This weekend the Premier League returns after a brief international break. Teams are poised to make strong pushes up the table and fight until they break for the World Cup. With many of the EPL's top stars coming off international duty, there is a high possibility of plenty of shock results. Moneylines and spread favorites are two wagers I'm avoiding heavily unless those teams didn't have too many players playing during the break. We are treated to a few derbies this week and some great storylines to track. Here are my plays in the Premier League this weekend:
Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Three-way Moneyline: Crystal Palace (+320) | Draw (+260) | (-120)
Bet: Both teams to score (-115)
This sets up to be a match of intrigue this weekend. Graham Potter takes over for Chelsea after they underwhelmed to start the season under Thomas Tuchel. They didn't lack the talent to get off to a hot start but mixed in a few injuries and a locker room that no longer believed in their coach, they were going up a creek without a paddle.
Chelsea have three wins and two losses and currently sit seventh on the table. Their biggest issue has been the lack of defense. They have conceded eight goals. Shockingly they have only scored seven. I expect them to get a boost from Potter. They also haven't been shut out by Palace since 2014. It's tough to play at Selhurst Stadium. By the end of the season, home and away splits should suggest a clear advantage at home. Palace score a goal on Chelsea this week. With Marc Cucurella, N'Golo Kanté, and Edouard Mendy all set to miss, the chances of Palace scoring go up exponentially.
Chelsea should score on Palace as well. They have dominated this rivalry. They have won 10 straight matches over Palace. Potter should have them playing a bit more free and loose, allowing their quality to shine through in front of net.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)
Three-way Moneyline: Manchester City (-300) | Draw (+450) | (+675)
Bet: Under 2.5 goals (+170)
This week marks the 188th Manchester Derby. It seems that both clubs are going in different directions. While Erik ten Hag was brought in to right the ship, United have some time before I consider them Premier League Championship contenders. The start of their season was dreadful. They were able to pick up a few results, but they are poor in front of goal. Their attack is weak, and they will have difficulty finding the back against the stout City squad.
City have only conceded six goals this season. They have the lowest xGA (0.82) in the Premier League. This rivalry is always played tough, and City won't take United lightly. They should keep a clean sheet.
United have improved defensively. Backing under with this City attack is terrifying. However, there's good reason to back the under. Six out of the last seven meetings have gone under 2.5 goals. I'd expect City to win this one 1-0 or 2-0. We will have less-than-ideal weather and tired legs from the international break. It's worth the price, even if it misses.