Arsenal v Hull

Saturday February 11, 11:30pm AEDT

It’s been a disastrous week for Arsenal as their title challenge has all but ended after they lost at home to Watford and then at Chelsea themselves. All that remains will be for them to secure a top-four finish and they currently find themselves in fourth, but just two points clear of Utd in sixth. Hull, on the other hand, have improved markedly under Marco Silva as they followed their draw at Old Trafford with a home win over Liverpool and so they’re up to 18th, just a point from safety.

The defeat against Watford ended a run of five straight home wins for the Gunners but they’re generally reliable when hosting bottom-six teams as they’ve won 11 of 15 unbeaten such fixtures since 2014/15, keeping clean sheets in eight of the last 11 of these and leading at the break in three of the last four.

However, Hull have proved well organised and tough to break down under Marco Silva, losing only 2-0 at Chelsea and managing that goalless draw at Old Trafford. The atmosphere at the Emirates is likely to be somewhat toxic, with the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade making their feelings heard and so we don’t expect the Gunners to run away with this one.

Six of the Gunners’ nine home games against bottom-six sides since the start of last season saw fewer than three goals and so we’d recommend the Arsenal win and Under 2.5 Goals for those looking to get the Gunners on-side, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Hull pick up a point here, particularly given their last two results. The Tigers have been level at half-time in five of their last eight, only trailing at the break once, and we think they can achieve a first half draw at the Emirates.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 2.56

BACK – Half Time Draw at 2.94

Stoke v Crystal Palace

Sunday February 12, 2:00am AEDT

Stoke suffered their first defeat in five games as they were beaten 1-0 at West Brom and so they drop down to 11th, but they’ll expect to get back on track here against a struggling Palace side. Sam Allardyce hasn’t yet had the effect that the Palace hierarchy would have hoped he would when they replaced Allan Pardew with him as they were beaten 4-0 at home to Sunderland and so are down to 19th, now two points from safety.

After defeats against Man City and Spurs in their opening two home games, Stoke have since lost just once in front of their own fans, though they have drawn four of their last five at home. However, they’ve won six of their nine home games against bottom-six teams since the start of last season, though their only defeat came against Palace themselves. They kept only two clean sheets in these games and were level at the break in five, so we certainly don’t expect the Potters to run away with this one.

Palace won their last away game at Bournemouth and since they’ve managed to net in nine of their last 11 on their travels, we think they can get on the scoresheet against a Potters side that has kept only one clean sheet in their last eight. Zaha’s back in action for Palace and they’ve managed to score in all but two of the 10 away games he’s started this term, with the exceptions at Spurs and Arsenal. We’ll be backing both teams to score at 1.99.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Both Teams to Score ‘Yes’ at 1.99

Manchester United v Watford

Sunday February 12, 2:00am AEDT

After their frustrating goalless draw at home to Hull, Man Utd picked up their first win in four as they won 3-0 at Leicester to move within two points of Arsenal in 4th ahead of this gameweek. Watford, meanwhile, followed their win against the Gunners with a 2-1 home win over Burnley and so the Hornets have shot up to 10th.

Whilst Utd are unbeaten in 10 at Old Trafford, they have drawn six of their last nine there, including against the likes of Hull, West Ham, Burnley and Stoke, so they look a touch short at 1.27. They’ve won seven of 10 unbeaten home games against teams between 10th and 15th since the start of last season, keeping seven clean sheets, but they didn’t score more than twice in any of them. The first half was goalless in eight of these games, whilst eight had fewer than three goals.

After five straight away defeats, Watford have picked up four points from their last two, drawing at Bournemouth and beating Arsenal. That win over the Gunners broke a sequence of 11 defeats in trips to top-eight sides since the start of last season, though they generally stay competitive at the top six as they conceded more than twice in only two of nine visits to such opposition in that period, with five of these seeing fewer than three goals and four goalless at the break.  We’re backing both of those, given Utd’s similar trend in relevant fixtures.

Betting Strategy

BACK – 0-0 Half Time Score at 3.5

BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 2.36

Middlesborough v Everton

Sunday February 12, 2:00am AEDT

Middlesbrough were narrowly beaten 1-0 at White Hart Lane to stretch their winless run to seven games, during which time they’ve scored only three goals. As a result, they’re down to 15th and just a point clear of the relegation zone. Everton, conversely, made it four wins in five unbeaten games as they beat Bournemouth at home and the Toffees are having no such problems finding the net as they’ve scored 15 in that time and are now just five points off Man Utd.

