And just like that, the Premier League is back in the full swing of things. If the previous three months without the Prem weren’t so desperately awful, it’d almost feel as though the sport never even left.
Luckily for you and I, it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon and that’s a blessing for American sports fans, as the chaos surrounding rebooting our own sports leagues has been seemingly endless. Between NBA players drawing a line in the stand between each other to MLB getting into a war of words with their owners (not to mention the steadily rising number of virus cases across the country), the resumption of professional sports in America currently finds itself in a quite a precarious position.
So, for now, unless you’re into golf or something, soccer is all we got, so let’s get rich.
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Southampton Pick ‘Em vs. Arsenal (-120) – Thursday at 1:00 p.m.
We gave you Southampton last week, who pulled through with a dominant 3-0 over Norwich. While Southampton may be one of the few clubs with nothing legitimate to play for — they currently sit in 14th, 10 points clear of the relegation zone — they’re well-coached and more talented than they’re given credit for. Plus, they, like everyone else in the Premier League, just live to stick it to Arsenal.
This one won’t be as easy as last week’s Southampton bet, as I *think* (although, with Arsenal, you truly never know) the Gunners will put up some fight today after being embarrassed by Man City and Brighton in consecutive games. Still, extra effort will only get them so far, so I see Southampton being able to nick at least a draw here (if you’re feel froggy, bet the draw instead of the spread).
Manchester City vs. Chelsea OVER 2.5/3 goals (-120) – Thursday at 3:15 p.m. EST
Um, have you seen Manchester City play recently? Even without Sergio Aguero, they’re back to looking like the Football Terminator again. Chelsea — who maintain a one-point lead over Manchester United in fourth place — are certainly no pushovers, though, as they’ve not only improved as the season has progressed, but they currently rank fourth in goals scored.
While Man City manager Pep Guardiola has already floated the idea of resting some starters in preparation for the F.A. Cup, I still think whatever line-up City trot out there will be good for a goal or two. Let’s just hope Chelsea can keep up their end of the bargain and score one themselves.
Wolves Moneyline vs. Aston Villa (-135) – Saturday at 7:30 a.m.
If I was a betting man (which I clearly am based on the very existence of this article), I’d bet that Bournemouth and Aston Villa will be the two clubs joining Norwich City in the Championship next season via relegation. While Villa are level on points with West Ham, they’ve shown a clear pattern of blowing leads when they count most, so my faith in them being able to get the results they need to stay up in the Premier League is low. It also doesn’t help that they’re facing Wolves, who firmly look like a Top Six side this season. Wolves are unbeaten so far in their return to play and I except that trend to continue on Saturday. Villa are going to be fighting for their lives, though, so you could also take Wolves against the spread if you don’t want to risk the juice.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com