English Premier League Game Week 12 Preview

English Premier League - Football

It’s felt like an eternity, but the Premier League is back and we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend of matchups for the week 12 preview. We first start with the Merseyside Derby between Everton and Liverpool and with both sides having had a great first 11 games, it has the makings of a great contest. Another game I’m quite looking forward to is Arsenal hosting Southampton. There’s no doubt Arsenal have led the way this year at the top of the table, but I’m inclined to think that Southampton have been by far the most impressive side. For a side in their second year in since being promoted for the 2012/13 season, they have been super impressive sitting in 3rd whilst only conceding 5 goals. It should be a cracking contest so long as they can maintain that form into this weekend. Another big game to take place this weekend is between Manchester City and Tottenham. Both sides are top 4 candidates but have both stuttered this season. This is certainly a must win game with both sides coming off a loss before the international break.

Best Bets this week:

Newcastle to Beat Norwich at $1.81

West Brom and Aston Villa – both teams to core at $1.84

Great Value this week:

Chelsea half Time/Full Time at $2.60 looks great value

Betting odds from Betfair as at 22/11/13

Everton ($3.05) Vs Liverpool ($2.6), Draw ($3.4)

Everton have yet to notch a win over Liverpool in their past 6 meetings but they have drawn the last two in what is shaping as the matchup of the weekend given that this is also a derby. Everton are in need of a goal though having come off two 0-0 draws with Tottenham and Crystal Palace. Liverpool seem to be in cruise control having scored 16 in their past 6 with their only real hiccups being the draw with Newcastle and loss to Arsenal. With Liverpool’s frontline of Sturridge and Suarez having so far been deadly in front of goal, this could well come down to how well they can play coming off an international break.

Liverpool looks fantastic value here at $2.60 for the win given their goal scoring prowess thus far this season, however their away form has been a little up and down with 2 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss. Draws to Newcastle and Swansea should really have been wins given the form they have been in, but they lack a bit of class in midfield when up against sides with quality throughout the centre of the park. Everton is one of those sides that can more than match this Liverpool midfield with the likes of McCarthy, Barry, Osman, Pienaar and Mirrallas. My fear for Liverpool here is that they come out flat the way they did against Newcastle and whilst that may not necessarily happen, I think Everton will be more than up for this to push this to a 3rd straight draw between the two.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.71 – Lukaku and Suarez?

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Arsenal ($1.66) Vs Southampton ($6.2), Draw ($4.2)

This is another really exciting matchup with 1st hosting the surprising 3rd placed Southampton whom have been equally as impressive as Arsenal this season. This Southampton side has been absolutely fantastic defensively having only conceded 5 goals in 11 games. Perhaps tellingly though, is that whilst they have been defensively sound, they have only scored 4 goals in their 5 away games which suggests they play a tighter game away. This weekend should be no different against a top side oozing quality throughout.

Arsenal have won their past 4 at home and should be able to notch another win here in what should be a low scoring affair. Southampton won’t let much through their solid defence and Arsenal will need Ozil and co to be on song if they are to get the break through. With Southampton somewhat struggling to score away and against a big side like Arsenal this should end in a low scoring win to Arsenal. Look for a 1-0 or 2-0 win to the Gunners here.

Predicted result: Arsenal 1-0

Best bet: Arsenal to win at $1.66

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Fulham ($3.4) Vs Swansea ($2.4), Draw ($3.4)

A leaky Fulham side take on Swansea this weekend with plenty of pressure on the home side to shore up a defence that has conceded 9 goals in their last 3 games. Their real problem though isn’t their defence, but more so their attack. In comparison to the same time frame last season, Fulham had conceded 19 goals (same as 13/14 thus far) and had scored 24 goals compared to 10 goals this season. Perhaps it’s down to Berbatov given that he has only scored once in the top flight this year whilst new recruit Darren Bent has only contributed 2 league goals. Their next problem is that Swansea are no pushovers and have a solid defensive away record having only conceded 4 times on the road although they have lost 3 of their 5 away games.

