Smart Money Soccer Picks For 9/19/2020

September 18, 2020by Miles Palma0
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Smart Money Soccer Picks For 9/19/2020

Premier League Season: Gylfi Sigurðsson vs. Gareth Barry - Everton vs. West Brom (West Bromwich Albion)

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Another weekend and another weekend of Premier League soccer. The bizarre opening to the Premier League season looks finally set to settle down as the remaining teams who did not participate in the opening round of fixtures finally kick off their season.

The marquee matchup of the weekend is Chelsea vs. Liverpool on Sunday but we’re going to stay away from that one as it’s a bit too close to call.

Instead, here are the locks from elsewhere in the league.

Everton (-1.0) vs. West Brom (+1.0)


I’m not going to lie, I really like the look of Everton right now. In all honesty, they probably should have beaten Spurs by two or three. Yes, Spurs were dreadful, but Ancelotti looks as though he’s building a fascinating project over in Merseyside. James Rodríguez and Allan dazzled in their debuts, Richarlison was a menace as always, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin looks to be growing into his role at the club.

Cautious optimism is needed from an Evertonian standpoint. They’ve always flirted with being a good side in past years, but they’ve never truly threatened the Top 4. They’ve got world-class players and a world-class manager right now, however, and I think most Everton supporters will tell you that this is the most hopeful they’ve felt in a good while.

What perhaps impresses me more than anything about Everton is their current depth. Let’s not forget, Everton were not a bad side at all last season. Sigurðsson, Davies, Walcott, Iwobi, Kean – Everton’s former starting players now make up their depth, so not only do they now have a quality starting team but also strength in depth to compete over a grueling 38-game season.

West Brom

West Brom, on the other hand, were far from impressive in their opening match, falling 3-0 to Leicester. Many will have seen the warning signs as early as last season when West Brom stumbled into the final automatic promotion place thanks to a historic bottle job from Brentford late in the season.

Manager Slaven Bilić does have Premier League experience, but they didn’t exactly go to plan in the end. Still, West Brom can hurt you with players like Grosicki, Livermore, and Robinson. But, for me, they’re going to endure a rough go of it this season, and it would take a massive effort not to see them go down.

Pick: Everton to cover. Both sides are on opposite form and, like I touched on, this may be the best Everton side in nearly 30 years. I expect them to keep it going and comfortably win.

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Manchester United (-1.5) vs. Crystal Palace (+1.5)

Manchester United

After their disappointing Europa League run, Manchester United get a late start to their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace.

Manchester United are hard to predict this season. On one hand, their attacking trio of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood dazzled at the end of last season. On the other hand, while the teams around them have dipped into the transfer window and improved massively, Manchester United have only Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek to show for it.

This Premier League season will make or break Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United career. If they manage to stay in the Top 4 and remain competitive in other competitions, then he will stay. But anything less and he may be shown the door.

I think United will be dangerous this year and finish in the Top 4. But I think they’ll struggle down certain stretches of the season, including the beginning.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace enter what seems to be their 10,000,000th season in the Premier League trying to gain some sort of direction. Palace always seem to have the same identity: Teams hate traveling to Selhurst, they can beat anyone on their day, but they are horrendously inconsistent.

In all truth, Palace are usually a nightmare to bet on. They tend to usually start their seasons pretty well. And I think star man Wilfried Zaha has finally come to terms with the fact that he’s always going to be the star of an average team, and I think that will actually help him. They’ve also added Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi on loan until the end of the season. And, while he’s a bit of a wild card, the man can certainly score when he’s on the right form.

Pick: Crystal Palace to cover. Palace beat United in this fixture last season in September, and I think they’ll give them another game here. I don’t know if they win, lose, or tie, but I’m fairly confident that United won’t win by two. Manchester United are going to have some rust from their short turnaround, and I think they’ll be slow to start.

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