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After a full midweek of exciting European football the weekend’s Premier League action begins at the Vitality Stadium for a rear end of the table clash between Bournemouth and Newcastle, both sides are in dire need of all 3 points.
They have both had their fair share of injury problems, the home side have probably had the bigger loss with star striker Calum Wilson out long term. The away side will have been buoyed by their first clean sheet since 22nd August and having watched Bournemouth a few times of late I have been less than impressed with their quality. It all seems a lot of chasing shadows and although they work hard their final third play has been worse than their Championship form, for that reason I think it is worth chancing the away side at 12/5.
Christian Benteke 1st Goalscorer – 1pt win @ 4/1
Harry Kane 1st Goalscorer – 1pt win @ 10/3
Newcastle/Leicester/Liverpool – 1pt win @ 10/1
Two teams that are arguably beating expectations currently are Leicester and Watford who sit 3rd and 11th respectively in the league.
Both have been a joy to watch this season, with Leicester in particular being rewarded for their attacking prowess, the home side possess two of the leagues’ most impressive players this season in Rihad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, the latter has scored in his last 8 games.
Watford also have a little gem on their hands in Odion Ighalo, who has scored 7 goals so far this term and has built up a good little partnership with Troy Deeney, who although only having scored one goal has been pivotal to Watford’s recent form and one thinks it will only be a matter of time before he’s banging them in regularly.
Despite Watford’s good form I think it is a good time to catch the home team and they are good value at a best price of 10/11.
Man Utd take on West Brom at Old Trafford on Saturday, the home side are in need of a league win having drew their last two both 0-0, I have to say that they have been the toughest side to assess this season out of all 20 Premier League teams.
I mentioned last week that if Anthony Martial played on the wing I didn’t think Utd would win and i was proved right, I still think he is the key man to Man Utd’s success and the sooner Mr Van Gaal realises that the sooner Utd will progress.
West Brom have had a mixed season and despite not being an easy team to play they do seem to have a tendency to fall short against the big guns, despite my frustrations with Utd and their manager I don’t feel West Brom hold enough quality to keep their international stars at bay so Utd should win this one.
Struggling Norwich take on Swansea at Carrow Road in arguably the toughest game of the weekend to predict, the home side are without a win in seven games whilst the away side have just one win (against a struggling Aston Villa) in eight, for me this game is not a betting contest however I will be putting the game in a side bet as a draw.
Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland host an in form Southampton at the Stadium of Light on Saturday in desperate need to kick start their season, Big Sam has now had a couple of weeks to work with his new players and they will have to be on their best form to keep the away side at bay.
The fact Victor Wanyama is missing could be crucial as he has been a big player for the Saints this term and this game could be another to add to the draw category.
West Ham tend to keep their best form for the big games and this one will be no exception as they welcome Everton to London following their 6-2 thrashing of Sunderland last weekend.
Everton are never an easy team to play with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley in their side, however West Ham also have some quality players at their disposal, the likes of Dimitri Payet who has been a revelation will need to be at their best to take the spoils from this one, which is not beyond the realm of possibility and I will take West Ham to nick this one.
The evening kick off sees an interesting affair as Stoke take on troubled Chelsea at the Britannia, the away side have looked a shadow of themselves from last year and Jose Mourinho looks under big pressure to get 3 points.
Chelsea have proved already that they don’t handle pressure too well and a physical Stoke side is probably not the team they will want to face at this time, despite winning in the Champions League on Wednesday I have to side with Stoke to keep the pressure building.
On Sunday bottom of the league Aston Villa host top of the table Manchester City, normally I wouldn’t think twice about saying the away team will win, however Villa now have a new manager and it will be his first game in charge, what better way to introduce yourself to your home fans than beating the league leaders?
City are still without Sergio Aguero but have plenty of options without him. For me this game is not one from a betting perspective however due to the potential new manager effect I would predict a draw.
There is a huge North London Derby on Sunday as Arsenal welcome Tottenham to the Emirates. Both teams have been in good recent form, although Arsenal were given a masterclass in football on Wednesday by Bayern Munich, Arsene Wenger will be hoping that doesn’t have an adverse effect on his players.
This may come as a surprise but despite Tottenham scoring 8 goals in two games I still haven’t been convinced with them and their tactics, there is still far too much responsibility on the likes of Harry Kane and Christian Erikssen to score and create goals, their defence looks on paper a tough outfit but are still leaking goals, so for me it is very much worthwhile siding with Arsenal on this occasion.
Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Chelsea last week couldn’t have come at a more perfect time and they showed that they possess character, having to come from behind, and quality scoring 3 excellent goals.
Christian Benteke made a big difference when he came on and looked every bit a £32m player causing big trouble for the home side, you can get Benteke at 4/1 for 1st goalscorer and that looks big value this weekend.
Palace are a decent side but having not won a Premier League game in their last three, they are probably facing Liverpool at the wrong time. I don’t usually put Liverpool in to acca’s but this weekend I can’t see how I can leave them out at a best price 8/11.