What’s up Army! We absolutely crushed week 1 with our game predictions and cheat sheets, congrats to our members Reedy and Wrona for taking down multiple GPP’s and a top 5 finish in the big DK contest. We also had one of our members tie for a King of the Pitch ticket – lets get it this weekend!
EPL Main Slate Preview
Looking ahead to this weekend we have a 3 game Main Slate on DK with Fulham hosting Brentford, Liverpool at home against Bournemouth and Wolves vs Brighton. Be sure to check out our coaches cheat sheets and #soccer discord channel to stay up to date with our top picks and plays to crush this slate.
Brentford @ Fulham
First up we see Brentford travel to Fulham for a West London derby, last season both teams managed to beat each other in their respective home matches with a 3-2 scoreline. Had it not been for a monster performance from Berndt Leno (our #2 pick) in goal for Fulham last weekend then they should have lost against Everton quite easily, they looked very poor. It took substitution Bobby Decordova-Reid to score for Fulham giving them an arguably undeserved win. Fulham did not help themselves during the back end of last season, they won just two of their final seven Premier League home matches in 2022-23 and have kept just one top-flight clean sheet in front of their own fans since the end of October 2022.
Joao Palhinha is missing for Fulham as he deals with a shoulder injury, Mitrovic has one foot out of the door to Saudi Arabia, although he did come off the bench last weekend. Willian is said to have agreed terms on a move to AL-Shabab, only weeks after signing a new deal with Fulham, hence his early departure last week so I doubt he plays.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank favors a high attacking game plan, Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo were excellent against Spurs, while Rico Henry in the wing back position tore them to shreds and created three big chances and grabbed an assist.
Mathias Jensen came off early for Brentford with a thigh injury and we’re still unsure if he suits up Saturday. Frank Onyeka (thigh) and Ben Mee (Calf) will also need to prove their fitness while David Raya’s loan was confirmed to Arsenal so Mark Flekken will be their starting goalkeeper.
Fulham possible starting lineup
Leno; Tete, Diop, Ream, Robinson; Reed, Lukic; Wilson, Pereira, Decordova-Reid; Jimenez
Brentford possible starting lineup
Flekken; Hickey, Mee, Pinnock, Collins, Henry; Janelt, Norgaard; Damsgaard; Mbeumo, Wissa
Prediction: Brentford win 2 – 0
Bournemouth @ Liverpool
Liverpool got a somewhat lucky draw with Chelsea last weekend. The had a red-hot start with Salah finding Diaz on an incredible ball to the back post but then the momentum seemed to fall off and Salah was taken off early. Liverpool had just 35% of the ball and somehow still managed to hold on for a draw. their midfield still needs work and an extra piece of the puzzle to be addressed by the end of the transfer window. Liverpool remain unbeaten in the last 12 top flight contests at Anfield so this will be a tough ask for Bournemouth who were hammered 9-0 in this fixture last year – no that’s not a typo!
Klopp might add a bit more fight to the engine room this weekend and call up Curtis Jones, Cody Gakpo was a bit of a spare part last time out, while Darwin Nunez may start over Jota who was ineffective against Chelsea.
Bournemouth boss Iraola will be facing a tough task of his managerial skills this weekend, but he wasn’t known as the giant killer in Spain for no reason. Last week they got off to a good start vs West Ham but conceded a goal early in the second half, they battled on with ex-Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke equalizing 8 minutes before the end to destroy my 6 leg parlay dreams!
They had 63% possession in that game, so I imagine they will try and keep the ball and open up Liverpool’s leaky defense. They actually won this home fixture 1-0 last year so they proved they can do it, whether or not its too early in the season yet is the question.
Bournemouth are without Alex Scott (knee), Dango Ouattara (ankle) and Ryan Fredericks (calf) for sure this weekend while Lloyd Kelly, Marcus Tavernier, Adam Smith and Lewis Cook all have fitness question marks as of writing. I do expect Justin Kluivert to start over Jaidon Anthony this week.
Liverpool possible starting lineup
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Jones, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, Diaz
Bournemouth possible starting lineup
Neto; Aarons, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kerkez; Billing, Rothwell; Brooks, Christie, Kluivert; Solanke
Prediction: Liverpool win 3-1
Brighton @ Wolves
Wolves will be searching for their first points under new manager Gary O’Neil at home to Brighton Saturday after they were robbed by the referees on Monday against Man Utd. To say that Wolves were unfortunate to lose on the opening weekend would be an understatement, they dominated large spells of their clash with United, looked great on attack and held strong defensively. Wolves racked up 23 shots, that’s the second highest ever in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Cunha and Neto absolutely dominated their opposing defenders.
Wolves have no reported injury problems ahead of this weekend, although Neves, Collins, Coady, Jimenez, Traore and Costa left the club this off season and they’re in somewhat of a rebuild phase, they certainly didn’t show it against Man Utd. It’s likely they go with the same starters as their last game and play 4-3-3 formation with Neto and Nunes in the wide central areas with Cunha and Sarabia up top.
Brighton did exactly as we expected against Luton, coming away with a 4-1 win. March, Pedro, Adingra and Ferguson all on the score sheet for the home side. They had 71% possession and racked up 27 shots albeit against newly promoted Luton. Brighton have scored at least 2 goals in 14 of their last 25 EPL games, and at least 3 goals in 9 of those, so you know we are getting an all-out potent attack.
Brighton has no major injuries to their usual starting XI, their new signings James Milner, Mahmoud Dahoud and Joao Pedro all started last weekend in a 4-2-3-1 formation. I don’t foresee too many changes this weekend, maybe Evan Ferguson earns a start after his goal scoring efforts last week but likely we see the same starting team.
Wolves possible starting lineup
Sa; Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Ait-Nouri; Gomes, Lemina, Nunes; Sarabia, Cunha, Neto
Brighton possible starting lineup
Steele; Milner, Van Hecke, Dunk, Estupinan; Gross, Dahoud; March, Pedro, Mitoma; Welbeck
Prediction: 2-1 to Brighton
As always, feel free to reach out to me or any of the #Soccer coaches on discord with any questions and look out for our cheat sheets and strategies to take down this weekend. See you at the top, Helmets up!