English Premier League – Liverpool vs Burnley – Asian Handicap Liverpool -2 at 2
Mo Salah and scoring on GW1 is written in the stars and may as well already be put in the book. As Liverpool dominated on GW1 versus newly promoted Norwich, Burnley on the other hand competed in a fixture where a result was almost necessary to get their season back up and running.
Despite starting extremely well, Brighton rescued back a deficit to get an unlikely win at Turf Moor. Formline between these two sides may suggest that this fixture will be closer than expected, with Burnley earning a win and a draw from their last 3 appearances with the Reds. So why are we backing the -2 handicap?
The fans are back at Anfield and there’s a spring in Liverpool’s step, there’s no doubting the strength of the relationship between Liverpool & The Kop. The squad is back, and stars are returning from injury. Liverpool haven’t made an array of signings, but you can just envision them flying strongly under the radar during the beginning of the season. A big win here looms. 1 unit.
English Premier League – Brighton & Hove Albion vs Watford FC – Double Chance – Draw/Watford FC @ 2.10
We’re going with Stake’s own, Watford, here in this match in Brighton. Albion ground out a fine 2-1 win over Burnley in the first week of the EPL, whilst Watford had a rousing 3-2 victory over an ambitious Aston Villa side. Both teams look to be battling in a similar area of the table this season, so we should be treated to a good match this weekend.
We’re going to look back to last season’s form here for Brighton, just as we did for Liverpool and Norwich last week. In the Premier League last season, Brighton won just 4 of their 19 matches at home – conceding a combined 15 matches as draws or losses to their opposition. The argument can be made that playing at home last season wasn’t really much to write home about given the lack of crowds, so we’ll take that with a grain of salt.
Brighton haven’t exactly made any exciting changes to their line up this season compared to last. The main addition was the signing of Zambian midfielder Enock Mwepu from Red Bull Salzburg; he played just a half in Brighton’s last fixture. They also let go of central defender Ben White to Arsenal for a club record fee and will likely be without another key defender this week in Joel Veltman, in addition to the long term absence of exciting wing back Tariq Lamptey.
Watford will look to take advantage of this; star man Ismaila Sarr gave the Aston Villa defence nightmares last week and was a huge threat all day, tearing down the wing with the ball on many occasions and bagging a goal off a deflection for his efforts. Watford’s attack possesses true pace and once they scored, they sat back and defended well against a stronger Villa side (aside from a bad penalty given away).
With Brighton’s defence missing some members against a dynamic Hornets attack in conjunction with their poor form at “home” last season, we’re going to back Watford to get a point or more here. 1 unit
English Premier League – Southampton vs Manchester United – Asian Handicap Manchester United -1 @ 2.01
Both sides enter this contest at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Saints are coming off a 3-1 loss to Everton, whilst the Red Devils are fresh off a 5-1 demolition job of Leeds United. Firstly, we’ll look to the hosts. If Ralph Hasenhuttl thought any of his previous campaigns were difficult, the 2021/22 season could easily be the worst yet.
With many tipping them for relegation, they’ll need to fork out results at every possible turn if they’re to avoid the drop. Despite what appears to be a solid signing in Adam Armstrong, they still lack the firepower possessed by many other mid-table clubs. United on the other hand, have been hyperactive in the transfer window, bringing in world-beaters like Jadon Sancho and most recently, Raphael Varane.
The latter is expected to make his full debut in this fixture, which will make it extremely difficult for Armstrong and Che Adams to find room to breathe. After scoring six last time out and against a Southampton defence whose last competitive clean sheet came in March against second-tier side Bournemouth, back United in to win by at least two. 1 unit.
English Premier League – Aston Villa vs Newcastle 1×2 & Total Aston Villa & Over 1.5 @ $2.06
Even though both teams have had limited success in recent seasons, Aston Villa have had the wood over Newcastle, and haven’t lost to them since the 2016/17 when they were both in The Championship.
Newcastle didn’t have an answer for West Ham’s surging play last week. They’ll be forced to play their 3rd preference keeper once more, and Fernandez is rated as doubtful.
Villa have their share of injuries, but still possess the attack that’s capable of scoring goals. Danny Ings managed to get a last minute penalty on his debut last week to get his account underway already. Look for him to impress on his home debut. Both teams have come off high scoring matches, so can expect more of the same here. 1 unit.
CSGO ESL Pro League – G2 vs Sinners Map Handicap G2 Esports -1.5 @ 1.98
Both teams had a really nice run going into the player break. G2 placed 2nd at the IEM Cologne 2021, beating teams such as Gambit, Astralis, and. BIG along the way. Meanwhile Sinners went on to win ESEA Premier Season 37 Europe, came in 3-4th at the Pinnacle Cup II, losing to Endpoint in the Semi-Finals to end an 8-game win streak.
