English Premier League Season 2016/17 – Week 15
Saturday December 10, 11:30pm AEDT
Watford’s 3-1 defeat at West Brom was their third in their last four games and as a result they drop down from seventh to 11th. Everton, meanwhile, were gifted a point by their former player Marouane Fellaini against Manchester United, but after their quick start to the season they’ve managed just one win in their last nine and so find themselves in eighth.
Watford were beaten 1-0 in their last home game against Stoke, which ended a run of three wins in four unbeaten games at Vicarage Road. The Hornets continue to struggle defensively as their only home clean sheet in 12 came against Hull. However, when hosting sides between sixth and 12th they’re an impressive W4-D4-L2 since the start of last season, with both those defeats in fact coming against Stoke.
For a side that has managed just one win in their last nine and has lost their last three on the road, Everton look on the short side at 2.48. The Toffees continue to underwhelm given the talent in their squad and the result against United certainly flattered them and so we’re going to take them on at the prices by siding with Watford on the Asian Handicap.
BACK – Watford +0.25 Asian Handicap at 1.87
Sunday December 11, 2:00am AEDT
Arsenal thumped West Ham 5-1 at the London Stadium to maintain the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the league and extend their unbeaten run to 13 games, while they also topped their Champions League group thanks to a 4-1 victory in Basel. Stoke, meanwhile are also in excellent form having won five of their last seven to move up to ninth, having been 19th after seven games.
Arsenal have lost just four of their 26 home matches since the start of last season but three of those four defeats came in eight home games against teams between seventh and 12th as they managed just two clean sheets in these games. However, the Gunners have an excellent home record against Stoke as they’ve won all eight of their home games against the Potters since their promotion to the division.
Having failed to keep a clean sheet in their first seven games, Stoke have shut out their opponents in four of their last seven, though they have had a fairly soft run of fixtures as none of the teams they played in this time are higher than 10th. The Potters have in fact lost 14 of their 16 trips to top-four teams since 2012/13, trailing at the break in 10 of these and failing to score in 10.
With key players Arnautovic and Shawcross both doubts, we’re backing the Gunners to continue their excellent form and be ahead at half time and full time and also to win without conceding.
BACK – Arsenal/Arsenal Half Time/Full Time at 2.0
BACK – Arsenal Win to Nil at 2.6
Sunday December 11, 2:00am AEDT
Swansea couldn’t follow up their thrilling 5-4 victory over Palace as they were thumped 5-0 at White Hart Lane and as a result remain rooted to the foot of the table. Sunderland, meanwhile, made it three wins in four as they beat Leicester 2-1 at home and so move up to 18th to ease some of the pressure on David Moyes.
Swansea have had a tough run of fixtures at home as they’ve already hosted Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs, but they proved against Palace that they’re capable of beating the lesser teams in front of their own fans. Indeed, they’ve won 11 of their 19 home games against bottom-six teams since 2013/14, suffering just three defeats in this time, but having said that it’s important to note that the current side looks some way off those of recent seasons.
Sunderland have lost five of their seven road games this term but they’ve lost just three of their 11 trips to bottom-six sides since 2014/15, drawing five of these games. Indeed, with the Black Cats showing improved form in recent weeks, Swansea look too short at 2.2 and so we’re going to back the stalemate in what is a massive game for both these teams in their battle for survival.
BACK – Draw at 3.55
Sunday December 11, 2:00am AEDT
Burnley slumped to their third defeat on the bounce as they were beaten 2-0 at Stoke and so Sean Dyche’s men drop down to 15th. Bournemouth, conversely, made it two wins in three as they mounted a remarkable comeback to beat Liverpool 4-3 at the Vitality Stadium to move into the top half.
While they’ve picked up just one point on the road, Burnley continue to impress at Turf Moor as City, Arsenal and Swansea on the opening day are the only sides to beat them there, whilst they’ve managed victories over Liverpool, Watford, Everton and Palace. The Clarets led at the break in each of those victories, though they’ve managed just two clean sheets at home so far and just one on the road.
Indeed, with Heaton once again a doubt for their hosts, Bournemouth will fancy their chances of continuing their good scoring form in this one. However, Eddie Howe’s men have managed just one away win this term and so they look too short at 2.3, particularly since they’ve conceded at least twice in four of their last five on the road. We’re going to back both teams to net in this one, with both these sides struggling somewhat defensively, and we’re also going to side with the Clarets on the Asian Handicap.
BACK – Both Teams to Score ‘Yes’ at 1.87
BACK – Burnley +0.25 Asian Handicap at 2.01
Sunday December 11, 2:00am AEDT
Hull’s 1-0 defeat at the Riverside Stadium was their eighth in their last 10 games and as a result they’ve dropped down to 19th. Crystal Palace, on the other hand, ended a run of six straight defeats with a 3-0 home win over Southampton and so they move up to 14th.
Despite their poor form, Hull have picked up four points from their last two at the KCOM Stadium against Southampton and West Brom. That came after a tough run of home fixtures against Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and the improving Stoke, whilst Mike Phelan’s men also managed to beat the Foxes on the opening day of the season.
Palace have lost their last three road games whilst shipping 11 goals, despite the fact that each of these were against bottom-six sides. Indeed, Pardew’s side have won only two of their last 18 on the road, against Sunderland and Boro, and so we’re certainly not going to be backing them at 2.42. Hull have kept just one clean so far this term while Palace are without a clean sheet in their last 17 on the road and so instead we’re backing both teams to score, whilst we wouldn’t put anyone off siding with Hull +0.25 on the Asian Handicap at 1.91.
