Norwich City v Liverpool
If the Reds are going to do the job at Carrow Road, they’ll be doing it without Daniel Sturridge. The Liverpool striker has a quite phenomenal goals-per-game record for the Merseysiders, but one pal of mine who supports Liverpool now refers to the England man as “Tampax” due largely to the fact he’s “in for a week then out for a month”. Klopp’s men are a bit hit and miss but are getting the Canaries at a great time (they’ve lost three on the spin) and can claim all three points here.
Betting: Liverpool to win at 19/20 (Paddy Power)
Crystal Palace v Spurs
Palace took a proper pasting at Man City and don’t look like a team you can trust at the minute. I like Spurs here and call me a pervert if you will but I’ve also got a raging hard-on for Erik Lamela to score anytime at a mint rib-tickling 100/30.
Betting: Lamela to score anytime at 100/30 (bet365)
Leicester v Stoke City
There are murmurs in the media that Leicester are having a wobble just now and that the wheels are due to come off. But the last time I checked they were joint top of the Premier League. They’ll beat Stoke here, because Mark Hughes’ men are a different animal away from home.
Betting: Leicester to win at 11/10 (Stan James)
Manchester United v Southampton
I’ll stop backing under 2.5 goals when Manchester United play at home when Louis Van Gaal and the boys show me they know what they’re doing at Old Trafford. Their last-gasp win at Liverpool last time out was a fine result, but papered over another sh*tty performance from the Red Devils truth be told. The Saints have kept clean sheets in each of their last two matches, and if this turns into a goal-fest I’ll eat my own arse hairs, with some cucumber, on a nice bit of Ryvita.
Betting: Under 2.5 goals at 8/13 (Ladbrokes)
Sunderland v Bournemouth
Ludicrously big game down at the bottom where Sunderland need a win. Big time. Bournemouth’s win over Norwich was huge but I can just see Big Sam beating them into submission here with his own inimitable brand of high tempo, no f*cking nonsense, football. And Jimmy Defo will score too.
Betting: Defoe to score and Sunderland to win at 9/2 (Ladbrokes)
Watford v Newcastle
This time 20 years ago the Mags were 12 points clear at the top of the league and the nation’s favourite ‘other’ team. Crazy to think they are now pretty much a laughing stock outside of Tyneside (and sometimes inside of Tyneside) and hand on heart I give them Bob hope of winning here.
Betting: Watford to win at 11/10 (Betfred/Paddy Power)
West Brom v Aston Villa
Villa getting pelters off the fans while boarding the bus after their FA Cup draw at Wycombe seems to have worked wonders. They are now unbeaten in four. So my advice to Remi Garde is put the tactics board away, get yourself a nice Stone Island jumper, a beer belly and a baseball cap and just bool about the dressing room calling all your players “lazy c*nts” and being generally lairy and abusive.
Betting: Both teams to score at 23/20 (Coral/Hills)
West Ham v Manchester City
City will want to push on from that 4-0 win last weekend and go on a run between now and Easter to really separate the men from the boys in this championship race. Trouble is they’ve been sh*t so often away from the Ethiad so often this season I can’t trust them here at 8/11 and am instead going to have a wedge on the draw.
Betting: Draw at 3/1 (Sky Bet)
Everton v Swansea
The Toffees have been uber frustrating in the league this term, and to be stuck in 11th spot with the talent they have at the club is nothing short of criminal. They will start turning those draws into wins soon enough though and I fancy them to run riot over poor Swansea here.
Betting: Everton (-1) to win at 19/10 (Coral)
Arsenal v Chelsea
This is unquestionably the game of the weekend and Arsenal, surely to sweet baby Jesus, are also the bet of the weekend at better than evens? Chelsea have failed to beat Watford, West Brom and Everton at home in recent weeks and have shipped goals in all those games. I would label Nemanja Matic, who was an absolute beast last season for the Blues, a shadow of his former self. But on current form that would be doing an injustice to shadows everywhere. If you don’t lump on Arsenal here don’t ever, ever, ever talk to me again. Ever.
Betting: Arsenal to win at 21/20 (Hills/Sky Bet)