It’s getting into the colder and darker months, and there are plenty of struggling teams in need of Premier League points. Will they get them in the upcoming weekend’s round of games? The best chance for bottom-half teams comes with tough European matches for last season’s top six. Let’s look into the matches that may have you letting off fireworks in your garden in celebration, and those that are more likely to have your house looking like Mario Balotelli’s bathroom.
Bournemouth, a team which started off promisingly, has seen things tail off of late, as tiredness, injuries and the test of playing at a higher level set in. Lucky, then, that the next opponent for the Cherries is Newcastle United. Steve McClaren does not have unlimited time to improve things for his team, and there is a real need for results. This has the hallmarks of a draw, a result for which Sportingbet gives you odds of 13/5.
Two teams enjoying the Premier League a lot more are surprise packages Leicester City and Watford. Both are managed by people once considered washed-up, and yet Claudio Ranieri and Quique Sanchez Flores have shown that reputations can go up as well as down. Watford comes off the back of two wins in a row, one of which was a potentially-tough game away to Stoke City.
With Troy Deeney finally joining Odion Ighalo in scoring form, problems between the posts have been solved. Leicester might be third in the league, but this will be a test at the King Power Stadium, and BetVictor’s 19/5 for a Watford win looks like cracking value.
On Sunday, Aston Villa might be able to give manager Remi Garde his Premier League debut, but unfortunately it comes against Manchester City. Realistically, Villa’s only chance of getting anything from this is if City has been put through the mill by Sevilla in the Champions League. I still wouldn’t give much chance to the home side. 10/3 with Bet365 for City to win by two or more goals sounds about fair enough.
There are two other games on Sunday; Liverpool must negotiate a difficult visit of Crystal Palace, having lost to the well-organised side at home last season. Thursday-night Europa League matches always seem to make the following league match a test for the Reds, and 19/4 for a Palace win with BetVictor seems overly generous.
The other match is the north London derby; Arsenal has genuine title ambitions, Tottenham Champions League hopes – and historically this match can go either way. Arsenal will benefit from the extra day’s rest, and is the more likely winner; new hero Joel Campbell is 21/10 with Unibet to score anytime for the Gunners.