Chelsea can take three points from their trip to Anfield
Chelsea can take three points from their trip to Anfield

Free betting tips: Saturday Premier League preview and predictions

David John says Chelsea can get the better of Liverpool in Saturday evening's big Premier League fixture.

Liverpool v Chelsea (1730, BT Sport 1)

This match will be delayed for a few minutes so left-back Alberto Moreno can be publically flogged in front of the Anfield faithful after his midweek misdemeanours in the Champions League at Seville.

Yet again the Merseysiders under Jurgen Klopp see their mentality in the big games comes under severe scrutiny as they gave away a chance to secure top spot in their European group in rather embarrassing fashion.

The fallout from the whole episode is to be made favourites back at home as bookmakers perhaps feeling a repeat will be on the cards having passed a similar test of character with a comfortable 3-0 success over Huddersfield immediately following a 4-1 drubbing at Wembley from Tottenham.

Unluckily for the hosts, the Terriers are no Chelsea and there is every chance the champions have both the quality and tenacity to put Liverpool under the sort of pressure that sees them crumble time after time.

Liverpool can draw comfort from an excellent record against teams from the top six heading into this season but that crown has already slipped significantly having been on the wrong end of hefty defeats in the Spurs game mentioned above and also at Manchester City.

So there is plenty to prove in my book as Antonio Conte’s side have picked up well from a sound beating last month in Europe at the hands of Roma and it is no surprise that an upswing in their fortunes has coincided with the return to midfield of N’Golo Kante.

Conte went for a handful of changes to his line-up but they still made a tremendous impression brushing aside Qarabag and the confidence flowing through this group suggests they are on the brink of a winning run with some favourable-looking fixtures between now and the end of the year.

There is a 5,000-mile round trip to Baku in midweek to recover from so that tempers enthusiasm a little but there still is enough juice in a quote bigger than 2/1 for the visiting team to claim all three points in what should be an entertaining finale to Saturday’s schedule.

Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea – Sky Bet odds: 10/1

Crystal Palace v Stoke (1500 GMT)

This fixture a few weeks ago would not have had a great deal of spectator appeal but improved performances from both with some goals thrown in on their latest respective outings suggests this could have some entertainment value.

It remains slow progress for Palace under Roy Hodgson and they are very much in that period of transition where the season could go either way.

Twice they squandered a lead against Everton last week and as well as they played, Wilf Zaha admitted it seemed like a loss.

The situation has all the trappings of a number of relegated teams in the past who just can’t get the points on the board their performances perhaps merit but an upcoming stretch for the Eagles has some winnable games on paper and we will have a clearer idea of their prospects come Christmas.

Striker Christian Benteke enjoyed a couple of sighters on his return in the Everton game so he is going to have to hit somewhere near top form pretty smartly with the Belgian market leader in the goalscorer betting and the hosts a pretty skinny price overall to bag a first win since mid-October.

The Potters look a tricky rival having shown a resilient side to their game that was missing a few weeks ago and were good value for a point at Brighton in a very watchable 2-2 encounter on Monday night.

They have fared well against a couple of speedy outfits recently in Watford and Leicester so Mark Hughes can revisit a similar blueprint to hopefully cope with any problems posed by Zaha and Andros Townsend.

A couple of short-priced options in the betting appeal to me, Stoke and the draw in the Double Chance betting is one at around the 4/5 now they seem to be on a more upward curve but at a slightly better price, both teams to score should deliver the goods at Selhurst Park.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Stoke – Sky Bet Odds: 5/1

Goals are on the agenda as Palace host Stoke
Goals are on the agenda as Palace host Stoke

Manchester United v Brighton (1500)

There is an opportunity for United to close the gap at the top for a few hours at least and apply a little pressure on Manchester City with Jose Mourinho’s outfit 1/5 or thereabouts to beat the promoted Seagulls.

This is the classic "backlash" fixture for one of the Premier League big guns after Mourinho watched his side fluff chance after chance at Basel in the Champions League before succumbing to a late sucker-punch winner.

They took their sweet time to get going at Old Trafford last week too after going behind to Newcastle but they are a tough proposition in terms of the way they finish games once they do get into top gear.

Little will be expected from Chris Hughton’s visitors so the pressure is off as they go in search of a third straight away victory in the top flight.

You can roll the dice on them achieving that target at 22/1 in a place but a clear step up will be required having taken the scalps of struggling West Ham and Swansea on the road in recent weeks.

They move the ball around accurately but it was a bit of a surprise to see them concede a couple of poor goals at home to Stoke considering the form of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk in the heart of defence.

On the flipside, they are posing an increasing threat in the final third as Anthony Knockaert and Jose Izquierdo find their feet at this level so have a realistic chance of landing a 7/4 quote to get on the scoresheet.

