Fixture congestion to the max! From mid-week matches to a comprehensive weekend slate James Kempton is here to get you in a positive state of mind for all things Premier League.
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford
Tottenham -1.75 and 3 goals
Spurs have won three straight meetings in EPL action but last season it was just a 1-0 win on this ground for them. Without Harry Kane in the line up their link play is not as efficient so I’d not want to be trusting on giving up too much on the handicap line. I can’t go against Spurs after that midweek comeback against Swansea but it’s a steep line for them to cover. Although Watford performed well in midweek they’re not to be trusted on the road!
Manchester City v Hull City
Man City -2 and 3.25 goals
Hull grabbed a 1-1 draw on this ground in February 2015 but that’s the only meeting of the sides in the last five that Man City have not won by at least two goals. Marco Silva has greatly impressed me this season and I do not see his well organised Hull side getting destroyed in this fixture. A tentative lean to the away side as they will scrap for every ball and against this dodgy home defence who’d say that the Tigers won’t find a way to score. If they do covering a -2 line becomes tricky even if they play well.
Middlesbrough v Burnley
Middlesbrough -0.25 and 2 goals
Burnley ground out a 1-0 win when the sides met on Boxing Day and they had that much needed midweek win over Stoke. For the Clarets this is basically a ‘do not lose game’. Boro have to win to try and drag Burnley back into the relegation scrap as let’s be honest it is not inconceivable that Burnley could lose every game between now and the end of the season. Boro scored twice in midweek for the first time in ages…….and still lost! Tentative lean to the away side but beware as Boro are drinking in the last chance saloon!
Stoke City v Liverpool
Liverpool -0.5 and 2.5 goals
Four of the last six meetings of the sides have seen over 4.5 goals cash so that goal line looks set a little low. Both of these teams blow hot and cold so I’m leaving this one well alone on the match market. In many ways I find it quite sad that I have so little to say about this game.
West Bromwich Albion v Southampton
PK and 2.25 goals
The sides have met four times at the Hawthornes in EPL action since November 2012 with each game going under 2.5 goals and just four total goals. I’m happy to side with those trends to continue here and take this to be a lower scoring game. The beaches lie in wait for both sides so it wouldn’t surprise me to see this game end 0-0 or 1-1 in a result that would please both sides.
West Ham United v Swansea City
West Ham -0.5 and 2.75 goals
Swansea won 4-1 at Upton Park last May in one of the final fixtures at the famous old ground. The Hammers gained some form of revenge for that defeat on Boxing Day with a win by the same score line at the Liberty so goals have flown in during recent meetings. Swansea are deep in the relegation dogfight and receiving half a goal in this fixture they’d be the side I take here. They should be buoyed by the position they got themselves into in midweek against Spurs rather than dwell on the end result. Swans for me.
Bournemouth v Chelsea
Chelsea -1 and 2.75 goals
Chelsea won 4-1 on this ground back in April and I see them opening up the home side her. Minus one is a steep line though and I shall not be taking them giving up a full goal against a side who although they concede also know where the net is. Another game I have little to say on.
Sunderland v Manchester United
Man Utd -1.25 and 2.75 goals
Sunderland won this game 2-1 last season and I’m sure David Moyes will have his team fired up for a game against his old club. United have won five of their last eight trips to this ground but none of those eight matches saw United win by more than a goal. The usual big game atmosphere at the Stadium of Light will start to dwindle away as relegation is now all but confirmed. That feeling of doom and gloom is the only reason why I’d suggest just small stakes are placed on the +1.25 line as I do quite like the home dog.
Everton v Leicester City
Everton -0.75 and 2.5 goals
There have been at least two goals in all of the five EPL meetings of the sides with over 2.5 goals going 4-1. The only game where Yes on Both Teams To Score did not land was the recent Boxing Day meeting of the team when the Foxes did not appear to play their usual style. Leicester are now gunning for glory on the European stage so I sense that plus three quarters they could offer a little bit of value here. Reverting to their old style of play should also see this game have a few goals in so I’d lean to the overs too.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Arsenal -0.75 and 2.75 goals
Arsenal won their last two trips to Selhurst Park by a 2-1 scoreline and interestingly none of the seven meetings of the sides in EPL action since October 2013 have seen four or more goals. Under 2.5 goals is 4-3 in that run with Arsenal scoring two goals in exactly six of those matches. Midweek form suggests the Gunners could be picking up but a few crunching tackles from Big Sam’s men could soon change that. A small lean to the home team and unders.