Tottenham v West Brom
Spurs are in rare form and boast the best defensive record in the Premier League with just 14 goals conceded. The Baggies claimed a draw at The Hawthorns against Mauricio Pochettinho’s men earlier this season but look right up against it here with Dele Alli set to light up White Hart Lane once again.
Betting: Tottenham to win to nil at evens (Paddy Power)
Burnley v Southampton
Burnley have chalked up seven wins from 11 Premier League outings at home so far this season and with Turf Moor definitely something of a fortress (only Spurs and Chelsea have won more at home) I cannot fathom why they are as big as 13/5 here to beat a team who have lost their last three league games.
Betting: Burnley to win at 13/5 (Hills)
Hull City v Bournemouth
The Cherries won 6-1 at The Vitality Stadium earlier this season but this one should be much closer. Much will again depend on Robert Snodgrass but if he is in the mood Hull are not without hope.
Betting: Both teams to score at 8/11 (Bet Victor)
Sunderland v Stoke City
Stoke’s record on Wearside is wretched having failed to claim a win in their last 14 visits and given the fact they threw in an FA Cup shocker at home last weekend they are an easy price to pass up. What of Sunderland? Still scrapping down at the bottom but with a few key men out injured. The bottom line is if they are to have any chance of staying up they need to keep hold of little Jimmy Defoe during this window. What good would a £10m sale be for them if they are playing in the Championship next season? As the Bard once said: ‘Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers’.
Betting: Defoe to score first at 5/1 (bet365)
Swansea v Arsenal
New era at Swansea with Paul Clement at the helm but this is a naughty fixture for them. Arsenal are usually quite ruthless against the divisional lesser lights and look good things here, but sadly this is reflected in their price with the Wenger boys 1/2 or worse across the board.
Betting: Arsenal to win 3-1 at 11/1 (bet365)
Watford v Middlesbrough
Emotional day on the cards at Vicarage Road following the sudden death of Graham Taylor. As a teenager I watched ‘An Impossible Job’ about 50 times on my trusty old VHS and fell in love with the man. With quotes ranging from “Wrighty? It’s made for Wrighty to come on and score isn’t it?” to “F**king hells bells”, this was a documentary like no other. I learned later that Taylor was indeed a thoroughly decent human being and the man Elton John always identifies as the person who finally helped the ‘Rocket Man’ give up the booze. I hope his beloved Watford can claim three points this weekend. And if they do I hope somehow, somewhere, Phil Neal is nodding in an obsequious manner while gently folding his arms.
Betting: Watford to win to nil at 14/5 (Bet Victor)
West Ham v Crystal Palace
So Dimitri Payet is refusing to play for West Ham is he? I’m assuming he’s also refusing to trouser £125k a week in wages too then? What a t*thead. This type of thing really really irritates me. Trust me, I would like to see it from Payet’s point of view but unfortunately I can’t get my head that far up my own a**e. Hopefully the Hammers can clear their collective thoughts and get the job done here against a Palace side who were awful last time out in losing to Swansea. And maybe, just maybe, Big Sam will bust that mental beanie hat out again that he wore against Arsenal.
Betting: West Ham to win and both teams to score at 15/4 (bet365)
Leicester City v Chelsea
The champions elect face the champions on Saturday evening and this one should be a cracker. Antonio Conte’s side have already seen off the Foxes twice this season (3-0 in the league and 4-2 in the EFL Cup – after extra-time). However should Leicester really be 5/1 or bigger for the win here? Performances have improved in recent weeks and they were brilliant in smashing Man City 4-2 at home in December. Make no bones, this is a big game for Chelsea. Win it and they will be in the box seat to land the league title. But they looked out of sorts against Spurs the other week and anything less then three points here would blow the title race wide open again. I’m not sure they should be such heavy odds on shots and quite like the look of Leicester in the ‘double chance’ market, meaning you win so long as Chelsea don’t.
Betting: Leicester-Draw ‘Double Chance at 11/8 (bet365)
Everton v Manchester City
The Citizens are a warm order in the betting here and rightly so after that dazzling 5-0 FA Cup win over West Ham. In Merson speak, Everton are the proverbial bag of Revels and I fear Ronald Koeman might pull a misshapen coffee one out of the bag once again this weekend. Away win.
Betting: Man City to win and both teams to score at 5/2 (Hills)
Manchester United v Liverpool
Liverpool are now three games without a win and come into this fixture – one of their biggest of the season – in less than stellar form. They were shocking defensively against Southampton and they’ve shipped more Premier League goals than any side in the top six. When Daniel Sturridge starts they also have fluidity issues up top so it will be interesting to see how they set up here with Sadio Mane missing.
In contrast the Red Devils are on a roll and going for a tenth straight win in all competitions this weekend. The momentum is certainly with them and with Paul Pogba purring in midfield and big Zlatan returning up front it’s hard to make a case against backing them here. So I won’t.
Betting: Manchester United to win at 6/5 (Paddy Power)