Burnley vs Stoke

Wednesday December 13, 6:45am AEDST

After being thumped by Spurs, Stoke have another tricky test as the travel to Turf Moor to face a Burnley side in the form of their lives. Since losing 3-0 at the Etihad – incredibly that’s the only one of Burnley’s 16 league games this season to be decided by more than a single goal – Sean Dyche’s side have won five of seven matches. As we approach the midway point of the season the hosts are in seventh position with the same points as Spurs. They are five points clear of eighth placed Leicester and with five English teams in the Champions League and one in the Europa League knockout phases there is a great chance they could be playing in Europe next season!

Stoke, meanwhile, are just three points above the dropzone after another humiliating defeat at one of the Big Six. Since the start of last season, Mark Hughes’ team have lost nine of 16 trips to top-half teams. Worryingly, they’ve kept just one clean sheet in 14 in the league as they’ve conceded at least twice in 10 of those matches. Burnley’s record when scoring at home reads W14-D4-L2 since regaining promotion to the top-flight which suggests they should be odds-on here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Burnley Win 2.36

Crystal Palace v Watford

Wednesday December 13, 7:00am AEDST

Palace lost their opening three home matches at Selhurst Park but since then they are unbeaten in five as they’ve netted exactly twice in all five games. The last of those fixtures was their 2-2 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday where which marked their third successive stalemate in the league. The tie stretched their unbeaten record in the league to five games but they’ve drawn four of the matches and have still won just twice all season. As such they look mighty short around 2.25 particularly given they host an exciting Watford side that have gone W5-D2-L1 against teams currently in the bottom-half this term.

The Hornets went down 1-0 against Burnley at the weekend largely because of Marvin Zeegelaar’s sending off after 39 minutes. They are now winless in three but one point from games at Burnley and hosting Man Utd and Spurs isn’t the biggest of slumps and we expect them to bounce back here given Palace have won just three of their last 10 hosting middle-third teams like Watford.

Betting Strategy

Laying on Betfair LAY – Crystal Palace 2.32

Huddersfield v Chelsea

Wednesday December 13, 7:00am AEDST

Both of these teams had surprising results at the weekend as Huddersfield snapped their losing streak to beat Brighton 2-0 while Chelsea went down 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium in the shock of the round. The Terriers were thrashed 4-0 by Spurs earlier in the season but that was the only time they’ve lost by more than a goal at home so far. Their only other defeat at home was hosting leaders City (who won 2-1) while they’ve recorded four wins already including the famous scalp of Man Utd.

Chelsea have won just two of their last five on the road. Their away record under Conte reads W18-D4-L5, which is fantastic, but they’ve only covered the -1.5 handicap on eight occasions.  The champions look a little short here given promoted teams have lost just 64% of matches hosting top-five finishers over last five seasons. The away side in that sample have won by two clear goals in only 35% of the games so backing Huddersfield with some cover is our play.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Huddersfield +1.5 1.85

Newcastle v Everton

Thursday December 14, 6:45pm AEDST

Everton spent much of the Merseyside derby camped inside their own half but showed plenty of resilience that had evaded them for much of this season to leave with a point. Big Sam has immediately got them more organised, but it does mean their winless streak on the road has now stretched to 16 games. However, if there were ever a chance to break that it would be against a Newcastle side that are in the midst of a major slump.

After an encouraging start to the campaign, The Magpies have picked up just one point in their last seven matches, conceding 15 across their last five. Given their mini crisis they look worth taking on as favorites, especially as The Toffees seem rejuvenated under Allardyce. Indeed, Everton have lost just five of 22 trips to bottom-half clubs since 2015/16, while stretching back to 2013/14 they’ve tasted defeat in just one of 13 visits to promoted sides.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Everton +0.25 Asian Handicap at 1.89

Southampton v Leicester

Thursday December 14, 6:45am AEDST

Claude Puel returns to St Mary’s with his new side in fine fettle having made it three wins on the bounce at Newcastle. Leicester have only lost to runaway leaders Man City in their last 10 league fixtures and so immediately look a generous price against a Southampton side that don’t win many games.

Although the Saints were more than worthy of their point against Arsenal, the stalemate means they remain on just four wins for the season and they came against three bottom-four sides and an Everton side struggling before Big Sam’s arrival. The draw with the Gunners was also Southampton’s only point against a current top-nine side this term and so we’re keen to take them on at the prices.

The Foxes have only lost to top-six sides this term and are unbeaten in six on the road – all against bottom-half clubs. However, four of these ended all square, so we’ll keep the draw onside and back Leicester +0.25 on the Asian Handicap.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Leicester +0.25 Asian Handicap at 2.17

Swansea v Manchester City

Thursday December 14, 6:45am AEDST

Paul Clement earnt himself a much-needed win as Swansea overcame West Brom in a turgid contest. However, they now have the unenvious task of taking on Man City who equalled Arsenal’s record of 14 consecutive league wins in the Manchester Derby. Guardiola’s men have won all eight on their travels this campaign but only one of these has been by more than a two-goal margin, while in their last seven at all venues they’ve won by a one-goal margin five times and by two strikes twice.

