Well they finally took a hit, but Manchester City still maintain a commanding 12 point lead at the top of the table. Beyond that daylight, 6 points separate 2nd to 5th in what continues to be a hard fought battle for top 4 positions. At the moment it looks like it’s just 4 teams vying for 3 spots left in the top 4 after Arsenal continued their poor run of form when they lost to Bournemouth 2-1 at the weekend. That makes it 5 matches in all competitions without a win for the Gunners and with a London derby ahead this weekend against Palace, things could turn really ugly if they drop points there.
Week 24 Best Bet: Tottenham to beat Southampton at $1.67
Week 24 Best Value Bet: West Ham vs Bournemouth – West Ham to win and BTTS at $4
Week 24 Head to Head Multi Bet: Chelsea Win ($1.57), Everton Win ($2.2), Leicester Win ($1.83), Tottenham Win ($1.67) = $10.55
**Odds from Sportsbet.com.au as of 18th January
Brighton vs Chelsea
Chelsea have now gone 5 matches without a win in all competitions and outside of their extra time draw with Norwich in the FA Cup during the week, they’ve also only scored once in their last 4. It’s a trend that surely won’t continue in their trip to Brighton who although have been decent this season, may struggle to keep the chances out that Chelsea will no doubt create. Brighton may surprise in moments during this match or at the very least be relatively stubborn, but Chelsea should be walking away with the 3 points.
Predicted Result: Chelsea 2-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.69
Best Value Bet: First Half Goals – exactly 1 at $2.47
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
What can you say about Arsenal at the moment other than that they look like they are in a real downward spiral. No wins in 5 games, losing to Bournemouth away last time out, Sanchez pretty much sold and Ozil perhaps not far away either, whilst the time for Wenger is surely up, surely. As a result it’s an interesting time to play Arsenal. On one hand they may produce something in reaction to last weekends loss but on the other hand there’s really little sense in backing them here. Palace will sense the weakness and are more than capable of causing an upset here or at the very least capturing a point. They’re undefeated in their last 3 league matches including a draw at Manchester City. Just before that match, they hosted Arsenal at home where they lost narrowly 3-2. That was a match that Sanchez won off his own boot, pulling his side from 2-1 down to win 3-2. With no player of his calibre set to replace him, the story could be very different this weekend.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: BTTS – Yes at $1.67
Best Value Bet: Draw at $4.33
Burnley vs Manchester United
Burnley shouldn’t be underestimated at home and have managed 2 scoreless draws in their last 4 meetings. Their win loss record at home this season isn’t perfect, having lost 4 times from 12 but they’ve been very tight at the back having conceded just 8 goals. They’ll make it tough for United to score but from a win loss perspective, it’s difficult to not see United just getting the job done even if it’s ugly. Their away form has been good as well of late, winning 4 of their last 5 scoring 13 and conceding 6. One thing that looks likely though is that goals won’t be easy to come by for either side but United’s quality gives them the edge enough to snatch something.
Predicted Result: Manchester United 1-0
Best Bet: Manchester United to win at $1.57
Best Value Bet: Manchester United to win to Nil at $2.25
Everton vs West Brom
As soon as Everton were starting to climb the table, the last 3 matches has seen them fall off the pace again with 3 straight losses. Their latest against Tottenham last time out was an absolute demolition which they need to bounce back from quickly to maintain their top 10 position. The visit of West Brom will be intriguing this weekend with the Baggies finding some confidence under their new manager with a 2-0 win over Brighton at home. They have a lot to prove away from home though having won just once away this season. Their ability to score goals on the road (just 6) leaves a lot to be desired as well and despite Everton’s poor recent form, they should bounce back for a win here against slightly easier opposition.
Predicted Result: Everton 2-0
Best Bet: Everton to win at $2.2
Best Value Bet: Everton to win to Nil at $3.25
Leicester vs Watford
Two good performances in recent weeks leaves Leicester well placed to continue that form against Watford. Watford are still a little up and down and are yet to recapture their early season form. With Leicester finding enough momentum and confidence, particularly after keeping Chelsea scoreless at Stamford Bridge in their last league game, they should deal with Watford here.
Predicted Result: Leicester 2-0
Best Bet: Leicester to win at $1.83
Best Value Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2.01
Stoke vs Huddersfield
With Paul set to take charge of his first game for Stoke, we could see a much different performance against Huddersfield this weekend compared to their 3-0 loss at Manchester United last time out. Truth be told, Stoke did create some genuine chances against United that will give them so confidence in this one. Add to that mix the new manager feeling and Stoke should really be winning this. The players will be keen to impress their new boss and although it won’t be without some nervy moments, a win looks the go here for the home side.
Predicted Result: Stoke 2-1
Best Bet: Half-time Draw at $1.91
Best Value Bet: Half-time/full-time – Draw/Stoke at $5
West Ham vs Bournemouth
The Cherries hadn’t been playing particularly consistent and good football but their recent form reads very well. Undefeated in their last 4 including wins over Everton and Arsenal puts them in a great position for this match against West Ham. The Hammers themselves though are in good touch with just the sole loss in their last 6. This should be a pretty hard fought contest but West Ham at home have the edge.
Predicted Result: West Ham 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.9
Best Value Bet: West Ham to win and BTTS at $4
Manchester City vs Newcastle
There looks to be little hope for Newcastle here with Manchester City coming off their first defeat of the season and won’t be keen to make it 2 straight losses. 2 losses on the trot looks extremely unlikely anyway and they should be dispatching Newcastle with ease here. Newcastle do have some hope given they have played much better on the road than at home however they’ve also had big losses on the road and another looks likely.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 4-0
Best Bet: Manchester City -2 handicap at $1.91
Best Value Bet: Manchester City to score 4 or more goals at $2.4
Southampton vs Tottenham
These two played on Boxing day and although Southampton broke through Tottenham’s defence, they still lost heavily 5-2 and for the vast majority were outplayed. Since their last meeting Southampton have claimed just 2 points, 1 of which was very handy away at Manchester United. Tottenham on the other hand have been on a roll, besides their blip in the form of a 1-1 home draw to West Ham. Outside of that match, they’ve won their other 2 matches by an aggregate of 6-0. With Kane continuing his strong form it could be another tough day for the Saints. He scored 3 in that Boxing day win and has 4 in his last 2 matches in all competitions.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 4-1
Best Bet: Tottenham to win at $1.67
Best Value Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $3.31
Swansea vs Liverpool
Usually with Liverpool there’s a strong sense at times of a great football side that is terribly inconsistent. Their win over Manchester City last time out was big but it’ll be interesting to see how they recover from the euphoria of such a result to try and get 3 points on the road against a Swansea side that are desperate being at the bottom of the table. The last time these two met though, Liverpool ran out 5-0 winners and that’s certainly something Swansea will be wary of. As for a result at least, Liverpool should win but Swansea could push them all the way and particularly if Liverpool are a little lethargic.
Predicted Result: Liverpool 2-1
Best Bet: Liverpool to lead at half-time at $1.67
Best Value Bet: Swansea to score 1 exactly 1 goal at $2.7