Boro picked up only one point from their first four home games but since then they’ve lost only three of eight at the Riverside and two of those defeats were against Liverpool and Chelsea. If we exclude games against the top-six then Boro are W3-D3-L3 at home in games that have tended to be tight as six of these saw fewer than three goals while Boro only trailed at the break in one of these.

Everton have won two of four unbeaten road games but their victories were narrow triumphs at Palace and Leicester, the two most out of form sides in the league, and prior to that they’d picked up just one point from six on the road. Whilst they’re undoubtedly playing well at the moment, they showed their defensive vulnerabilities against Bournemouth by letting the Cherries back into the game after going 3-0 up, and so we’re going to oppose them here at around the even money mark.

Betting Strategy

LAY – Everton at 2.18

West Ham v West Brom

Sunday February 12, 2:00am AEDT

West Ham bounced back from their heavy defeat against Man City as they won 3-1 at Southampton and so moved back up to 9th, five points behind their visitors here as the Baggies also won, at home to Stoke. West Brom have won four of their last six as they look to narrow the gap to Everton in 7th, which is four points heading into this gamweek.

West Ham have won five of their 12 home games at London Stadium but closer inspection of that form suggests they probably shouldn’t be as short as 2.2 for this one. They won 1-0 on the opening day of the season against Bournemouth and since then they’ve beaten Sunderland 1-0, who were bottom of the table at the time, Burnley, who have been dire travellers, also 1-0 and Hull by the same scoreline before Marco Silva came in, while their victory in their penultimate home game was against a Palace side woefully out of sorts. They’ve been held to draws by Stoke and Boro, while Saints and Watford have won here, and we think the Baggies can get a result as well.

Tony Pulis’ men are W0-D1-L7 against the sides above them this term, but they’re W10-D5-L1 against the rest of the division. West Ham are of course at the upper end of that scale but the Baggies will prove tough to beat: they’ve conceded more than once in only two of their 12 road games, at Spurs and Liverpool. As such, we’re going to take the Hammers on, with the draw a tempting 3.5 shot.

Betting Strategy

BACK – West Brom +0.25 Asian Handicap at 2.09

Sunderland v Southampton

Sunday February 12, 2:00am AEDT

Sunderland gave their survival chances a massive boost as they thumped Crystal Palace 4-0 at Selhurst Park to go level with them on points as they’re now just two points from safety, though still bottom on goal difference. Southampton, meanwhile, slumped to their sixth defeat in seven after they were beaten 3-1 at home by West Ham and so they’ve dropped down to 13th.

Sunderland picked up only one point from their first five at the Stadium of Light, but since then they’ve gone W3-D2-L2,with one of those defeats against Chelsea. They’ve held Spurs and Liverpool to draws within their last three home games while they’ve also beaten Watford, Leicester and Hull. Having put four past Palace and with Kone and Ndong returning from the African Cup of Nations together with a couple of January reinforcements, the Black Cats will surely regard this as an excellent opportunity to move closer to safety against a struggling Southampton side.

The Saints have lost their last three on the road and have won just twice on their travels all season and so they look much too short at 2.12, particularly with the news that van Dijk will be out for at least two months. Southampton have lost each of the three games he’s missed this term, shipping eight goals in the process, and having sold Fonte they look particularly vulnerable at the back. They’ve lost six of their 10 trips to bottom-six sides since the start of last season (W2-D2-L6) and failed to score in half of these games. We’re certainly siding with the hosts here.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Sunderland +0.25 Asian Handicap at 2.15

Liverpool v Tottenham

Sunday February 12, 4:30am AEDT

Liverpool’s disastrous 2017 continued as they were beaten 2-0 at Hull, meaning they’re now W0-D3-L2 in the league this year and have dropped down to fifth, 13 points behind Chelsea. Indeed, they’re now four points behind Spurs in second after Pochettino’s men edged out Middlesbrough at home, their seventh win in nine unbeaten games.

Liverpool have been shaky at the back throughout the season but the problem for Jurgen Klopp’s men is that the goals have dried up at the other end of the pitch. They’ve struggled to break down the likes of Sunderland, Swansea and Hull, but there were definite signs of improvement in their last home game against a more ambitious Chelsea. They’d beaten Man City at Anfield not long ago and they’re generally pretty good in the big games under Klopp, going W6-D8-L3 against top-six opponents under him. However, half of those wins in fact came on the road as they’re W3-D5-L1 at home, with two of their wins coming over Man City and the other against Leicester. These games at Anfield tend to be tight as six were level at the break, whilst seven had fewer than three goals.