The Swans have lost nine of their last 14 but haven’t conceded more than twice in any of these as any defeat tends to be a narrow one. During this run they held Spurs to a draw while the difference was just a single goal versus Chelsea and Arsenal. Buoyed by their first win in eight we’ll back the hosts to keep it within two.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Swansea +2 Asian Handicap at 1.82

Liverpool v West Brom

Thursday December 14, 7:00am AEDST

After a run of scintillating performances Liverpool were left to rue missed opportunities in the Merseyside derby. Nevertheless, their unbeaten run at Anfield stretches to 10 matches where they’ve kept seven clean sheets. West Brom, meanwhile, are winless in 14 matches since winning their opening two games of the campaign and with little change in terms of attacking intent since the sacking of Tony Pulis, there is not much to be merry about for Baggies fans heading into the Christmas fixtures.

Indeed, Alan Pardew took on the bottom-two clubs in his first two games at the helm, but Albion lacked any cutting edge in either. The injuries to creative sparks Chadli, Phillips and Morrison certainly aren’t helping the cause and given they’ve failed to score in five of their last seven trips to ‘Big Six’ opposition, the home win to nil looks the best way to get on.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool Win to Nil at 1.91

Man United v Bournemouth

Thursday December 14, 7:00am AEDST

Man Utd’s 40 game unbeaten run at Old Trafford across all competitions came to an end as City took the spoils in the Manchester derby and the absence of Paul Pogba played a significant role. They were unable to gain any control in midfield and the 35% possession figure to their name is the Red Devils lowest at home in the league since 2003/04.

United have now won just four of the last 15 Pogba has missed as they failed to score more than once in 13 of these. Coupled with Lukaku’s lack of confidence, Bournemouth will fancy their chances of heading back to the south-coast with something to show for their efforts, even though their record at the big boys isn’t great.

Indeed, The Cherries have lost 11 of 14 trips to the ‘Big Six’ during their time in the Premier League, but they only lost narrowly at Spurs this term while they managed draws at Liverpool and indeed Old Trafford last season. Their overall league form is improving as they’re unbeaten in four on the road, while of their four away defeats this season only one has been by more than a one goal margin.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Bournemouth +1.5 Asian Handicap at 2.22

West Ham v Arsenal

Thursday December 14, 7:00am AEDST

West Ham and David Moyes earnt a confidence boosting win over Chelsea on the weekend and so enter this clash with Arsenal with renewed hope. However, while they overcame The Blues, both Liverpool and Spurs have won at the London Stadium this term, while last season they lost hosting five of the top six.

Arsenal left it late to secure a point at Southampton and it means they’ve won just two of eight road games this campaign, but they’ve faced some tough trips to date. Traveling to lesser sides they encounter fewer difficulties as they’ve gone W8-D2-L2 at bottom-half clubs since the start of last season, though they conceded in six of these victories.

The Gunners have won eight of the 10 meetings with West Ham since 2012/13 and we expect them to prevail once more, but given both teams scored in six of those victories, we reckon the Hammers have what it takes to get on the scoresheet, as they did in both defeats to Liverpool and Spurs. Indeed, Wenger looks set to be without Shkodran Mustafi again and in the seven games without the German lining-up this season Arsenal have conceded 16 times, compared to just four goals in nine when he’s started.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arsenal Win & BTTS at 3.25

Tottenham v Brighton

Thursday December 14, 7:00am AEDST

Fresh on the back of topping their Champions League group which included the mighty Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, Spurs bounced-back to winning form in the league with an emphatic 5-1 demolition of Stoke at Wembley. With Man Utd and Chelsea losing and Liverpool and Arsenal drawing it was a perfect, and much needed, round of results for Spurs. Prior to the victory they were winless in four though three of the games were on the road. Much has been written about Spurs’ Wembley woes but they are quickly coming to terms with the hallowed turf. They lost to Chelsea in their first ‘home’ match of the season but since then they’ve remained unbeaten including four wins in their last five.

Brighton’s loss at Huddersfield extended their winless streak to five matches. They’ve struggled particularly on the road since gaining promotion as their only wins have come at struggling West Ham and Swansea. They’ve failed to score five times already on their travels.

Spurs have won all nine of their matches hosting promoted opposition under Pochettino with six wins to nil. We wouldn’t put anyone off including Spurs in any midweek bankers but given they are just 1.28 for victory we prefer the 1.85 on a Spurs win to nil.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Spurs Win to Nil

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