Chelsea v Swansea

Sunday February 26, 2:00am AEDT

Chelsea had to settle for a point at Burnley in their last game but their lead at the top of the table remains a comfortable eight points. Swansea, meanwhile, continue to excel under new manager Paul Clement as their 2-0 win over Leicester was their third in their last four games and so they’re up to 15th.

Chelsea have won 11 of their 12 home games this term, leading at the break in the last four and keeping a clean sheet in six of the last nine. Indeed, they’ve won without conceding in all four of their home games against bottom-half sides to date, leading at the break in each of these victories and with three by more than two goals as they beat Bournemouth, Leicester and Burnley 3-0.

Clement’s opening two road games have seen him travel to Liverpool and Man City, managing a victory against the former while it took a late winner at the Etihad for City to take the game 2-1. However, the Swans have trailed at both half-time and full-time in five of their last six against the top-six and so we’re backing Chelsea/Chelsea, though we do expect them to have to work a little harder for the three points than they have when hosting bottom-half sides so far.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Chelsea/Chelsea HT/FT at 1.79

Crystal Palace v Middlesborough

Sunday February 26, 2:00am AEDT

Big Sam hasn’t quite had the effect that Palace will have hoped as they’ve picked up only four points from his first eight games in charge, failing to score in five of these. As a result they’re down in 19th, but they remain just two points from safety. Indeed, they’re only three points off Boro in 16th after Karanka’s men drew for the fourth time in six games against Everton.

Palace have lost all three of their home games under Allardyce whilst scoring just one goal, including a 4-0 defeat against Sunderland in their last game at Selhurst Park. Indeed, they’ve now lost eight of their last nine at home, trailing at the break in seven of these defeats and failing to score in half of them.

Boro have struggled for goals themselves all season, netting just three in their last eight and 19 in 25 games overall, comfortably the lowest tally in the division. However, they’ve generally proved tough to beat as they’ve lost only seven of their last 17 and have managed to draw half their 12 road games. What’s more, they’ve picked up five points from three unbeaten trips to bottom-eight sides to date and so Palace look far too short here at 2.2 given their form, particularly at home. We’ll certainly be laying them at that price.

Betting Strategy

LAY – Crystal Palace at 2.22

Everton v Sunderland

Sunday February 26, 2:00am AEDT

Everton were held to a goalless draw at Boro last time out, but nonetheless they remain unbeaten in eight and four points clear of West Brom in 8th. Sunderland were thumped 4-0 at home to Southampton in their last game and so they remain bottom, but they’re just two points from safety in what looks set to be a fascinating relegation battle.

Everton are in excellent form at home, winning their last three at Goodison and scoring 13 goals in the process, whilst they’ve lost just once on their own turf all season. They’ve won six of nine unbeaten home games against bottom-six sides since the start of last season, with five of their wins by more than one goal and four by more than two, while they led at the break in five of those victories.

Sunderland had lost five straight road games before their 4-0 win at Palace and since they’ve lost all seven of their trips to top-half sides this term, we expect Everton to pick up the three points. The Black Cats’ last five away defeats were all by more than one goal and they’ve also trailed at the break in the last three of these. We’re backing Everton -1.5 on the Asian Handicap and also siding with the hosts to be ahead at half-time and full-time.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Everton -1.5 Asian Handicap at 2.23

BACK – Everton/Everton HT/FT at 2.15

Hull v Burnley

Sunday February 26, 2:00am AEDT

Hull were beaten 2-0 at the Emirates in their last game, but that was only their second defeat in five games since Marco Silva took over and they’re just one point from safety in 18th. Burnley, meanwhile, picked up an impressive point at home to Chelsea to remain in 12th, 10 points ahead of their hosts.

Hull have won both of their home games under Marco Silva, beating Liverpool and Bournemouth, whilst their only defeat in their last seven at the KCOM Stadium was against Man City. However, they have a whole host of selection issues, the most notable of which is Abel HernandezAll five of their wins this season have come in the 11 games the striker has started and they have a W0-D4-L10 record without him, failing to score in nine of these games.

Burnley are still without midfielders Hendrick, Marney and Defour, but that trio all missed the visit of Chelsea and we think Burnley can pick up another result in their absence. The Clarets have famously picked up only one point on their travels this term, but they’ve only gone to Leicester of the current bottom-seven so far and there have been signs of improvements as their last five defeats have been by just a single goal, despite them going to Arsenal, City and Spurs in that time. We think they can at least double their away points tally at a depleted Hull side, who we’ll be laying at 2.26.

