Simon Barlow has tips for three Premier League games on Saturday, including Aston Villa v Crystal Palace, Fulham v Luton and Tottenham v Sheffield United.
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace (15:00)
Two clubs that finished last season in good form face off at Villa Park with Crystal Palace looking for a win that could catapult them into the top six.
Aston Villa’s start has not been as solid as the Eagles, but Unai Emery’s side have had to contend with three tricky away games while ensuring they reached the Europa Conference League group stage.
Villa have won 10 of their 14 home Premier League games since the Spaniard took charge, including each of the last eight, and look attractively priced to make it nine in a row this weekend.
Palace picked up all three points in a five-goal thriller against Wolves just before the international break, but their away form has been problematic for some time.
However, Roy Hodgson’s men have scored in both of their two road trips so far this season, and can notch at Villa Park too given the hosts’ struggles at the back this term since losing Tyrone Mings to a long-term injury.
Fulham v Luton (15:00)
After navigating an incredible journey back to the top flight, Luton were instantly slapped around by three established Premier League clubs on their return
The Hatters’ patient, long-term transfer strategy did not help them hit the ground running, but they may not be waiting for their first point of the campaign for long.
Luton play a clutch of teams likely to be alongside them in the relegation mix over the next few weeks and Fulham, who have not adequately replaced top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, can be considered among that group.
The Whites were bitterly disappointed about the VAR call on Nathan Ake’s goal at Manchester City, which was a potential game-changer, but they did appear to let it affect them on the day.
The pressure is ramping up on Marco Silva’s men as they seek a first home point of the season and a solution to their issues in both penalty areas.
The well-organised Hatters have enough about them to force a draw at Craven Cottage and, with Carlton Morris in their side, may have the sharpest striker on the pitch when these two meet on Saturday afternoon
Tottenham v Sheffield United (15:00)
Spurs will be out to avenge last season’s FA Cup fifth-round defeat when they entertain Sheffield United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The North Londoners are the hot favourites to take all three points after an unbeaten start to the campaign in which a Harry Kane-less squad has found a formula for goals under Ange Postecoglu.
Heung-min Son grabbed a hat-trick at Burnley last time out, but most of the team that played at Turf Moor had chances to score in a superb display of cutting-edge football.
The season so far has been more of a grind for the Blades, who picked up their first point in a 2-2 home draw with fellow strugglers Everton just prior to the international break.
A defence that could not keep a relatively blunt Toffees attack out will not fare well against Spurs’ swashbuckling forwards and it could lead to an avalanche of home goals.
Tottenham have scored either side of the break in their last two league contests and can do so again this weekend.
Aston Villa to win & BTTS: Yes @ 13/5
Luton to win or draw @ 6/5