In our weekly feature, we will be pre-viewing all the Premier League games and picking out what we see to be good value odds. Including a brief narrative on why we’ve made these picks.
All prices by Bet365 our favourite Bookie.
Liverpool v Everton
Liverpool have steadied the ship somewhat with 2 wins and a draw from their last 3 after a disastrous start to 2017 which has seen them exit both cup competitions and go from challenging for the Premier League Title to fighting for 4th spot. Liverpool’s lack of depth, squad wise, has been much publicised and it will be put to the test here with Henderson and Lallana missing. Brazilian duo Couthinho and Firmino may also miss out due to arriving back late from International duty.
Everton on the other hand have been in superb form in 2017 and a win here would mean they are genuine top 4 contenders. The Toffees have a habit of underperforming at Anfield so Ronald Koeman will be eager to buck that trend in Saturday’s early kick off.
Liverpool look most dangerous when other teams attempt to play out from the back so expect Everton to beat the high press by playing direct into Lukaku at every opportunity. With Liverpool missing several of their key men and Everton on a roll I expect the Blue half of Merseyside to walk away smiling on Saturday. With this being a derby with a history of crunching tackles, a red card to be shown to either side at 5/2 isn’t a bad shout either.
Man United v West Brom
Every game is massive for Jose Mourinho’s United side in their quest for the top four but if Liverpool were to drop points in the Merseyside derby this game will take on extra significance. This is exactly the type of game which United have struggled with this season however.
Jose’s men have drawn against Stoke, West Ham, Burnley, Bournemouth and Arsenal at Old Trafford despite having completely dominated each game. With Zlatan, Pogba, Herrera, Smalling and Jones either suspended or injured as well as a hectic April in which United play 9 games expect Jose’s excuse generating machine to spontaneously combust post match if they don’t take all 3 points here.
Tony Pulis and his free wheeling samba superstars rock up to old Trafford sitting in 8th place in the table and on course to finish with a club record amount of Premier League points. Despite a lot of criticism during the summer few can argue with how well the Baggies have performed this season and their safety in the table effectively means this is a free swing for the Midlands side, meaning they will be a difficult opponent for United.
Having spunked Liberia’s deficit on United winning at Old Trafford against teams below them this season I’m sticking to the form book here.
Result 1-1, 9-1
Burnley v Spurs
Burnley’s home record is amongst the best in the League and is the rock upon which their Premier League survival bid has been built and barring a monumental collapse it should be enough to keep Sean Dyche’s men in the top flight. Burnley really is one of the hardest away fixtures in the League. They will be well organised and a threat from set pieces.
This may well be the type of game when the absence of Harry Kane really bites Spurs. With space at a premium in between the lines for the likes of Alli and Eriksen to operate. We expect a tight game here that will end in a draw. Not the worst result in the world for Mauricio Pochettino’s men with their next 3 fixtures extremely winnable as they face Swansea, Watford and Bournemouth.
Sean Dyche the last time Burnley won away
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
I just can’t see anything but yet another Chelsea win here even if Eden Hazard misses out via injury, I keep looking for weaknesses in this Chelsea side but just can’t seem to find any. Since that 3-0 defeat away to Arsenal in September Chelsea have won 17 of their 20 Premier League fixtures which is one of the most impressive runs of form I have ever seen in the Premier League. Good old Arsenal, even when they thought they had finally got one over on Chelsea all they had really done was show Conte the system he needed to use to go and smash the shit out of the rest of the League.
Big Sam, the pint of wine loving maniac that he is, is, after all, a pragmatist under that disco dancing exterior, so you’d expect he would have effectively written this one off to concentrate on more winnable fixtures coming up. Despite a tricky run in Big Sam is very much a ronseal type of manager so I’d be shocked if he doesn’t keep Palace up. I bet he has a tasty bonus written into his contract for achieving just that as well.
Chelsea and over 2.5 goals, evens
Hull v West Ham
It turns our that that dirty clueless foreigner Marco Silva is actually a pretty astute football manager after all and has done about as well as anybody could have since taking over from Mike Phelan in January. The Tigers have won 5 and drawn 1 of their 6 home games since Silva’s arrival and really need to repeat the trick here.
Even a win here would probably not be enough to lift them out of the relegation zone but with their next game after this also being at home to relegation rivals Middlesborough, Silva will be targeting 6 points from the 2 games to give his side a real shot at beating the drop.
