Week 14 of the Premier League produced some big results with none bigger than Chelsea extending their lead at the top of the table with a big win over Manchester City. It wasn’t without controversy of course, but that just adds to the spectacle and drama that is the Premier League. There’s 7 points between the top 5 and just 1 separating 2nd to 4th. There may not be much change to the top 4 this weekend with each of the sides having winnable fixtures, on paper at least. But knowing that twists and turns of the Premier League, that may be a premature statement.
H to H Multi Bet: Arsenal win ($1.36), Liverpool win ($1.3), Manchester City win ($1.73), Tottenham/Man United Draw ($3.3) = $10.09
Match Day 15 Best Bet: Arsenal to win & Over 2.5 goals versus Stoke at $1.83
**Odds from Sportsbet as at 10th December
Watford vs Everton
Neither of these sides are playing the best of football lately and if anything that makes this a contest that looks pretty even. Everton have won just once in their last 5 whilst Watford have just the 2 wins. When you look at Everton’s away form, they haven’t been that great either with just 2 wins from 7 and losing their last 3 away. Whilst Watford aren’t the strongest of teams at home, on recent form they’ve only lost one of their last 5 home matches. Besides form challenges, both sides have some issues with injuries and suspensions. Everton will be without Bolasie for the rest of the season after doing his ACL last week. Regardless though, this looks a match that’s evenly matched. Watford are a capable side whilst Everton just need to find some form.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72 (80%)
Next Best: Half-time draw at $2
Arsenal vs Stoke
The Gunners might be 3 points off the top in 2nd place, but they’re in a very good position ahead of their home match against Stoke this weekend. Their last 5 matches they’ve scored 14 times and conceded just the 5 goals. As a comparison to Chelsea, who remain on an incredible run of form, they have 13 goals with just 2 conceded in their last 5. There’s not a huge amount of difference there apart from the win, loss and draw columns. It makes for a scary prospect for Stoke who whilst they themselves are in good form, may struggle to get a positive result here. Recent years has seen 6 straight wins for the Gunners when playing at home to Stoke. The Potters are an improving side and have more of a goal threat to them these days, but this Arsenal side is high on confidence after their 5-1 win over West Ham last week and they should win this.
Predicted score: Arsenal 3-1
Best Bet: Arsenal to win & Over 2.5 goals at $1.83 (90%)
Next Best: Arsenal -1 handicap at $1.91
Burnley vs Bournemouth
At first glance this looks an even match and it’s probably going to stay pretty even. Burnley have been on a bit of a poor run losing their last 3 whilst Bournemouth have won 2 of their last 3 but for most the season they have been inconsistent. Their win at home over Liverpool last weekend was a big upset and that may give them a boost in confidence. Problem is, their away form doesn’t lean itself towards them getting a win here. They have won just the once on the road this season. Burnley can hold their own against some of the lower sides but whilst they tend to be more defensively focused against the bigger sides, they may look to push forward a bit more here. That should see the game open up at both ends so goals should be had here.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Half-time Draw at $2 (75%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72
Hull vs Crystal Palace
They still find themselves in the bottom 3, but Hull will be hopping to give Crystal Palace another loss when they host the Londoners this weekend. Palace did break through finally for their 4th win of the season last week when they accounted for Southampton 3-0 in what was really a very good win (besides just being much needed). That should put them in a good place ahead of this match where Hull continue to look stretched with the limited squad that they have. Palace are a better side than what they have been playing like so far this season. The win over Southampton last weekend should see them spring into some form. Hull won’t make it easy, but Palace have a great opportunity to build some momentum in this busy Christmas fixture period coming up.
Predicted score: Crystal Palace 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2.01 (80%)
Next Best: Crystal Palace to win at $2.35
Swansea vs Sunderland
There’s little to like about Swansea at the moment. They were convincingly thumped last weekend away to Tottenham and whilst they may face another side that has struggled this season, they need to do a lot of convincing. Sunderland have at least got some runs on the board recently with 3 wins from their last 4 but the Welsh side still sit bottom of the table with just 2 wins for the season along with 31 goals conceded. Sometimes after such a big defeat there’s an expectation that there will be a response from that side the following week. There was a sense of that before their 5-0 loss to Tottenham when they beat Crystal Palace 5-4 the week prior. Problem though is that even with that win, they still haven’t convinced that defensively they have what it takes to get more points on the board. Sunderland look in a better place and getting a draw doesn’t look beyond them here.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Swansea to win either half at $1.57 (85%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.91
Leicester vs Manchester City
The reigning Champions continue to struggle in the league and the visit of Manchester City this weekend doesn’t make it easy to find some form again. Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Chelsea last time out as well in what was a game that they were looking like they would win early on. Things happen in football and now they’ll be without Aguero and Fernandinho this weekend after they both got late red cards against Chelsea whilst Otamendi misses after receiving 5 yellow cards already. That doesn’t necessarily make it easier for Leicester though as Manchester City are still a very good side and will be difficult to beat here. Leicester’s 3 wins from 14 games this season is a far cry from their achievements last season. Perhaps where they are now is about where they should have finished last season and they don’t look like they’ll get much out of this weekend.
