Chelsea v West Brom

Tuesday Feburary 13, 7:00am AEDST

The Blues had another disaster in their last game against Watford with Tiemoue Bakayoko being sent off in the 30th minute, helping the Hornets to their second win in a dismal 13 league games. It doesn’t get much better for West Brom though, losing to fellow relegation candidates Southampton in a vital six-pointer which sees them lie four points adrift at the foot of the table.

It’s hard to get excited for this game with Chelsea playing such poor football against a Baggies side that have failed to score more than one goal in any of their 13 road games this season, firing a blank in six. Five of Albion’s six trips to top-half teams have seen fewer than three strikes with the only exception at Man City as they’ve proven their resilience with draws at Liverpool and Spurs.

Antonio Conte is having a torrid time of it at Stamford Bridge and is likely to have a conservative approach to this game as a defeat could be his last in charge. His team have only managed one goal in their last two games – curtesy a long-range Eden Hazard strike – while at the Bridge they’ve not scored in their last two, so we expect this to be a low-scoring affair with Under 2.5 goals out best bet.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 2.16

Tottenham v Arsenal

Tuesday Feburary 10, 11:30pm AEDST

The final chapter in Spurs’ tricky trio of games sees them host their great rivals in the North London Derby. Pochettino should be pleased with four points so far from Man Utd at home and a trip to Anfield and it’s his side’s form when hosting their main rivals and Arsenal’s troubles on the road that gives plenty of encouragement that they’ll make it seven points form nine. Spurs are W6-D1-L1 hosting top-six sides since the start of last season, whereas Arsenal have lost six of eight winless trips to the same opposition over the same time period.

For all Arsenal looked dangerous with former Dortmund duo Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang reuniting their fruitful relationship, it was against a lacklustre Everton team and on home soil where only Man City have picked up more points this term. Wenger’s side are suffering from the away day blues at all venues this season as they’re a dreadful W3-D4-L6, losing at Swansea and Bournemouth most recently. They’ve conceded eight goals in their last four – all versus bottom-six sides at the time of playing – so any threat they carry up front may be hindered by the lack of defensive quality and backbone in the side. Spurs, meanwhile, are becoming more and more accustomed to Wembley and have won eight of 10 unbeaten matches there after failing to succeed in any of their first three on the hallowed turf.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Spurs Win at 2.04

Everton v Crystal Palace

Sunday February 11, 2.00am AEDST

Everton were very poor at the Emirates in their 5-1 defeat and their run of just one victory in their last eight also included another hammering in North London at Spurs. While Toffees fans despair at the ever-increasing gap forming between themselves and the ‘Big Six’, they remain one of the strongest sides from the remaining 14 clubs. Excluding fixtures with the top six they’ve gone W4-D2-L1 under Big Sam and they look a generous price on home soil against a Palace side that have been dealt a major blow this week.

Wilfried Zaha has been ruled out of two months and along with Roy Hodgson’s arrival he was the catalyst for the Eagles’ turnaround after a dreadful start to the season. Going back into last season they’ve lost without scoring in the last eight games the Ivorian winger has missed.

While Palace’s only two defeats in their last 15 have come against Arsenal, winning has become less regular as they’ve drawn eight of these games. Without their talisman many of these stalemates could turn into defeats, so they look vulnerable against an Everton side that generally act in front of their own fans. Indeed, the Toffees have won 18 of their last 22 at Goodison versus teams outside the ‘Big Six’ and look in a strong position to do so again.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Everton Win at 2.3

Stoke v Brighton

Sunday February 11, 2.00am AEDST

Stoke threw it away at Bournemouth with some lacklustre defending after they’d shown some improvement in this department in their opening two games under Paul Lambert – picking up four points and two clean sheets at home. We expect their defence, especially on their own patch, to continually improve as they have a full compliment of players to choose from and this looks a fanstatic opportunity to pick up a vital three points.

Brighton may have put three past West Ham on the weekend, but they’ve struggled to replicate their home form on the road all season as no club has scored fewer on their travels. They’re amidst a run of five defeats from seven winless away matches and their only goal in this run came form the penalty spot.

The Potters have a terrific record hosting promotes sides, winning seven of the last nine such matches, whilst against bottom-half teams they’re W11-D3-L2 in front of their own fans since the start of last season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Stoke WIN at 2.22

Swansea v Burnley

Sunday February 11, 2.00am AEDST

Swansea’s revival under Carlos Carvalhal continues as their only defeat in six has been at home against Spurs but they’ve since turned over Liverpool and Arsenal at the Liberty to start as slight favourites here. They now welcome a Burnley side with a much smaller profile than their recent visitors but who are arguably more difficult to break down as Sean Dyche has his team extremely well-organised.

