Premier League preview: Saturday’s action including Everton vs Arsenal
Everton vs Arsenal
Everton landed a new boss, but no new signings in the transfer window; the Toffees are the only Premier League club not to make a signing in January, though they did sell Anthony Gordon.
So can Sean Dyche come in and make an immediate impact – against the league leaders, no less? The consensus seems to be that the former Burnley man may well save Everton from relegation. Still, he could hardly have asked for a more demanding start.
The Toffees have lost their last four home games in the Prem; Arsenal have been largely excellent all season. Losing in the FA Cup by one goal to Man City last week is unlikely to throw the Gunners’ rhythm off.
Even with Dyche taking pains to tighten his new team up, a side that conceded seven goals to Bournemouth in the space of five days a few months back will surely struggle to keep the Gunners at bay.
Perhaps Everton can keep the score respectable under their defence-minded coach, though. Back Both Teams To Score NO and Under 2.5 goals in a double at 7/5, or throw in Arsenal to win in a treble at 49/20.
Aston Villa vs Leicester
Villa have been decent enough since Unai Emery arrived, having won five of their last seven league games. They should also be fresh for this one – already out of the FA Cup, they haven’t played a game since they turned over Southampton a fortnight ago.
Meanwhile, if Leicester looked to have turned the corner after a dismal start to the season, they seem to have turned right back again since Christmas. The Foxes have lost four of their last five, even if they did hold Brighton to a draw last time out.
Villa are Evens to win. Let’s keep this one simple…
Brentford vs Southampton
The Saints enjoyed a brief revival under Nathan Jones in early January, but with three defeats in their last four matches the old gloom is returning for Southampton fans.
Jones’ side conceded against Newcastle after just five minutes in the FA Cup on Wednesday, and the Bees have seen off the likes of Man Utd, Brighton and Liverpool on home turf this season.
It’s difficult to look past victory for the home side; the Brentford win can be backed at 17/20.
Brighton vs Bournemouth
Brighton are obviously huge favourites to win this one, with the Seagulls continuing to look sharp. The Cherries are looking for a first win since November, and will surely struggle to produce a south coast shock.
Banking on three or more goals being scored isn’t the most staggeringly original flutter out there, but it keeps working for the Seagulls. It’s paid off in their last nine league games.
Back over 2.5 goals at 4/6, or take a chance on the brilliant Kaoru Mitoma to impress; the Japanese star scored a magnificent winner against Liverpool in the FA Cup, and has four goals in his last six games in all comps. He’s 39/20 to find the net against Bournemouth.
Man Utd vs Crystal Palace
At first glance this might seem like it should be a straightforward win for a United side that have barely put a foot wrong lately.
One of the few matches where Erik ten Hag’s side have dropped points in recent weeks came against Palace, though; Patrick Vieira’s side held out for a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park last month.
That’s a rare bright spot for the Eagles, though; in five games in 2023, Palace have only scored twice. As for United, they’ve won each of their last 12 matches at Old Trafford in all comps.
Palace’s recent historic form muddies the water slightly, the South London side having won on two of their last three visits here (in 2020 and 2021). Still, it’s difficult to see the current side getting the better of the hosts.
Let’s plump for the old favourite of United to win and under 3.5 goals in a double at 21/20. Only one of Palace’s last 17 games have featured more than three goals; as for United, they’ve generally favoured efficiency over flamboyance, with eight of their nine home games in the Prem seeing three or fewer goals scored.
Wolves vs Liverpool
Wolves held Liverpool to a draw in the FA Cup last month (before narrowly losing the replay). Might the hosts be worth taking a chance on against a Liverpool side that still hasn’t won a league game in 2023?
Julen Lopetegui’s side have made six new signings in the transfer window, including Brazilian striker Matheus Cunha on loan from Atletico Madrid.
If Wolves fans are excited by the promise of a new source of goals, a word of caution. Cunha is yet to score this season – though he’s been restricted mostly to appearances from the bench.
Still, Lopetegui isn’t a miracle worker, and Wolves are clear of the relegation zone on goal difference alone; maybe an alternative bet would be a safer approach.
Each of Wolves’ last six home games in all comps have seen two or fewer goals scored. Backing Under 2.5 in the Total Goals market at 49/50 looks pretty solid, assuming Liverpool don’t suddenly transform into the goal-scorers extraordinaire of last season. With one goal in their last three Premier League matches, it doesn’t seem hugely likely.
Newcastle vs West Ham
Newcastle are Wembley-bound after their midweek League Cup win against Southampton, and feeling pretty satisfied with life in a season where they’re up to third in the Prem, and have lost just a single league game.
Against a West Ham side that have struggled, you wouldn’t have thought too much can go wrong. That said, the Irons have won three of their last four games, and might be rediscovering some confidence.
Meanwhile, the Magpies have drawn three of their last four Prem outings; each of which finished goalless, incidentally. Could David Moyes be seeking to snatch a point by playing out another dreary stalemate? It’s a possibility, and the draw is a 27/10 shot.
If you want to be more precise, you can back 0-0 at 8/1. The Irons have failed to score in three of their last four away league games…
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