Considering the above I’d suggest the game is quite in the balance. There is plenty of pressure on Jol to get his side performing and scoring. Adding to the pressure at Fulham is that they have appointed a new head coach to work under Jol with Meulensteen joining having worked under Sir Alex Ferguson at Man United. This go one of two ways. It’ll give the players a boost with a new voice on the sidelines to support and guide them or it can add a sense of uncertainty that perhaps if they don’t perform then Jol will be gone in the near future with Meulensteen taking charge. Whilst I don’t think the long term future of Jol is bright at Fulham, I think they’ll bounce back for a positive result at home to at least grab a point here.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1

Best bet: Both teams to score at $1.89

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Hull ($1.86) Vs Crystal Palace ($5.4), Draw ($3.55)

The troubled and still manager-less Crystal Palace travel to Hull this weekend in what looks to be an interesting encounter. Whilst Palace played well in their last game against Everton to grab a point, it was only their 4th of the season and after 11 games it’s a very poor start. They’ve also only scored 6 goals of which 2 have come in their past 8 games and whilst Hull have only scored 3 more than Palace, they have 10 more points. I think one of the key things to note for this game is that Hull have only conceded 1 goal at home this season and are yet to lose at home as well. For a side like Crystal Palace to come and get something from this game, it’ll likely need to be a goalless draw.

Hull haven’t been the most prolific side by any means but they have showed a huge amount of determination and given their home record I can’t see them having a huge amount of trouble against Palace here. I can’t see Hull knocking 3 or 4 past them, but a 1 or 2 goal win seems fitting.

Predicted result: Hull 2-0

Best bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.70

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Newcastle ($1.81) Vs Norwich ($5), Draw ($3.9)

Newcastle host Norwich this weekend and with both sides notching victories against Tottenham and West Ham respectively last time out, neither side will be short on confidence. Newcastle are the clear and deserved favourites given their win over Tottenham pushed them into 9th. We mustn’t forget either their impressive win over Chelsea the week prior which has no doubt put some belief amongst this talented group. Whilst Norwich’s win has pushed them out of the relegation zone, it’s not enough for me to feel that they can get the 3 points this weekend.

Newcastle’s only concern this weekend will be that of covering Debuchy who will miss this game having already collected 5 yellow cards. Whilst it’s a blow it’s certainly not a game changer for me against Norwich at home. The big key for me here for Newcastle has been their midfield strength and Loci Remy. Newcastle’s midfield of Cabaye along with Tiote and Sissoko should be too much for a Norwich side that has struggled away conceding 14 goals in 5 games.

Predicted result: Newcastle 2-0

Best bet: Newcastle to win at $1.81

Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Stoke ($2.16) Vs Sunderland ($4), Draw ($3.4)

Stoke hosts Sunderland this week in what should be an interesting game. Stoke have typically been strong at home having only lost once and only conceded 3 goals whilst their opponents have only gained the 1 point from their 5 away games. These two are in contrasting form patches at the moment though with Stoke having started so impressively with 2 wins from 3 games at the start of the season to have now not won a game since. Sunderland meanwhile have won 2 of their last 3 (against Newcastle and Manchester City) when they had not won a game in their first 8 starts. It seems as though Poyet has sparked a mini revival since taking over and things are looking on the up.

The last 3 meetings between these two have seen 3 goals scored compared to the prior 3 which saw 11 scored. Given Stoke’s solid home record for not conceding a lot of goals, this is likely to follow a similar trend in that it’s unlikely to venture over 2.5 goals. Neither side to me is good enough to get the win, but a draw is looking a likely outcome given Stoke are hard to break down whilst Sunderland’s mini revival has not incorporated good away form thus far.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1

Best bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.68

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

West Ham ($6.4) Vs Chelsea ($1.64), Draw ($4.2)

West Ham take on Chelsea at home this weekend in a London derby that looks pretty one sided on paper at least. In West Ham’s favour will be Chelsea’s indifferent form having lost to Newcastle and scraping through for a draw against West Brom. It’s a tough fixture for West Ham regardless having not registered a win in their past 4 games. They also have a growing injury list with the likes of Winston Reid and Ricardo Vaz Te injured adding to that of Andy Carroll among others. It certainly provides a few headaches for Big Sam selection wise this weekend against a Chelsea side determined to bounce back with a win.

Chelsea have only had the one away win this season but given West Ham’s compounding injuries and poor home form, they should be able to notch up their second away win. Chelsea have also won 4 of the last 5 between these two of which 4 have been over 2.5 goals. With West Ham’s depleted defence and Chelsea’s prowess up front it should be another over 2.5 goal finish here.