Spurs kept their fourth clean sheet in five against Boro, but they’ve shut out their opponents in just two of their last 10 on the road, at Sunderland and Bournemouth. They’ve won just two of their last nine on their travels, but they did draw five of these and like Liverpool they have a decent record against the top teams as they’re W6-D6-L5 against top-six opposition since the start of last season. On the road, it’s W2-D4-L3 and like Liverpool they have a fairly strong ‘unders’ trend in these games, with six of these seeing fewer than three goals. We’re backing Under 2.5 Goals and the draw, with the 1-1 correct score of interest at 7.4.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 2.04

BACK – Draw at 3.45

Burnley v Chelsea

Monday February 13, 12:30am AEDT

Burnley were beaten 2-1 at Watford and so drop down to 12th, but they’re nine points clear of the relegation zone, which certainly exceeds the expectations most had for them at the start of the season. Chelsea, meanwhile, continued their march to the title as they eased past Arsenal to extend their lead at the top to nine points.

While Burnley have picked up just the one point on the road, they’ve won their last five at home, though all those games were against sides currently below them in the table. They’ve been narrowly beaten 2-1 and 1-0 by Man City and Arsenal respectively in their two home games against top-four opposition to date and since their only other home defeat came against Swansea on the opening day of the season, this could be much harder work for Chelsea than a price of 1.45 suggests.

The Blues have won just one of their last three on the road, but the dropped points were at Liverpool and Spurs. Nonetheless they had to work hard for 1-0 victories at Palace, Sunderland and Boro prior to that and since they’ve scored more than once in only one of their last five away (at struggling Leicester), we expect them to have to work hard if they’re to pick up the three points here. We’re siding with the Clarets on the Asian Handicap.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Burnley +1.25 Asian Handicap at 2.02

Swansea v Leicester

Monday February 13, 3:00am AEDT

Swansea continue to impress under Paul Clement as it took an injury time winner from Gabriel Jesus to overcome them at the Etihad, after they’d managed wins over Liverpool and Southampton prior to that. As a result, they’re now level on points with Leicester after the Foxes were beaten 3-0 at home by Man Utd as they’ve now managed only one goal in their last seven.

They may well fancy their chances of finding the net against Swansea, who have kept only one clean sheet in their last 15. They’ve won half of their last six at home, beating fellow strugglers Palace and Sunderland as well as Saints in their last home game, but they have been well-beaten by West Ham, Bournemouth and Arsenal in that sequence. However, only the Arsenal defeat was under Clement in his first game in charge and with Sigurdsson and Llorente continuing to impress, this looks an excellent opportunity to make it back-to-back home wins.

Leicester have lost nine of 12 winless away games this term, failing to score in four of their last five on their travels. They’ve picked up only one point from their three trips to bottom-six sides so far, losing at Sunderland and Hull, while they’ve also trailed at the break in nine of their 12 away games. We’re backing Swansea to take another big step towards safety by picking up three points here.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Swansea at 2.56

Bournemouth v Manchester City

Tuesday February 14, 7:00am AEDT

Bournemouth’s winless run was extended to five games as they were beaten 6-3 by Everton, the eighth time they’ve conceded more than twice in their last 12 games, and the sixth time they’ve let in at least three during this sequence. Man City, meanwhile, almost paid the price for failing to capitalise on their dominance once again in the first half against Swansea, but Gabriel Jesus got them out of trouble late in the day to move them up to third heading into this gameweek.

Bournemouth suffered only their third defeat in their last 11 at the Vitality Stadium as they were beaten by Palace and they’ve in fact managed some decent results at home to the top teams so far, drawing with Spurs, beating Liverpool and drawing with Arsenal in a game in which they had a 3-0 lead. However, their defensive vulnerabilities surfaced in that clash as they’ve now concede 10 in their last four at home, with both teams netting in five of their last seven there.

City have kept only one clean sheet in six and their away games have tended to be full of goals, with 10 of 12 having more than two goals and half seeing more than three. They’ve won seven of their eight trips to sides 8th or lower, but have kept just three clean sheets in these games. Since Bournemouth have netted in 10 of their 12 matches at home this season, we’re backing Man City to win and both teams to score. 

Betting Strategy

BACK – Man City Win and Both Teams to Score at 2.9

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