Premier League preview: all the best bets for the Easter weekend
Spurs are doing their best to keep the title race at least theoretically alive, and it’s difficult to see Bournemouth derailing that. The Cherries were turned over 3-1 at home by Chelsea last weekend, and have only won two league games on the road this season.
The north London club will surely win at 6/25 (the draw is 11/2, or a Bournemouth win is 11/1). But a bet on over 3.5 in the Total Goals market might be a better shout at 23/20, given five of Tottenham’s last six home games have featured four or more goals, and Eddie Howe’s team have shipped three or more goals on 13 occasions already this season.
Crystal Palace v Leicester City
It’s a battle between two of the league’s most improved teams, with Leicester looking much like last season’s champions under new boss Craig Shakespeare, while Sam Allardyce has earned wins against Chelsea and Arsenal in recent weeks.
Palace are 77/100 to take three points, and should be fresher, with the Foxes playing in the Champions League on Wednesday. Last time out, Leicester were also beaten in a humdinger with Everton; you’d imagine that Palace should have the edge at Selhurst Park. Christian Benteke has scored in two out of his last three games, and is 7/6 to score at any time here.
Everton are on a run of six straight wins for Everton at Goodison Park – and they face Burnley on Saturday, who haven’t managed an away win all season. That surely won’t change against the Toffees – especially bearing in mind that Romelu Lukaku has scored more goals than the entire Burnley team so far in 2017.
Lukaku has also scored in EVERY game he’s played at Goodison so far this year, so it’s no surprise to see him at just 16/25 to score at any time; he’s 39/20 to score last, if you want a bigger price (and has scored the final goal in his last four home games). Everton are 41/100 to win, incidentally.
Mark Hughes’ Stoke side have slumped to four straight losses in the league, but Hull could be just the team to help the Potters gain some respite; while Marco Silva have made the Tigers tough to beat at home, on the road they remain closer to pussycats.
That said, Hull have beaten Stoke this season at the Britannia Stadium, albeit in an EFL Cup game. They also held out for a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford back in February. Perhaps they can take a point from this game. The draw is a 49/20 shot.
Sunderland have been largely appalling under David Moyes – but can they at least make a decent fist of things against a struggling West Ham team? Or will Slaven Bilic’s Hammers make the most of a rare opportunity to beat a side in even worse shape than they are?
It’s difficult to have much confidence in either side – but if you’re desperate for a punt on this one, perhaps Jermain Defoe can provide some excitement. He’s scored 14 goals for the Black Cats in this campaign (and used to play for West Ham too, of course). He’s not exactly in irresistible form though, drawing a blank in his last seven games for Sunderland. Not great – but he’s probably the best hope we’ve got here. He’s 13/10 to score at any time.
Watford might not be any great shakes, but they have won their last two home games. Swansea’s new manager bounce effect has quickly faded, Paul Clement’s team mustering just a single win in their last seven matches. They were beaten by West Ham last week, for pity’s sake.
So it seems reasonable to believe that Walter Mazzari’s Hornets can get the better of the Welsh team. Previous encounters between the two suggest this might not be a classic, though; the three previous league games have provided a total of two goals, with the last game ending goalless. With that in mind, perhaps it’s worth backing under 1.5 in the Total Goals market – you can back it at 43/20, or take under 2.5 goals at 8/11.
Pep Guardiola’s had an unsatisfactory first season in English football, and could only manage a draw against the Saints earlier this season at the Etihad. Can they improve on that in Saturday’s teatime kick-off?
With the second best away record in the Premier League after Chelsea, it would be a surprise if City can’t take all three points from Claude Puel’s plucky but middling south coast outfit. If you’re sick of seeing us mention Sergio Aguero as an easy fallback bet I get it, but the fact is he’s scored in each of City’s last four league games. He’s just a shade over evens, 51/50 to score at anytime here.
Sunday’s first game of the day sees a West Brom side that have been sporadically good this year come up against a Liverpool side that have been sporadically excellent over the same period.
Unfortunately, sporadic doesn’t cut it for Liverpool. You never quite know what ‘Pool side are going to turn up, but Jurgen Klopp’s team are without Sadio Mane, out for the rest of the season, and this feels like exactly the kind of game the Reds could make a mess of. They haven’t won at the Hawthornes since 2011, and Tony Pulis’ record against Liverpool is solid too, with the coach managing nine draws in his encounters with Liverpool since 2008.
At odds of 33/10 to win, perhaps the Baggies can inflict another infuriating defeat on the visitors. If that seems too optimistic, the draw is a 13/5 shot – or you can split the difference and back West Brom or the draw in our Double Chance market, at 19/20.
Jose Mourinho hosts his old club, and Chelsea have done very well since the one-time Special One was shown the door (for the second time) at Stamford Bridge.
The West London club look certainties to win the Premier League at Antonio Conte’s first try; meanwhile Mourinho is 18 points off the pace, in danger of missing out on a place in the Champions League, and looking a little bit like a man out of time right now.
Perhaps he’ll show his true grit next season. In any case, United remain unbeaten in a weirdly underwhelming 21 game run in the Prem; can Chelsea put an end to that sequence? The Blues have beaten United twice already this season.
Perhaps the draw is the likeliest outcome though – particularly since all of United’s last three home games in the Prem have ended in stalemate. Back the draw at 11/5.
Arsenal fans will be inconsolable (well, even more inconsolable) if the Gunners lose to 19th placed Middlesbrough on Monday. Arsene Wenger’s side have spiralled out of control since the end of January, losing seven of their last 12 matches and getting kicked around by the likes of Watford and, most recently, Crystal Palace.
For all that, the side are merely underperforming. Unlike their hosts, they’re not racing unstoppably towards all-but-certain relegation this season. It will take one hell of a turnaround to see Middlesbrough get out of the mire.
And while some wags might point out that a visit from Arsenal could be just the tonic for Steve Agnew’s side, it seems unlikely the North London club will be turned over here. I could see it finishing in a draw, however – you can back the stalemate at 100/30.
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