The Premier League is back with mid-week action after a weekend full of FA Cup fixtures. Although Chelsea still sit comfortably at the top of the table, there’s plenty of interesting fixtures this week that have the potential to change things at the top. First and foremost, Liverpool host Chelsea Wednesday morning. Although Liverpool haven’t been in the greatest of form lately, there’s the potential there for them to step up against one of the big 6. A somewhat upset win for Liverpool would certainly make things a little more interesting with Arsenal potentially moving to just 5 points off the pace. Off the pitch though, there’ll also be plenty of action with the close of the January transfer window where there’ll be plenty of action at the bottom end of the table with sides looking to boost their chances of survival. So no matter where you look this week, there’ll be plenty going on.
**Odds from Sportsbet as at 30th Jan
Match Day 23 Best Bet: Sunderland vs Tottenham Over 2.5 goals at $1.9
Head to Head multi Bet: Arsenal Win ($1.22), West Brom Win ($3.1), Tottenham Win ($1.36), Manchester City Win ($1.53) = $7.87
Arsenal vs Watford
The Gunners are 8 points off the top and whilst they’ll be hoping for an upset Liverpool win over Chelsea, they need to get past Watford here. They should do so with relative ease having won 4 of their last 5 whilst having also only lost once at home this season. Watford at the moment look a side short on confidence. They have only taken 9 points on the road this season and their last league win was back on 10th December when they beat Everton 3-2. Against an attacking threat such as Arsenal, there doesn’t look to be much hope here.
Predicted score: Arsenal 3-0
Best Bet: Arsenal Half-time/Full-Time at $1.72 (90%)
Next Best: Arsenal to win both halves at $2.5
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
The Cherries have been inconsistent this season. They’ve shown their capabilities with an away win over Liverpool but they just can’t seem to string anything together. They haven’t put together 2 straight wins this season and in their last 6 games they’ve managed just the 5 points thanks to conceding 14 goals. They do however face a side this week in a similar albeit worse off position in Crystal Palace. Palace is a side that should be much higher up the table with the talent that they do have but they are now in real danger of relegation sitting in 18th. They’ve lost their last 4 now and face a tricky test to break through here against Bournemouth. Palace should come good but it’s a perhaps a matter more of when rather than if. At this stage it’s difficult to see them getting anything more than a draw in this one.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.86
Burnley vs Leicester
Over half way through the season it’s still quite startling to see Burnley have the 4th best home record in the league. That form at this stage should see them survive and they are in a good position to continue their form against Leicester this week. The reigning champions have the 2nd worst away record in the league. They haven’t scored a lot of goals (just the 8) and have just 3 points away from home (3 draws). Burnley have that winning edge at home and should continue that here.
Predicted score: Burnley 1-0
Best Bet: Burnley Draw No Bet at $2.03 (85%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.62
Middlesbrough vs West Brom
Middlesbrough are in an ok position at the moment but they need to start gathering some more points being just 4 points off the drop. The task isn’t easy this week with the Baggies to visit who have been a very good side this season. On recent form they’ve won 3 of their last 4 and when you look at their away form it’s very good when you take out results against top 4 sides. They’ve lost 5 times away from home this season with 4 of those coming against Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea. What will make it tricky for the Baggies is that Middlesbrough have been inconsistent in their home form. From that you really don’t know what Middlesbrough you’ll get here. With West Brom the more consistent of the two, they’re more likely to get a positive result here.
Predicted score: West Brom 2-1
Best Bet: West Brom to win either half at $2.13 (85%)
Next Best: West Borm to win at $3.1
Sunderland vs Tottenham
The 3rd placed Tottenham have a fantastic home record this season but on the road they haven’t been as consistent. They have 4 wins, 5 draws and 2 losses away and their 2 most recent performances in the FA Cup and the league leave a lot to be desired. They got out of jail in both of those matches against Manchester City and league 2 side Wycombe. They’re not a side that will keep performing poorly though and even if they aren’t at their best, they should win here. Sunderland don’t have the firepower to get past the 2nd best defence in the league (only 15 goals scored) nor do they have the defence to keep Tottenham’s attack quiet.
