Premier League preview: Saturday’s action including Man City vs Newcastle
Man City vs Newcastle
Man City might not be quite at the peak of their powers right now. Nonetheless, they’re probably fairly relaxed about a visit from Newcastle.
The Magpies lost the League Cup final last week, and may be edging into slight slump territory, with one victory in seven league games. Meanwhile, City have won their last three home games against this side – 12-nil on aggregate.
Yes, Newcastle have improved since the new owners arrived, but they’re not yet the finished article. The goals have dried up for the time being, too, though City probably won’t run riot against a side that generally defend well. Pair Man City to win and Under 3.5 goals in a double for a 5/4 bet.
Arsenal vs Bournemouth
Arsenal come into this game off the back of a straightforward 4-0 win over Everton midweek. There’s little to suggest Bournemouth will pose a greater threat to the Gunners on Saturday.
Like Everton, the Cherries are mired in the relegation zone. And like the Merseyside team, Bournemouth are not exactly fruitful in front of goal, even if they managed a consolation against Man City last week (City won 4-1).
Any loss of confidence the Gunners may have experienced seems to have been repaired, with Arteta’s side winning three on the spin. They’ll surely make it four against Gary O’Neil’s side.
Bukayo Saka has scored three goals in his last four games and is 31/20 to find the net here; or you could side with Gabriel Martinelli, who has four goals in his last three outings for the Gunners, including a brace against Everton. Martinelli is 7/5 to score. It wouldn’t be a shock if both men got on the scoresheet.
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace
Aston Villa are improved but not entirely reliable under Unai Emery; Crystal Palace can’t buy a thrill, but have lost just once in their last six outings.
A victory for the hosts isn’t a surefire bet, but perhaps backing Ollie Watkins again can pay off. The striker has found the net in his last five appearances; he’s also scored within the first 10 minutes in each of his last two games at Villa Park. Watkins is 4/1 to open the scoring here.
Meanwhile, if you think Palace’s penchant for a stalemate will see this end in another tie – to reiterate, five of the Eagles’ last six games have ended honours even – you can back the draw at 47/20.
Brighton vs West Ham
Each of the Seagulls’ last three defeats have come at the Amex – to Fulham last month, against Arsenal on New Year’s Eve, and before that to Aston Villa. Is it possible that West Ham could add to that tally this week?
The Irons went to town on Nottingham Forest last time, winning 4-0 after a blockbuster final 20 minutes. And David Moyes’ side also put up a bit of a fight at Old Trafford in the FA Cup midweek – before being pegged back, eventually losing 3-1.
If that’s cause for some faint optimism, the Hammers’ recent history against Brighton isn’t exactly brimming with inspiring moments, though. Since the Seagulls were promoted to the Prem, they’ve faced West Ham 11 times, and are yet to lose a single encounter.
Brighton have won their last two meetings with the East London side, too. All things considered, it’s not a shock that the hosts are odds-on to come out on top.
Backing Brighton and under 3.5 goals in a double gives you a 29/20 bet, though; Brighton have only scored three times across their last four outings, so there’s a fair chance this won’t be a goalfest.
West Ham have also lost 1-0 on their travels to Nottingham Forest, Everton, Liverpool, Man Utd and Wolves in this campaign; another 1-0 scoreline wouldn’t come out of the blue here, and is available to back at 6/1.
Chelsea vs Leeds
The gloom surrounding Graham Potter’s Chelsea doesn’t seem to be lifting. Tenth in the Prem, the West London side have lost their last three games in all comps, and their scoring record is staggeringly poor; in the Prem, Chelsea have scored just eight goals in their last 15 matches.
Are Leeds likely to offer some much needed respite for Potter? The west Yorkshire side have problems of their own, though Javi Gracia did at least win against Southampton last week.
Not to kick a man when he’s down, but that’s something Potter failed to do a few weeks back, his side losing 1-0 to Southampton at the Bridge.
This obviously looks a winnable game for the hosts, even if the very concept of a winnable game for Chelsea is being redefined on a weekly basis. But for all their failings, the Blues don’t concede many, letting in just four goals in their last six league games, two in their last five home games.
Backing Chelsea and under 2.5 goals in a double gives you a return of 3/1; each of the side’s last three league wins have featured two or fewer goals.
Wolves vs Tottenham
Wolves’ last two home games include a 3-0 win over Liverpool – and a 1-0 loss to Bournemouth. It’s fair to say Julen Lopetegui is yet to instil consistency in his team.
Spurs have shown more regularity in the Prem, winning four of their last five games – though notably, their last away game ended in a 4-1 defeat to Leicester.
That’s in the Prem; in the FA Cup, Spurs were dumped out of the competition by Sheffield United as top scorer Harry Kane looked on from the bench ‘til the 65th minute. His eventual arrival couldn’t turn things round for Tottenham.
After defeat to the Blades, Spurs assistant coach Stellini argued that “It’s not about Harry because we played with Richarlison, Lucas Moura and Sonny”. Of that trio, only Son has even scored a league goal this season, though.
Kane can’t do it all by himself, while Wolves aren’t paragons of reliability. It’s difficult to be overly confident about either side, which means it might be time to wheel out the dreaded Under 2.5 goals at 10/13.
That bet has paid off in Wolves’ last three outings, and four of Tottenham’s last five league games. Plus, five of the last six games between these sides have also seen two or fewer goals scored.
Southampton vs Leicester
Saints’ last league home win came in August. We’ll say that again. AUGUST. Okay, Southampton beat Chelsea a few weeks ago, but that’s perhaps more indicative of the bizarre hex that has seemingly been placed on Graham Potter, rather than any measure of the side’s ability to win a football game.
The Saints have lost 10 of their last 12 league games. On Wednesday, they lost to Grimsby in the FA Cup. Let’s not even bring up a notable high-scoring recent encounter between Southampton and Leicester.
Leicester are not having a good season either; they lost their own FA Cup tie to lower league side Blackburn earlier this week. But the Foxes have shown flashes of good form. And the influential James Maddison should be fit to play after missing two games with illness. Leicester are 33/20 to win – it will be a surprise if they don’t.
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