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The latest rumour and gossip from the back pages1

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Free betting tips: West Brom v Liverpool and Watford v Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha and Ruben Loftus-Cheek celebrate
Wilfried Zaha and Ruben Loftus-Cheek celebrate

Our tipping team are going for goals in Saturday's two matches in the Premier League.


Saturday's Premier League recommended bets

2pts Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals in West Brom v Liverpool at 69/50

2pts Crystal Palace to beat Watford and both teams to score at 4/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


West Brom v Liverpool (1230 BST, Sky Sports Main Event)

West Brom welcome Liverpool to The Hawthorns in Saturday's first helping of football looking to build on their victory over Manchester United.

Darren Moore's men find themselves nine points adrift with just 12 left to play for, needing the likes of Swansea and Crystal Palace to lose their remaining games whilst also ensuring a maximum return themselves.

The Baggies are set for life in the second tier next season, but last week's victory away at Old Trafford came as a surprise to many, and may give them hope of pulling off a great escape that even Steve McQueen would be proud of.

Under Moore's leadership West Brom have seen a mini revival, with four points from two games moving them to within four points of Stoke and Southampton in the places above them.

That form has also seen Moore move into 3/1 to become the next permanent manager of the club, narrowly behind favourite Mick McCarthy in the market.

Whilst Liverpool sit in third place in the Premier League and are incredibly likely of a top-four finish, they will have one eye on their Champions League semi-final clash with Roma just three days later and this could play to the advantage of the hosts.


Opta facts

  • After losing their first nine Premier League meetings with Liverpool by an aggregate score of 0-25, West Brom have lost just five of the subsequent 14 (W4 D5 L5).
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League meetings with the Baggies (W4 D5), with the reverse fixture at Anfield ending 0-0.
  • However, West Brom did win their last meeting of any kind with Liverpool, winning 3-2 in an FA Cup fourth round tie at Anfield in January.
  • West Brom have failed to score in seven of their 11 Premier League home games against Liverpool, but have picked up at least a point every time they’ve found the net (W2 D2 L0 when scoring, D1 L6 when not).
  • The Reds have lost two of their last three Premier League games against sides starting that day bottom of the table (W1 L2, all vs Swansea), including their last one in January. The last time they’ve lost two games against bottom placed sides in the same season was in 2010-11 (vs Wolves and West Ham).
  • The Baggies have scored in each of their last seven home league games, their longest run since a run of eight in January 2016. However, they’ve won just one of these (W1 D2 L4).
  • Darren Moore has already equalled Alan Pardew’s total Premier League wins (1 in 18 games) as WBA manager in just his second game as boss (1)
  • Mohamed Salah (30) is just one goal away from equalling Luis Suarez’s 31-goal season in 2013-14 – the most by a Liverpool player in a single Premier League campaign.
  • Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in four goals in his last four games against West Brom in all competitions (two goals, two assists), including both scoring and assisting in his side’s 3-2 defeat the last time the sides met.
  • The pairings of Salah/Firmino and Salah/Mane have each combined for seven Premier League goals this season, just three short of the Premier League record for one duo in a single season for Liverpool (10 – Fowler/Collymore in 1995-96).

Although we shouldn't get too carried away, West Brom have won just four of the 34 games they've played in the league this season, whilst Liverpool have achieved maximum points on 20 occasions in comparison.

That's why it comes as no surprise that Liverpool are 8/15 favourites, with the Baggies at 11/2 and the draw around the 18/5 mark.

Goals may be the avenue to explore in this one given the circumstances. West Brom have seen three or more goals in nine of their home league games so far this season, including four of their last five.

In all of those four games, they managed to get themselves onto the scoresheet.

For Liverpool, 13 of their 17 away league games have had over 2.5 goals, more than any other side in the Premier League.

That potentially sets it up for goals aplenty in the West Midlands.

Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals is available at a best price of 23/20, which seems decent enough value with the track record.

