Leicester vs Liverpool
If you want a measure of how far Liverpool have fallen off in recent weeks, the reigning Premier League champions are currently 25/1 to win the league again this season. Saying that, their opponents on Saturday, Leicester, are 50/1 shots, so maybe former Liverpool gaffer Brendan Rodgers shouldn’t be too cocky.
Three straight home defeats for Jurgen Klopp’s side seems beyond belief – indeed, it hasn’t happened since 1963, we’re reliably informed by our good pal the Internet. In any case, Liverpool are at low ebb right now.
Still, one glimmer of light can be taken from their away form – they’ve actually won their last two on the road, beating both Tottenham and West Ham 3-1 at the end of January to suggest the Merseyside team had relocated their mojo.
Trouble is, those wins are literally the only league victories Liverpool have secured in the whole of 2021 – and in nine Prem matches dating back to late December, they’ve drawn three and lost four.
For all the visitor’s problems, though, Leicester look a little lukewarm themselves, with one win in four league matches; that victory came away to Fulham last week, but the Foxes have also drawn against Everton and Wolves in that run, and Rodgers’ team was beaten by Leeds at the end of January.
If Klopp can reinvigorate his bruised and battered side, perhaps Leicester are on course for a difficult encounter here; the flipside is that if Liverpool’s perceived fatigue continues to be a factor, the 5/2 for a Foxes win looks pretty tasty.
Which way to go? Given Liverpool have had almost a full week off since losing to Man City, while Leicester have been involved in Cup action, plus Liverpool have actually looked decent on the road, while the Foxes aren’t exactly flying, an away win looks a decent shout.
Leicester’s last win against Liverpool came in September 2017, with Liverpool putting 3 past this opposition earlier this season – and winning 4-0 at the King Power back in December 2019. These might be very different times, and this is undoubtedly a troubling period for Liverpool supporters – but I’m convinced the Merseyside team can win on Saturday. Back Liverpool to win at 21/20.
Crystal Palace vs Burnley
Palace aren’t a team to depend on. Burnley are on an uninspired run, albeit one that‘s included hosting Man City and taking on Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea in recent games.
Burnley’s only away wins have come against Arsenal and Liverpool in the league this season, which emphasises the fact that letting the opposition dominate possession is Sean Dyche’s favoured path to glory. It might not work so well against a Palace side that doesn’t always relish keeping the ball either, though.
One for the purists then? Could be. What we can tell you is that seven of the last eight games between these sides has seen two or fewer goals scored. Under 2.5 goals at 3/5 might not make you a rich man, but it could be a sound bet nonetheless. Similarly, seven of the last eight games between the two teams have also seen just one team find the net. Backing no on Both Teams To Score is a 4/5 shot.
Man City vs Tottenham
Manchester City’s win over Liverpool last week was City’s 14th consecutive win in all competitions – and that number is up to 15 now, after City beat Swansea in the FA Cup on Wednesday, with Pep Guardiola’s side unbeaten in 22 matches.
Jose Mourinho might pride himself on his ability to spoil a party, but Spurs lost three on the bounce before their win over West Brom a week ago, and the north London side seem to have lost some momentum.
For all that, City haven’t managed to beat this opposition in their last three encounters, with Mourinho coming out on top 2-0 in the last two meetings in London. More recently, Spurs’ most dangerous man returned and immediately scored for Spurs against the Baggies, and maybe the side Guardiola once described as “the Harry Kane team” will flourish again now Harry Kane’s actually back in its ranks.
But more likely, a City side that has breezed to the top of the table, and is currently just 1/16 to win the title, will be able to outscore a Spurs team that have failed to find the net in two of their last three outings.
Still, Kane could at least make things interesting. I’m surprised to see the England striker hasn’t scored at the Etihad since 2016, when he slotted home a penalty – still, he seems to me the likeliest man to get Spurs on the scoresheet here.
Kane is 8/1 to score the first goal here; four of his last five league goals have been the first scored. He’s also scored in four of his last five league outings, so I reckon he’s worth a look here, even with City’s formidable defence (two league goals conceded so far in 2021). I still think City will win though – and backing 2-1 at 15/2 could be worth chancing.
Brighton vs Aston Villa
The Seagulls are on a five-game unbeaten run and beat the Villans 2-1 in Birmingham earlier this season, but Villa have beaten Arsenal and Southampton in recent weeks, and are not to be underestimated.
But rather than focus on a result, I’d rather back Ollie Watkins to score at 17/10; the Villa striker has found the net in four of his last five league appearances. If you want a little extra juice, back him in the first goalscorer market at 21/4; with three of his last four goals, Ollie has been the first goalscorer.
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