Chelsea v Leicester

Sunday January 14, 2:00am AEDST

Chelsea are on a seven-match winning streak at the Bridge where they’ve conceded just three goals but only one of the visitors in this run have been above Leicester in the table. With a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final with Arsenal sandwiching this fixture for Chelsea, the Foxes will fancy their chances of causing an upset, but they’ll need to improve their away record at the Big Six in order to do so.

Leicester have lost eight of nine winless trips to such opposition since the start of last season, but they failed to score in only three of these, taking the lead early on most recently at Liverpool – one of only two sides with a stronger home defensive record than Conte’s men. This suggests we should be backing a home win and both teams to score, but Eden Hazard is a major doubt for the Blues and without the sensational Belgian their win ratio decrease from 62% to 53%.

Instead, we’ll just side with both teams to score, which looks excellent value at around evens compared to the 1.57 available for Over 2.5 Goals. Indeed, outside the Big Six, Leicester have scored the most goals on the road this term, failing to net just twice in 11.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – BTTS – Yes at 1.95

Crystal Palace v Burnley

Sunday January 14, 2:00am AEDST

The Crystal Palace revival under Roy Hodgson continued with a 2-1 victory at St Mary’s to move clear of the relegation zone. It means the Eagles have lost just one of their last 11 – against Arsenal – even managing to end Man City’s record-breaking winning run last time out on home soil. While there is no doubting their improvement, Palace look a little skinny at evens for a club that have won just five times this season and against a Burnley side that you underestimate at your peril.

Indeed, the Clarets have won at Stamford Bridge and left with a point at the likes of Spurs, Liverpool and Man Utd, and their only defeats on the road have been at the champions-elect and strong home outfit Leicester. They are without a win in five though as they’ve dropped off the top six, but their two defeats in this run came at home to Liverpool and Spurs, while they drew the three away games. With Palace too short to back and Burnley a tough side to beat, the stalemate looks the most likely outcome at Selhurst Park.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Draw at 3.23

Huddersfield v West Ham

Sunday January 14, 2:00am AEDST

West Ham continue to improve under David Moyes, going W3-D3-L1 across their last seven in the league, and victory here would see them leapfrog 11th placed Huddersfield in a congested bottom half of the table. They’ll have their work cut out though with two key players Arnautovic and Creswell major doubts. The Austrian has hit top form under Moyes and five goals in his last six games makes him the Hammers’ top scorer. Creswell is also a key attacking outlet at left back having registered the second-most assists and key passes behind Lanzini this term and without him West Ham have gone W3-D5-L9 since the start of last season. Although they drew 1-1 at Spurs most recently without these two, they scored with their only attempt on target – a wonder goal by Obiang.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, will be very happy with their league position at this stage of the season and they’ve proven to be stubborn opposition on home soil. Chelsea, City and Spurs are the only sides to win at the Kirklees so far as they’ve drawn half of the remaining eight games. West Ham have won just two of their last 19 on the road and that in combination with their two key absentees means that we’re keen to oppose the visitors. Given the Terriers are hardly prolific winners, we’ll instead back the hosts on the Asian Handicap.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Huddersfield 0 Asian Handicap at 1.89

Newcastle v Swansea

Sunday January 14, 2:00am AEDST

Swansea remain at the foot of the table but there have been signs of encouragement in the first two games under the new manager Carvalhal. His attacking ethos was evident in their victory at Watford while they were unlucky against Spurs both with the officials and in terms of missing chances. Although they’ve lost seven of their last eight on the road, five of these defeats were against top-half sides and so they look a little over-priced against a Newcastle side struggling at home.

The Magpies have picked up a couple of wins recently to ease the pressure on Benitez but these both came on the road. At St James’ Park, the Toon Army are becoming more and more unrestful as they’ve watched their side lose five of six winless matches, failing to score in five of these. Rafa is unwilling to throw caution to the wind on home soil and this should suite the visitors who will look to keep possession and frustrate the home fans. Although the Swans have been tough to back this season, we feel they’re improving and that Newcastle’s odds-on price must to be opposed.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Swansea +0.5 Asian Handicap at 1.98

Watford v Southampton

Sunday January 14, 2:00am AEDST

Both these sides were given some respite from their torrid league form with victories over Championship outfits in the FA Cup. Watford have lost six of their last seven in the league and despite the fact they’re 10th in the standings, sit just five points clear of Stoke in 18th. It’s worse for Southampton who are level pegging with the Potters after going on a winless run of nine matches.

The last time Pellegrino’s men won on the road was back in September at a then hapless Palace side. They’ve lost five of eight winless matches since but five of the last six of these were against the Big Six> After being outclassed in most, Saints showed some resilience in the latest – a goalless draw at Old Trafford. If we exclude the big guns, then Southampton are W1-D3-L1 on their travels with four of these games seeing fewer than three strikes.

