2018 kicks off with a bang with an 11 match game week to open up the New Year before a much needed break until Mid-Jan. With Manchester United dropping points at home to Southampton overnight, Manchester City can extend their lead to 16 points over current 2nd placed Chelsea with a win over Crystal Palace tonight. It seems as though any hope of the chasing pack actually chasing down Manchester City is vanishing into thin air and it’s now just a fight for the remaining 3 spots in the top 4 between 5 sides. It’s certainly going to be a tight finish for those spots and with the likes of United starting to drop points with more regularity, there’s still plenty of changes to come in this top 4.
Week 22 Best Bet: Manchester City vs Watford – Over 3.5 goals at $1.71
Week 22 Best Value Bet: Tottenham vs West Ham – Over 3.5 goals at $2.39
Week 22 Head to Head Multi Bet: Liverpool Win ($1.5), West Ham Win vs West Brom ($1.91), Chelsea Win ($2.8), Leicester Win ($1.67) = $13.39
**Odds from Sportsbet.com.au as of 31s December
Brighton vs Bournemouth
Brighton have only lost once in their last 5 home games and have only list twice in total at home all season in the league. This puts them in a strong position ahead of the visit of Bournemouth who captured their first win in 10 matches when they beat Everton at home last time out. That’ll give them a boost but their away form hasn’t been all that great this season. The Cherries have been victorious on the road on just the 2 occasions this season. Brighton’s record at home should see them through to a point at the very least here with their only question mark being their potency up top to convert draws into wins having drawn 5 matches at home this season.
Predicted Result: Brighton 1-0
Best Bet: Brighton Draw No Bet at $1.59
Best Value Bet: Brighton to win to Nil at $3.5
Burnley vs Liverpool
This is a really interesting match with the 4th best defensive side in the league hosting the 2nd best attack. Burnley have made it a habit of interrupting some of the bigger sides seasons having already taken points off Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea as well as Liverpool. Despite injuries to some key players recently in defence, they’ve still managed to maintain a strong defensive effort conceding just 5 goals in their last 6 matches. This won’t be an easy match for Liverpool to score in but it seems inevitable that they will break through at some point. Their last home match was a 3-0 thumping at the hands of Tottenham which they’ll be keen to bounce back from and whilst they should provide a better defensive effort, Liverpool should scrape through.
Predicted Result: Liverpool 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.95
Best Value Bet: Liverpool to win to Nil at $2.4
Leicester vs Huddersfield
Leicester pushed Liverpool all the way last time out but were quelled by a Salah brace. The visit of Huddersfield will have it’s dangers but they have the record to see this one through to 3 points. The visitors have had a tough run of it on the road this season and have won just twice away from home this season. They also have a pretty poor defensive record on the road with 20 goals conceded from 10 matches (equal 3rd most). Leicester sometimes produce patchy form at home against some of the lower sides but their recent home form is pretty good. In their last 6 at home they have lost just twice. One of these was against Manchester City in a respectable 2-0 result with the other being a 3-0 loss against a resurgent Crystal Palace.
