Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.
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AFC Bournemouth v Brighton
Bournemouth can put an end to their torrid run of seven defeats in eight as they host south coast rivals Brighton.
A home victory is available at just below evens, so adding in over 1.5 total goals gives you a much tastier price.
As the below Opta facts confirm, the Cherries have a good record against the Seagulls over the years and this is a great fixture for them to turn their form around. Granted, Eddie Howe's side have had to face the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea (Carabao Cup) since the start of November, a tough run after a positive start to the season.
Bournemouth tend to get good results against bottom-half sides and they are fairly strong at home, winning four and drawing two. Brighton have shown improvement away from the Amex after last season's poor away campaign, but they are fancied to be beaten here.
Bournemouth were able to rotate for their quarter-final Cup clash at Chelsea in midweek and will be fresh legged as they look to earn their second home win in three.
Opta facts and statistics
- Bournemouth are undefeated in their last nine matches against Brighton in all competitions (W5 D4), since a 2-3 loss in January 2008 in the third tier.
- Brighton have won just one of their last 11 away games against Bournemouth in all competitions (D2 L8), winning 2-0 in October 2007.
- Bournemouth have scored more penalty goals than any other Premier League side this season (5), while Brighton have conceded the most goals from the penalty spot (5).
- Just one of Brighton forward Glenn Murray’s eight Premier League goals this season have come away from home. Indeed, four of the Seagulls’ seven away league goals this season have been scored by defenders (Shane Duffy 2, Lewis Dunk 2).
- Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson has found the back of the net in each of his last two league appearances against Brighton, once in the Premier League in January 2018 and once in the Championship in April 2015.
Chelsea v Leicester
Leicester are now three without a win in the Premier League and it is hard to see them ending that run when they travel to Stamford Bridge.
With the hosts well fancied to win, backing them in a -1 handicap takes you to around evens, but a Sky Bet combination produces a more eye-catching price - Chelsea to score 2+ goals and 20+ Leicester booking points at 11/8 looks excellent if you do fancy a home win.
The midweek Carabao Cup win over Bournemouth gave Maurizio Sarri a chance to rest his stars and rotate, while using Eden Hazard from the bench paid dividends as the Belgian netted the winning goal. The Blues are strong at home and need to keep up the results in order to stay in the top four and, with many of their best players freshened up, they should oblige.
Leicester can at least put up a fight and it could be an entertaining encounter. The Foxes average around two yellows per game and, on a frustrating afternoon in London, two or more yellows would not be out of question in a game refereed by Lee Probert, who tends to dish out around three cautions per game in 2018/19.
Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi could be set for a busy shift in the middle of the park. He averages nearly two fouls per game and already has three cards to his name this season. The 7/2 on offer for his fourth presents good value for this clash as he comes up against a packed midfield and possession-based Chelsea team.
Best bet: Wilfried Ndidi to be carded at 7/2
Opta facts and statistics
- Leicester have failed to win any of their last eight visits to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in all competitions (D2 L6), last winning there in September 2000 (2-0).
- Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 Premier League home games, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last three games at Stamford Bridge in the competition (W7 D5 L0).
- Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 17 goals in the Premier League this season (eight goals, nine assists), more than any other player.
- Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has provided an assist in each of his last four Premier League games (five assists). The only Chelsea player to do this in five consecutive Premier League games is Gianfranco Zola in December 2002.
- Eden Hazard has scored 99 goals for Chelsea in all competitions and could become the 10th player to reach 100 competitive goals for the club.
Huddersfield v Southampton
Given that they are both in the bottom half, seeing Saints odds-on to win was slightly disappointing for an away side, but that shows how well fancied they are to kick on under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
We fancied them to grind out a result against Arsenal last week in the Austrian's first home game as manager, but to get all three points, ending the Gunners' long unbeaten run and in excellent fashion, too, was above and beyond expectations. It's fair to think Saints could well and truly have kick-started their season.
Danny Ings scored a first-half double to make it three in as many games and he will be vital in helping his side steer clear of the bottom three. Given his importance and leading role in attack, backing the loanee in a score-and-win double at nearly 3/1 looks like a decent option rather that skinny enough quotes about an away win.
Hasenhuttl's men followed up an intense week of training with an impressive, high-pressing performance against the north Londoners last week and a similar performance could yield rewards in Yorkshire.
There was temptation in backing the visitors to score 2+ goals at 7/4, which provides some insurance with no bearing on the result, but the odds available on their top scorer to find the back of the net alone are more than good enough.
Ings, who has seven in all competitions this season, is a best price of 2/1 anytime and leaves no reliance on the result. We successfully backed an anytime scorer in Huddersfield's game last week - Salomon Rondon of Newcastle - so here's hoping Ings can produce the goods.
Best bet: Danny Ings to score anytime at 2/1
Opta facts and statistics
- Huddersfield Town have lost each of their last four Premier League games, losing by a one-goal margin each time and being level at half-time in three of them.
