EPL GW7 Preview: Revenge of the Clean Sheet

Mad results continue, but tide is turning on clean sheets.

The last 13 Premier League Games:
13 games, 21 goals, 10 clean sheets ; 1.6 goals per game.

The prior 17 Premier League Games:
17 games, 67 goals, 5 clean sheets ; 3.9 goals per game.

Leeds, Man Utd, Chelsea, Southampton, Leicester and Spurs all kept clean sheets in the last round of Premier League games, four of which away from home – two in terminating undefeated records. The Clean Sheet is back! This could be huge news to your Fantasy Football teams, it could be a massive impact when deciding to spend £15 on Fulham vs West Brom on Monday afternoon. This could be a blip, or the start of a trend, but with “closely matched fixtures” throughout the weekend, Draws and Under 2.5 Goals multiples are worth a punt. I say multiples because, they can’t ALL BE Draws and Under 2.5 Goals, someone is bound to ruin it for you. Let’s consider whom…

Tipped Treble:
@Wolves Under 2.5 Goals 1/2
@Burnley Under 3.5 Goals 4/9
@Newcastle Under 3.5 Goals 4/11

Wolves have been slow starters within matches, and like to control the game. Crystal Palace are notoriously low scorers, and defend tightly. This one seems a no-brainer.

Burnley, improved performances, were strong going forwards and defensively against Spurs, they’re getting back to being difficult to play. Chelsea, concerned with their defensive play – now have 3 consecutive clean sheets – but will be wary of what Burnley did to Spurs, and know there’s too much risk at going gung ho.

Finally to complete the treble, no – not Fulham vs West Brom (because, you just know there’s going to be goals) but Newcastle vs Everton. Steve Bruce likes to keep his Newcastle team organised and not to over commit, whilst Ancelotti’s Everton looked a little lost without Richarlison upfront alongside Calvert-Lewin. With further disciplinary issues, Everton should consolidate and that will impact on the game

Stand-out Match: Leeds vs Leicester

History tells us that… Man Utd vs Arsenal is one of the greatest Premier League fixtures of all time, with plenty of fire and passion, goals and fouls. However, the modern day Man Utd vs Arsenal is a much more tepid affair, and given the recent Utd run, and underwhelming performance at home to Chelsea last weekend I am reluctant to put anyone through that shit show again. Instead…

Leeds are on the rise – ‘Marching on together’ – making light work of the Premier League, even in the face of defeat as they scared the current Champions at home on the opening day. The awakened giant, they’re winning games and fans, accumulating an assault on the Top 6. Leicester were such a package last year, ultimately falling out of the Top 4 post lockdown, but have again turned up this year to cause an upset away to Man City and Arsenal. Hoping to continue their away day form, they may not be the prettiest counter-fitting outfit at the moment, but forced to pay at a higher pace – which will suit their attacking players, this game should be end-to-end as the Leeds vs Man City game had entertained us earlier in the season. Not to mention, Leeds have Feudball’s In-form player Patrick Bamford.

Stand-out Performance: Harry Kane (and friends)
Brighton have won plaudits this year for improved performances, but pretty football does not keep you in the Premier League, and they have shipped too many goals against the “better” sides, 3 at home to Chelsea, 3 at home to United, 4 away to Everton. They have looked better going forwards, they have looked organised at the back, but over 90 minutes they give away chances and no side in the league look more equipped to punish chances right now than Harry Kane and Heung-min Son. No doubt further attention will be placed on stopping the unstoppable combination, but little Lamptey will be forgiven for being run ragged by Son, and I foresee Kane being the ultimate beneficiary.

Acca Basher: Fulham vs West Brom

The idea of the Acca Basher was to identify one of the odds on favourite bets and suggest to avoid it due to one of a number of underlying factors. However, confidence in any team is shot. Week to week, it seems harder and harder to predict any results, and therefore this week I suggest you avoid Fulham vs West Brom. Let’s face it, you could back home, draw or away – they all seem just as likely. Then there’s the inability for either team in front of goal, and yet… this could be 3-3. What I would say is, they’re both going to be in similar positions come May.

This will probably be my last weekly Acca Basher. Let me know your thoughts on what you might like to hear about instead. Comment below, or find Feudball on Facebook. Also, whilst I’m at it… tell your friends about this blog you read and how if you avoid my betting tips, you might save your money.

By Stephen Lee

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