Burnley v Liverpool

Tuesday January 2, 2:00am AEDST

Spurs condemned Burnley to their heaviest home defeat since gaining promotion when last seen at Turf Moore. It was the first time they’d conceded more than once here this season, but their fixture list has been kind on home soil – only hosting two top-eight sides. Despite the weaker opposition they’ve netted just seven times across their 10 matches here, failing to score against Spurs and Arsenal, meaning they’ve gone W1-D1-L6 hosting the Big Six since the start of last season with five of those defeats to nil.

Liverpool have been rampant on the road for a few weeks now, netting 19 goals in their last five. While this might not be the barrage we’ve seen in recently, given how Dyche sets his side up, we expect the Reds to prevail. They’re improving defensively, with 11 of their last 14 wins, prior to the game at the weekend, coming to nil. New signing Van Dijk should be ready to step straight in to bolster them further and when the Clarets lose, they typically do without scoring – failing to net in seven of their nine home defeats since the start of last season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Liverpool Win to Nil at 2.45

Leicester v Huddersfield

Tuesday January 2, 2:00am AEDST

The Terriers can be mighty proud that 21 after games of the season they are just three points adrift of 2015/16 winners Leicester. These two sides have had contrasting festive periods as the Foxes have picked up just one point from their last four while Huddersfield are unbeaten in four. Closer inspection of those results however shows the visitors had four winnable games against Burnley, Stoke, Watford and Southampton though. This is another task all together.

All of Leicester’s big guns are fit for selection here as they aim to get back to winning form under Claude Puel. Since he took over Vardy, Mahrez and co Leicester have failed to net just twice in 12 as they’ve won five times. Eight of the games have had Over 2.5 Goals as they’ve recorded five wins including home scalps of Burnley, Everton and Spurs.

Though Huddersfield have netted five times in their last two on the road it should be noted they’ve still failed to net in seven of their 10 away from home this term. Given this we can’t trust the visitors to breach Leicester’s defence so our preference is for a home win against a team that have lost six of their last nine away fixtures.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Leicester Win 1.67

Stoke v Newcastle

Tuesday January 2, 2:00am AEDST

Four points from two games against Huddersfield and West Brom eased the pressure massively on Mark Hughes as Stoke but the hosts remain in a dog-fight after a thrashing from Chelsea. In a very un-Stoke fashion the hosts have now conceded in 11 consecutive Premier League fixtures.

This is a great opportunity for them to move further away from danger though as Newcastle are one of the division’s weakest teams and Stoke thrive on these types of matches. They’ve won 11 of their last 15 home games against bottom-six clubs and also six of their last seven hosting promoted sides. Interestingly this is their first of three against such teams this season so we can expect a few more Stoke points to come for anyone looking for a team to lay in the relegation markets.

Benitez’s side are on a dreadful run. They’ve lost nine of their last 12 league matches and have failed to net in four of their last five. Their only clean sheet on the road this season was at rock-bottom Swansea.

Hughes rested some players in the drubbing at Chelsea so his side should be primed for three points here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Stoke Win 2.38

Everton v Manchester United

Tuesday January 2, 4:30am AEDST

Everton’s Expected Goals anomalous results finally came to a crushing reversion as they lost 2-1 at Bournemouth. The Toffees somehow remained unbeaten under Sam Allardyce prior to that match despite putting in many mediocre performances. Next up they face a Man Utd side that have drawn their last three matches. While the Red Devils were abject against Saints in their last match they played very well in their previous two – a pair of 2-2 draws against Leicester and Burnley.

Everton are winless in seven matches against the Big Six so far this season while Man Utd have gone W9-D2-L1 in their 13 games against teams currently in the bottom-half. This immediately suggests that the visitors look a good bet at around 1.83.

To add to our confidence in Mourinho’s side bouncing back to winning ways at Goodison we can lean on United’s W3-D2-L0 record in their last five Premier League matches against Everton and the hosts injury concerns which will see the continued long-term absences of Funes  Mori, Coleman, Baines and Barkley.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man Utd Win 1.83

Swansea v Tottenham

Wednesday January 3, 6:45am AEDST

Swansea’s win against Watford moved the rock-bottom Welsh club just five points off Bournemouth in 13th. Next up they face a Spurs team that are in-form and relatively rested compared to the other Premier League sides after this frantic festive period.

Spurs have won four of their last five league games by at least two clear goals though interestingly just one of those games was on the road. Away from home this term, Spurs have gone W5-D1-L4 which, while not abysmal, makes us wonder if the 1.33 is a little short on Pochettino’s men. Under the Argentine Spurs have covered the -1.5 goal handicap in only six of their 17 trips to bottom-six sides.

