The weekend has only just left us but we don’t have to wait another week before more Premier League action with a big round of Mid-week action ahead. There’s no real big match-up in this week’s fixtures, but there’s still sure to be plenty of action and with some teams such as Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City struggling for consistency, there’s still plenty of unknowns. At the top though, Chelsea continue to maintain their position by a game over Arsenal who sit comfortably in 2nd. From there things look up for grabs with Liverpool and Manchester City dropping points in recent weeks. With that, there’ll be plenty of pressure for results this week and that should make for some entertaining football.
**Odds from Sportsbet as at 12th December
Everton vs Arsenal
The poor run of form for Everton continues after another winless match at the weekend making it 5 matches without a win. The 3-2 loss the Watford has seen them slip to 9th on the table and with the visit of Arsenal, they could slip further after this round. The Gunners continue to perform well and tease that they may finally push for a title. To make it worse for Everton, Arsenal hold a very strong recent record over them where they have won the last 3 straight conceding just once. Everton haven’t been in great form up front with just the 4 goals in their last 5 and against an Arsenal side that has yet to lose on the road this season, the trend may continue here.
Predicted score: Arsenal 2-0
Best Bet: Arsenal to win at $1.83 (85%)
Next Best: Arsenal to lead at Half-Time at $2.3
Bournemouth vs Leicester
The reigning champions will hope to take some momentum from their fantastic win over Manchester City at the weekend. There were goals aplenty as Leicester stormed to a 4-0 lead before two late goals gave Manchester City some pride. It’ll be interesting to see how Leicester back up that performance against a side that won’t have as much possession as Manchester City did. Manchester City had a staggering 78% possession against Leicester and it was very much the style of play that won Leicester the title last season. Bournemouth will look to sit back a lot more and that will make it frustrating for Leicester as they will have less opportunities on the break. Their two meetings last season ended in a 1-1 draw and a 0-0 draw. The possession in those matches was pretty even whilst shots on target were also at a premium with just 8 combined between the two sides across both matches. It doesn’t mean this match will end up the same, but it should be contrastingly different to the result at the weekend between Leicester and Manchester City. Bournemouth can hold their own here and have only lost twice at home this season so expect a pretty hard fought match.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Half-time Draw at $2.1 (80%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.96
Middlesbrough vs Liverpool
Liverpool have dropped off the pace a little with just 1 point taken in their last two matches. The poor results can be attributed to a less than convincing defence having conceded 5 goals in those matches and it seems like those sort of results have been coming as they’ve only managed 3 clean sheets in 15 games this season. Middlesbrough make for a difficult opponent too given they don’t tend to concede a lot of goals especially given their position in the league. They sit in 16th yet have conceded 6 goals less than the next best defence from sides currently in the bottom 10. The problem they have is that they just don’t score enough goals and with the lowest goals scored in the league with just 13, it’s difficult to see them getting a winning score here.
Predicted score: Liverpool 2-0
Best Bet: Liverpool to win at $1.57 (80%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.96
Sunderland vs Chelsea
Chelsea will be looking to make it 10 straight wins when they take on Sunderland this week. The Black Cats may have bounced back to some better results lately winning 3 of their last 5, but they were outplayed against another struggling side in Swansea at the weekend when they lost 3-0. The story for Sunderland from here on will be inconsistency which could see them produce a more solid performance against Chelsea but on the flipside they could fall apart. Chelsea may have a few anxious moments as the desire to get to 10 straight wins could have an affect on their performance, rather than focusing on the game and approach to that game by itself. Sunderland have had their successes in the recent pass over Chelsea. They had a 3-2 home win in their last meeting as well as a draw and a 2-1 win over their last 5 meetings. In the end, Chelsea should win but it could be one of those matches where the unexpected happens.
Predicted score: Chelsea 1-0
Best Bet: Both teams to score – No at $1.91 (85%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $2.33
West Ham vs Burnley
The Hammers continue to flirt with the relegation zone though they did have a more positive result at the weekend with an away 2-2 draw at Liverpool. Burnley at home looks a completely different proposition and one where they should be able to claim their fourth win of the season. Burnley have been horrible away and the Hammers haven’t been that much better at home, they should get a win here. Burnley still have just the 1 goal scored in 6 away games which is really just terrible and it’s difficult to see them adding to that this weekend.
