Brentford vs Aston Villa
The Bees haven’t scored in their last three games in all comps, losing each match. Can Thomas Frank’s side come roaring back against Villa?
So far under Steven Gerrard, the Villans have made encouraging progress. Villa have won two of their last three away games, against Crystal Palace and Norwich.
So taking Villa to win here is the slight preference, but it’s hardly a sure thing. If you want to take the plunge you can back the visitors at 6/4; perhaps backing Ollie Watkins to score is a good alternative.
Watkins has been lively enough for Villa with four goals in nine games, and can be forgiven for getting few chances against the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea (even if he did score against Man City). Against his old club Brentford, the Englishman may be ready to get back on the scoresheet. Watkins is 2/1 to score at any time.
Everton vs Brighton
Brighton have drawn their last three away games 1-1, and you can get 5/1 on that outcome again at Goodison Park on Sunday.
If you’re wary of gambling on such a precise outcome, it’s certainly not a reach to suggest this match could end in a tie. Nine of Brighton’s last 13 matches have finished in deadlock.
Everton themselves are having a difficult season, and even if there have been a few signs of improvement it’s not hard to see Graham Potter taking at least a point here. The draw is a 9/4 shot.
Leeds vs Burnley
It’s not been a happy Christmas for Leeds – but will it at least be a prosperous new year for Marcelo Bielsa’s embattled side? Er…
In fairness, Leeds have had games postponed, are suffering an on-going injury crisis and had to face Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal in rapid succession last time they did play. Hosting Burnley is a slightly less arduous proposition.
Sean Dyche’s side have lost their last two away games, and have won just one game all season in the Prem. So Leeds do have an opportunity here to get 2022 under way in positive fashion.
The home win is a 23/20 shot; it might be worth taking a chance on Raphinha to provide a goal, too, with the Brazilian 23/10 to score at any time. Raphinha has scored eight of Leeds 18 league goals this season…
Chelsea vs Liverpool
Each of these teams’ title ambitions have taken a significant hit recently. Ahead of City’s game with the Gunners on Saturday, Chelsea and Liverpool are eight and nine points off table toppers Man City.
The Blues have drawn their last two home games, dropping points against Brighton last time out and Everton before that. But the wheels seem to be coming a little loose for Liverpool too. Klopp’s side lost to Leicester earlier this week and had to settle for a point in a pulsating encounter against Tottenham before that.
This one has plenty riding on it then, with some suggesting the loser of this match is effectively out of the title race (if they weren’t already, but let’s park that).
So does that mean we can expect a full-blooded encounter with two sides going hell for leather for the win? Or something cagier, where not losing is more important than not winning?
Chelsea seem to be in a slightly dodgier run of form right now than Liverpool; as flat as they were, the Merseyside team were possibly still a little unfortunate to lose to Leicester, with the Foxes having just one shot on target all match.
Chelsea haven’t even lost a game since early December, it’s true – but the West London side’s underwhelming performances in recent matches still suggest Liverpool can be victorious on Sunday. In a way, that would be business as usual for Jurgen Klopp, with Liverpool winning on their last two league visits to Stamford Bridge. Liverpool are 27/20 to win this one, too.
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