Swansea lost 4-0 hosting the Manchester clubs earlier in the season but those results were the only time they’ve failed to cover the +1.5 handicap at home.
Over the past five seasons, teams that have gone on to be relegated have lost 64% of matches hosting top-six finishers which backs up our theory on Spurs looking on the short side. Just 37% of the away teams won by two clear goals so the 1.80 on Swansea +1.5 looks a steal.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Swansea +1.5 Asian Handicap 1.80

West Ham v West Brom

Wednesday January 3, 6:45am AEDST

There was late drama at The Hawthorns as Arsenal’s late penalty denied West Brom’s efforts to stop their 19-game winless run. West Ham meanwhile can feel a little aggrieved that eight goals from their last three matches have been rewarded with just four points.

While West Ham’s recent fixtures have been full of goals we can certainly expect a reversion to a lower expected number of goals as David Moyes takes grip of the club. Interestingly, five of their last 10 games hosting bottom-half teams have had Under 1.5 Goals.

Here, they face the league’s Under goals specialists. Two-thirds of West Brom’s fixtures this term have had Under 2.5 Goals including eight of their 10 on the road. Furthermore, stretching back to the start of last season 65% of their matches against bottom-six sides have had Under 2.5 Goals.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 1.5 Goals 2.8

Southampton v Crystal Palace

Wednesday January 3, 6:45am AEDST

Southampton, winless in eight, are around Evens to beat a Palace side whose only loss in their last 10 came against Arsenal.

The visitors missed a late-penalty to do the unthinkable and beat the champions elect Man City in their last game in what marked their sixth draw in 10. Palace are strange in that, owing to the incredible pace in their ranks, they are more of a threat on the road than at home. They are unbeaten in their last four away fixtures including the impressive 3-0 scalp of Leicester.

While a Saints lay is the favoured play here it’s worth noting the under goals trend that both teams have followed this term. Seven of Southampton’s 11 home matches have had Under 2.5 Goals as have seven of Palace’s 10 on the road.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Southampton 2.06

 BACK – Under 2.5 Goals 1.86

Man City v Watford

Wednesday January 3, 7:00am AEDST

Man City were lucky to get a point in the end against Crystal Palace but now they return to the Etihad where they’ve won their last nine scoring an incredible total of 35 goals. They led at half-time in seven of the matches and covered the -2.5 goal handicap in six of the games.

Watford’s games have been full of excitement this season as 13 of their 21 so far have had Over 2.5 Goals. Impressively, they’ve scored at least twice in seven of their 10 away matches though they’ve only travelled to the ‘Big Six’ once (a 4-2 loss at Stamford Bridge that, oddly, they should have won!)

When these sides met at Vicarage Road earlier this season Pep’s boys dished out a 6-0 thrashing and we could see something similar here as City take out their vengeance for Palace ending their winning run.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 3.5 Goals 1.95

Arsenal v Chelsea

Thursday January 5, 6:45am AEDT

Arsenal were denied all three points at the Hawthorns after a contentious penalty decision, but the result means Wenger’s men have won just two of their last seven (W2-D4-L1). They are losing ground on the top four where their opponents sit comfortably after some impressive results over the busy festive period. Indeed, the Blues have won four of five unbeaten matches where they’ve conceded just once but the fixture list has been kind and a trip to the Emirates promises to be a sterner test than some of their recent outings.

It was after their drubbing here last season where Conte changed tact that proved so crucial to Chelsea’s title success. They only went W1-D1-L3 at the Big Six last term but this campaign they’ve won at Spurs and drawn at Anfield and the likes of Hazard and Morata will fancy their chances against this leaky Arsenal defence. The Gunners have conceded six in their last three and both Liverpool and Man Utd have come here and netted three times. However, despite having a reputation for struggling in these big clashes, Arsenal are rarely beaten at the Emirates. Since 2014/15 they’ve gone W7-D8-L3 hosting top six finishers and the current top six this term, and given a point would be a good result for the visitors, we’re backing another stalemate.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Draw at 3.47


RELATED ARTICLES

EPL Products and Resources

Spanning nine months and 380 games, the English Premier League is one of the most popular sports leagues in ...

Read More

Poisson Distribution

In 2001 I spent many months creating an Elo rating system for professional snooker. After numerous false starts and ...

Read More

Risk of Ruin

A few weeks ago we received an email advertising a tipster with the title ‘Exploding the Myth: Making Money ...

Read More