Predicted score: West Ham 2-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.91 (70%)
Next Best: West Ham to win at $1.67
Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
Manchester United gained a much needed win at the weekend with a 1-0 win over Tottenham giving them a good push towards keeping in touch with the top 5. They still sit 6 points off fourth places Manchester City, but it’s a better position thanks to City’s loss at the weekend. They take on Crystal Palace this week who have had their fair share of poor results this season but look a much better side over their last 2 matches. A win over Southampton and a draw at Hull still isn’t that convincing but it’s a far cry from their previous results. It’s difficult to see either side winning this and even despite Manchester United’s obvious strengths, Palace on paper still have enough quality to cause an unsettling result for Mourinho’s United here. United still need to convince and their inconsistent performances continues to put a question mark on them.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – yes at $1.72 (75%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2.2
West Brom vs Swansea
A solid defensive performance from the Baggies saw them achieve a respectable 1-0 away loss at Chelsea on the weekend. They now face a totally different proposition here with Swansea. Swansea have found a little bit of form surrounding a thumping from Tottenham giving them 2 wins from their last 3. Their wins haven’t been against opposition that is overly strong or in form, but it does give them some confidence. Problem is, West Brom look too strong for them at home. They’ve won 3 of their last 5 at home and with Swansea not overly convincing this season, it’s hard to see them getting an away win here.
Predicted score: West Brom 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.75 (80%)
Next Best: West Brom to win either half at $1.52
Manchester City vs Watford
Title favourites at the start of the Season, Manchester City have fallen away with 2 straight losses to Chelsea and then Leicester at the weekend. A key to that has been a flood of goals breaking through their defence with 5 conceded in their last 2. Some of those of course can be attributed to ill discipline through red cards thus compounding the pressure on their defence, but it’s not a great sign. Watford have been in good form this season too as shown by their current position of 7th on the table. The problem they have like a number of other sides though is that conceding goals has been a little bit of a problem and perhaps why they don’t have more points. 26 goals conceded of which 14 have come away from home doesn’t suggest a trend either way other than that they just don’t have a solid defence. City have been poor but expect them to bounce back this week.
Predicted score: Manchester City 3-1
Best Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $2 (80%)
Next Best: Manchester City to lead at Half-Time at $1.62
Stoke vs Southampton
The Potters had a tough fixture at the weekend losing to Arsenal 3-1 but have a good chance to redeem themselves at home against Southampton here. Separated by just a point, both these sides will be keen for the win with the opportunity to jump to 7th a great reward depending on other results. The edge looks to be with Stoke though as Southampton haven’t been great on the road this season with 4 losses from 7. Some of those matches were winnable too with their most recent away games to Crystal Palace and Hull resulting in poor losses. That’s in contrast to draws at Leicester and Manchester City though it also suggests some inconsistent performances. Stoke are a difficult side to play so Southampton’s best hope here may be for just a draw but Stoke should be winning this.
Predicted score: Stoke 2-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – yes at $1.83 (75%)
Next Best: Stoke to win at $3.1
Tottenham vs Hull
Spurs have been struggling for wins lately with just 2 in their last 6 matches. A match up with Hull presents a good opportunity at a time when they desperately need a win heading into the busy Christmas fixture period. Hull haven’t had a lot of luck on the road with just the 4 points taken from 7 matches whilst their defensive record doesn’t lie in terms of their chances in this one. 17 goals conceded and just the 5 goals scored should have Tottenham up and about for a big win. This could be a match similar to when Tottenham beat Swansea 5-0 a few weeks ago. Both sides have been struggling and Tottenham may take advantage in a big way.
Predicted score: Tottenham 3-0
Best Bet: Tottenham to win to Nil at $1.91 (90%)
Next Best: Tottenham to win & Over 2.5 goals at $1.66