West Ham sit on 33 points and despite winning only 1 of their last 6 Premier League fixtures they seem in little danger of being dragged into a relegation scrap. Reports the week have stated that Slaven Bilic’s job may come under scrutiny come the end of season which is a bit harsh really. West Ham are just about were they should be based on the squad they have, not to be mention the furore over their move to the Olympic Stadium and Payetgate.
Expect a summer of David Gold and his son tweeting about the Hammers signing a world class Striker and then overpaying for Rudy Gestede on deadline day.
Leicester v Stoke
So it turns out Football isn’t dead after all. Craig Shakespeare is making this managerial lark look easy with 4 wins on the trot since the controversial sacking of that beautiful man Claudio Ranieri. The question as to whether the Leicester players were playing for Uncle Claudio has been answered pretty emphatically over the last few games. The Champions sit on 30 points so they still need to gather a few more points before their Premier League status is confirmed, but with many of their star men of last season miraculously returning to form of late that shouldn’t be a problem.
Stoke are ticking along nicely in there spiritual home of 9th place which barring a big money takeover is about as good as it’s ever going to get for the Potters. I was shocked to hear the news this week that Saido Berahino’s 8 week drug ban actually came about due to his drink being spiked, terrible carry on, the same thing has happened to my mate Dave every weekend for the last 20 years so I know first hand how tough it can be. Desmond for me please Geoff.
Result 2-2, 14/1
Watford v Sunderland
Watford are another one of those teams that are probably safe but just need a couple more wins to confirm it. They’re a bit of a strange one Watford, during the season they never really do much of note but survived comfortably last season and will probably do the same this time around. Kind of like the bloke at the party everybody assumes is somebody else’s mate, they tend to go under the radar but are always there in the background. The close season is when things will hot up at Vicarage Road when they’ll probably sell and buy 10 – 15 players and sack their manager, making a mockery of Gary Neville and the ”stability” brigade.
Sunderland are a dour group of players managed by a dour manager, they sit rooted to the bottom of the table and are nailed on for the drop, and thats all I have to say about that.
Watford win 17/20
Southampton v Bournemouth
A south coast derby is the Saturday evening live game this weekend which unless your a fan of either club, it’s a game even the greatest TV marketing executive will struggle to get the masses excited about. The Saints look on course for yet another top half finish despite losing their manager and a lot of their best players again last summer. With rumours of a £190 million takeover this week we asked the question here as to whether that’s actually a snip for what is probably the Premier League’s best run club.
Bournemouth looked in real trouble a few weeks ago but won their last 2 homes games against West Ham and Swansea to pull them up to 11th in the table. They even did the unthinkable against Swansea and kept a clean sheet. As we said here however the Great White Hope of English managers will really have to do better with his signings this summer if the Cherries are to continue to progress.
With both teams effectively safe, it being a derby and Bournemouth being involved I’m going for goals in this one.
Over 3.5 goals 2/1
Swansea v Middlesborough
Paul Clement’s excellent work since taking over at the Liberty stadium has hit the skids a bit lately. They had seemed to have pulled themselves away from the relegation zone but 2 defeats in a row against relegation rivals Bournemouth and Hull has dragged them right back into it. They really need a win here and with Sigurdson and Llorente on song at the moment I reckon they’ll get just that.
Middlesborough are boring. They sacked their boring manager and replaced him with his boring assistant. They can Bore off back to the Championship as far as I’m concerned.
Although to be fair Victor Valdes doing a perfect Steven Gerard impression against Man United in their last game did make me LOL.
Arsenal v Man City
The big game on Sunday. Arsenal are in rotten form of late, they’ve lost 4 and won 2 of their last 6 and both of the wins were against non league opposition. With the players looking disinterested and fan unrest off the charts it’s almost got to stage where you almost start to feel sorry for Arsene Wenger. It’s obvious to everybody that Arsenal have gone stale and Wenger should walk away at the end of the season but Le Professor is having none of it and by all accounts intends to sign a new contract, which is a massive up yours to the muppets on Arsenal Fan TV, ya feel me blud? This is one car crash I just can’t keep my eyes off fam!
Pep will have learned a lot in his first season in English Football as god knows he’s dropped plenty of bollocks along the way. I expect them to have enough to finish in either 2nd or third and with the Blues facing this very Arsenal side in the FA Cup semi they’ll fancy their chances of reaching the final.They’ll spend big in the summer you’d imagine and should be better equipped for a title charge next time round.
Man City 7/5
Anything to add? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Why not like our Facebook page?
While you’re at it, give us a follow on twitter @