The Premier League returns with a full complement of fixtures over the weekend, and there are two fixtures sure to catch your attention. The Merseyside derby will always split opinion but later on, the Wizard entertains the Grandmaster when Mikel Arteta hosts his former Boss at the Emirates.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
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Friday 19 February
31/20 Wolves | Draw 22/10 | Leeds United 18/10 (22:00)
Wolves were impressive against Southampton even though they fell prey to a glorious goal from Danny Ings. You get the feeling that all this Wolves side needed was a bit of a confidence booster and, with their 2-1 victory over the weekend, I reckon they could get on to a bit of a run.
Leeds will approach this game with the mindset they have approached every game this season – how many times have you heard that being said?! Wolves do not have the defensive stability to keep Leeds out and Leeds simply don’t have the quality to close down this Wolves side.
At 7/10, Both Teams to Score looks too good not to get into our multiple.
Saturday 20 February
7/2 Southampton | 26/10 | Chelsea 15/20 (14:30)
Southampton have certainly fallen into a slump. Their form was red-hot early on, but they have plunged into the bottom half of the table and I’m struggling to find reasons to justify a positive result here for the Saints.
In my opinion, Chelsea are arguably one of the better coached sides in the league. At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I have gone from relegating Thomas Tuchel as an average coach to one knocking on the door of genius. Chelsea to come away with all three is another for the multiple!
1/1 Burnley | 23/10 | West Brom 29/10 (17:00)
I could not believe the narrative that was promulgated by the English commentary and media during the West Brom and United game. The opening goal for the Baggies was a foul every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Since when does one have a greater ‘desire’ or ‘hunger’ to score even when fouling the defending player? It’s ridiculous, laughable in fact.
Nevertheless, West Brom defended well and made life difficult when they needed to.
Burnley will match that physicality and certainly have the quality to cause Big Sam some issues. I like the look of a draw at 23/10 though, which will consolidate the point picked up against United.
5/10 Liverpool | 7/2 | Everton 5/1 (19:30)
Liverpool looked like a shadow of their former selves against Leicester, defensively they were at odds and evens. If you look at those two early Vardy-chances, it could have been five. Jurgen Klopp has come out and said that his side has relinquished the league, but I don’t buy that for a second and neither should you…well, maybe we should.
Everton have been incredibly frustrating to have a punt on so far this season, but away from home they have been much better. Their inconsistency has cost them, but they certainly have the squad to have had a greater impact on those top four league places. If Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison return, they could ask questions of this shaky Liverpool defence though.
Get on the ‘Both Teams to Score + Over 2.5’ market at 21/20.
11/10 Fulham | 9/4 | Sheffield United 49/20 (22:00)
At the time of writing this, the Blades will meet West Ham in what should be an enthralling encounter. I’ve said it before – Sheffield look like the only side down in the dumps still putting a massive fight.
Fulham were excellent against Everton, every time they went forward you thought they could score. It’s almost as though they were playing champagne football. If they replicate that performance, they could sweep away this Sheffield side, but, again, I just can’t tip against this Sheffield side. The Blades have found form and are becoming consistent, having won six of their last nine in all competitions (prior to their West Ham game).
Sheffield on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 6/10 makes plenty of appeal for me.
Sunday 21 February
15/10 West Ham | 44/10 | Tottenham 18/10 (14:00)
The Premier League is the greatest league in the world, simply because of the glitz, glam and drama that is served up in great doses week in and week out. Predicting games in the league is near impossible but predicting West Ham games is an extreme sport.
The Hammers can be incredible and yet simultaneously replicate an average mid-table side. I do not doubt for a second their ability, but their inconsistency could prove crippling.
Spurs have had a tough month of love with their manager Jose Mourinho. There are times where the club and manager look hopelessly in love, and yet with just one win in their last six outings (in all competition) they look to be on the rocks.
I do, however, think Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane could have too much for this West Ham defence and at 18/10, I’m happy to get behind this wounded Spurs side – hopefully we get a reaction from them come Sunday.
37/20 Aston Villa | 5/2 | Leicester City 14/10 (16:00)
This has all the makings of an absolute peach of a football game, both sides have incredibly talented sides. The difference for me is in their defence ability. Aston Villa have a superior defensive statistic, with 12 clean sheets, as opposed to Leicester’s nine.
Surprisingly, they also lead the ‘Big Chances Created Column’ with 40 as opposed to only 28 by Leicester. Of course, we know football isn’t played on a piece of paper, but Aston Villa will not be an easy pass for the Foxes. And at 37/20, I’m more than happy to have a punt on the home side – who are enjoying an incredible season thus far.
48/10 Arsenal | 32/10 | Man City 11/20 (18:30)
People are beginning to see City as the perpetual juggernaut that simply keeps rolling on. Now don’t get me wrong, they are an exceptionally talented side who have everything required to win the league: belief, quality and depth. My only concern is that I’m not sure that they are as untouchable as we have sometimes made them out to be.
There was a fluidity to Arsenal’s game with Leeds that was incredible. David Luiz constantly found himself in the final third, and the relentless pressure Arsenal was able to pile onto Leeds was impressive.
I am fully aware that Leeds and City are lightyears apart, but Arsenal were clinical and full of confidence. If they go into the game with City with that sort of approach, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them come away with a positive result. They have the midfield to compete with a City side without Kevin De Bruyne, the defensive stability to contain an attack with no Sergio Aguero or a lethal Gabriel Jesus, and an attacking threat to ask decent enough questions of City’s last line.
I’m on the Arsenal Win/Draw Double Chance at 5/4.
2/7 Man United | 48/10 | Newcastle 9/1 (21:00)
I would not recommend going anywhere near United at 2/7. In fact, Newcastle priced up so generously at 9/1 has got the punter in me going against my better judgment. If Callum Wilson was available for Newcastle, the Magpies could have been ruthless and clinical enough to grind out a result at Old Trafford.
United haven’t been great in their backyard, they would have been frustrated by that draw with West Brom though and hopefully that draws out a reaction.
Newcastle has the players to put pressure on United, the speed of Allan Saint-Maximin will ask questions of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but the English right-back is arguably the best in the world when it comes to one-on-one defending. I think this could be rather cagey, and so Under 2.5 at 15/10 catches my eye.
Monday 22 February
8/10 Brighton | 24/10 | Crystal Palace 38/10 (22:00)
Brighton earned a well-deserved draw with Aston Villa; Graham Potter tweaked a couple things when his side met Aston Villa and they caused Dean Smith’s side some serious issues.
Palace have blown hot and cold but hardly seemed to have even shown up in their game at home to Burnley. Brighton will want to impose themselves on the game early on and if they manage to, I can’t see why the Seagulls can’t run away with this one.
Back South Africa’s newly adopted side to claim all three at 8/10.
TREBLE @ 4/1
Brighton Win 8/10
Chelsea Win 15/20
Wolves vs Leeds BTTS 7/10
Written by: Ryan Liberty