Greetings and indeed salutations! The Premier League returns with a full complement of fixtures this weekend. The North London derby will be the pick of the bunch but there is plenty of drama and enough competition all neatly packaged with a delicate bow of passion to get us going once again!
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore
Friday 12 March
28/10 Newcastle | Draw 49/20 | Aston Villa 19/20 (22:00)
I’m without even an iota of confidence when it comes to putting money on Newcastle – and I’ve endeavored to make no secret about that. To be fair though, Steve Bruce’s side have a decent shape, and approach their defensive responsibilities with an enjoyable robustness. However, they have an attacking threat which leaves much to be desired, and now without Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron, I’m not sure the Magpies will recognize what a goal will look like the next time they see one. The ‘clean sheet away team’ offers incredible value, at 29/20 it’s a banker to get the weekend underway.
Saturday 13 March
34/10 Leeds | 29/10 | Chelsea 15/20 (14:30)
What an incredible impact Thomas Tuchel has had at Chelsea. I hate to sound like another who is simply jumping on the proverbial bandwagon but, often we can harp on about giving a manager time. But, as my colleague Jesse Nagel said in his understanding Thomas Tuchel’s blueprint at Chelsea piece, Tuchel required just one training session to impact their approach to games and subsequently their system.
Defensively, Leeds will ask questions of Chelsea and, at the risk of confusing the punter, they aren’t completely out of the game. They too have a strong-willed manager who will want to impose his style of football on the game.
But Chelsea should come away with all three and at 15/20 it’s easy to back the Blues.
11/10 Crystal Palace | 9/4 | West Brom 26/10 (17:00)
The betting on offer in this game is very enticing, but I wouldn’t be fooled. Palace play one way and one way only, smother games. On the other hand, Big Sam has put together a side who understands that making a game as cagey as possible is always in their best interest.
This game certainly won’t be the highlight game of the weekend, and I can’t see anything other than a rather stale draw at the end of it, get on at 9/4.
8/10 Everton | 51/20 | Burnley 34/10 (19:30)
Carlo Ancelotti, for the most part, has done an exceptional job at Everton. They are – in my opinion – still in the hunt for European places and possess enough firepower upfront to cause teams some serious issues.
Burnley come into this game off the back of an excellent result at home to Arsenal. Turf Moor is, and always has been, a tough place to go. It’s tough to go off that encounter though, were Burnley that good or was Arsenal just terribly flat?
Nevertheless, one should give credit where it is due, and Burnley earned a point at the end of the day. I don’t see the same sort of mediocrity from the Toffees though, I’m all over the home win at 8/10.
15/2 Fulham | 4/1 | Manchester City 7/20 (22:00)
What a result from Fulham! Going to the home of the Champions and somewhat outplaying them is a massive statement. I know the Liverpool fans reading this will relegate such a comment to ‘propaganda’ or an extreme example of a hyperbole, but surely you do not think the Fulham victory was against the run of play?
I’m not sure when in that game I ever thought Liverpool could score – but then again, I can’t remember the last time they did!
I would love to see a repeat in fortune for the Cottagers, but in terms of finding a place to lay our bets you have to get behind City. If 7/20 is too short for you, consider looking at City to score in both halves: Yes, at 21/20.
Sunday 14 March
7/4 Southampton | 2/1 | Brighton 7/4 (14:00)
This is a tough game to call, both of these sides are incredibly unpredictable and often inconsistent. Southampton has more quality in the field, but Brighton have been a complicated side to put away.
My heart is saying back the Saints, but this might only be because I (like many South Africans) have started to fall out of love with Brighton given how often we see Percy Tau…but at 2/1 the draw makes plenty of appeal.
9/20 Leicester City | 32/10 | Sheffield 58/10 (16:00)
I am happy to report that Sheffield and I have gotten through a mutually amicable separation. I now see them for who and what they are: a fighting and very proud team that will play Championship football next season.
There were a lot of doubts cast over Leicester without some of their big names, but after an early scare they dispatched Brighton in what was at times an incredibly intriguing game.
Brendan Rodgers has come in and completely embraced the Leicester approach to a domestic season – and fair play to him. Why reinvent the wheel? The Foxes will have too much for this Sheffield side and the home win should be fiercely backed.
29/20 Arsenal | 24/10 | Tottenham 18/10 (18:30)
Another edition of the North London Derby greets us on Sunday evening. You have to say that Tottenham are finding a rich vein of form at just the right time. Four wins in just over a week has rejuvenated the side and even produced something of a grin on Jose Mourinho’s face.
Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Gareth Bale are starting to enjoy each other’s company and when Spurs put their foot on the pedal, they certainly have the firepower to hurt most other sides in the league.
Arsenal (and hopefully their fans) however, come into this game relatively humbled and potentially less bullish than they otherwise would have been. Of course, they still have some seriously talented players who, on their day, can win it for them.
Yet in saying that, I’ve been on the Spurs train for a while now, and I can’t let up backing them at 18/10 – see it as a reward for sticking with Spurs and their Portuguese magnifico.
17/20 Manchester United | 26/10 | West Ham 32/10 (21:15)
What an incredible victory for Manchester United at the Etihad!
Tactically they were astute, defensively they were brave, going forward they asked questions of an incredible defensive line every single time and historically they kept intact an away record which is becoming exemplary. That will hopefully give the Red Devils a whole lot of confidence to put together a run of racking up some all-important points.
West Ham will not be an easy game though, they will cause United problems at set pieces and you can take nothing away from their defensive ability either.
For me, I like the look of Manchester United to Win and Both Teams to Score at 11/4.
Monday 15 March
7/2 Wolves | 51/20 | Liverpool 8/10 (22:00)
For betting purposes, I’m not sure how we can trust Liverpool. Everyone talks about Liverpool’s defensive failures so far this season, but their attack has been just as bad, if not worse.
Wolves have a young and exciting team, one that looks to go forward and pin teams back especially when they play on their own patch. I know that Aston Villa without Jack Grealish isn’t the same side, but Villa didn’t ever look like they were in that game and that is credit to the way Wolves approached that game.
I know what this looks like, but I’m going to back Wolves to get a result. I just cannot find any reason to back Liverpool at the moment. It’s almost like they’ve just run out of ideas and are hoping that by moving players around something will happen.
To show a little respect to the Champions of England (who are currently duking it out with West Ham, Everton and Spurs for the Europa placings) I’ll say go for Wolves on the Win/Draw Double Chance, as opposed to a straight win, at 9/10.
QUAD @ 6/1
Chelsea Win 15/20
Everton Win 8/10
Man City Win 7/20
Leicester City Win 5/10
Written by Ryan Liberty