Crystal Palace 1.98 v Swansea 4.50; The Draw 3.65

Crystal Palace appear to have lost the momentum they built up towards the end of last season under Sam Allardyce, and their performances to date have been similar to what we witnessed in the first half of last season, which surely has to be concerning.

The Eagles' 0-3 home defeat to newly-promoted Huddersfield was extremely disappointing. It wasn't just the result and the three goals conceded, but also the fact that they registered fewer shots on target than their opponents and just didn't look up to the task. Various reports after the game commented that Frank de Boer's men looked like they were still in pre-season mode; just seven fouls committed in 94 minutes suggests those reports weren't too far off the mark.

Incidentally, the five clubs that committed the fewest fouls on the opening weekend of the season were Brighton, Bournemouth, Palace, Newcastle and West Ham. Those clubs currently occupy the bottom five positions in the table having played two and lost two! A telling statistic perhaps.

Back to Palace though, and yes, they - or to be more precise, Christian Benteke - should have scored at Anfield last Saturday with that glorious chance, but apart from that they were absolutely toothless. They enjoyed just 28% possession, registered just one shot on target, and but for some wasteful Liverpool finishing - the home side had 23 shots at goal, 13 on target - they could have suffered another big defeat.

And even though De Boer's men beat Ipswich 2-1 in the League Cup in midweek I actually believe that result will have done nothing for the Eagles' confidence. Palace lined up with a strong side that night, and faced a very young and inexperienced Ipswich side.

So I have to oppose Palace in this match. True, they are facing a Swansea side that were also thrashed in their only home game this term, but a defeat to a rampant Manchester United team - remember, the scoreline was just 0-1 until the 80th minute - reads much better than a home defeat to relegation favourites Huddersfield.

Paul Clement's men earned a point away to Southampton on the opening day of the season, and in midweek a Swansea team showing five changes won easily at MK Dons in the League Cup, so the Welsh outfit have done nothing wrong on the road so far this term.

There won't be much between Palace and the Swans in this match, but getting the draw and the away team on side at around even money is the recommended bet.

Recommended Bet
Lay Crystal Palace to Win @ 1.99 (best bet)

Huddersfield 4.00 v Southampton 2.14; The Draw 3.50

Southampton were undoubtedly in my eyes the big losers from the midweek League Cup round two matches, and as a result they are well worth opposing at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino fielded a strong side on Wednesday night that included regular starters Fraser Forster, Maya Yoshida, Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse, and Dusan Tadic, as well as the often used Jack Stephens, Sofiane Boufal, and Charlie Austin - it was arguably one of the strongest Premier League outfits on show during the week.

So to lose 0-2 at home to Championship side Wolves was a big disappointment, but when you consider that Nuno Espirito Santo made the full 11 changes to his starting line-up, then the result almost becomes embarrassing for Southampton.

The Saints' two Premier League outings this term haven't exactly been eyecatching either, despite taking four points from a possible six. Pellegrino's men could manage only a draw at home to Swansea a fortnight ago, and last weekend they led 2-0 and had a man advantage at home to West Ham, but almost threw away victory that afternoon, being pegged back to 2-2 before a last-gasp penalty saved their blushes.

It could be that Southampton perform better on the road as results at St Mary's towards the end of last season and the start of this certainly suggest they're struggling in front of their own fans. But until we see evidence this term that they're a better side on their travels - and of course, we might see it here - then I'm happy to oppose them.

Huddersfield have started the season in blistering fashion, taking six points from a possible six without conceding, and although they struggled to get the better of League One outfit Rotherham in the cup in midweek the fact that their much-changed side did come from behind to grind out a victory bodes well.

David Wagner's men are a typical example of a newly-promoted side bringing all the built-up momentum and confidence from a successful campaign into a new season and playing as if they have nothing to lose. It's refreshing to watch.

The Terriers will come a cropper sooner rather than later no doubt, and I fear for them when they do, but at 4.00 to back at home to a side that must be deflated following their surprise midweek loss, well that's a price well worth chancing.

Recommended Bet
Back Huddersfield to Win @ 4.00

Watford 2.00 v Brighton 4.50; The Draw 3.65

Like Southampton, Watford fielded a relatively strong side in midweek at home to Bristol City in the cup, and lost, so perhaps it's a bit contradictory that I'm selecting them to take all three points against Brighton on Saturday afternoon.

But unlike the Saints, Watford's four league points gained were done so in very impressive fashion. Marco Silva's men really took their opening game to Liverpool, led twice, and battled right to the death to take a point from a very good attacking side. And they then put in a thoroughly dominant display at Bournemouth last weekend, coming away from Dean Court with a deserved 2-0 victory.

So on the early evidence the Hornets are about on a par with Leicester in that they both should comfortably finish around mid-table, and the reason I mention the Foxes is because last week I made them a confident pick to beat newly-promoted Brighton. So I have to back the Seagulls to suffer another away defeat, yet we're getting an even juicier price about the home side this time around.

Chris Hughton's men have suffered back-to-back 2-0 defeats in the Premier League, and while there's absolutely nothing wrong on paper with two-goal reversals to Manchester City and away to Leicester, the worrying aspect is that they really didn't lay a glove on either side.

Hughton then made 11 changes for the visit of League Two Barnet in the League Cup in midweek, though deep down I expect he was hoping his side would win far more comfortably than the final 1-0 scoreline.

I do expect Brighton to improve as the season goes on, but the danger is that they might soon be cemented in a relegation battle, and another defeat at Vicarage Road on Saturday will do nothing for their confidence going into the international break.

Recommended Bet
Back Watford to Win @ 2.00

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