Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
Palace’s malaise continues, with five defeats in their last seven matches. They were beaten at home 2-0 by Bournemouth midweek.
At the final whistle, Roy Hodgson was booed; another uncomfortable encounter could await as the Eagles welcome Liverpool to Selhurst Park. Even if this match does fall during a lunchtime slot that Jurgen Klopp insists is no laughing matter.
Despite his ongoing annoyance about scheduling, you’d think the tetchy Teutonic manager should be smiling by the end of this one. Then again, even if they did see off Sheffield United in the midweek meeting, Liverpool have drawn three of their last four away games.
Still, if the Merseyside team haven’t been at their best on the road, Palace have been pretty wretched at home. The Eagles have lost their last three and are without a win at Selhurst since early September.
With Palace offering little in recent games, this looks a good opportunity for Mo Salah to bag his 200th goal for Liverpool, then; back Salah to score and Liverpool to win in a double at 6/5.
Brighton vs Burnley
The Seagulls got back on track against Brentford earlier this week, and a visit from Burnley could well help De Zerbi’s team build some momentum.
Vincent Kompany’s team slumped to defeat against Wolves after their mauling of Sheffield United at the weekend. And with the Clarets losing all but three games so far this season, it would be a huge disappointment for Brighton if they were unable to take advantage.
Brighton have lost some of their lustre as this season’s gone on, but Joao Pedro has been a reliable performer lately. With four goals in as many games, the Brazilian looks a good bet to produce the goods again on Saturday, assuming he starts. Pedro is 6/4 to score at any time.
Man Utd vs Bournemouth
With Man Utd creeping up the table – they’re just three points off Man City, currently – one thing we can all agree on in this crazy, topsy-turvy world is what a great job Erik ten Hag is doing.
Okay, so United’s current approach of relying on Scott McTominay to keep scoring might not be sustainable for an entire season – although the four goals he’s scored at Old Trafford this season is four more than Marcus Rashford’s managed.
But having seen off Chelsea on Wednesday, United will fancy their chances against Bournemouth, even if the south coast side’s fortunes have improved in recent weeks. The Cherries are unbeaten in their last four, however, so maybe they can make a decent game of it.
Andoni Iraola’s side suddenly seem to have clicked, and can at least make their mark on Saturday; Man Utd to win and BTTS Yes in a double at 9/5 is worth a look.
Sheffield United vs Brentford
Chris Wilder is presumably looking to tighten things up with the Blades, so this one could be low scoring. That’s even before considering that with Bryan Mbeumbo out injured, Brentford are without one of their likeliest sources of goals.
With neither of these sides likely to be banging them in here, under 2.5 goals is an evens shot that looks a real possibility.
Wolves vs Nottingham Forest
Wolves are unbeaten in their last five at Molineux, and have won their last two on home turf, against Burnley and Tottenham. If Gary O’Neil’s side continue in that vein against Forest, it could spell doom for Steve Cooper’s time with the Tricky Trees.
It’s hard to have much faith in Forest at the moment too, with just one win in an 11-game stretch – and five of the last six matches ending in defeat. Last time out Forest were embarrassed by Fulham, who put five goals past the Nottingham team. This one might not provide such an ugly scoreline, but a home win at 5/6 seems overwhelmingly likely.
Aston Villa vs Arsenal
Villa saw off the current champions midweek; can they get the better of the current pretenders to the crown in this tea-time kick-off?
The hosts have won their last 14 league matches at Villa Park. Landing a 15th consecutive win would make history for the Villans, who have never previously met that milestone.
Villa’s brilliant record at home tells us Mikel Arteta has plenty to be wary about – particularly given his side conceded three goals to Luton earlier this week, even if they still managed to emerge with all three points against the Hatters. Declan Rice, take a bow.
Back to this match though, and there’s also the matter of narrative; even if Unai Emery considers his disappointing stint at Arsenal to be old news, there’s an unavoidable storyline here.
True, Emery’s previous meeting with his old side last season saw the Gunners take the win. But Villa could climb to second in the title race with victory, and this side don’t seem lacking in motivation. Back the hosts to win at 49/20.
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