Score prediction: West Brom 2-2 Liverpool (Sky Bet odds: 16/1) (Tom Carnduff)

Best bet: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals in the match at 69/50

Alternative bet: Both teams to score and draw at 19/4

Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic scores from the penalty spot
Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic scores from the penalty spot

Watford v Crystal Palace (1500 BST)

Seven points from a possible 12 have put Crystal Palace well within a chance of Premier League survival – and a win here would all-but confirm it.

Roy Hodgson’s side have opened up a six-point gap over the bottom three with five games left to play.

They struggle to win without Wilfried Zaha and the return of their star man in March has provided them with a much-needed boost. The Ivory Coast international was key in their 3-2 win over rivals Brighton last weekend.

Starting with their trip to Vicarage Road on Saturday, Palace will then play Leicester (h), Stoke (a) and West Brom (h) and you can really see them ending the season strongly and going on to finish around mid-table, well clear of the bottom three.

The same cannot be said for 12th-placed Watford, winless in their last five games with Palace, Spurs, Newcastle and Man United to play before the season’s end.

The Hornets are nine points clear of the drop and it would take something extraordinary for them to go down now.


Opta facts

  • Watford are winless in their last six home meetings with Crystal Palace in all competitions (D3 L3), since a 2-0 Championship victory in February 2009.
  • Crystal Palace won the reverse of this fixture in December, despite trailing from the 3rd to the 89th minute in the match.
  • This will be the only Premier League match played on Saturday at 3pm – the last time that happened was on March 7, 2015 (QPR 1-2 Spurs).
  • The Hornets haven’t lost consecutive home Premier League games since their last two in 2016-17, when they lost to Liverpool and Manchester City.
  • Watford have lost four Premier League games this season thanks to goals conceded in the 90th minute or later, including their last match against Huddersfield – the most by a team in a single season in the competition’s history.
  • The Eagles have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League games, a 2-0 victory at Huddersfield in March.
  • 75% of Watford’s Premier League goals against Crystal Palace have been scored by Troy Deeney (3/4), with the exception being Daryl Janmaat’s strike in the reverse fixture this season.
  • Following his brace against Brighton last time out, Wilfried Zaha became the third player to reach 20 Premier League goals for Crystal Palace, following Chris Armstrong (23) and Andrew Johnson (21)
  • The Ivorian has scored in his last two Premier League appearances – he’s never previously scored in three in a row in league competition.
  • Troy Deeney has been directly involved in seven Premier League goals this season (5 goals, 2 assists), with all but one of those coming at Vicarage Road (an assist at Swansea the exception).

They have failed to get a good run going since Javi Gracia replaced Marco Silva at the back end of January, winning three of 11 matches although he has had a number of injuries to contend with.

Palace make the journey to Hertfordshire as 13/8 favourites and I am backing them to edge closer to safety by taking all three points.

Of all the teams at the bottom, the Eagles really play some exciting football when at the top of their game and 4/1 looks like a great price for Palace to win and BTTS, while Palace/over 1.5 goals at 9/4 looks excellent value.

Zaha – linked with Manchester City in a £50m move at the start of the week – in a score-and-win double at 7/2 also looks good value, as does Luka Milivojevic, who has three goals in his last four appearances, in an anytime bet at odds of 9/2, 5/1 to score and win.

Score prediction: Watford 1-2 Crystal Palace (Sky Bet odds: 17/2) (George Pitts)

Best bet: Crystal Palace to beat Watford and both teams to score at 4/1

Alternative bet: To score and win - Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic at 5/1


Preview posted at 1615 BST on 19/04/18

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Most Read Football

The latest rumour and gossip from the back pages1

Paper Talk: Klopp targets Dembele

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been linked with a big-money January move for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele in today's back page round-up.

Premier League outright odds update from Sporting Life2

Premier League odds update

As we pause for the international break, we take a look at how the Premier League outright markets are shaping up at both ends of the table.

3

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PL sack race: Who next?

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