United’s tendency has been to crank up the pressure and deliver late in the day but I am going to take a punt on the first half containing the most goals, working on the theory they can repeat the number of chances created in Switzerland in the opening 45 minutes but this time start to convert.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Brighton - Sky Bet odds: 11/1

Newcastle v Watford (1500)

Newcastle were pretty good for the opening period of last week’s clash at Manchester United but like plenty before them this season, eventually crumbled under the pressure at Old Trafford.

That is the first time Toon have lost three games on the spin under Rafa Benitez and the Spaniard now has a couple of opportunities to stop the rot against the Hornets and at West Brom before a daunting trip to a resurgent Chelsea.

Dwight Gayle’s well-taken finish against Manchester United was a bright spot but a lack of consistent firepower is a worry currently with just two goals in the plus column from their last four matches.

The betting has them down as favourites for this fixture and unless they can keep a clean sheet, they will have to find some method of getting the ball in the back of the net more regularly against a visiting team well capable of making an impact in that area themselves.

I have to admit getting it wrong about Marco Silva at the start of the season and the Portuguese really does have something about him as speculation continues to swirl around a potential move to Everton.

There is every chance he did not try to over-complicate things against struggling West Ham, probably telling his players to simply go out and play their own game as he knew they were significantly better than the Hammers currently.

They always looked like the team with far greater threat which was converted into a fairly routine 2-0 victory and a similar approach here against an opponent that is rather rocking and rolling should yield another three points.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Watford – Sky Bet odds: 11/1

Watford's rising star Richarlison
Watford's rising star Richarlison

Swansea v Bournemouth (1500)

I had a feeling time was running out for Tony Pulis at West Brom last week unless they delivered against Chelsea and it could be a similar situation for Paul Clement in south Wales.

Seven defeats from eight leaves the Englishman on very thin ice, second bottom in the table and at the helm of a team utterly devoid of confidence and direction following a 2-0 defeat at Burnley.

It took them until deep into the second half before they required Clarets keeper Nick Pope to make a save and the speed with which things are unravelling at the Liberty Stadium is gathering pace.

Beyond Manchester City or Chelsea, there could be few worse opponents for the Swans than a resurgent Bournemouth.

Eddie Howe’s side were in a similar mire early in the campaign but a mixture of self-belief and sticking to some tried and tested fundamentals have seen them rapidly turn the corner with three Premier League wins out of four.

They had far too much in the locker even playing all of the second half with 10 men against Huddersfield and are exuding the sort of confidence similar to the back end of last season with the added bonus of the excellent Callum Wilson fresh off a hat-trick to lead the line.

Howe believes Wilson still has plenty of improvement to come following a lengthy injury lay-off and that has to be a huge worry for a Swansea backline that has not managed to keep a clean sheet since towards the end of September.

Clement and his side have shown little gumption for the fight of late so perhaps their season reaching an absolutely critical juncture could at last drag a performance out of them.

It would take a brave punter though to wade in at 7/4 and I much prefer to go with the current form horses to nudge Clement that bit closer to the door marked exit.

Prediction: Swansea 0-2 Bournemouth – Sky Bet odds: 11/1

Tottenham v West Brom (1500)

It will be fascinating to see which West Brom turns up post-Tony Pulis and whether the shackles may start to come off after months of drudgery stretching back to the end of last season.

I couldn’t agree less with all the pundits who think sacking the Welshman was folly as this is a team right on the precipice with no confidence, focus or direction so the owners taking action when they did makes total sense.

West Brom are never going to be overflowing with talent on the pitch but there is enough there currently for the new man – Alan Pardew heads the market – to work with so expect a positive audition compared to lately from the players at Wembley.

They have received a double-figure quote for all three points and do look up against it despite a busy recent period for the hosts to overcome.

It is mission accomplished for them in the Champions League after confirming top spot ahead of Real Madrid but perhaps even more noteworthy was the determination on display to hit back from a ropey north London derby defeat to beat Borussia Dortmund having gone a goal behind.

I maintain Spurs are the second best team currently in the country when firing on all cylinders but Mauricio Pochettino is still trying to discover how to dig out results on a regular basis when it is backs to the wall – perhaps the Dortmund outcome will help in that department.

I certainly expect a better display from the visitors based on their current situation for what is a rare trip to the national stadium but Spurs should prevail in what might be a tougher encounter than perhaps expected.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 West Brom - Sky Bet odds: 8/1

Recommended bet: Saturday Premier League

1pt win double Watford and Bournemouth at 9.35/1

2pts both teams to score in Crystal Palace v Stoke at 5/6

1pt first half to have the most goals in Man Utd v Brighton at 12/5

1pt Chelsea to beat Liverpool at 13/5

Click here for our transparent tipping record.

Posted at 0900 BST on 24/11/17.

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