Our football analyst previews the English Premier League Week 14 action which kicks off on Saturday 30 November 2019.
Liverpool showed great character yet again to remove all doubt of a late scare against Crystal Palace, salvaging a 2-1 win at Selhurst Park. Their gap remains eight points over Leicester City, although Chelsea did fall to defeat at champions, Manchester City, which will be good news for the log-leaders who look to distance themselves from all challengers as early as possible. Elsewhere, it was all eyes on the managers as Jose Mourinho won his first game in charge of Tottenham, while Marco Silva, Unai Emery and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remain in hot water after failing to win this past weekend.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Saturday 30 November
Newcastle United 13/1
Manchester City 2/11
After two wins on the bounce, Newcastle’s glory run ended on Monday night as Steve Bruce’s men fell to a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa. The Toon Army produced a lacklustre performance which saw them crumble as early as the first half.
They’ll need to pull up their socks against Manchester City who come off the back of ending Chelsea’s winning run, beating the Blues 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola will also welcome back Portuguese magician, Bernardo Silva, who served a one-game suspension. Take City on the (-1) Handicap at 5/10.
Liverpool showed yet again that they mean business this season as a late Roberto Firmino winner gave them all three points at Crystal Palace, despite the Eagles equalizing in the 82nd-minute through Wilfried Zaha. Brighton suffered a second consecutive defeat when they lost 2-0 at home to Leicester City.
The Seagulls failed to create any clear-cut chances and could find it even more difficult at arguably the toughest ground to go to in world football. Liverpool have won all six matches at Anfield this season and should keep that run continuing against Brighton. Back the Reds on the (-1) Handicap at 6/10.
Crystal Palace 22/10
Burnley moved up to eighth on the standings with a resounding 3-0 victory at Watford. The Clarets bossed the game from the first minute to the last and didn’t allow the hosts to find their rhythm not once in the match. Crystal Palace were unluckily denied a point on home soil with their first-half goal ruled out due to some controversial play by VAR.
By no means were Roy Hodgson’s side brilliant in the game, but it’s the little incidents in a match that can kill the team’s belief of getting a result. Palace are known to be a team much better on the road due to their superb counter-attacking play, but Turf Moor might be too big of a task for them, I feel. Put your money on the home win.
West Ham 17/2
It’s back to back London derbies for West Ham, who travel to Chelsea after losing on their own backyard against Tottenham. The Hammers showed somewhat of a late fightback to make the result look a bit more respectable, scoring twice in the second half to make it a 3-2 defeat, rather than an embarrassing one. Chelsea’s superb winning run came to an end last weekend, although it can be excused, given the fact that it was at Manchester City.
The big shock was seeing Mason Mount out of Frank Lampard’s line-up for the first time in the league, which hopefully for the Blues, makes him hungrier to feed Tammy Abraham up front, or, to get back to scoring ways which saw the 20-year-old score three goals in his first five appearances. It’s becoming a bit of a stale story, but a defeat here could see Manuel Pellegrini sacked as West Ham boss. Back the Home Team Totals – Over 2.5 – at 17/20.
It was a dream start for Jose Mourinho as his Tottenham side claimed their first away win in the league since January. It did almost become a nightmare, though, as West Ham gave Spurs a late scare to reduce the deficit from 3-0 to 3-2. Nevertheless, it was back to winning ways for Tottenham who will welcome Mourinho to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time as head coach.
Bournemouth suffered their second consecutive defeat with their home loss against Wolves which saw Simon Francis receive his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards. I’m backing the dream start to continue for Mourinho with a win at 4/10.
Despite pressure mounting on Ralph Hasenhuttl, his Southampton side managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat and get a draw at Arsenal – a result the Saints will still be disappointed in after conceding deep into stoppage time. Sadly, the winless run stretched to eight league games, while they’re still placed 19th on the log.
Watford are still, somehow, worse. The Hornets dropped down to the foot of the table after losing 3-0 at home to Burnley. The only positive was that club-captain, Troy Deeney, made his return to the pitch after a lengthy lay-off. Picking a result here is anybody’s guess, I would suggest playing it safe and taking Both Teams to Score at 7/10.
Sunday 1 December
Sheffield United 5/2
Manchester United 12/10
Sunday’s only encounter sees Manchester United travel to Bramall Lane to face an in-form Sheffield United side. The hosts have set the league alight since their return from the Championship, riding the crest of the wave in fifth place. United, despite their indifferent form, sit just one point behind the Blades and could move up to fifth should they better Arsenal’s result.
The Red Devils have won just one of their six matches on the road this season, while Sheffield won back-to-back home games against Arsenal and Burnley, keeping clean sheets in both ties. Although, star shot-stopper Dean Henderson will be unable to play against his parent club on Sunday. I’m putting my money on a share of the spoils at 9/4.
Monday 25 November
Norwich City 29/10
Norwich’s seven-game winless run came to a joyful end as the Canaries pulled off one of the biggest shock results of the weekend, claiming a well-deserved 2-0 victory at Everton. They’re still in the relegation zone, but Daniel Farke will be hoping it’s the start of a great run of form again. Arsenal dropped down to eighth after they stole a point at home against Southampton, shocking as that sounds.
The writing is on the wall for Unai Emery at the club, and being so desperate to return to winning ways, he could go full strength on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League, which will dent his side’s chances of getting a positive result at Carrow Road. If Emery is still in charge by the time this match kicks off, put your money on the Home/Draw Double Chance & Both Teams to Score at 15/10 – if not, get on the away win!
Sheffield United 32/10
It may not be the most mouth-watering matchup, but Wolves’ clash against Sheffield United at the Molineux is definitely one of the biggest games on the menu this weekend. These sides sit fifth and sixth in the table respectively, which shows what a long way they’ve come after plying their trade in the English Championship not so long ago.
Wolves are on an eight-match unbeaten run, while the Blades are six games without defeat. The visitors will also be welcoming back Dean Henderson, who was ineligible to play against Manchester United last week. It’s a bold call, despite what the price says, but my money is on the home win.
Manchester United 5/10
Aston Villa 11/2
Manchester United return to Old Trafford this weekend as they seek a return to winning ways after drawing 3-3 at Sheffield United last Sunday. After coming from two goals down, United made it 3-2, but bottled their comeback in stoppage time, settling for a share of the spoils.
Aston Villa produced a dominant display on Monday night, outclassing Newcastle United 2-0 at Villa Park. Dean Smith’s men have been superb this season, but not so much on the road, winning just once in six matches. Put your money on the Home/Draw Double Chance & Both Teams to Score at even money.
TREBLE @ 5/1
Liverpool (-1) Handicap 6/10
Burnley Win 27/20
Leicester City Win 7/10