It’s another week of fantastic matchups with the likes of Chelsea versus Arsenal and Tottenham versus Manchester United to entertain us. Chelsea needs an injection of confidence if they are to beat Arsenal as their home form has been well below par whilst Spurs will need plenty of luck again if they are to repeat their heroics when they beat United at Old Trafford earlier in the season. Either way it makes for a fascinating weekend of football as always. There’s plenty going on in the transfer market as well with QPR perhaps looking the most active so far and it will be interesting to see if the players they bring in can save them from relegation. It’d be fantastic viewing if they can stay in the top flight from the position they are in at the moment.
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Value Option: Everton looks good value at $2.08 to beat Southampton despite the Saint’s strong performance against Chelsea midweek to draw 2-2.
Multi option: Liverpool to win @ $1.32, Stoke Double Chance @ $1.6, Man City/Fulham over 2.5 goals @ $1.52 = $3.21. Adding Everton at $2.08 to beat Southampton is another option.
Wigan ($2.2) Versus Sunderland ($3.7), Draw ($3.5)
- Wigan Last 5:LLWLD
- 1 win at home in their last 5 home games
- Failed to score on 8 occasions
- Sunderland Last 5:WWLLW
- Yet to win a game when the opposition scores first (8 times, 1 draw, 7 losses)
Sunderland took Wigan to town last time they visited DW stadium and this could be a repeat if the Black Cats can replicate the same performance they showed against West Ham. Wigan is just holding off from relegation through goal difference and desperately need a win at home to relieve the pressure mounting on Martiniez. With Wigan only recording two wins at home from 11 matches, Sunderland look like the safer choice however we can’t see past a draw as Sunderland did lose their last match to Championship side Bolton 2-0 at home.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Betting Option: None
West Ham ($2.1) Versus QPR ($4.1), Draw ($3.5)
- West Ham Last 5:DLLWL
- 3 Goals For in the last 5 games – Can Carroll start scoring on his return?
- QPR Last 5:LLLWD
- Only 2 losses in their last 5 at home but only 4 goals scored – desperately need a striker.
A QPR revival is starting to kick into gear under Redknapp with an impressive result against Chelsea and a stubborn draw against Spurs. The signing of Remy will add much needed firepower to the team, while the pending transfer of M’Villa will only strengthen their midfield. West Ham has their own problems in front of goal scoring only 3 in their last 5 games so they desperately need one of their strikers to hit form. Carroll has been on the mend but he has been a terrible signing so far thanks to injury. Rangers are slowly building confidence and form, the Hammers will truly test how much Harry has influenced the team. QPR are our pick and will continue their resurgence.
Predicted result: QPR win 2-1
Betting Option: QPR win @ $4.1 (Great value for a sneaky one)
Swansea ($2.2) Versus Stoke ($3.8), Draw ($3.4)
- Swansea Last 5:DDWDD
- 1 win in their last 5 at home. In their last 5 home and away they are undefeated.
- Stoke Last 5:DWDLL
- Still the meanest defence in the league? Over the last ten games they’ve conceded 13 goals. As a comparison, Tottenham has conceded 6 goals in their last ten – Overtaken?
Stoke’s defence has taken a battering over the past three games conceding 10 goals, nearly half of what they have conceded in 22 games. Swansea’s home form has been poor with one win in 5 however they are undefeated in their past 5. Stoke will be looking to put their poor performances behind them and this would be a great opportunity to jump their table neighbours. Michu has been talked about all season but can he continue to carry Swansea for the rest of the season with his 13 goals so far? Stoke found some redemption through their FA cup win against Crystal Palace and should bring that fight to Liberty Stadium. Close game but the Potters defensive rocks in Shawcross and Huth should keep Michu quiet while Jones and Walters’s combination will be a potent threat up forward.
Predicted result: Stoke win 2-1
Betting Option: Stoke double chance @ $1.60
Newcastle ($1.8) Versus Reading ($5), Draw ($3.95)
- Newcastle Last 5:WLLLD
- Along with West Brom they have conceded the most goals (11) in the final 15 mins though only 3 at home.
- Reading Last 5:LDWLW
- Only scored 1 goal in the second half in away games all season
Home form will be crucial for Newcastle if they are to stop their downfall. Their last home win was against QPR another relegation struggler. Reading’s style of play look to be finally rewarding them with 2 wins in 3 matches. This could possibly determine which team beats the drop but Newcastle need Cisse to step up and fill the void Ba left in the team. The Royals were lucky to escape with victory after an incredible 3 goal comeback late on against WBA. If they continue to show that fighting spirit for the rest of the season they might just get themselves out of the bottom three. Magpies should just be too strong for Reading as they haven’t won away from home all season.
Predicted result: Newcastle win 2-1
Betting Option: None
Liverpool ($1.32) Versus Norwich ($12), Draw ($5.8)
- Liverpool Last 5:WLWWL
- Excellent home record over their last 5 games – 4 wins and 1 loss conceding only 3 goals.