Predicted score: Manchester City 2-1
Best Bet: Manchester City to win at $1.73 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.64
Chelsea vs West Brom
The Baggies are on their own good run of form with 3 wins from their last 4 that sees them sit in a strong position of 7th on the table. The big question this weekend is really if they can beat a Chelsea side that has won their last 8 matches and don’t look like slowing down anytime soon. They’ve also capped off that streak with Manager of the month, player of the month and goal of the month for November. Hardly surprising really given their form and this weekend should make for 9 in a row. Interestingly, West Brom have 2 draws against Chelsea in their last 3 visits to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea might look a different side now, especially compared to last season, but they may be a little more wary of a side like West Brom who have had some success against them. Whilst Chelsea look set to make this 9 in a row, if there’s a time when they are going to drop points then it’s going to be in a match like this. The Baggies are capable and sometimes it becomes more difficult to win the longer the streak goes on. I’m going for a high scoring draw here as a result and whilst Chelsea still look strong for a win here, there’s just a sense that West Brom have the capability to upset.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.62 (90%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $2.1
Manchester United vs Tottenham
This is perhaps the matchup of the round, even if Manchester United continue to struggle for form in the league. They may be undefeated in their last 5 matches, but 4 of those have been draws and they just don’t look like a side that is going to threaten to break into the top 4 right now. There’s a bit of fragility about them in those draws that they have had as well. Last week they let a 1-0 lead slip by giving away an 89th minute penalty to Everton. Prior to that they managed to cancel out an early West Ham goal for another 1-1 draw and then a week earlier they let another 1-0 lead slip by conceding late to Arsenal in the 89th minute. The task against Tottenham too isn’t going to be easy and although they themselves have struggled with a lot of draws, they have looked a more solid side defensively and have arguably better players in key positions across the pitch. The key point for Tottenham here is that they have Harry Kane back and in form with 7 goals in his last 6 appearances and with the expected return to the starting XI of Toby Alderweireld, their defence looks stronger. It’ll still be a close match but it doesn’t look like a match that Tottenham will lose.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.74 (80%)
Next Best: Double Chance Tottenham at $1.62
Southampton vs Middlesbrough
Last week was a tough loss for Southampton and perhaps a bit of a surprise to them by losing 3-0. They haven’t been in the greatest run of form though having now slipped to 12th with just 1 win from their last 6 matches. It makes for a tricky test this weekend when they host Middlesbrough who sit one place below them in 13th. One thing about Middlesbrough is that they will keep this tight. In their 14 matches this season, they’ve conceded just the 15 times which is a strong defensive showing from a newly promoted side. In comparison to their fellow promotes, Burnley have conceded 23 and Hull 29. On the road they have been difficult to beat as well where they have lost just 1 match. They won’t allow a lot of goals this weekend and even if Southampton manage a win, it’s not looking like multiple goals will get them the win.
Predicted score: Draw 0-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.6 (85%)
Next Best: Half-time draw at $2
Liverpool vs West Ham
An upset for Liverpool last time out at Bournemouth but now a great chance to return to form when they host West Ham this weekend. Defence was always the question mark on Liverpool’s title credentials and it showed last week. There’s a distinction for them though between their defence at home and their defence on the road which puts them in a strong position to bounce back here. Away from home they have conceded 14 times from 8 matches but at home they’ve only conceded 4 times. That doesn’t paint a good picture for West Ham who are struggling in 17th position on the table. Some of Liverpool’s spark has perhaps been loss with the absence of Coutinho, but regardless they look too strong for the struggling West Ham here.
Predicted score: Liverpool 3-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67 (75%)
Next Best: Over 3.5 goals at $2.06