The Clarets are without a win in nine (D5-L4) but three of the four defeats in this run came against top-six opposition while they managed to share the spoils with both Manchester clubs. On the road, they’ve lost just three times this season, drawing four of the last five, so it will be interesting how Swansea cope with more expectation on their shoulders rather than playing the underdog as they’ve done so well recently. The likes of Leroy Fer and Wilfred Bony have been recently ruled out for the season, testing the depth of this Swans squad, and with the two sides evenly matched we think the draw is most likely outcome.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Draw at 2.95

West Ham v Watford

Sunday February 11, 2.00am AEDST

Despite their club losing just one of their last seven league matches there is unrest amongst the West Ham fans as they’re frustrated with the lack of spending over the January transfer window. This issue was compounded by recent injuries to key attackers Lanzini and Arnautovic and without either this Hammers side lacks any real spark. They managed just four shots in total at Brighton last weekend and in the duo’s absence, Moyes has been scratching around for attacking options with his side managing just seven shots on target in their last two home games, albeit they salvaged 1-1 draws in each.

Watford arrive on the back of a sensational 4-1 win over Chelsea, although three of the goals were scored in the final five mins versus 10-men. Overall, we expect them to be more defence-minded under Javi Gracia, especially on the road as illustrated in his first game in charge at Stoke. He arrived with a reputation for organisation and positional discipline from his time in Spain. During his 56 away games with Osasuna and Malaga from 2013/14 to 2015/16, 57% had Under 2.5 Goals and 43% had Under 1.5, making him profitable for ‘unders’ backers. Indeed, the only goal Watford have conceded so far during his tenure was a superb piece of skill from the world-class Eden Hazard and so we reckon this will be a cagey affair.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 1.77

Manchester City v Leicester

Sunday February 11, 4.30am AEDST

Both these sides can be accused of being wasteful in their last matches as Man City – in particular Raheem Sterling – missed some guilt edge chances at Turf Moor while Leicester couldn’t find the winning goal against Swansea that their performance deserved. We questioned how the Foxes would cope without the unwilling Marhez and to our surprise they still looked very dangerous with Diabate, Iheanacho and Vardy all causing problems.

City have shown signs of encouragement for the rest of the division in recent weeks, keeping just one clean sheet in their last five and winning only half of their last six. All blips have come on the road though and they remain as dominant as ever at the Etihad with 12 consecutive league victories there while netting at least three times in 10 of these. However, they’ve conceded in six of the last eight and so with think the Foxes can get on the scoresheet in defeat.

Indeed, Leicester have lost eight of 10 trips to the top-six since the start of last season, netting in five of these defeats. Guardiola is bemoaning his injury crisis, but his side are relentless in front of their own fans and should always outscore their opponents, even with the likes of Sane, Jesus and David Silva absent.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man City Win & BTTS at 2.5

Huddersfield v Bournemouth

Sunday February 11, 11:00pm AEDST

Huddersfield lost yet again last weekend to a strong Man Utd side which now piles the pressure on David Wagner’s side who have dropped from 11th to 19th over the last three weeks. Bournemouth, in contrast, have climbed from 17th to 9th over the last few weeks after backing up their sensational win over Chelsea by coming from behind to beat a resilient Stoke team.

It’s tough times for the Terriers who have failed to win in their last eight games, losing all of their last five where they’ve managed just one goal. They’ve been leaking goals at the back, conceding 14 across these defeats with half of these in their last two at the Kirklees where West Ham even managed to put four past him.

Eddie Howe’s side have won four of seven unbeaten games and are in terrific scoring form with 15 goals in this run with notable wins over top-six sides Arsenal and Chelsea. Huddersfield look too weak for the Cherries here who against promoted teams this season have won three out of four unbeaten matches and should win again here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Bournemouth Win at 2.52

Newcastle v Manchester United

Monday February 12, 1:15am AEDST

Man Utd managed a stress-free 2-0 victory against the out of form Terriers last time out, getting their new signing Alexis Sanchez on the scoresheet in the process. The Magpies, meanwhile, shared the spoils at Palace making it three draws from four winless matches for the North East club.

October was the last time Rafael Benitez’s side won at St James’ Park in the league, losing five of the eight matches since and failing to score in five of these as it’s proven tough times for the Geordie side who dropped to 16th in the standings. The Red Devils, meanwhile, have won six of their last eight games in all competitions, only conceding against Spurs at Wembley in this run and it seems unlikely that their defence will be troubled by the hosts’ timid attack.

Although Under 2.5 Goals looks very appealing here at 1.89 with both teams playing in a defensive manner, we feel the Man Utd Win to Nil is better value in what should be a routine victory for the Red Devils.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Man Utd Win to Nil at 2.75

Southampton v Liverpool

Monday February 12, 3:30am AEDST

Aside from a pair of defeats against Arsenal, Palace are unbeaten in 12 league outings, while on home turf they’ve won half of eight unbeaten matches. After initially tightening up the defence once he’d settled into the job, Roy Hodgson’s rear-guard has become has become less secure with just three clean sheets in their last 10, though Man City are the only side to shut them out in this run, resulting in both teams scoring in seven.

Newcastle continue to pick up points with their only defeats in their last seven against the champions elect. They’ve lost five of their last eight on the road but each of these were against sides currently in the top-seven. In their last three they’ve won at West Ham and Stoke and so we’re happy to avoid Palace at the prices here. Instead, we’ll back both teams to score as Benitez’s side seem to be much more of a threat on their travels, failing to score only at Arsenal in their last seven which includes trips to the Etihad, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – BTTS – Yes at 1.95

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