Predicted Result: Leicester 2-1
Best Bet: Leicester to score 2 or more goals at $1.72
Best Value Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.98
Stoke vs Newcastle
The Potters are in danger of entering the relegation one in the coming weeks if they don’t start adding to their points tally more regularly. In their last 11 matches they have claimed just 2 wins but more alarmingly is their defensive record is appalling. In total this season they have conceded 46 goals, 8 more than the next worst side West Ham. 19 of those goals have come in home matches, but of those 19, 12 have come in their last 6 home matches. It’s probably a good time then to be facing Newcastle who are having a little bit of trouble finding the back of the net. Newcastle have failed to score at all in 4 of their last 5 matches and have scored just 19 times in total this season. Stoke’s defensive lapses may open the door up in that area but whether they themselves have enough drive to capture 3 points here remains an unknown. A draw beckons here.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: BTTS – Yes at $1.83
Best Value Bet: Draw and BTTS at $4.33
Everton vs Manchester United
Just when you thought Everton were starting to turn the corner, they start to drop in form. Since consecutive wins over Newcastle and Swansea, they’ve taken just 2 points in their last 3 matches and scored just once. Perhaps at home though they can turn those results around and this should be a match that should provide some motivation to keep the poor results coming for Manchester United. United seem to have dropped their intensity having now drawn their last 3 matches against Leicester, Burnley and most recently Southampton. Despite Everton seemingly struggling for results in recent weeks, their home form looks very good where they have won 4 of their last 5. Manchester United have a lot of work to do if they’re to break through for a win here but right now this looks pretty even.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Half-Time Draw at $2
Best Value Bet: Double Chance Everton at $2.1
Southampton vs Crystal Palace
After losing 5-2 to Tottenham, Southampton redeemed themselves with a scoreless draw away at Old Trafford last time out. The problem though is they have been too inconsistent to be able to trust that they are going to start producing the results they need. They’re another side that hasn’t been able to consistently find the back of the net and are currently averaging less than a goal a game scored. Palace will be a tough opponent too as they look to continue their push up the table away from the relegation zone. They’re undefeated in their last 4 on the road but some of their performance here may depend how they go against Manchester City who they haven’t played yet at the time of writing this. If Southampton can continue their tight defensive performance that they produced against Manchester United, then they should walk away with at least a point here.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: BTTS – Yes at $1.83
Best Value Bet: Half-Time Draw at $2
Swansea vs Spurs
A new manager and a come from behind win from 1-0 down until equalising on 86 minutes against Watford to then go on to win 2-1 will give Swansea a big boost ahead of Tottenham here. Tottenham though have started to find some form once again with wins over Burnley and Southampton which should serve them well here. Key for Spurs has also been the return of key players from injury and suspension. Davinson Sanchez’s return has helped shore up their defence whilst the likes of Rose have also started to find some form after a long injury layoff. This is without mentioning Harry Kane who’s been scoring for fun with 6 goals in his last 2 matches. Expect some fight from Swansea here but Tottenham have the quality and form to take this out.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 2-0
Best Bet: Tottenham -1 handicap at $1.72
Best Value Bet: Tottenham to win both halves at $2.7
West Ham vs West Brom
A win for both sides here will be hard fought for given they both sit inside the relegation zone. The Baggies in particular will be eager for a point at least as they sit dead last ahead of their Arsenal fixture tonight. A good result there will give them some momentum into this match though the Hammers will be difficult to beat at home. They’ve lost just once in their last 4 matches at home and although this will be a tough they should see this through. They have the added advantage of extra rest given the last time they played was Boxing day whereas for this match the Baggies will have had just a few days rest from their Arsenal match.
Predicted Result: West Ham 2-1
Best Bet: West Ham to win at $1.91
Best Value Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2.34
Manchester City vs Watford
There’s little stopping Manchester City at the moment and with no pressure on them at all it’s difficult to see anyone beating them convincingly other than for large lapses in concentration and determination to win results. It feels as though City won’t be slowing down though and the more they keep winning, the more they’ll be eager to go undefeated all season, and maybe they will. Watford have nothing to lose here but will be feeling a bit down having let a 1-0 lead on 86 minutes turn into a 2-1 defeat against Swansea.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 3-1
Best Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $1.71
Best Value Bet: Manchester City to win both halves at $1.91
Arsenal vs Chelsea
Arsenal’s form has left a lot to be desired and is perhaps why they currently sit in 6th ahead of their trip to West Brom before facing off against Chelsea. This one looks a tough game for Arsenal as the cracks begin to show amongst the playing group coupled with the results not coming through. In their last 6 matches, Arsenal have been victorious just twice with Draws against West Ham, Southampton and Liverpool harming their push into the top 4. Chelsea have been in great form lately too winning 4 of their last 5 to now sit outright 2nd on the table.
Predicted Result: Chelsea 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.64
Best Value Bet: Chelsea to win at $2.8
Tottenham vs West Ham
The Hammers are a bit of a bogey side for Tottenham in recent seasons where they’ve won 3 of the last 5 meetings in all competitions. The last time these two met it was a thrilling 3-2 win for Tottenham that was made thrilling thanks to a red card when Spurs were 3-1 up. This is a fixture where anything can happen but the scoring form of Tottenham at the moment makes you wonder how West Ham are going to keep their attacking force quiet. Spurs have been prone to conceding a few themselves this season but the scoring form of Kane and co should see them through to another much needed win here to keep pushing themselves in top 4 contention.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 3-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.51
Best Value Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $2.39