Round 16 of the Premier League is upon us with a number of huge games at both ends of the table. Bleacher Report UK’s football analyst Sam Tighe gives you his best Premier League bets for the weekend.
Norwich City vs. Everton: Everton win (7/5)
Everton have been a little risky to back away from home this season, winning just two of their seven games, per WhoScored.com. The four draws they’ve accrued on foreign soil have prevented them from joining the top-four chase as yet, but there’s no doubt this team is boiling over.
Contrast Romelu Lukaku’s vicious performance on Monday night with the flailings and failings of Sebastian Bassong two days before. If Odion Ighalo can make him look a League One defender, what will the Toffees’ in-form Belgian do?
Leighton Baines’ return via the bench was just another reason for the Everton faithful to smile. Meanwhile, Canaries fans are wondering where on earth the possession-based Norwich of last season are hiding.
Manchester City vs. Swansea City: Man City -1 (4/3)
Managerless Swansea City are in a right pickle at the moment, with Garry Monk given the boot on Wednesday as the club look to arrest the sharp downward trajectory they’ve taken over the last few months. Sadly, the next fixture they’re preparing for is Manchester City away.
City may have been woeful against Stoke City last weekend, but they rebounded with a comeback victory in the Champions League midweek and will be feeling fuelled by the desire to set things straight domestically.
The Swans have won one game—against lowly Aston Villa—since August, and even that was a struggle. On Saturday, they’ll fulfil the role of convicted criminal in front of a Sky Blue firing squad.
Liverpool vs. West Bromwich Albion: Under 2.5 Goals (3/4)
Liverpool’s shameful performance against Newcastle United last weekend was enough to knock the wind out of a jubilant fanbase, allowing fresh questions over how good this team actually is under Jurgen Klopp.
The common theme is that the Reds struggle to score (and therefore win) after midweek exertions, with an injury-hit squad feeling the physical pounding of three games in seven days.
West Brom will be compact and tough to beat, while the Reds could struggle to find fluency after a short break. Expect little in terms of goal-mouth action.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United: Spurs HT/FT (5/6)
Fresh in the memory is Newcastle’s epic 2-0 victory over Liverpool last weekend, providing Steve McClaren a major boost.
But that doesn’t disguise the fact the Magpies have been dreadful away from home, and their record away from St. James’ Park is the worst in the league.
They’ve conceded 18 goals in seven away fixtures, per WhoScored.com, and have accrued just four points. It’s very possible Tottenham come out firing and take the lead early—just as they did against West Ham—and bury their opponents early.
AFC Bournemouth vs. Manchester United: United Win (11/10)
Manchester United — the mighty Manchester United — are a shade better than evens to win against a side promoted to the Premier League this season. Hold me, I feel unsteady.
The odds are, of course, representative of their epic UEFA Champions League failure this week and resulting draining of confidence.
The fan backlash on Louis van Gaal has been pretty heavy, with many finally turning on him once and for all.
But the Red Devils have carved out a habit of bouncing back quickly, flitting from nadir to zenith in a matter of days.
The disappointing loss to Swansea was followed by a win over Liverpool; the loss to PSV served as a precursor to a win at St. Mary’s Stadium; and after losing to Arsenal, United looked positively vengeful in beating Everton 3-0.
Despite the week’s events, they’re easy to back here.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.