- Norwich Last 5:LLLLD
- 1 win away in their last 5 away
The Reds suffered defeat to the hands of their arch rivals last weekend and will look to rectify their slow start in the first half that saw them concede cheaply. Sturridge has been a breath of fresh air scoring twice in two matches and along with Borini returning back from injury Rodger’s has plenty of options up forward now. Look for the three forwards to start in the coming matches. Norwich has not won in 5 games and this looks like mission impossible if Suarez continues his tradition of scoring hatrick’s against them. Reds domination of possession will be expected and an easy win should be on the cards for the Liverpool faithful.
Predicted result: Liverpool win 3-1
Betting Option: Liverpool win @ $1.32
Manchester City ($1.27) Versus Fulham ($14), Draw ($6.6)
- Manchester City Last 5:WLWWW
- Scored 12 goals in their last 5 at home and only conceded 4
- Fulham Last 5:LDLWD
- Good record at the Etihad with 2 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss in their last 5 visits.
The last time these two played at the Etihad it ended in a 3-0 win to City to give them their first win over Fulham in their last 5 meetings there. It’s no secret that City has not been performing to the levels they were at last season but in recent weeks there are signs of improvement in relation to their goal scoring efforts. Their last 3 games they’ve averaged 3 goals whereas their prior 3 games only averaged 1.33 goals and key to this is their recent opposition included the likes of Stoke and Arsenal. Fulham had a lucky escape in their FA cup tie with Blackpool after leaving Berbatov and Ruiz out so expect these two critical players to return. Even with the likes of Yaya Toure out on International duty, City look strong and have enough depth to get the points here against Fulham. Watch for Berbatov to cause plenty of trouble – he’s been fantastic this season and a joy to watch.
Predicted result: Manchester City 2-1
Betting Option: Over 2.5 goals at $1.52
West Brom ($1.73) Versus Aston Villa ($5.6), Draw ($4)
- WBA Last 5:WWLLL
- Still on a downward trend with only 7 goals in their last 8 games – positive is that Lukaku is starting to terrorise defences with 4 of these 7.
- Aston Villa Last 5:LLLDL
- Failed to score on 10 occasions.
3 losses on the trot and a loss to QPR in their FA cup tie during the week leaves West Brom searching for answers and it’s hard to see where things have gone so drastically wrong. The positive is that Lukaku is scoring regularly in recent weeks and he’ll be a focal point again in this one. Their last game against Reading would have been shattering for the players having been 2-0 up but it was clear that Lukaku was dominating the Reading defence. Villa is still struggling still both on the pitch and with injuries and we can see Lukaku causing plenty of problems for Villa’s young defence.
Predicted result: WBA 2-1
Betting Option: none
Chelsea ($1.86) Versus Arsenal ($4.6), Draw ($3.9)
- Chelsea Last 5:WDLWD
- Need to improve their home record with their last 5 at home resulting in 1 win, 3 draws and a loss.
- Arsenal Last 5:WWWDL
- Undefeated in their last 5 away albeit against mostly bottom half opposition.
Losing a 2-0 lead over Southampton to draw 2-2 will have been a dent to Chelsea’s confidence when they host Arsenal this week. Is it complacency when they get in front at home? It’s something that has to be addressed and Arsenal will be no easy game to remedy this issue. Though Arsenal lost to Manchester City 2-0, they still played well when they were down to 10 men early on. Their strong away record in the last 5 and the poor form of Chelsea at home suggests this one should be an interesting affair at the very least. Arsenal has a great chance to get the 3 points here but this one should end in a draw.
Predicted result: Draw 2-2
Betting Option: Both teams to score at $1.63
Tottenham ($2.98) Versus Manchester United ($2.54), Draw ($3.6)
- Tottenham Last 5:DWWWD
- Conceded only 6 goals in the last 10 games
- Not beaten Man Utd in their last 5 meetings at White Hart Lane.
- Manchester United Last 5:DWWWW
- RVP still on fire scoring in each of the last 4 PL games
Tottenham stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford earlier in the season when they managed to hang on to a possession dominant United team 3-2. Since then, Manchester United has only lost once in another shock defeat to Norwich. Tottenham will no doubt be affected by the loss of Sandro to a knee injury but they do have Parker fit and ready to start. This will be an intriguing game with Spurs very strong in defence over their last 10 whilst United has been potent in attack scoring 27 goals over their last 10. Tottenham are certainly capable but their draw with QPR makes one wonder whether they are at the start New Year form slump. The return of Rooney during the week against West Ham in the FA Cup only makes it harder to Spur’s chances here.
Predicted result: Manchester United 2-1
Betting Option: Over 2.5 goals at $1.71
Southampton ($4) Versus Everton ($2.08), Draw ($3.6)
- Southampton Last 5:DDDWD
- Yet to defeat a top half side
- Everton Last 5:WWLWD
- On a great run of form with only 1 loss in their last 10
Southampton had a fantastic and deserved draw during the week against Chelsea and again showed the rest of the competition that they can mix it with the big boys. They’ll again need to show this sort of form against Everton when they host them this round. Everton has been in much better form than Chelsea and should be a somewhat tougher task for Southampton here. We can see Southampton getting a draw here if they continue their form from the Chelsea game and adding to their chances will be because it’s at home but it’s hard to go past Everton here.
Predicted result: Everton 2-1
Betting Option: Everton is good value at $2.08
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