You could argue that they have a similar story, however, the main difference is Sinners have mainly been going against Tier-2 teams. I could see some maps where it could be close but I think eventually G2 will outlast them due to more experience against higher level teams. 1 unit.
English Premier League – Leeds Vs Everton 1×2 – Draw @ 3.5
Leeds will be looking to bounce back after an absolute horror show on the opening day of the season, having been thrashed by a very impressive Manchester Utd. Everton on the other hand will have been pleased with a win down at Southampton, although they laboured somewhat in the first half before coming good late on thanks to goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Marcelo Bielsa should be able to welcome back Kalvin Philips to the team after he never made it off the bench against Utd, with Bielsa citing a lack of match fitness after the midfielder had a delayed return to pre-season due to being away with England at the Euro’s. However Spanish defender Diego Llorente is still a week away after picking up a knock during said pre-season, which will therefore most likely see Liam Cooper and Pascal Strujik continue at centre half.
Rafa Benitez could welcome back Ben Godfrey and Jean-Philippe Gbamin to the squad, but Moise Kean and James Rodriguez look they will miss out again while Andre Gomes faces a late fitness test.
It’s difficult to split the two sides here. Last season Leeds won 1-0 at Goodison Park, while Everton edged a 2-1 win in the return fixture at Elland Road. Everton also boasted the best away record outside of the top 3 last season, with only Liverpool and the two Manchester teams having a better one. It’s also worth noting that Leeds will be playing in front of a capacity home crowd for the first time since returning to the EPL last season.
However, Rafa Benitez likes to set up his teams to be defensively solid, and this could frustrate Leeds who sometimes struggled to break down teams set up this way last season. Backing the draw at 3.50 looks a good shout here.. 1 unit.
Boxing – Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas – Pacquiao by decision @ 2.16
Back from a two year absence, Manny Pacquiao will challenge Yordenis Ugas for the WBA (Super) Welterweight championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Both fighters head into this one with new opponents with Pacquaio originally booked to face Errol Spence Jr before an eye injury forced him out. Ugas, who was due to be on the card as co-main event, has been pushed up to the top of the bill after his opponent pulled out due to injury.
The argument can be made that Ugas offers up a more difficult task for the former eight-division world champion. The Cuban was promoted to Super Welterweight champion due to Pacquiao’s inactivity and as a result, the Filipino star is determined to win it back.
While there’s no doubt Pacquiao deserves the tag of favouritism, the short odds probably don’t do Ugas justice who is known as a crafty operator. The odds also don’t seem to take into account the short notice of the fight as well as the two-year gap between fights for Pacquiao.
The 2.75 on offer for a Pacquiao KO may seem enticing, but the fact is he only has one finish to his name in the last decade and Ugas is yet to be knocked out in his professional career.
Even at 43 years old, Pacquiao is still capable of winning world titles. The two year gap is the longest stints between fights in his career so some ring rust is inevitable. We will still back him in here though with a decision victory. 2 units.
MLS – Inter Miami vs Toronto FC – Inter Miami 1×2 @ 2.0
A month ago when they were beaten 5-0 at home against New England – their sixth straight loss with a woeful tally of eight points in twelve matches to start the season. Somehow, regardless of their start, if they win their two games in hand, they’re just two points off the playoffs.
Since the aforementioned NE loss they picked up eleven points in six games (W3, D2 L1), only losing to third placed NY City, but beating second placed Nashville, as well as respectable draws Vs fourth placed Orlando and fifth placed Philadelphia — the tide is turning.
Their previous outing was a 3-2, last minute winner, Vs Chicago after being trailing 1-2. These results, wherever the league is situated in the world, breeds more success. With momentum, playoffs in sight, they welcome bottom of the league, Toronto.
Winless in six, lost three of their last four, they’ve conceded forty-one goals in twenty games – twenty-seven away from home. If anything points to an internal club panic it is that their number one GK, Alexander Bono, was dropped for the 35yo, Quentin Westberg in their previous outing.
Then put this struggling defence up against an attack spearheaded by an engaged Gonzalo Higuain (P17, 8 Goals & 4 Assists) — we think the 2.0 is weighting their early form under newly-appointed Phil Neville too much. 1.5 units.
This week’s Community Tip comes from stnKuecil who has chosen the following.
Athletic Bilbao vs FC Barcelona – HT/FT FC Barcelona / FC Barcelona @ 2.8
in the last 2 games Barcelona scored and lead in their first half and always maintained to win it until full time. in the contrary the last 2 games by Athletic Bilbao they never scored in first half and ended up in draw at full time. The way I look at Barcelona right now is their squads is healthy and motivated to prove they will still do well if not better due to the departure of their former captain. And also their new signing, Memphis has shown impact in the last 2 matches.