

  • tie (+290)

Leicester have been a mess so far this season and it feels like a matter of time before Brendan Rodgers is fired. Again, a draw feels right and that could be enough for Leicester to make a change in leadership.

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