BACK – Both Teams to Score at 1.94
Sunday December 11, 4:30am AEDT
Leicester continue to struggle in their title defence as they were beaten at Sunderland, their third defeat in their last four which means they’ve slipped down to 16th, whilst they were also thumped by Porto in the Champions League, albeit with a rotated side. Man City, meanwhile, spurned a number of chances to put the game to bed against Chelsea when they were 1-0 up and were ultimately punished for not taking them as they were beaten 3-1. As a result, Pep’s men have dropped down to 4th, four points behind Chelsea.
While the Foxes have picked up just one point from their seven road games, they’ve been beaten only once at home. However, West Brom are the only top half side that they’ve hosted since they played out a goalless draw with Arsenal in their opening home game and they lost 2-1 against the Baggies.
City continue to struggle defensively as they’ve kept just two clean sheets this term but their away form is in fact better than at home as they’ve won six of their seven road games. That, together with Leicester’s dire form means that the Citizens look a massive price at 1.76, despite the absences of Aguero and Fernandinho. City’s squad is one of great depth with Iheanacho and Yaya Toure set to come in for the aforementioned duo, and we expect Pep’s men to get back on track with a victory here.
BACK – Man City to Win at 1.76
Sunday December 11, 11:00pm AEDT
Chelsea made it eight wins on the bounce as they took advantage of Man City’s profligacy in front of goal together with their defensive vulnerabilities as they came back from a goal down to win 3-1. West Brom are in excellent form themselves as they picked up a 3-1 victory of their own against Watford, their third in their last four games which means they’re up to seventh, just a point behind Man Utd.
Chelsea managed just five home wins last season but they’ve won six from seven at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte, scoring 20 goals and conceding just four. They’ve tended to start quickly as well as they’ve led at the break in four of their last six at home and with Diego Costa showing his best form since he joined the club, the Blues have deservedly shortened into 2.36 to win the title.
They may look on the short side at 1.28 against an in-form West Brom side, but three of the visitors’ last four games have been against bottom-six sides. What’s more, the Baggies have lost 11 of their last 15 trips to top-six teams, trailing at the break in 11 of these games and with that in mind we’re backing the Blues to continue their winning run and be ahead at half time and full time.
BACK – Chelsea/Chelsea HT/FT at 1.85
Monday December 12, 1:15am AEDT
Everton’s late penalty at Goodison Park made it three 1-1 draws on the bounce for Manchester United and six draws in their last eight as bottom of the league Swansea are the only side they’ve beaten in that time. They did however manage to make it out of the group stages of the Europa League with their win at Zorya on Thursday night. Spurs, meanwhile, have ended their run of draws with two wins in their last three sandwiched between a defeat at Stamford Bridge as they thumped Swansea 5-0 at home last time out, while they also broke their Wembley hoodoo with victory over CSKA in the Champions League.
It’s now four draws in a row for Utd at Old Trafford as Leicester and Southampton are the only sides Jose’s men have beaten at home so far. The defeat in the Manchester derby was their only loss in 10 home games against top-five sides since 2014/15 (W4-D5-L1), though they managed just three clean sheets in these games and they’ve picked up just one point in the two of these games under Mourinho.
Spurs’ defeat at Chelsea was only their fourth on the road since the start of last season and that together with Utd’s lacklustre form at the moment means that the Red Devils look a little on the short side at 2.22. Spurs have won at Old Trafford in both 2012/13 and 2013/14 having had a long barren spell there and we think they can take advantage of Utd’s uncertainty and lack of identity at the moment by picking up at least a point.
LAY – Man Utd at 2.24
Monday December 12, 1:15am AEDT
Southampton were well below par at Palace as they were beaten 3-0 and so Claude Puel’s side are down to 12th, while they were also knocked out of the Europa League as they could only draw against Hapoel. Boro, meanwhile, beat Hull 1-0 at home to move up to 13th as their only defeat in their last six came against league leaders Chelsea.
While they’ve lost against Hull and Palace in their last two road games, Saints have lost just two of their last 17 at home, with both of those defeats against Chelsea. Indeed, their record when hosting bottom-half teams is an impressive W17-D6-L1 since 2014/15 and as a result they look a fair price at 1.74 here. It’s also worth noting that 12 of these victories were W/W doubles, whilst 11 were without conceding.
Boro have drawn five of their last six on the road as they proved tough to break down at both the Etihad and Emirates and also managed a point at strugglers West Ham and Leicester. However, against a Southampton side that will allow them more of the ball than the likes of City and Arsenal, Boro are unlikely to be able to play on the counter as much and that won’t suit Karanka’s men. They’ve conceded more than twice in only one of their games so far and so we’re backing Saints to Win and Under 2.5 Goals in what could be a tight encounter.
BACK – Southampton to Win and Under 2.5 Goals at 3.3
Monday December 12, 3:30am AEDT
Liverpool twice threw away a two-goal lead at Bournemouth as they were beaten 4-3 in what was only their second defeat of the season. As a result, they drop down to third, four points behind Chelsea, and Jurgen Klopp will be looking for a reaction from his team here. A home clash with West Ham, who were thumped 5-1 at home by Arsenal in their last game and are down in 17th, represents an excellent opportunity to get back on track.
Liverpool have won five of six unbeaten games at Anfield this term, scoring 19 goals in the process, though they’ve managed just two clean sheets as they continue to be vulnerable at the back. Their record when hosting bottom-half sides under Klopp is W7-D3-L1, with victories in the last five of these. Four of these triumphs were by more than two goals, though the Reds have kept just four clean sheets in these 11 games.
Indeed, since the Hammers have scored in all but one of their last eight despite their poor form, we fancy them to get on the scoresheet as they have done at Chelsea, Spurs and both Manchester clubs this term. They lost three of these four games and so we’re going back Liverpool to win and both teams to score, which has paid out in eight of the Reds’ 14 games this term.
BACK – Liverpool to Win and Both Teams to Score at 2.62