An unusually packed Premier League Sunday schedule sees Arsenal vs Leicester in the late kick-off. Meanwhile Everton seek to halt a three-game losing streak.
Chelsea vs Newcastle
Chelsea’s recent past seems to offer a glimpse of Newcastle’s future. Having won six of their last seven matches, the Magpies are currently enjoying just a small flavour of the good times to come, courtesy of the riches their new owners are prepared to invest in the side.
For Thomas Tuchel’s side, decline is unlikely to happen overnight. But with the club currently operating from a financial straitjacket after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government, who knows if the West London side can remain a force to be reckoned with.
Yet while life seems far rosier for the opposition, Chelsea’s current problems may still trigger a twinge of alarm in Newcastle’s Saudi Arabian owners. If world events mean the culture of football is changing, it might not be just Russian oligarchs who will be affected.
On Sunday, despite Newcastle’s growing self-belief the hosts will surely be defiant. The Blues are on a four-match winning streak in the Premier League and should still have enough to best Eddie Howe’s side. Still, Newcastle have scored in each of their last nine league games, and may be able to at least get on the scoresheet again here. Back Chelsea to win and BTTS in a double at 21/10.
Everton vs Wolves
There’s no doubt at all that for the neutral, it’s been highly entertaining watching Frank Lampard flounder. That said, while his Everton have been rotten on the road, the Toffees have been much more convincing at Goodison Park during Lampard’s time in charge. They were arguably unlucky to lose to a late goal from Phil Foden when they played Man City last month.
Losing 5-0 to Spurs could definitely have knocked the wind out of this side’s sails. Wolves beat Watford 4-0 on Thursday too, which was pretty timely for Bruno Lage after three straight defeats. Nevertheless, on the basis that Everton are a different proposition when playing at home, maybe it’s still worth siding with the hosts here. Everton are 27/20 to win.
Leeds vs Norwich
It’s tough to put too much faith in either of these sides. Both teams are on ugly losing streaks heading into this match.
Can Jesse Marsch inspire the hosts to victory over an eminently beatable team? Or could Dean Smith’s side rouse themselves to beat a Leeds team that were tonked 3-0 at home by Aston Villa on Thursday?
Thankfully, there might be more certainty in taking a punt on the cards market. There’s plenty of reason for this to be bad-tempered, after all.
Norwich are not generally an especially ill-disciplined side, but it’s a different story for the hosts. In each of their last four home games, Leeds have received at least four yellow cards. So backing over 2.5 cards for Leeds in the Total Cards market at 8/5 seems the way to go…
Southampton vs Watford
Just as Ralph Hasenhuttl is being linked with a move to Man Utd, the Saints have lost their last two. Still, Southampton face a chastened Watford this weekend. Roy Hodgson’s side are still coming to terms with that 4-0 spanking from Wolves on Thursday.
If Southampton are feeling a bit hard done by they could hardly have hoped for more pliant opponents this weekend. That said, there’s not a lot of appeal in the home side’s odds of 3/5 to win.
Instead, let’s put our faith in James Ward-Prowse, who has scored four times in five league meetings with Watford. Ward-Prowse is 13/2 to score the opener here.
West Ham vs Aston Villa
Across all competitions, David Moyes’ team have scored one goal or fewer in six of their last seven matches. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if the Irons are being efficient. But they’ve only taken victory in two of those matches, too.
It’s not like Aston Villa are perennially reliable. But Steven Gerrard’s team are having a good spell, winning their last three matches. They put four goals past Southampton and three past Leeds on Thursday, too.
With that in mind, backing the Villans to get a result here seems like a pretty reasonable approach. Villa are 9/4 to win. Factoring in Villa’s recent goal hauls, backing over 2.5 goals at 9/10 is worth a look, too.
Arsenal vs Leicester
For Leicester, it’s been a nothing season. For Arsenal though, the side currently look well-placed to finish fourth in the league and earn Champions League football next season. That used to be a given for the Gunners, of course, but things have changed. Arteta would be well pleased with a place at Europe’s top table.
The North London outfit have won their last four matches, and beat Leicester in the reverse fixture 2-0 in October. And the Foxes will be without Jamie Vardy, who is injured again, having only recently returned to action for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
All eight of Arsenal’s last home games in the Prem have seen three or fewer goals scored. Back Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals in a double at 29/20.
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