Predicted score: Tottenham 3-0
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.90 (90%)
Next Best: Tottenham to win to Nil at $2.1
Swansea vs Southampton
There’s plenty to be concerned about for the Saints even against a Swansea side that has only just scraped their way out of the relegation zone. Southampton’s issues reside with their defence now that they have sold Fonte and have an injured Van Dijk. Van Dijk in particular is a big loss and stretches Southampton’s depth here defensively against a Swansea side that has built up some confidence with 2 wins in their last 3. It isn’t always that simple of course where Southampton could still perform to a level where they do get something from this but Swansea look the side to beat in this one, just.
Predicted score: Swansea 2-1
Best Bet: Swansea Draw No Bet at $2.19 (80%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.8
Liverpool vs Chelsea
This is a tough one. On one hand you have a side that is way ahead at the top of the table 8 points clear and on the other hand you have a side that has become somewhat an Enigma. Liverpool are capable of excellent attacking displays but they are just constantly let down by their defence. Their last 3 matches in particular speaks of that in volumes. They lost at home to a struggling Swansea side before a late 1-0 loss to Southampton in the EFL Cup Semi final which was then followed by a 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton in the FA Cup at home. All 3 of these matches were at home and regardless of the players who played in those, those losses will have an affect on the entire squad. Perhaps though this is the perfect time to play the league leaders and a positive result would show exactly how unpredictable this Liverpool side can be. Surely Chelsea won’t be complacent but there’s a lot of danger in this Liverpool side so for them to drop points wouldn’t be unreasonable.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72 (80%)
Next Best: Chelsea to win either half at $1.91
West Ham vs Manchester City
City need a win here given they sit in 5th and now 12 points of the pace set by Chelsea. They’re last 5 matches have produced just the 2 wins but they should be favourites for this one at West Ham. The Hammers have found some form winning their last 2 but wins over Middlesbrough and Palace are a bit different to playing one of the top 6. City’s last visit to West Ham was earlier this month when they thumped the hosts 5-0 in the FA Cup. West Ham didn’t exactly throw in a second string against City and they may find it pretty difficult to get anything from here. City were unlucky not to convincingly win against Tottenham having let a 2-0 lead slip but their 3-0 win over Palace in the FA Cup gives them some momentum here.
Predicted score: Manchester City 3-1
Best Bet: Manchester City to win at $1.53 (85%)
Next Best: Manchester City -1 handicap at $2.4
Manchester United vs Hull
It’s a tough ask for Hull sitting in 19th to go to Manchester United and get a result. Given their predicament though, they’re sure to show plenty of fight for the remainder of the season but that fight may need to wait a little longer. A Home match against Liverpool this weekend presents a more favourable opportunity in comparison. Back to this one though and it’s difficult to see United losing. United are on a 13 game undefeated streak and with just one loss at home all season, a win looks the more than likely result here.
Predicted score: Manchester United 2-0
Best Bet: Manchester United to win to Nil at $1.72 (80%)
Next Best: Manchester United to lead at Half-time at $1.53
Stoke vs Everton
This shapes as a pretty good contest between Stoke and Everton. The visitors have won their last 3 straight and are undefeated in their last 5 whilst Stoke have 2 wins in their last 3. Stoke’s home form presents a test for a revived Everton where they haven’t always had it their way at Stoke. Everton have just the 1 win in their last 5 visits to Stoke with those meetings producing 3 draws as well. Given how both sides are currently travelling, a draw looks a fitting result and one where both sides probably wouldn’t be too disappointed with. Stoke are comfortably in the top 10 right now and should stay there by the end of the season whilst Everton moving into the top 6 right now seems a big ask.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Half-time draw at $2 (75%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67