Welcome to my EPL Draw value soccer picks, where I’ll be looking to exploit the bookies with value plays for our readers. The early Saturday lunchtime kick-off features Cardiff City playing host to Brighton with the hosts looking to pull themselves out of the bottom three of the Premier League — Kickoff: 0730hrs (EST)
Following last season’s euphoria of promotion from the Championship, Cardiff City have had a difficult return to the Premier League as they’ve collected just the one win so far in their top flight campaign to date.
The host’s rare success came in a recent 4-2 home win against fellow strugglers, Fulham, at their Cardiff City Stadium but an overall lack of goals has hampered Neil Warnock’s side so far this season and they find themselves in the early relegation places as a result.
Overall, Cardiff have lost 8 of their 11 matches so far in the Premier League and although they play host to bottom half outfit Brighton this Saturday lunchtime, they’re by no means guaranteed of all three points here.
While scoring goals has been a problem, at the back they’ve kept just two clean sheets in all matches so far this term and their best bet in this early kick-off appears to be a draw.
Home Form & Team News
As mentioned earlier, Cardiff City have recorded just one league win to date on home turf which was the emphatic 4-2 win over Fulham, but it should be noted that Fulham now sit bottom of the division with the worst defensive record away from home.
A poor home record though of 1-1-4 7/13 includes a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United but also four defeats to Arsenal 3-2, Manchester City 5-0, Burnley 2-1 and Leicester City 1-0.
The Bluebirds have managed just one clean sheet on home turf so far this season and have conceded 2 goals or more in 4 of their 6 home matches.
The bigger picture shows that Cardiff have managed to register just 3 wins from their last 17 home matches in the Premier League, and they face another uphill task of avoiding relegation this time around too.
Manager, Neil Warnock, is short of options in midfield as Joe Ralls is injured and Harry Arter serves a suspension after picking up five yellow cards. In addition, Warnock will be without the services of forwards Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Kenneth Zohore, as well as defenders Lee Peltier and Jazz Richards.
Striker, Danny Ward may start up front for the hosts.
Brighton currently occupy 12th place in the Premier League and have so far produced a reasonable campaign to date as they hold a comfortable eight point margin above the relegation zone as we head into this weekend’s action.
Last weekend’s 3-1 defeat away at Everton ended a promising three-match winning streak which saw Brighton secure 1-0 wins over West Ham, Newcastle United and Wolves respectively.
This winning sequence has helped The Seagulls put some valuable daylight between themselves and the relegation zone, but much of Brighton’s success so far in this campaign has been achieved at their AMEX Stadium.
Three of Brighton’s four wins this season have occurred on home turf but with just 12 goals in total so far this term, the visitors have had similar problems to their hosts, Cardiff City, in respect of scoring goals in the top flight.
The visitors have also struggled away from home this season too…
Away Form & Team News
An away record of 1-1-4 4/10 doesn’t fill me with any confidence that they’ll grab all three points in Wales today, particularly as they’ve managed just one win on their travels this season, which was at Newcastle United.
However, that recent win was their first for 19 matches on their travels, so the form book suggests that Brighton’s best hopes in this fixture also appear to be gaining a point in a stalemate.
The Seagulls have managed to record just 3 clean sheets from these last 19 away matches, while defeats this season have been inflicted upon them at Watford, Liverpool, Manchester City and Everton.
Brighton manager, Chris Hughton, may well be without forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh along with creative midfielders, Davy Propper and Pascal Gross due to injuries, but he may not make wholesale changes to his squad for this match.
Should Jahanbakhsh fail a late fitness test, Anthony Knockaert is in line to deputise.
This clash features two side who have found difficulty in scoring goals in the top flight this season, so therefore we could well see a low-scoring draw here.