Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal
Forest’s last home game in the Prem saw the side earn a win over Man Utd. Since then they’ve failed to take victory in 90 minutes in their last four matches in all comps, however. As they host north London’s finest on Tuesday night, can Forest possibly upset Arsenal’s applecart?
The Gunners have enjoyed 10 days off since their last match – a 5-0 dismantling of Crystal Palace – and after an iffy spell where Mikel Arteta’s side lost to West Ham and Fulham in back-to-back weeks, supporters will be hopeful that the Gunners are fully fit and firing once again.
This weekend there have been suggestions Arteta could take the reins at Barcelona when Xavi leaves at the end of the season; will that speculation have any effect on Arsenal’s focus? It seems unlikely.
More notably, Arsenal’s last three visits to the City Ground have ended in defeat. Still, with the visitors confident and fresh for this one, Forest may struggle to take anything from this game. Especially given so many of their players are absent.
After the Gunners’ five-star showing against Palace, this game may offer less effervescence; Arsenal have scored just a single goal in each of their last three away games in all comps.
This one could be more about the result than the performance. So backing Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals in a double at 23/20 might be the way to go.
Fulham vs Everton
Two sides in a bit of a slump here. Everton have lost three of their last four games – and there could be more bad news to come, with talk of a second points deduction for the Toffees for financial breaches of the Prem’s profit and sustainability rules.
Fulham have their own troubles, losing four of their last five Prem games. Still, the west London team did win their last home game – against Arsenal, no less. Can Marco Silva’s boys build on that home form with a strong showing against Everton?
With neither side filling us with confidence, both sides lack of surefootedness in front of goal could provide the bet here. Rarely the most prolific of sides, Everton have scored one goal or less in each of their last eight matches in all competitions.
Fulham are experiencing similar frustrations at present; in their last ten games in all comps, the club have scored a total of six goals.
One of those came in a League Cup encounter with Everton, incidentally, when the game ended 1-1 (Fulham eventually won on penalties).
This could be a similarly low scoring encounter; under 2.5 goals is a 17/20 shot, or you could try backing BTTS No at 21/20; it’s a bet that would have paid off in three of Everton’s last four away games.
Luton vs Brighton
After a successful FA Cup tie away to Everton this weekend, now Luton hope to maintain the positive vibes on home turf.
There’s no question that at their best, the Seagulls have what it takes to batter the Hatters. But Brighton have sometimes been a touch disappointing this season – yes, even if they did beat Sheffield United 5-2 this weekend in the FA Cup.
Brighton have won one of their last eight away games in the Prem; three of their last four games have ended in draws, and the side’s last two league outings were goalless too.
I guess I’m saying there’s a legitimate chance that Luton could catch De Zerbi’s side out. On the basis that Brighton have only won three of their last 15 league matches, I think it’s worth taking a chance on Luton or the Draw in the Double Chance market at 11/10.
Rob Edwards’ side have made a habit of giving good teams a hard time at Kenilworth Road, even if it doesn’t always earn them the win; they took a point off Liverpool earlier in the season, and may be able to similarly frustrate the Seagulls here.
Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United
So far, we haven’t been super-confident about the chances of goals galore on Tuesday (so you’ll probably make a fortune backing the overs).
Can Palace boss Roy Hodgson inspire his team to provide some frenetic goalmouth action against a Sheffield United side that shipped five this weekend?
Well, the Eagles haven’t scored in their last three matches. When Palace lost 5-0 to Arsenal last time out, fed up fans held banners complaining about “wasted potential” and “weak decisions”. It doesn’t seem like the obvious prelude to an unstoppable tumult of goal-fuelled footballing insanity.
Palace did win their last home game in the Prem, beating Brentford 3-1 back in late December. They have a good record against the Blades too, having won their last three encounters against the team without conceding a goal.
Sheffield United are somewhat improved since Chris Wilder arrived though, and may be able to earn something against Palace; the Blades took a point away against Aston Villa last month, and also managed a draw against West Ham last time out, albeit through a very late penalty.
Anyway, we could see this one ending with both sides having to settle for a point; the draw is a 14/5 shot.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle
Villa suffered a brutal start to the season when Newcastle spanked them 5-1 on opening day. But the Villans have flourished since then, and currently sit fourth in the league table, 14 points clear of the Magpies.
Newcastle’s Premier League form is notably poor, with Eddie Howe’s side having lost six of their last seven matches. They’ve only won one away game in the Prem all season, too. But the Mags at least returned to winning ways in the FA Cup at the weekend, beating Fulham 2-0.
Promisingly for the home side, Newcastle haven’t won at Villa Park since 2013. And while Villa were turned over by Newcastle in memorable fashion in August, the Midlands side have won their last four home games against the Mags. Can Unai Emery keep that run going? I’d plump for the home win; Villa are 10/11, and may be able to pick up three points against a Newcastle team that haven’t impressed in recent weeks.
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