Cottagers' weak defence to be exposed by Cherries
Fulham 2.942/1 v Bournemouth 2.56/4; The Draw 3.7511/4
Fulham fans are quickly realising that spending lots of money when being promoted to the Premier League doesn't guarantee that you'll remain a top flight side.
The Cottagers were one of the highest spending clubs in the summer transfer window but they currently sit 18th in the table following three straight defeats. The huge worry however is the amount of goals that Slavisa Jokanovic's men are conceding. They conceded nine goals in those three defeats alone, and have now shipped 22 in just nine league games.
The problem for Jokanovic appears to be establishing a first-choice defence, or even a preferred tactic given he's regularly alternated between three, four, and five-man defences this term while using no fewer than 10 different players in those defensive positions.
Patience and time is probably what's needed for Fulham to find their feet at this level, and with 29 league games still remaining now isn't the time to panic. But on current form, and until they keep that morale-boosting first clean sheet of the season, the Cottagers have to be opposed.
Bournemouth are flying high in sixth and go into this game unbeaten in four matches, scoring nine goals in three victories prior to last week's goalless draw against Southampton, so they should have no fears about getting on the scoresheet a few times at Craven Cottage against the division's worst defence.
The Cherries' strike partnership of Callum Wilson and Josh King continue to impress, while midfielders Ryan Fraser and David Brooks have also enjoyed fine starts to the season. Eddie Howe's men should have few problems claiming the three points.
Salah to score in a comfortable Reds victory
Liverpool 1.121/8 v Cardiff 30.029/1; The Draw 12.011/1
Liverpool are not surprisingly the most obvious selection of this weekend's fixtures and trying to find a way to enhance their win odds will probably be a harder task than the Reds beating Cardiff itself.
Jurgen Klopp's men remain unbeaten in the league this term and they go into this game on the back of an impressive 4-0 home win in the Champions League in midweek, a game which saw Liverpool record their third consecutive clean sheet.
The Bluebirds are yet to win away from home this season and have scored just a single goal in their four road trips, that coming in a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea. Neil Warnock's men will take confidence from last week's 4-2 home win over Fulham, but a trip to Anfield is an almost impossible task in comparison.
I fancy the Reds to win easily, and I'm not surprised that they're available to back at just 1/9 on the Sportsbook. They should be in front by half time before going on to win, but that price doesn't offer much juice either so let's add in Mo Salah to score at anytime for a Same Game Multi price of even money.
The Egyptian broke his mini goal drought with a brace in midweek and he'll be confident of adding to his impressive Liverpool tally against arguably the division's worst team. He's just 1/3 to score at anytime.
Two poor teams but Magpies a much better price
Southampton 2.1211/10 v Newcastle 4.1; The Draw 3.412/5
Thinking back to last week you'll remember that opposing out-of-form teams was my theme, and that backing Brighton at 3.7511/4 to beat Newcastle was my best bet of the day. The Seagulls' victory at St James' Park was very pleasing then, but it shouldn't escape our attention how well Newcastle played in that game.
It's easy to revel in a nice winning bet, and why shouldn't we, but for me it's also important to know exactly how a game panned out. And it soon became apparent that Brighton were extremely lucky against the Magpies, scoring with one of their only two shots on target and enjoying just 32% possession throughout the game.
Rafa Benitez's men, for the record, dominated possession, had 10 corners to Brighton's two, and registered no fewer than 27 shots on goal.
So I'm happy to get Newcastle on side this week for three reasons. One is that they appear to be playing better than their results suggest, another is that they've performed well away from home this term, and my final reason is that they're playing another poor, out-of-form side who struggle at home and yet Newcastle can be backed at 4.1 to win.
The Magpies' only two points won this season were on the road in goalless draws at Cardiff and Crystal Palace, while their only other two league away games were narrow defeats to Manchester City (2-1) an Manchester United (3-2).
My gut feeling is that if Benitez's men can score three goals in giving the two Manchester clubs a tough game then backing them to beat Southampton at the current odds is a no-brainer.
Like Newcastle the Saints have yet to win in front of their own fans this season and they're struggling at the wrong end of the table, having failed to beat the likes of Burnley and Brighton at St Mary's while suffering a heavy loss to Chelsea the last time they were at home.
As daft as it seems I think Newcastle will be in the more confident mood after last week's performance, and not having the pressure of trying to win for the first time on home soil could be a big advantage this weekend. Instead, that pressure is all on Mark Hughes' men.
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