Brighton v Chelsea

Saturday January 20, 11:30pm AEDST

A run of just one win in 13 has seen Brighton slip down into the bottom-six as a lack of a threat going forward has dragged them into the relegation dog fight. Indeed, Chris Hughton’s men have netted just five times in their last 12, but they’re generally a well-organised unit at the back and they’ve proven to be far more competitive on home soil.

They’ve lost only twice at the Farmers this term, but these were against Man City and Liverpool. In fact, at all venues the Seagulls have lost their six meetings with the Big Six this term, but they managed to keep it to Under 2.5 Goals in five of these.

Chelsea are unbeaten in 10 in all competitions but have drawn their last four which includes three consecutive goalless stalemates. Their attack looks laboured with Morata particularly short of confidence and with an FA Cup replay and Carabao Cup semi-final second leg sandwiching this fixture we fancy Brighton to keep this one close.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 2.5 goals at 1.72

Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Sunday January 21, 2:00am AEDST

Arsenal’s top-four hopes are fading with each match with a 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth being the latest blow to leave them eight points adrift of Chelsea in 4th. Most of their problems have come on the road and if we exclude the current top four then they’ve won their remaining eight games at the Emirates this season. However, with Sanchez set to leave the club and key players Ozil and Koscielny doubts, there will be a sour atmosphere surrounding the Emirates and so an improving Palace will fancy their chances.

Roy Hodgson has a growing injury list to deal with but he’s still getting the best out of his side with victory over Burnley the latest in an incredible turnaround that has seem then go from winless and bottom to 12th and five points clear of the drop zone. They’ve lost just one of their last 12 – narrowly to Arsenal – but the Gunners were inspired by a Sanchez brace that day and in their last 11 without the Chilean starting they’ve gone a woeful W3-D3-L5. With this in mind, we’ll lay Arsenal in this one..

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Arsenal at 1.6

Burnley v Man United

Tuesday January 23, 7:00am AEDST

Man Utd barely got out of third gear in beating Stoke with Paul Pogba putting on a masterclass to bring some confidence back to Old Trafford. Pogba now has the joint-most assists in the Premier League this season (9) from just 13 games and the Red Devils are now W9-D3-L2 in their last 14 matches with the only two losses to top-four sides Man City and Chelsea. In contrast, Burnley are struggling for form having lost three of six winless matches where they’ve scored just three times.

The Clarets have lost seven of their last eight home games against ‘Big Six’ opposition, failing to score in five of these defeats. Again, we struggle to see where the goals are going to come from with top-scorer Chris Wood side-lined along with long-term absentee Robbie Brady. In the eight games since the former got injured Burnley have netted just five times.

The Red Devils have gone four games in all competitions without conceding and we think they can add to their leading Premier League tally of 13 clean sheets here at Turf Moor.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man Utd Win to Nil at 2.31

Everton v West Brom

Sunday January 21, 2:00am AEDST

There was finally something to celebrate at The Hawthorns last time out with their win over Brighton ending their 20-match winless streak. Everton, meanwhile, had a tough day out against Spurs with a 4-0 loss at Wembley and have scored only one goal in their last five games, although three of these were against impressive top-six opposition.

The Toffees have won all six of their home games against sides below them in the table this season with four of these being level at half time. Since Sam Allardyce took charge they have gone W3-D1-L1 excluding top-six opponents, whereas the Baggies are winless in their last 10 on the road – losing seven of these, including three of four under Pardew against sides below Everton in the table. We feel the market has overreacted to Everton’s poor run of form versus top teams and they certainly look the value against much weaker opposition.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Everton win at 2.25

Leicester v Watford

Sunday January 21, 2:00am AEDST

Leicester held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw last time out at Stamford Bridge which they were made to earn after being reduced to 10 men for the final 20 minutes. Watford also managed to salvage a very fortunate draw with a ‘Hand of God’ goal from in-form Doucoure in the dying minutes of the game against a struggling Southampton side.

On the road however, Watford have lost six out of their last seven games with the one win in this run against bottom-six side Newcastle. Their defence has let them down recently as they’ve conceded 22 goals in their last 10 at all venues which doesn’t look like stopping with the Foxes scoring at least two goals in five of their last seven games against middle-third opposition.

Moreover, Marco Silva’s side have been plagued by injuries more than any other Premier League club and of the nine currently sidelined, the most notable is Tom Cleverly, without whom they’re yet to win a game since he arrived last January.

When at the King Power, Leicester are generally a good side to keep onside. If we exclude the ‘Big Six’ then they’ve won 69% of their home matches since 2015/16, making them excellent value in this one.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Leicester win at 1.85

Stoke v Huddersfield

Sunday January 21, 2:00am AEDST

Huddersfield come into this game on the back of a heavy loss to West Ham in a crucial six-pointer at the Kirklees Stadium and they are now winless in their last five games, while Stoke were convincingly beaten by Man Utd at Old Trafford last time out.

