There’s little time to catch our breath after a full run of mid-week fixtures which produced some fascinating results. Losses for Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal were pretty unexpected, particularly for the London clubs. Chelsea were stunned by a Bournemouth side that put not just 1 but 3 goals past the top 4 side. Similarly for Arsenal, they were perhaps a little complacent in their attempts to subdue Swansea who were coming off a stunning win over Liverpool to win again against one of the big clubs, 2-1. This weekend will make for some great football action considering that the top 4 race has become tighter with Tottenham’s excellent 2-0 win over Manchester United. The outcome of that match means that there is now just 5 points separating 2nd to 5th with Arsenal’s loss to Swansea seeing them drop 6 points behind 5th. As we get deeper into the 2nd half of the season, every result starts to become that little bit more important and it should serve to produce some great football this weekend.
Week 26 Best Bet: Brighton versus West Ham – 1st Half Draw at $1.83
Week 26 Best Value Bet: West Brom to beat Southampton at $2.5
Week 26 Head to Head Multi Bet: Manchester City win ($1.25), West Brom Win ($2.5), Crystal Palace win ($2), Chelsea win ($1.57) = $9.81
**Odds from Sportsbet.com.au as of 1st February
Burnley vs Manchester City
Burnley were perhaps lucky to end up with a point away to Newcastle last time out but they may need more than just luck to hold steady against Manchester City this weekend. City comfortably took care of West Brom during the week and although Burnley will be a sterner test away from home, expect them to get the job done. The last 2 visits by Manchester City to Burnley have been decided by no more than a goal – A 2-1 win to City and a 1-0 win to Burnley. Expect much the same here.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2.2
Best Value Bet: Half-time Draw at $2.5
Bournemouth vs Stoke
After such a stunning away win, this could be a dangerous match for Bournemouth. Winning 3-0 away from home and against a big club in Chelsea is a massive result but with a short turnaround to the visit of Stoke, you have to wonder if they can back it up even if it’s against a less superior side. Bournemouth may come out a little sluggish here as a result of such a big win and the euphoria that goes with it and Stoke will surely know that. The Potters are also starting to get some positive results under their new manager so there’s a good chance of a pretty competitive contest here. In the end though, despite the possibility of a flat Bournemouth side, expect this one to at least end in a draw. Bournemouth are undefeated in their last 6 league games and should at least be able to secure another result to make it 7 undefeated.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: BTTS – Yes at $1.72
Best Value Bet: Stoke to score 2 or more goals at $3
Brighton vs West Ham
Brighton’s early penalty against Southampton put them in a good position for a positive result and it will give them some momentum too ahead of hosting West Ham this weekend. The Hammers may be undefeated in their last 6 league games but they may find a stubborn opponent here in Brighton. Brighton have been a little loose in defence at home conceding 18 times in 12 games, but they’ve only lost 3 matches, 2 of which were a 5-1 loss to Liverpool and a 4-0 loss to Chelsea. That means they concede just a smidge over a goal a game but also score at least a goal a game at home. In saying that, West Ham are on a decent run of form away from home with 2 wins and 2 draws in their last 4 on the road and they should at the very least keep it to a draw here though a win isn’t out of the question.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Half-Time Draw at $1.83
Best Value Bet: Draw and BTTS at $4.5
Leicester vs Swansea
With 2 big scalps already, Swansea will be feeling pretty good about themselves and there’s no reason why they can’t back it up and claim another good win away at Leicester. Swansea will still be playing with plenty of fight and if they play anything like they did against Arsenal, a draw or win is a very real possibility. Leicester on the other hand have been on a pretty good run of home form, losing just once in their last 6. Their offensive capabilities makes them dangerous but seeing them lose at home, even against an improving Swansea, seems unlikely. It’d be massive for Swansea to win 3 in a row but away from home and after two big wins against sides that will generally control the game, they may have more time to think when they play Leicester here. A draw may be the right result here for both sides.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.73
Best Value Bet: Draw at $3.6
Manchester United vs Huddersfield
United will be eager to bounce back quickly after their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham and luckily for them they have a kinder fixture this weekend. They should be able to put that performance behind them pretty quickly considering their home record has only produce the one loss which came at the hands of arch rivals Manchester City. But perhaps what makes it tough here for Huddersfield is that defensively at home, United have been very solid. In 12 matches they’ve conceded just 5 goals but at the other end they’ve piled on 27. Huddersfield have the 3rd worst defensive record in the league away from home and that should show this weekend.
