Round 14 of the Premier League 2015/2015 gets underway with a cracking set of games to get stuck into. The Bleacher Report’s Sam Tighe gives you his top five best bets.
Sunderland vs. Stoke City: BTTS No (5/6)
If you’re feeling bold, you can bet on one of these teams to beat the other 1-0. Astonishingly, three of each team’s last five Premier Leagues have ended in that scoreline.
But calling the winner here is tough—largely because both sides have clear flaws. Sunderland seem borderline-anaemic in front of goal and have been grinding games out, while Stoke offer plenty of huff, but very little puff.
More is expected of them given the resources at their disposal, but it’s not translating onto the field.
The tight nature of the game, in addition to the unpredictability of the two sides, lends itself nicely to a BTTS No bet.
Aston Villa vs. Watford Under 2.5 Goals (4/7)
Speaking of anaemia in front of goal, Villa and Watford have struggled in this area too. The former are yet to score under Remi Garde’s stewardship, while the latter are averaging less than a goal a game.
Garde appears to have peeled Villa back and asked them to focus on the defensive aspects of the game first and foremost, though all the good work done during the 0-0 draw with Manchester City was undone by the 4-0 demolition at the hands of Everton.
Again, calling a winner is tough: Villa should be energised by the fact this game is being seen as a must-win, but can they up their performance to match the level of need? Projecting under 2.5 goals is a safer bet.
AFC Bournemouth vs. Everton: Everton (29/20)
AFC Bournemouth have been pretty poor in recent weeks, and although securing a point against Swansea City last weekend will instil some confidence, they’re still no match for Everton man for man.
The Cherries have won just once at home all season—their weak form on home turf has been one of the bigger surprises this season, in fact—and that was back when Callum Wilson was fit. Those were the days.
They’ve kept just one home clean sheet in six attempts, and with Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu on their way, it’s high likely that record extends to one in seven.
It’s hard to see the south coast outfit keeping up with the immense firepower at Roberto Martinez’s disposal.
West Ham vs. West Bromwich Albion: WBA Draw No Bet (33/20)
West Ham’s first game without Dimitri Payet was an unmitigated disaster. Predictably, their fabled counter-attacks lacked sharpness and precision without his, well, sharpness and precision.
Cheikhou Kouyate lost the battle for the middle against a battle-hardened Tottenham Hotspur trio, and it doesn’t get any easier this weekend for the visit of West Brom.
Tony Pulis’ men have garnered 10 points from six away games so far this season, winning three encounters 1-0, per WhoScored.com. Tactically they’re superbly suited to these games and they’re a good bet to get at least a point here.
Liverpool vs. Swansea City: Liverpool -1 (13/10)
Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium was nothing short of jaw-dropping; they put arguably the strongest side in the Premier League to the sword on their own turf.
The momentum that will generate should be enough to paste Swansea City, who by contrast are performing well below par. Defensively they’re looking very suspect—a fact compounded by Garry Monk’s decision to drop Federico Fernandez at the weekend—and the Reds’ high-energy attack will sniff out any jitters and punish them.
If Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho catch fire this could be a very one-sided scoreline, and Liverpool to win by two or more at 13/10 is good-looking value.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.