Huddersfield visit the Britannia with a W1-D2-L7 record in their last 10 road games and on away form alone would be in the relegation zone with only West Brom and Stoke behind them this season. The Potters have five wins this term, four of which have been at home with three of these coming in their last four games against bottom-six clubs – somewhere we expect the Terriers to be come May. Furthermore, they have a terrific record hosting promoted sides having won six of their last eight.

Paul Lambert is set for his first game in charge and that should impact the confidence and energy of the players as they try to stake a claim for a regular starting place. With only West Brom failing to improve since the arrival of a new manager this season, we’re going with a Stoke win here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Stoke win at 2.04

West Ham v Bournemouth

Sunday January 21, 2:00am AEDST

It’s been a dramatic improvement for West Ham under David Moyes as they’ve gone W4-D3-L1 over their last eight, even going unbeaten against the three Big Six clubs they’ve played in this run. They’ve netted 15 times in their last six as the Scotsman seems to have got the best of their most talented attackers – Arnautovic and Lanzini. However, the Hammers are still conceding with both teams scoring in each of these games, resulting in four featuring at least three goals.

Bournemouth have also experienced an upturn in form with eight points and nine goals in their last four and if we exclude top-seven opposition then they’re unbeaten in 10. Like their hosts, the Cherries have defensive issues to deal with as they’re without a clean sheet in 10, conceding an average of 2.1 goals a game across these. Nine of these saw three or more strikes and so given both sides’ defensive frailties and in-form attacks, Over 2.5 Goals looks a generous price – a bet that has landed in four of the five Premier League meetings between the two.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 2.5 Goals at 1.92

Man City v Newcastle

Sunday January 21, 4:30am AEDST

Man City’s chances of an unbeaten season came to an end in a thrilling encounter at Anfield, but it’s certainly no time to be concerned as they still have a 12 point buffer ahead of Man Utd and should have no problem overcoming an inferior Newcastle side. Liverpool gave the rest of the league a blueprint of how to put City under pressure with their high pressing.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s side are arguably the best exponents in Europe of the ‘gegenpressing’ so it will be difficult for Benitez to recreate the same panic in the City backline, especially at the Etihad and we’re more likely to see a repeat of the ultra-negative display when these two met at St James’ Park over the festive period. Despite keeping just one clean sheet in their last six at home, the Citizens never conceded more than once in these and so any impact the visitors are to make upfront is likely to be minimal.

Newcastle conceded three at Stamford Bridge and four at Old Trafford and we think they could be on the end of another hiding here as City look to re-stamp their authority on the title race after their first major slip-up. Pep’s side have welcomed four of the current bottom- eight and they won by at least two goals in each of these with three by at least three clear goals.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man City -2.5 Asian Handicap at 2.1

Southampton v Tottenham

Monday January 22, 3:00am AEDST

Southampton were cruelly denied a much-needed three points at Watford after the officials failed to notice a blatant Doucoure hand ball in the last minute. It’s just the sort of bad luck manager Pellegrino doesn’t need with his side one point off the relegation zone and on a winless run that now stretches to 10 games. Things don’t get any easier on the south coast though as they welcome an in-form Spurs side that have enjoyed visiting St Mary’s in the past, netting 13 goals in their last five visits.

Pochettino’s charges have scored 22 times in eight matches where they’ve won six times and only lost to Man City. They’ve won back-to-back away games for the first time since September but their latest at Swansea was the first bottom-half club they’d visited in that run. Travelling to last season’s bottom-half finishers and the current bottom-half Spurs have a terrific record, winning 12 of 14 such matches, averaging 2.9 goals a game with nine of the victories by at least a two-goal margin.

Saints, meanwhile, have lost five of eight winless matches hosting the ‘Big Six’ since the start of last season where they’ve netted just twice. Four of these defeats were by at least two clear goals and we fear the worst for them again.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Spurs -1.5 Asian Handicap at 2.85

Swansea v Liverpool

Tuesday January 23, 7:00am AEDST

Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Swansea on Boxing Day was the final straw of Paul Clement’s reign in South Wales and the Swans have since shown improvement under new manager Carvalhal, picking up four points in three games. These all came on the road though as Swansea have struggled at the Liberty this season, picking up the fewest points of any side in the division. This doesn’t bode well as they welcome a Liverpool side that have scored more goals on their travels this term than any other club, triumphing in their last four at bottom-half grounds by an aggregate score of 16-2.

However, it’s going to be difficult for Klopp’s men to back up a performance as exhilarating as the one they put in to end Man City’s unbeaten season. With Swansea showing signs of improvement we’re reluctant to back Liverpool on the handicap here and instead will side with a constant in their season so far – Mo Salah to score. He’s been sensational with 18 goals in 22 games, half of which have come on the road. The Swans have conceded at least twice in their nine home matches versus the ‘Big Six’ since the start of last season and so we’re backing the Egyptian to add to his tally here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK -Mo Salah Anytime Goalscorer at 1.95

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