Man City vs Brentford
Fair to say the Bees are not exactly buzzing these days; Brentford have lost six of their last seven league games. At the Etihad, Thomas Frank’s ambitions are unlikely to amount to anything much grander than avoiding a spanking.
Perhaps there is a glimmer of possibility for the visitors – Pep Guardiola’s side signed off for the winter break with a draw against Southampton, after all. Though according to Pep himself, that performance was “by far” one of the best performances of the season. Genuine laughs out loud at Pep in that interview.
Which is not to say the City boss doesn’t know what he’s doing. If the media are looking to pounce on even the slightest setback, why not be hilariously bullish about a disappointing result?
Whatever, City had won 12 league matches prior to the draw, and in two of their last three home games in the Prem they’ve scored bucketloads – six against Leicester, seven against Leeds before that. The side put four past Fulham in the FA Cup at the weekend too.
If the hosts are in the mood, this could really be a painful night for a Brentford team that have conceded at least three goals in five of their last six matches in all comps.
Combine City to win and over 3.5 goals in a double for 49/50 to get a half-decent price on the home win.
Norwich vs Crystal Palace
Norwich have found some kind of form in 2022, winning four of their last five games in all comps. Palace aren’t renowned for travelling well, either – they’ve won one away game in the Prem this season.
However, the Canaries’ upturn in fortunes is surely a fragile one that could collapse at any moment, so it’s difficult to be confident about either of these sides. The draw at 12/5 might be the way to go here.
Spurs vs Southampton
They might not be much cop against Chelsea – played three, lost three in the last month – but otherwise Spurs are in pretty decent shape as they prepare to welcome Hasenhuttl’s slightly haphazard Saints.
The North London club are unbeaten at home in five league matches, winning four of those. They drew against Southampton in late December but were the dominant side, firing 11 shots on target against two from the hosts (though the south coast side were playing with 10 men, Salisu having been sent off in the 39th minute).
Southampton have looked to be in reasonable form themselves of late, but Spurs still seem solid enough to take three points here. And, unimaginative as it might sound, Harry Kane could be the man to step up. The England striker has 11 goals in 12 starts in the Prem against Southampton – and scored twice at the weekend against Brighton, too.
In the Wincast Anytime goal market, back Harry Kane to score at any time and Spurs to win at 7/5.
Aston Villa vs Leeds
Villa signed off two weeks ago by spoiling Duncan Ferguson’s party at Everton; now the Villans are looking to overcome a Leeds side that lost, somewhat unexpectedly, against Newcastle last time out.
Leeds will be without Patrick Bamford, with the forward’s foot injury having not improved, worryingly for Bielsa. Kalvin Philips and Liam Cooper are making better progress but are unlikely to figure here, so once again Leeds look stretched.
A win for Steven Gerrard’s Villa looks the likeliest outcome, even if Leeds are capable of springing a surprise on their day – see that victory over West Ham a few weeks back.
Philippe Coutinho scored and made an assist in his debut appearance for Villa against Man United, and the former Liverpool and Barca man is 9/4 to score at any time here. Leeds have their own classy Brazilian to call on of course, and Raphinha is the visitors’ best chance of finding the net, even if it winds up being simply a consolation. Raphinha is 29/10 to score at any time.
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