Every week BetBright columnist Sam Tighe provides his rundown ahead of the football action this weekend, picking out his five Premier League best bets.
With just 10 goals conceded in 11 games, Watford have the fifth-best defensive record in the Premier League and would be trusted to shut out most teams. Unfortunately, for Quique Sanchez Flores, they’re playing a rampant Leicester City side this week.
The week before last saw the Foxes collect their first clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace, but that will prove the exception, rather than the new rule. They’re a massively imbalanced side weight heavily toward attack, and with Odion Ighalo purring up top for Watford, expect the teams to exchange pleasantries in front of goal.
Frankly put, this contest is between two unimaginative sides. Louis van Gaal’s slow possession-based football throttles the life out of games, trading excitement for clean sheet-based stability, while Tony Pulis lives for a 0-0 draw in which his side garners less than 30 percent of possession.
These two teams played out some crackers while Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge, but that was in a life before LVG and Pulis. Expect low shot outputs, and therefore under 2.5 goals.
Norwich City are conceding all sorts of goals at the moment. They’ve let in 13 in the last six games. Be it individual errors (Newcastle United game) or collective errors (Manchester City game), the Canaries are finding ways to make life harder for themselves.
Swansea City have a very strong XI who are seriously under-performing, and that might just be a concern to some, but the last time they met a team bang out of form (Aston Villa), they edged out a result. Trust neither to keep a clean sheet, but expect both to register on the scoreboard.
With Chelsea a shade better than evens to win a Premier League game against a middling club in Stoke City, now is the time to pounce.
The recent history of results—including the capitulation against Liverpool and the penalty shootout loss to the Potters in the cup the other week—may warn you against backing the Blues, but this is an eminently winnable game in which they should be considered favourites.
The Reds loss aside, Jose Mourinho’s men are undoubtedly improving. Consecutive strong showings against Dynamo Kiev give hope, while in the cup loss they were bar far the better side overall; the result didn’t match the pattern of play.
Finally, Mourinho could win some reprieve here.
If you take out the 5-1 aberration against Tottenham Hotspur in October, there haven’t tended to be too many goals at the Vitality Stadium this season. In fact, every other match has seen less than 2.5 goals scored.
The reasoning for that is quite simple: at home the Cherries find the confidence to dominate play and ping the ball about, but without their sparkling star Callum Wilson they can’t finish off the chances. The opposition, starved of the ball for periods, don’t accrue too many chances either.
Georginio Wijnaldum is the only threat to this bet, but expect AFCB vs. Newcastle to be the struggle it looks like on paper.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.