Watford v Everton
Watford have lost their last two while Everton have failed to win any of their last four. You pays your money and you takes your choice. I’m having a few quid on the draw based largely on the fact the last time Watford beat the Toffees it was 1987 and Panini football sticker stalwart Mark Falco was among the scorers.
Betting: Draw at 12/5 (Hills/Paddy Power)
Arsenal v Stoke City
The Gunners have won 14 off the belt at home against Stoke so it’s a brave punter who backs against them this weekend. I can’t make a case for the Potters (even at 17/2) but I have to say Alexis Sanchez (who scored twice and assisted another as the Wenger Boys beat Stoke 3-0 in January 2015) looks a fair shout at 7/2 to open the scoring.
Betting: Sanchez to score first at 7/2 (Paddy Power)
Burnley v Bournemouth
I’ve seen my beloved Hartlepool in action against both of these clubs. This weekend they meet in the Premier League for the first time while I watch the Chimp Chokers in action against Cambridge United at a ground so cold you run the risk of accidentally keying someone’s motor with your nipples when you park your car. But like the Murphys, I’m not bitter.
Betting: Andre Gray to score first at 13/2 (Sky Bet)
Hull City v Crystal Palace
The ‘I got dis’ thumbs up Alan Pardew gave to Steve Parish last weekend after the Eagles beat Southampton had me howling. It was classic Pardew behaviour. My only wish is if they beat Hull here (and I fancy them) he goes fully off his nut and does the David Brent MC Hammer dance thing from The Office while eyeballing Mike Phelan.
Betting: Crystal Palace to win at 13/10 (Bet Victor)
Swansea v Sunderland
What a game at the foot of the table and for me this is all about Sunderland. How big are your cojones, Mr Moyes? Obviously just tell me. Don’t show me. Ever. They surely cannot set up mega defensively against the Swans, who have the beleaguered Bob Bradley (bookies favourite to be next Premier League boss to lose his job) in charge. The Black Cats have built up a bit of a head of steam in recent weeks but my guess is perhaps both teams would take a point right now, and so a score draw would not surprise.
Betting: 1-1 draw at 13/2 (Bet Victor)
Leicester City v Manchester City
What’s going on at Leicester man? The team that the whole f**king world were raving about last season are suddenly looking utterly abysmal. Those in the know said they’d miss N’Golo Kante but I don’t think anyone knew to what extent. It seems 4-4-2 just doesn’t work anymore – even at the King Power – without the livewire Frenchman bustling away in midfield. Claudio Ranieri wants an upturn in fortunes, but laughably went a bit ABBA at a press conference on Thursday when he literally said: “But if you lost this, how can you win?” Touché Claudio. Winning is not something they’ve been doing a lot of this season, with their last league triumph being a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace on October 22. I reckon they’ll get pumped here too.
Betting: Man City to win and both teams to score at 9/4 (bet365/Hills)
Chelsea v West Brom
If you’ve been away for the past few months, to prison, or Thailand, or prison in Thailand, let me bring you right up to speed. The Blues are top of the league. 3-4-3 is king. And West Brom have not beaten Chelsea away in the league since 1978. Expect the Baggies to eventually fold again this week.
Betting: Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 23/10 (Betfair)
Manchester United v Tottenham
With the Red Devils so far off the pace domestically (they could conceivably be 12 points behind fourth after this weekend if they lose and other results go against them) I was surprised to see Spurs chalked up as big as 13/5 here. Granted Jose Mourinho’s men are playing OK and might be on the cusp of going of a run of wins sooner rather than later but they’re clearly, clearly struggling to close games out as it stands and I can’t have them at 5/4 here. Overs looks a much better shout.
Betting: Over 2.5 goals at 23/20 (Bet Stars)
Southampton v Middlesbrough
Southampton blew it in spectacular fashion in the Europa League on Thursday. They only needed a goalless draw or a win against moderate opposition but ended up drawing 1-1, much to the annoyance of yours truly who had them in a “bomb proof” double with Manchester United. For the Saints, not the end of the world I suppose when you are sat handily in twelfth in the richest league in the world with another few diamond young kids coming off the conveyor belt looking like world beaters. But still though *sighs*.
Betting: Both teams to score at 11/8 (Betfair)
Liverpool v West Ham
Degsy forgot this game so something something drink something underpants and Divovk Origi to score.
Betting: Divock Origi to score anyime at 15/14 (Betfair)