Our footy writer previews gameweek 12 of the highly entertaining English Premier League.
The international break is over and the Premier League is back with a set of mouth-watering fixtures. As per usual, the fixtures have been examined and here are some tips that could hopefully make you some money.
Saturday 19 November
Manchester United 31/20 | Draw 9/4 | Arsenal 7/4
Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger will renew their long-standing rivalry on Saturday as Manchester United cross swords with Arsenal at Old Trafford. Mourinho has always managed to get under the skin of Wenger, and the Frenchman has yet to register a competitive win against his side.
To make matters even more worrying for Gooners, Arsenal haven't found the Theatre of Dreams to be a happy stomping ground, with United unbeaten in nine home league meetings against the Gunners, winning eight times – including the famous 8-2 triumph in the 2011/12 season.
However, this season represents an excellent chance for Wenger’s side to end their Old Trafford hoodoo. The Gunners are unbeaten on their travels with four wins out of five games, scoring 12 goals while conceding three – no team has conceded fewer away from home. Arsenal are two points from the summit of the Premier League, while United are off the pace and a disappointing eight points from the top.
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Crystal Palace 47/10 | Draw 33/10 | Manchester City 5/10
Crystal Palace are 16th in the table with only a point off the bottom three. With 19 goals conceded and a minus three goal difference after 11 games of the season being played, the Eagles are on a run of four defeats on the spin having conceded 11 goals in those games. Things only get worse for Alan Pardew’s side as they come up against Manchester City this weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s side have won just once in their last five league matches and will need to turn their form around. They’ve dropped too many unnecessary points which has seen Liverpool and Chelsea ascend above them. With the likes of Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva at their disposal, City should have enough class to avoid a setback at Palace. Guardiola’s side boast an excellent head-to-head record against the Eagles, with 10 wins from their last 11 meetings. The away win is a banker bet and should be included in all multiples.
Everton 11/20 | Draw 32/10 | Swansea City 9/2
Everton slumped to a 5-0 defeat to Chelsea prior to the international break – their biggest loss in the Premier League since the opening day 6-1 drubbing at home to Arsenal in 2009. As good as Chelsea were, Everton simply didn’t turn up and Ronald Koeman will be hoping for a positive response. With just one win in their last six league matches, Everton will be looking to pick up three points against Swansea. The Toffees remain unbeaten at Goodison Park with three wins from five games.
Swansea haven’t won since the opening day in the Premier League and are coming off a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United. The Swans have taken one point from a possible 12 since Bob Bradley’s arrival and they’re yet to win away from home, losing four of their five travels. Everton are strong at home and should bounce back while piling further misery on Swansea.
Southampton 51/20 | Draw 5/2 | Liverpool 21/20
Southampton find themselves 10th in the table following a run of just one win in their last five league games. The Saints suffered a shock 2-1 defeat – their second loss in a row – away to strugglers Hull City prior to the international break. Claude Puel will be hoping for his team to improve against leaders Liverpool and the Frenchman will be happy to be back on their home turf.
The Saints have lost just two of their last 14 Premier League matches at St. Mary's Stadium – both defeats were against Chelsea. They beat Liverpool 3-2 at home back in March and they’ll provide a stern test for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Reds are unbeaten in nine matches with seven wins, including three on the spin. They are deadly in attack, which was evident in their 6-1 thrashing of Watford prior to the international break. However, they’ve kept just one clean sheet in 11 games played. I’m backing Liverpool to win and Both Teams to Score at 19/10.
Stoke City 12/10 | Draw 47/20 | Bournemouth 9/4
Stoke City are unbeaten in their last six league matches with three wins. Two of those wins come consecutively at the bet365 Stadium and Mark Hughes’ side will be looking to continue with their impressive performances. The Potters play host to Bournemouth on Saturday, who they did the double over last season.
Eddie Howe’s side suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat – their second loss in a row – away to lowly Sunderland prior to the international break. They enjoyed 70 percent possession and had 22 shots but could only find the net once, which is a huge worry. They desperately need to find some consistency as losing to the league's bottom side just three weeks after beating Hull 6-1 is not acceptable. The home win is the way to go at 5/4.