Betting Strategy

LAY – Hull at 2.26

West Brom v Bournemouth

Sunday February 26, 2:00am AEDT

West Brom rescued a point at West Ham in injury time to stretch their unbeaten run to four games and remain in 8th. Bournemouth, meanwhile, continue to struggle as they were beaten 2-0 at home to City to stretch their winless run to six games and leave themselves down in 14th, now just six points form the drop zone.

While the Baggies are just W0-D1-L7 against sides above them this term, they’re W10-D6-L1 against the rest of the division, though that defeat did come against Bournemouth. However, at home they’ve won seven of eight unbeaten games against teams below them and so they look an excellent price at odds-against.

Bournemouth have now conceded at least twice in their last six, while they’ve lost five of their last six on the road, conceding more than twice in each of these defeats. Indeed, since six of their last seven away defeats were by more than one goal, whilst six of the Baggies’ seven home wins this term were by more than one, we’re going to back Pulis’ men -1 on the Asian Handicap.

Betting Strategy

BACK – West Brom -1 Asian Handicap at 3.1

Watford v West Ham

Sunday February 26, 4:00am AEDT

After wins over Arsenal and Burnley, Watford were beaten 2-0 at Old Trafford last time out and so they drop down to 13th, though they’re just two points behind their visitors West Ham in 10th. Slaven Bilic’s side came from behind to lead West Brom but were undone by an injury time goal and so had to settle for a point.

After back-to-back defeats in their opening two home games against Chelsea and Arsenal, Watford have since lost just twice in 10 at Vicarage Road, against Spurs and Stoke. Indeed, if we exclude top-five opposition, Watford are W5-D3-L1 at home, including wins over Man Utd and Everton. They haven’t been the best defensively, however, as their only clean sheets have come against Boro and Hull, the two lowest scorers in the division.

West Ham have similarly kept only one clean sheet in their last eight, with their last four all seeing more than three goals. They’ve won three of their last four on the road, but have kept only one away clean sheet all season. Indeed, seven of their 12 road games have seen more than three goals, whilst eight of Watford’s 12 home games have had more than two strikes, making Over 2.5 Goals look a cracking price at 2.06 in a game where the prices in the match outcome markets look about right.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Over 2.5 Goals at 2.06

Tottenham v Stoke

Monday February 27, 12:30am AEDT

Tottenham suffered their first defeat in 10 games as they lost 2-0 at Anfield in their last Premier League outing, though they look well-placed in 3rd to secure a top-four finish having now gone to each of their fellow top-six sides. Stoke, meanwhile, picked up their first win in four as they beat Palace 1-0 at home to move up to 9th, the position they’ve ended up in in the last three seasons.

Whilst they’ve managed only two wins in their last 10 away, Tottenham have won their last seven at White Hart Lane, where they remain unbeaten. They’ve conceded only one goal in their last six there, whilst they were also ahead at the break in four of these. They won 4-0 in the revere fixture early on this season and we could well see something similar here.

Stoke have lost 3-1, 4-1 and 4-2 at Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea respectively within their last five away games and it was a similar story last term as they conceded more than twice in three of their five trips to top-five teams. They’ve trailed at the break in seven of their eight visits to such sides since the start of last term and since each of their defeats were by more than one goal, we’re backing Tottenham -1.5 on the Asian Handicap in addition to them being ahead at half-time and full-time.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Tottenham -1.5 Asian Handicap at 2.12

BACK – Tottenham/Tottenham HT/FT at 2.05

Leicester City v Liverpool

Tuesday February 28, 7:00am AEDT

Leicester’s 2-0 defeat at Swansea was their fifth on the bounce and means they’ve managed only one goal in their last eight. As a result, they’re just one point clear of the drop zone in 17th and in dire need of a positive result. Liverpool, on the other hand, looked like the side that started so strongly this season in beating Spurs 2-0 at Anfield as they battle it out for a top-four spot.

Leicester have lost 3-0 against both Chelsea and Man Utd in their last two home games and whilst they did manage to beat Man City at the King Power, the Citizens were in the midst of a poor run that saw them beaten at home to Chelsea prior to that. The Foxes have failed to score in their other four home games against top-seven opposition, though Liverpool’s recent away record may give them some confidence.

The Reds have won only two of their last seven on the road and lost at Hull in their last away game, but with Mane back in the side and Coutinho returning to full fitness, we expect them to show their form from early on in the season when they managed high-scoring victories at Arsenal, Chelsea, Swansea and Palace. They did concede in each of these victories and we think the Foxes can end their barren run against this leaky Liverpool defence, but we’re backing the Reds to outscore their hosts.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Liverpool Win and Both Teams to Score at 3.5


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