Bournemouth v Everton
Everton look massive here at better than 2/1 against a ridiculously inconsistent Cherries outfit. Big Sam has already drilled the Toffees into shape and they’ve kept clean sheets in each of their last two matches. Bournemouth have not won since November 18 so it’s a strange one to see them chalked up as favourites here. To paraphrase Alfred, Lord Tennyson: ‘Ours is not to reason why; Ours is but to lump on if the price is right.’
Betting: Everton to win at 23/10 (Bet Victor)
Chelsea v Stoke City
After three straight losses left Mark Hughes staring down the barrel Stoke seem to be stirring and have collected four points from their last two matches. It’s made a huge difference with the Potters now up to 13th in the table. As a result they will regard this one as something of a free hit against a Chelsea side who have won four of their last five since that shock 1-0 reverse at West Ham. I fancy a Chelsea win here but Stoke to keep things just about respectable.
Betting: Chelsea to win by exactly two goals at 3/1 (Boylesports)
Huddersfield v Burnley
Burnley are unbeaten in their last four league meetings with the Terriers and it would take an absolute maverick to bet against them here, given how well they played at Old Trafford on Boxing Day. On that note, I quite fancy the draw at better than 2/1.
Betting: Draw at 109/50 (Marathon Bet)
Liverpool v Leicester City
The Foxes have failed to win any of their last four matches and face the seemingly thankless task of trying to tame a rampant Liverpool at Anfield. The Red were an absolute sensation against Swansea on Boxing Day and have smashed 12 goals in their last three Premier League matches. Jurgen Klopp’s men are actually averaging 2.3 goals a game this season and look absolute stick ons to win on Merseyside.
Betting: Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 8/5 (Bet Stars)
Newcastle United v Brighton
The Toon have been awful for a while now, that 3-2 win at West Ham notwithstanding. I was of course all over West Ham that day, and was so angry I could have easily killed a squirrel with a trombone. I can’t see this being pretty, and wouldn’t put anyone off smashing evens on the teams being level at half-time on Tyneside.
Betting: Half-time draw at evens (Betfred)
Watford v Swansea City
Bizarre scenes in Chez Punt on Thursday when Sky Sports News were reporting that Carlos Carvalhal had been given the Swansea job. My better half looked at the TV and, while he was giving an interview, said: “Isn’t he off Peaky Blinders?” What sort of world do we live in when Chinese people can now be sent to jail for not singing the national anthem properly, while ‘er indoors escapes any form of censure for continuing to make such outrageously inaccurate statements?
Betting: Watford to win to nil at 17/10 (Bet Victor)
Manchester United v Southampton
The Red Devils ruined the lives of favourite backers up and down the country with another questionable display on Boxing Day as they were held at home to Burnley, and despite being second in the league you can’t help but get the feeling this is a side getting worse, not better. Jose Mourinho can moan all he wants about the spending power of Manchester City, but the facts are this current United side cost a fortune yet they have been massively inconsistent since October. Laugh all you want, but I’m actually going to have a few quid on a Southampton smash-n-grab victory here.
Betting: Southampton to win 1-0 at 25/1 (Bet Victor)
Crystal Palace v Manchester City
15 points clear after 20 Premier League matches, Pep Guardiola’s men have the look of a side who could wrestle with a pride of lions. They can still be backed at 9/2 to go unbeaten in the Premier League this season and given how mesmeric their football has been to this point, that looks a bet to me. It’s Crystal Palace next, where Gabriel Jesus looks the man to get with to score first.
Betting: Jesus go score first at 31/10 (Unibet)
West Brom v Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez could well be saying adios to Arsenal after this but having scored three goals in his last two games the contract rebel looks tempting at 4/1 to score first against the Baggies. Whether any of his teammates will bother celebrating with him if he does however is another matter…
Betting: Sanchez to score first at 4/1 (Paddy Power)