A leaky defence but also a dangerous attack has meant Vicarage Road has seen some exciting encounters with both teams scoring in the last five. However, given Southampton’s poor form up front this season and the defensive nature of their manager, it’s unlikely that we’ll be in for another thriller. A tight game brings the draw into play and while Watford have beaten the likes of Arsenal and Leicester at home this season, they’ve also chucked in some dismal performances, losing 4-1 to Huddersfield and most recently to rock-bottom Swansea. We can’t be confident in backing either side here, so we’ll stick with a stalemate.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Draw at 3.28

West Brom v Brighton

Sunday January 14, 2:00am AEDST

Of all the new managers to take charge this season, Pardew is the only one not to see some immediate improvement from his team. Pulis was sacked after a winless run of 12 games and Pardew has since drawn half of eight winless matches in charge while scoring just four goals. We certainly couldn’t be backing the hosts at 2.1 against a well-organised Brighton outfit.

Outside of the top seven the Seagulls have the best defensive record in the division, even eclipsing that of Arsenal’s. They’ve struggled for victories of late though with just one win in their last 11 but they’ve faced a tough run of fixtures and if we only include bottom-eight clubs then Chris Hughton’s men are a very respectable W4-D5-L1 this term, including a 3-1 victory over Albion in the reverse fixture.

While the Baggies can’t seem to win, they’ve drawn seven of their last 10 at home with the three defeats against Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs. Therefore, we’ll look to take a small profit if the match does finish all-square.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brighton +0.25 Asian Handicap at 2.2

Tottenham v Everton

Sunday January 14, 4:30am 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

 BACK – Under 2.5 Goals 2.10

Bournemouth v Arsenal

Monday January 15, 12:30am AEDST

Arsenal were involved in a four-goal thriller at the Emirates last time out which saw free-flowing end to end football throughout. The result, however, means Wenger’s side have now won just two of their last eight in the league, while on the road they’re struggling to pick up regular points (W3-D4-L4), so this is a vital clash for them to have any chance of a top-four finish.

Bournemouth’s last five matches have seen 21 goals in total, while the Gunners have had 17 in their last four, with both teams scoring in each. The Cherries don’t have a great record against the ‘Big Six’ – losing their last nine – but at home they tend to put up more of a fight with both teams scoring in nine of 15 such encounters since their promotion to the top-flight and eight seeing at least four strikes.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have managed to score at least three goals in four of their last seven games against bottom-six sides. However, with vital defenders Kolasinac, Koscielny and Monreal all out injured for this game the Gunners will yet again look vulnerable at the back and a high scoring affair like last year’s 3-3 draw looks highly likely.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 3.5 Goals at 2.38

Liverpool v Manchester City

Monday January 15, 3:00am AEDT

Having won at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge already, this and a trip to Wembley look like the biggest obstacles to an unbeaten season for City. Whereas they struggled against the ‘Big Six’ last term, Pep’s side have raised their levels this season, winning all five meeting so far with an aggregate score of 15-3. However, the two away games in this spread were narrow one goal successes and Anfield is arguably the toughest ground to visit given Liverpool’s ability to get up for the major clashes in front of the Kop. Indeed, City have lost five of seven winless trips here since 2010/11.

The Citizens aren’t the only side to have a poor record at Anfield though. Under Klopp, the Reds have a W5-D7-L1 record hosting the ‘Big Six’, conceding just three times in eight matches since the start of last season. However, Guardiola’s current crop eclipses anything that has come before and so the hosts will do well to extend their impressive record in these matches. A lot will depend on the fitness of Mo Salah for Liverpool, especially after the departure of Coutinho. The Egyptian will be heavily relied on and if the team news comes out and he’s not starting we’d recommend siding with City, but it’s likely he will line up at this stage, so the draw is our best bet.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Draw at 3.66

Manchester United v Stoke

Tuesday January 16, 7:00am AEDT

Man Utd ended their draw sequence with victory at Everton to maintain their one point lead over 3rd placed Chelsea. At home it’s just one success in four but they shouldn’t experience too many problems hosting a managerless Stoke side. Mark Hughes was given the chop after losing to League Two Coventry in the FA Cup. In the Premier League, the Potters have gone W2-D1-L7 across their last 10 and if we exclude the only two sides below them in the table then it’s seven defeats from eight winless matches while scoring just three goals.

Stoke have been hammered in trips to Man City, Spurs and Chelsea already this term and while we don’t give them much chance here, we at least expect a reaction form the players following the sacking of Sparky. Mourinho’s charges haven’t been the most prolific going forward of late, especially at Old Trafford where they’ve netted just five goals in as many games, but defensively they’re solid with eight clean sheets from 11 this term. Therefore, we’ll just stick to the home win to nil rather than backing United on the handicap, with the 2-0 correct score worth backing.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man Utd Win to Nil at 1.95


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