Predicted Result: Manchester United 4-0
Best Bet: Manchester United to Win to Nil at $1.63
Best Value Bet: Manchester United to win both halves at $2.1
West Brom vs Southampton
It was always going to be tough for the Baggies to snatch something away to Manchester City during the week, but they’ll fancy themselves here against Southampton. Adding some firepower in Daniel Sturridge will do no harm either and the psychological boost of such a player added to a home fixture should see them through to a positive result. A positive result is very much needed as they find themselves now at the bottom of the table. Their home record should be enough to see them through though given they’re now on a run of 5 matches undefeated in their last 6. The Saints have a lot of work to do but they might just fall short this weekend without adding to their single away win this season.
Predicted Result: West Brom 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.55
Best Value Bet: West Brom to win at $2.5
Arsenal vs Everton
This looks a really interesting fixture. Arsenal on one hand were certainly very poor last time out against Swansea but they have a boost of optimism in the form of a quality signing of Aubameyang. His addition makes for a fairly frightening front four of Lacazette, Ozil and Mkhitaryan. At the moment they need all the help they can get as well, particularly with Everton capturing a good win over Leicester at home during the week. In the end though, this is a difficult match to call because Arsenal are simply just not trustworthy at the moment winning just twice in their last 6 whilst Everton are underperforming for the quality they have through their squad. This could really go either way. Walcott too will be up and about for this one to prove something against his old side and manager.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: BTTS – Yes at $1.91
Best Value Bet: Half-time Draw at $2.63
Crystal Palace vs Newcastle
Palace need a win as much as Newcastle. Trusting Newcastle to get a win would be a bit of a risk though having only won 3 times on the road this season. Palace have only lost once in their last 6 at home so are well placed to produce another solid result here. Newcastle still need to find another avenue to goal and whilst the signing of Slimani from Leicester certainly helps, he is a striker that still needs to prove himself in this league and that may take more time.
Predicted Result: Crystal Palace 2-1
Best Bet: Crystal Palace to win either half at $1.54
Best Value Bet: Crystal Palace to lead at half-time at $2.63
Liverpool vs Tottenham
Prior to the Manchester United game, Tottenham may have been even bigger odds to capture anything from this game. Their 2-0 win however has returned a little bit of confidence within the team and they’ll no doubt come out hard against Liverpool here. Where Tottenham may find it difficult though is that Liverpool at the moment have a superior attack to that of United so they’ll need to adjust for that. Liverpool’s pace in particular will be a concern and Spurs have shown at times this season how vulnerable they can be compared to previous seasons. Ultimately this looks like a close contest and one which could see a number of goals. Tottenham’s front 4 on their day are just as potent as Liverpool and perhaps better balanced. The addition of Lucas Moura for the price looks a great bit of business and adds more potency off the bench if they need it. As for a result there’s enough optimism to feel that Tottenham can at least get a point though they’ll need to be on top of their game to get there.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.57
Best Value Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $2.47
Watford vs Chelsea
Chelsea suffered a horrible result last time out to lose 3-0 at home to Bournemouth but they need to bounce back quickly if they’re to avoid another poor performance here. They’ve actually now only won once in their last 4 league matches so clearly they’re out of touch a bit. The departure of backup striker Batshuayi was an interesting one because he has talent and is a proven goal scorer if not for a lack of opportunity. The addition of Giroud is perhaps the type of striker Conte is after though for his game style and it’ll be interesting to see how he fairs. Ultimately for this one, Chelsea look strong enough to bounce back given Watford haven’t won in their last 5 matches and are looking a little bit lost of late.
Predicted Result: Chelsea 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.79
Best Value Bet: Chelsea to lead at half-time at $2.1