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Premier Laegue, Week 5, September 14-16

spkutano

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Liverpool vs Newcastle Preview:

Possible starting lineups:

Liverpool:
Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip. Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Salah, Firmino, Mane

Newcastle:
Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Willems; Almiron, Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu; Joelinton

Liverpool started the new season in fantastic way. So far they are the only club with a maximal record of four victories. It started with a 4:1 win against the newcomers Norwich City. Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Divock Origi scored the goals, plus an own-goal from Grant Hanley. It is important to be mentioned that first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker suffered a calf injury on that match. He is still recovering and this match comes too soon for him. In the second round the Reds have beat Southampton at St Mary's. Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino secured a narrow 2:1 win. In the third round Liverpool played the first derby of the season, hosting Arsenal at Anfield. The Merseysiders won 3:0 as Mohamed Salah scored twice to add to Joel Matip's first-half header. Finally, Liverpool won 3:0 against Burnley at Turf Moor before the international break. Trent Alexander-Arnold scored the first goal, even it is officially an own-goal from Chris Wood (I don't agree). Mane and Firmino also found the back of the net. The later became the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League goals. Liverpool are in excellent form, they have gone 21 league games without losing, winning 17 of them. Even more, the Reds are in series of 13 victories in the Premier League for the first time in the club history. Klopp has no new injury worries, however, he is still without Alisson, Naby Keita and long-term injured Nathaniel Clyne.

Newcastle began the season with back-to-back defeats, 1:0 at home from Arsenal and 3:1 away at Norwich City. The fans were additionally frustrated with the decisions of the owner Mike Ashley. He changed Rafa Benitez with Steve Bruce in the summer, much to the fans’ disdain. However, the Magpies have found their rhythm in the last period, registering a win and a draw. Newcastle obtained a shocking victory against Champions League finalists Tottenham at White Hart Lane in the third round. The Spurs had 79.8% ball-possession, the second-highest figure for a losing side in the Premier League since those records began in 2003/04, but it was Joelinton who scored the lone goal. Newcastle registered their first away Premier League victory against 'big six' opposition since December 2015, ending the series of 15 such matches without a win (lost 14 of them). In the last round they drew 1:1 at home against Watford thanks to Fabian Schar's equalizer. It is clear they are set for a long season fighting to avoid the relegation. For this match Bruce has some injury worries. Matt Ritchie and Andy Carroll are sidelined with ankle injuries, while the match comes too soon for Saint-Maximin. Florian Lejeune and Jack Colback are also unavailable, but DeAndre Yedlin and Dwight Gayle are expected to be fit for this match.

Liverpool vs Newcastle Prediction:

Liverpool are huge favorites, but I believe Newcastle are able to cover the handicap. The key reason for my pick is connect with the international break. A total of 11 important members of the Reds' first-team squad were with their national teams. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were part of Gareth Southgate's squad, while Fabinho has returned to the Brazil setup joining Roberto Firmino for two friendlies in the United States. Divock Origi was with Belgium, while Scotland were captained by Andy Robertson. Dejan Lovren played for Croatia against Slovakia and Azerbaijan, while Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum were representing the senior Netherlands team. I am sure they are all tired and this fact should not be underestimated. Newcastle should also be mentioned, they have just one victory so far, but it came against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. The upcoming Champions League trip to Naples midweek is also between the reasons for my pick. Considering these facts, I think Newcastle wont lose with three goals.

Liverpool vs Newcastle Pick: Newcastle +2.5 AH @ 1.76 with Unibet
 

spkutano

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Watford vs Arsenal Preview:

Possible starting lineups:

Watford:
Foster, Janmaat, Cathcart, Dawson, Holebas, Hughes, Capoue, Doucoure, Sarr, Deulofeu, Gray

Arsenal:
Leno, Maitland-Niles, David Luiz, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Willock, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Watford will host Arsenal at Vicarage Road in the last match of the fifth round. This is a very important clash for the hosts in the relegation battle. Watford are at the bottom of the table with just one point after four matches and another defeat would make the things even worse. The lone point was earned in the last round when the Hornets drew 1:1 with Newcastle at St James Park. One point from the opening four matches is Watford's lowest tally at this stage of a season since 2006/07 under Aidy Boothroyd. Just to mention, Watford were relegated then. According to the expectations, manager Javi Gracia paid the prize for the bad results and he was sacked. The Spaniard had been in charge since January 2018 - making him the first Watford boss to last more than one full season since 2013. The club officials reacted quickly and they have reappointed Quique Sanchez Flores as head coach. He was in charge of Watford for the 2015/16 campaign before leaving at the end of the season. New manager will try to get points in this match, but it will be very hard against club from 'top six' opposition. To be worse, captain Troy Deeney will be out for several weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Knowing he is irreplaceable, his absence is a huge handicap. Deeney has scored 11 goals last season as Watford finished 11th and reached the FA Cup final. In addition, Etienne Capoue is rated as doubtful through illness. Former Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck may start against his old club.

Arsenal started the new season in solid way. So far they have two victories, one draw and one defeat. The Gunners managed to beat Newcastle with 1:0 and Burnley with 2:1, lost 3:1 to Liverpool and shared the points with Tottenham in North London derby. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the club leading scorer with three goals, while Alexandre Lacazette has two. The attack is solid, but the defense need improvement. Arsenal have recorded 13 mistakes that lead to goals in the Premier League since the start of the last season - the most of any club in the competition. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno is responsible for six of those mistakes. Manager Unai Emery need to change something in the back line. For this match he has lot of injury issues. Hector Bellerin (knee), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin) and Kieran Tierney (groin) remain sidelined. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are rated as doubtful and will be assessed on Sunday. On the positive note, Rob Holding is back in full training with the first team squad, meaning that he could be available for this match. The situation with Nicolas Pepe is now much clearer. The Ivory Coast international has not suffered an injury despite his early comeback to England after pulling out of national duties. According to the official sources, it was agreed by the Ivorian federation and Arsenal that it was best for him to work on his fitness at London Colney rather than take part in international affairs.

Watford vs Arsenal Prediction:

I expect Arsenal to win this match. Warford are at the bottom of the table and the players confidence is low. To be worse, their key player and captain Troy Deeney is sidelined after undergoing knee surgery. On contrary, Arsenal have their key players available. Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe would make the difference in this match.

Watford vs Arsenal Pick: Away win @ 2.01 with SBOBet
 
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