Weekend Preview on Thursday (Week 8) Part 1

Disclaimer: This series is examining the games days prior to matchday, there is always the possibility for injuries, coach selections, etc. They may be updated to reflect most accurate starting lineup.
Brighton v. West Ham
Location: AmEx Stadium, Brighton
Much to my surprise, Brighton is actually a slight favorite over West Ham, although the difference is very neglible. I wouldn’t be surprised if this moves to West Ham’s favor as we get closer to kick off. Expectations so far are putting the game at less than 3 goals scored.
The difference between Brighton’s position now and the bottom of the table was their upset win over Manchester United early in the season. Since then Brighton has been leaking goals this season, scoring in excess of 1 goal per game, but conceding almost double that amount. I’m concerned about Brighton’s inability to keep possession and be tidy with their passing, because a misstep against West Ham could lead to some lethal counter attacking opportunities.
West Ham was this weeks feature for Darkhorse Chronicles on their scintillating form for this last month. All of us here at SportMuse though they were in for a great season, then they proceeded to flop really hard for the first several games occupying the basement spot in the table. I think there were a lot of issues that contributed to the start of the season woes, and I think that they should be able to put on a good display this week. During the month of september West Ham have been able to score freely and have limited concessions, I think West Ham wins this matchup.

Burnley v. Huddersfield
Location: Turf Moor, Burnley
Burnley are favorites in this match as the home side, and fairly substantially so. So far the projections are for about 3 goals (2 of which would go to the home side).
Burnley started off the season very flat, however, they seem to have found a reasonable vein of form of late. After a questionable loss against Wolves, they stepped into high gear and demolished the high-flying cherries in a 4-0 victory, followed by a win against Huddersfield’s relegation neighbor (19th placed Cardiff). I think that Burnley’s long ball/early cross style will likely yield a few goals in this match and although I respect Lossl immensely, there’s only so much he can do when the Terrier’s defense lays out the red carpet daring the strikers to bury goals. Burnley win at home.
Huddersfield have the unenviable record of 7 straight games where they have failed to win, I’m not sure that this match is a likely candidate for ending that streak. Huddersfield haven’t really shown themselves to be anywhere near the team they were last season. They started off as favorites for the drop and having only garnered 2 points in 7 matches is not likely to be reassuring for the Terrier’s fans. They occupy the bottom slot in the league (after West Ham’s run of form) with a miserable -13 goal differential.

Crystal Palace v. Wolves
Location: Selhurst Park, London
Crystal Palace are actually home underdogs to Wolves at the time of writing. For the reasons detailed below, I’m not really surprised, though I anticipate some fluctuation. This game’s 3 goal expectation seems too high, I think it will be less than that.
Crystal Palace is kind of an anomaly this season, they actually have made quite a bit better showings away from home than at home. They’ve yet to score at home with all 5 goals coming on the road, despite the goals allowed at home/road being the same (with one additional road game). That makes this match up all the more interesting, looking at the matchups themselves Wolves tend to play much better at home, averaging less than a goal a game on the road. If Crystal Palace can find a way to score at home, I think they could definitely be in this game.
Wolves come into this match with better form than Crystal Palace, especially taking into consideration that Crystal Palace can’t find the goal at home. Wolves have allowed basically the same number of goals regardless of home or away, though they tend to score more at home. I think this could be a very low scoring match with the possibility for a shutout draw, Wolves being markedly worse on the road, and Crystal Palace being undermanned and underwhelming (at home).

Watford v. AFC Bournemouth
Location: Vicarage Road, Watford
Watford come into this match as sizable favorites over the Cherries at home. I think the goal scoring projections currently at 3, are low, I expect this to be a higher scoring game.
Watford definitely have the more favorable side of this matchup. Watford have secured 9 of 12 points at home, losing only to the ever- Jekyll and Hyde Manchester United side. They also have 7 of the 11 goals they’ve scored on the season at home. Watford is averaging one goal conceded per game at home, which looks like it could be a big advantage against this Cherries side. This note really goes for both sides, but I think this will prove to be one of the better matchups this week in terms of game play, and importance.
The Cherries have shown to be a very persistent team so far this season. However, I am a little concerned about their form heading into this match. They failed to score on the road in September (2 games), and on the season have been outscored 7 goals to 2 on the road. Unfortunately for the Cherries fans, this might mean (with Watford’s relative strength at home) that they could be in for a long match. That said, I also think there’s a chance that the team comes off of the Burnley shellacking (technical term) and wants to prove to their traveling fans (and the Premier League) that they are better than they showed. They responded well in the first match of October by beating Crystal Palace, but I think this is an entirely different type of challenge.

Leicester City v. Everton
Location: King Power Stadium, Leicester
Leicester are significant favorites at this time over Everton. This games projections are at 4 goals, though I think more goals could occur given the lack of defensive prowess on show.
Leicester City’s overall form has been really inconsistent this season. If they have anything going form them on the lead up to this game it’s that they have defended their home stadium well. They managed 6 of 9 points, and the only points they’ve dropped came off of a one-goal loss to Liverpool. They’ve basically split results on the road but some of their wins/losses are to some surprising teams.
Everton (vis-a-vis Richarlison) were in blistering form to start the season, but have since fizzled out. Everton have managed the same amount of points on the road as at home, and have done it in one less game. However, this has been an anomaly in their form as they’ve done, frankly, horrendously away from home in the Premier League. They’ve managed to start correcting that record this season, but they’ll likely need Richarlison’s help to get them over the edge.
Last Updated: October 3, 2018
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