Last week, we obviously all knew that Newcastle was going to beat Chelsea 2-0. Oh wait, no we didn't—while Newcastle have been competitive against good competition this year, that result came out of left field.
There were matches last week that were probably safe to avoid. Arsenal vs. Liverpool and Everton hosting Tottenham come to mind. Other matches were safer bets, like the two Manchester giants coming away with wins.
So what are the wise bets this week? And which players should you be expecting to score?
Here, I'll break both down.
Safe Winners This Week
Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City
Risky Plays That Could Pay Off
Matches to Avoid
Manchester United vs. Arsenal, Aston Villa vs. Cardiff City, Norwich City vs. West Ham, Tottenham vs. Newcastle, Swansea City vs. Stoke City
The Manchester United vs. Arsenal match is a betting nightmare. On one hand, Manchester United are playing as well as they have all season—they've won four in a row in all competitions—and are at home.
On the other hand, Arsenal are atop the table and are in the midst of a 14-game unbeaten streak on the road in all competitions dating back to last season. I'd avoid this match like the plague.
Ditto for Tottenham vs. Newcastle. The Magpies are unpredictable from week to week and now have a draw against Liverpool and a win over Chelsea to go with losses to Sunderland and Hull City.
Meanwhile, Tottenham was smoked by a mediocre West Ham team in early October, 3-0, so while they'll be favored in this match, they're far from a guaranteed winner.
Chelsea (hosting West Brom), Everton (on the road against bottom-of-the-table Crystal Palace), Liverpool (hosting Fulham) and Manchester City (on the road against 19th-place Sunderland) all seem like great bets to earn three points this week.
Southampton should be favored at home against a pretty good Hull City side (currently 10th on the table with 14 points), but it's far from a given.
Projecting This Week's Top Scorers
Look no further than the teams facing Norwich City (20 goals allowed), Crystal Palace (21 goals allowed) and Sunderland (22 goals allowed) for the top prospective scorers of the week.
West Ham doesn't have any names that catch your attention, but Romelu Lukaku should have a very nice week against Crystal Palace, while any number of players for Manchester City could go on the goalscoring prowl for City.
Pay attention to which strikers get the start for the Citizens—Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo could all be very solid sources of goals this week.
While Arsenal have kept consecutive clean sheets against Crystal Palace and Liverpool, the dangerous United attack should be able to crack the Gunners' code for at least one goal. You would imagine former player Robin van Persie would be the one to score it.
For Arsenal, look for Olivier Giroud to get off the schneid—he has just one goal in his past six Premier League matches, though not for a lack of chances. Arsenal will create chances for him and I expect he'll execute on one of them this week.
Finally, it's hard to imagine both Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge being held scoreless for a second straight week. The pair have been on a blistering goalscoring pace to start the season, and Fulham have allowed 15 goals this season.
Suarez and Sturridge will each end up on the score sheet.
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