Sunderland 11/10 | Draw 9/4 | Hull City 26/10
Sunderland's season is finally up and running after a superb 2-1 win at Bournemouth prior to the international break. Despite being down to 10 men for over half an hour, Victor Anichebe and Jermain Defoe from the penalty spot earned the Black Cats their first three points of the campaign. The result wasn’t enough to move them off the bottom of the table, but crucially it’s a start for David Moyes’ side after their torrid start to the season. The Black Cats will be hoping for more points when they host fellow relegation candidates Hull City.
Mike Phelan oversaw his first win as permanent manager of Hull after his troops came from behind to beat Southampton 2-1. Before that win, the Tigers were winless in eight matches, suffering seven defeats. A tight affair is expected between the two strugglers, but Sunderland are tipped to make home advantage count.
Watford 18/10 | Draw 22/10 | Leicester City 31/20
Watford were put to the sword last time out, suffering a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool. It was a poor match for many in a Hornets shirt as the Reds ran rampant with some superb attacking play. Walter Mazzarri will be hoping for a positive reaction from his players as well as a better result. Troy Deeney has spent a month at 99 goals since scoring against Bournemouth. In his defence, he’s been starved of service and more prominent than Odion Ighalo, whose loss of form presents Mazzarri with a problem. The Hornets have looked good at home, going unbeaten in three matches with two wins, and they’ll look to redeem themselves.
Fallen champions Leicester have excelled in the Champions League, but have struggled domestically. The Foxes come into this fixture with just one win in their last six league matches, while they are yet to win on the road – losing four out of five travels. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have struggled for form, while it’s no secret they’ve missed N'Golo Kante. To make matters worse, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is still a while from returning from injury. I’m backing the teams to cancel each other out.
Tottenham 5/10 | Draw 32/10 | West Ham 5/1
Tottenham are winless in seven matches across all competitions – with four straight draws in the league. They remain unbeaten, which is an impressive feat in itself but what good is avoiding defeat when you're also avoiding victory? Mauricio Pochettino's side have dropped out of the top four and they desperately need to pick up a victory against West Ham to avoid falling further behind in the title race. They beat the Hammers 4-1 in this fixture last season, however, Slaven Bilic’s side got their revenge in a 1-0 win at the Boleyn Ground.
West Ham come into the derby winless in two matches, while they have lost four of their last five travels. Spurs have been guilty of wasting their opportunities in front of goal but that’s sure to change with Harry Kane back in the side. The home win is tipped confidently.
Sunday 20 November
Middlesbrough 11/2 | Draw 31/10 | Chelsea 5/10
Although Middlesbrough have won just two of their 11 games played, there has been some encouraging performances in their last couple of matches. A 2-0 victory over Bournemouth in between draws with Arsenal and Manchester City will give Aitor Karanka hope of getting a result against the league’s in-form team on Sunday.
Chelsea are second in the table after a run of five consecutive victories that has seen them score 16 goals and concede none since Antonio Conte's decision to switch to a 3-4-3 formation. The Blues will be looking to extend their winning streak against Boro as their next fixtures come against Tottenham and Manchester City.
Conte will be sweating on the fitness of star striker Diego Costa, who withdrew from the Spain squad through injury. If Costa is not fit to play, Belgian international Michy Batshuayi is in line to make his first Premier League start. Eden Hazard is in the form of his life having scored five in his last four games, while Pedro has been superb and looking like his old self. It might not be a walk in the park for Chelsea as Karanka’s side defend well. However, the Blues should have enough class to come away with maximum points.
Monday 21 November
West Brom 9/10 | Draw 23/10 | Burnley 32/10
West Brom secured a vital 2-1 victory away to Leicester City prior to the international break, ending a run of five matches without a win. The Baggies were forced to go on a run which pitted them against some of the league's top teams. First, they battled to a 1-1 draw with Tottenham before succumbing to a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool. They then took a 4-0 hammering from Manchester City before they claimed a superb win over the Foxes. Tony Pulis’ side will be hoping to build on that win when they entertain Burnley on Monday night.
The Clarets have been impressive in recent weeks, having gone unbeaten in three games with two wins. However, their away form is a huge concern for Sean Dyche. Burnley are winless on the road with three defeats from four matches, shipping nine goals while scoring just once. I’m expecting a close affair, but my money’s on the home win.
QUAD @ 9/1
Liverpool Win & BTTS 19/10
Man City Win 5/10
Tottenham Win 5/10
Chelsea Win 5/10
Written by Chadley Nagel @Hollywoodbets