Predicted result: Chelsea 3-0

Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.95 with the value on Chelsea for the Half Time/Full Time at $2.6

Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Manchester City ($1.71) Vs Tottenham ($5.8), Draw ($4)

The most prolific side takes on one of the best defences in the league as Tottenham travel to take on Manchester City. This is sure to be an interesting affair given the contrasting fortunes for both sides in front of goal as well as defensively. Man City have been irresistible at home with 5 wins straight of which they have piled on 20 goals whilst only conceding twice. Whilst Tottenham have had indifferent form, their away form has been solid having only conceded once for 3 wins, a draw, and a loss. It certainly makes for an intriguing encounter between these two given these statistics in contrast to their last 4 meetings which have seen 18 goals scored.

Tottenham’s inability to convert chances into goals is an interesting one because there is no doubt they are creating plenty of clear cut chances, they have just been perhaps a bit unlucky coming up against goal keepers playing a blinder or not taking those chances more clinically. It’s bound to click at some stage, however I’m not sure if it will against City this weekend. This will be a tight game but with Aguero and Negredo up front, the Spurs backline have a big task in trying to keep a clean sheet. A 1-0 win to City looks likely at this stage unless we see Tottenham break the shackles with some goals.

Predicted result: Manchester City 1-0

Best bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2.08 looks good value despite recent score lines between these two.

Best Bet Confidence: 70%

Cardiff ($6.2) Vs Manchester United ($1.67), Draw ($4.1)

Perhaps one of the tougher away trips here with Manchester United travelling to Cardiff this weekend with a no doubt hostile reception to greet them. Cardiff have been impressive at times this season more so at home than away but have so far built a good foundation for the remainder of the season. Their past 5 games though have been a little down on their first 6 with only the 4 points of a possible 15. Their task is certainly not easy this weekend either with Manchester United looking like they have their mojo back. 4 wins from their past 5 as well as 4 goals from main man RVP has put them in good stead and a point outside of the top 4. A win here will certainly put their title defence back on track.

This could well be another game where this Cardiff side puts up a great performance like they did against Manchester City earlier this season, however I feel that Manchester United’s resurgence in their past 4 or 5 games puts them in a strong position here. I think it’ll be close as United haven’t exactly dominated the score board in their past 5 games, but they should get the win with a 1 goal margin likely.

Predicted result: Manchester United 2-1

Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.87

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

West Brom ($2.14) Vs Aston Villa ($3.9), Draw ($3.5)

The final game of the weekend see’s West Brom host Aston Villa with both sides only separated by goal difference on the table. West Brom were a little unlucky to not sneak the 3 points off Chelsea in their last game but will take the positives out of it given they took a point off a top 4 and title contender in Chelsea. They’ll view this game as a winnable game though, especially given Aston Villa have only scored 2 goals in their past 5 games of which they came in their last game against Cardiff.

Recent meetings between these two sides have been close with their last 3 ending in draws and their previous 3 to this being 1 goal margins with the Baggie’s taking 2 wins and Villa the other. This should be another relatively close game with perhaps the result resting on the form of Benteke who is the biggest threat to West Brom getting the 3 points. He hasn’t scored since returning from injury, but there is no doubting his quality. Both sides should score here with Villa’s goal scoring woes behind them and a draw looking the likely result for me. 5 of the last 6 between these two both teams have scored with 4 of the last 6 games for West Brom seeing both sides score as well.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1

Best bet: Both teams to score at $1.84

Best Bet Confidence: 85%

 

Author

mm

Goal

As an Australian growing up AFL was always my no.1 sport especially given I was lucky enough to grow up a few blocks from Carlton’s home ground, Princes Park, where I was lucky enough to attend many games. That’s where my passion for sport began but it was until the early 2000’s when I discovered a real passion for football with the Socceroos 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay accelerating my football journey. From there I began to follow the Premier League and haven’t looked back since. These days I’m a massive Tottenham fan where I’ve enjoyed many sleepless nights religiously watching them without missing a game despite many roller coaster feelings. There’s just something magical and glamorous when you watch the EPL and knowing the Profits owners Drew and Euan through studies, I’m now lucky enough to be able to share my thoughts on each game each week of the season.

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