Premier League - Football: Sam Matterface and Steve Freeth's 6 Scores Challenge predictions
Following the launch of bet365's 6 Scores Challenge, we asked Sam Matterface and Steve Freeth to offer their predictions for this week’s fixtures.
The game gives customers the chance to win cash prizes by predicting the scores of six football matches, every week. The premise is very simple… yet the reward could be huge!
If all of your predictions are correct, you will win bet365’s ‘6 Scores Challenge’ jackpot – which, this month, stands at a mammoth £1,000,000.
Everton v Nottingham Forest
Frank Lampard harnessed the atmosphere at Goodison Park over the course of the run-in last season, and it’ll be a similar sort of feeling on Saturday. Toffees fans will be desperate for a win; they didn’t play too badly against Chelsea, and once Onana came on against Aston Villa, they looked much better, much more progressive. Forest meanwhile were lucky to get a victory over West Ham last Sunday.
You mentioned Goodison, Sam, but if Forest have a bit of a go, it could be a bit nervy. Anthony Gordon has been through middle so there are concerns there, while Forest have had no such concerns, with plenty of strength in depth, bringing in more than a dozen players. Yes, they were fortunate against West Ham, but I can see them returning to Nottingham with a point.
Leicester v Southampton
It’s the battle of two of the league’s three dreadful defences with the joint-most goals conceded between them. It’s also a battle of two managers perhaps under the most pressure, with one win in 15, for Ralph Hasenhuttl, and Brendan Rodgers is under the cosh at the King Power, and I think both lack a bit in all departments. Southampton were lucky to come back from 2-0 down on Saturday against Leeds, and Leicester were all over the place at times defensively against Arsenal.
I agree with the outcome for the reasons you mentioned but I’m going 2-2 – both have very leaky defences, and there have been transfer worries for Rodgers; they’ve only bought him a third-choice goalkeeper, and key players are being linked away from the club.
Southampton you’d think is a chance to rack up a few goals, but not this time. The Foxes have scored 19 goals in the last six games against the Saints, but I’m worried about them defensively and it could end up being a similar scoreline to the one Southampton got against Leeds last weekend.
Bournemouth v Arsenal
The team with the league’s lowest xG vs the team with the league’s highest xG. Bournemouth will make themselves known to the Arsenal players, they’ll get tight, make it a bit of a scrap, but the quality in Arsenal’s forward ranks is so good now, and there’s more nous than there was over the last couple of seasons.
It’s won’t be like the old Bolton v Arsenal games from back in the day, but Bournemouth will be aggressive. But with the likes of Zinchenko and Martinelli, they’re a big threat down the left, and as for Gabriel Jesus, I fancy him to have a field day.
I hope he doesn’t as he’s top of our liabilities in the Top Goalscorer market! Aaron Ramsdale is returning to the south coast and I’m sure he’ll get a good reception but I fancy he’ll leave with a clean sheet.
Arsenal are in a different position to last season where they lost their first three games, and can win their first three for the first time since 2004.
Bournemouth dealt well with Haaland, but I can see Jesus adding to his total, after having 15 touches in the area against Leicester. The Cherries have stopped Arsenal before, but this feels like a different Arsenal this season.
Leeds v Chelsea
I watched Southampton v Leeds closely and I liked the way they moved the ball, certainly in the first half. They’re really good at playing in their opponents’ half, and they’re not afraid to play the ball vertically, where it helps to have a keeper in Illan Meslier being good with his feet.
The issue they have is when it occasionally breaks down they’re vulnerable to counter attacks, and against Saints were lucky not to have Diego Llorente sent off.
Chelsea aren’t going to miss those chances, and play is more likely to break down against Chelsea. They scored a couple against Southampton, with Rodrigo looking lively; they’re a threat going forward, but I do believe Chelsea will come away with all three points. The Blues will be frustrated by not putting Spurs to bed, and certainly had enough chances to do so.
2002 was the last time Leeds beat Chelsea with Jonathan Woodgate opening the scoring and James Milner bagging the second – anyone know where he is these days?
Leeds looked set for maximum points last week, and Patrick Bamford’s injuries are a concern; Rodrigo has scored three goals from 10 shots so far this season, and I can see Leeds scoring but they’re giving up chances. Chelsea will feel hard done by from the 2-2 draw with Tottenham and they’ll get back to winning ways at Elland Road.
West Ham v Brighton
West Ham have never beaten Brighton in the Premier League, though we saw the Seagulls return to their old wasteful ways against Newcastle. They’re the worst team in the league at not hitting their xG, meanwhile West Ham had plenty of chances against Nottingam Forest, and Scamacca’s got to start on Sunday. They’ll have been frustrated with the defeat, and have a hectic schedule to manage this year.
Brighton are a good football team, they create plenty of attacks, they just struggle to finish them off, though I worry about West Ham defensively, and though I think both sides will find the net, I’m struggling to separate them.
I’m not sure about how David Moyes and the Hammers fit in this season; something doesn’t seem quite right. Maybe it’s the lack of numbers coming in, plus they have Europe to deal with, which will stretch their squad.
Brighton were the better side against Newcastle, but as you said, they struggle to score, particularly at the Amex – blanking on nine occasions in front of their home fans in the league last season – but they’re much better on the road, and should take something away from East London.
Newcastle v Man City
I know it looked like Liverpool would be set for a great season after the Community Shield, but City have started in top gear. Kevin De Bruyne is getting much more freedom with people keeping tabs on Haaland, but they’ve got threats all over the pitch.
Newcastle were probably a bit disappointed not to make a bigger splash in transfer market, and have kept loan spaces open to perhaps bring a few fringe players from bigger clubs in before the end of the transfer window. They lack a bit of a goal threat, creating enough chances, without looking like scoring many, and I don’t think anyone can contain City this season.
Newcastle have won just one of their last 29 against City, and Pep has won all 10 against Eddie Howe.
Four points from a possible six is a good start to the season, and this is a clash between the two sides yet to concede a goal; while Nick Pope was excellent against Brighton, I think he’ll be picking the ball out of the net against City, who I fancy to keep their clean sheet run going.