- In English top-flight history, no team has scored fewer goals after nine home games than Huddersfield have recorded this term (three goals - the same as Everton in 1998-99 and Arsenal in 1912-13).
- Huddersfield’s three home goals this season have been scored in the opening half an hour of matches, with two coming in the opening six minutes.
- Southampton striker Charlie Austin has had a hand in seven goals in eight league appearances against Huddersfield (5 goals, 2 assists).
- Danny Ings has scored six Premier League goals for Southampton this season, just one short of the total number scored by Saints’ top scorer in each of the last two campaigns (seven by Nathan Redmond in 2016-17 and Charlie Austin in 2017-18).
Man City v Crystal Palace
Manchester City cannot afford to take their foot off the gas after Liverpool maintained their lead in the Premier League title race.
The Etihad is a modern-day fortress, with the Citizens winning all nine of their games so far this season having lost just once at home in the whole of last season. Furthermore, they are unbeaten in their last 52 league matches against sides outside the top six.
After seeing the outcome of Liverpool's clash with Wolves on Friday, they will know they what they have to do.
They have scored at least four goals in their last four home matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions, so backing them to score 4+ here again at around 31/20 could be worth considering.
City are the league's top corner takers, taking 45 corners in their last five games in all competitions (13 at Chelsea), and you would expect them to be creating plenty of chances and earning set pieces. Eleven or more match corners is at 11/10 and it's 15/8 for 12+, but the best option is to go with the goal interval time.
City are usually quick out of the blocks, scoring in the opening 15 minutes in seven league games this term (and shortly after in some others), with four of those coming at home.
Backing the first goal interval in the opening quarter of an hour is 6/4 and very much takes the eye seeing as City are coming up against a bottom-half team in Palace.
Best bet: Time of first goal: 0-15 minutes at 6/4
Opta facts and statistics
- Manchester City have won 10 of their last 12 Premier League matches against Crystal Palace (D1 L1) and are unbeaten in the most recent six clashes (W5 D1).
- Crystal Palace have failed to score in eight of their last 10 Premier League games against Manchester City, netting just three goals in this run.
- Manchester City have won 10 and lost none of their last 13 home games in all competitions versus Crystal Palace (D3), since a 0-2 defeat in December 1990 in the top-flight.
- Since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2003, only Arsenal (638) and Chelsea (626) have scored more home Premier League goals than Manchester City (615). 21% of those strikes have been since Pep Guardiola took charge of the Citizens (131).
- Manchester City are currently on the longest ever Premier League unbeaten run in games kicking off at 3pm local time on Saturday (W32 D4 L0), winning their last 15 such games by an aggregate score of 57-7.
- Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has been directly involved in five goals in his last four Premier League games against Crystal Palace (3 goals, 2 assists).
Newcastle v Fulham
Newcastle’s home form is not great, but neither is Fulham’s on the road and that is why the Cottagers are quoted at over 3/1 to win on Saturday.
Ranieri’s first three games saw a return of four points from seven – the defeat coming against Chelsea – but the Londoners have failed to kick on since. They will look at Wolves’ and West Ham’s recent wins at Newcastle with encouragement that they can return from Tyneside with all three points.
But the 2-0 defeat at home to West Ham was poor whereas Newcastle ended a three-match winless run by beating strugglers Huddersfield to ease their relegation fears.
Rafa Benitez’s side can build on that momentum and get another win on the board before a difficult Boxing Day trip to Liverpool.
Backing the hosts to win at just above evens is good value alone, while a similar figure is available on the hosts scoring 2+ goals and that is a slightly safer option.
We successfully backed Salomon Rondon to score at Huddersfield last week and Ayoze Perez could be the man this time around, at a best price of 9/4 in the anytime market.
There was temptation to back him last week, but the Spaniard is better on home turf and he can capitalise on a dodgy Fulham defence. He scored in their last home game and has had six shots in his last two St James’ Park appearances.
He is available at 16/5 in a score-and-win double, but a small play anytime is preferred.
Best bet: Ayoze Perez to score anytime at 9/4 (Unibet)
Opta facts and statistics
- Fulham are yet to keep a clean sheet in any of their 17 league games so far this season – only four clubs have had a longer run from the start of a Premier League campaign (Blackburn 27 in 2011-12, Norwich 21 in 2011-12, Bolton 20 in 2009-10 and Leicester 18 in 1994-95).
- Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has yet to lose a home Premier League game against Fulham (W4 D3), with his teams keeping a clean sheet in each of the last five meetings.
- Salomon Rondon has been involved in five of Newcastle’s last seven Premier League goals (4 goals, 1 assist), including each of their last three at St James’ Park (2 goals, 1 assist).
- Fulham’s Aleksandr Mitrovic has been directly involved in 56% of Fulham’s 16 Premier League goals this season (seven goals, two assists); the highest ratio of all players in the competition.
West Ham v Watford
West Ham are on some run at the minute, with four successive victories and, with Watford, Southampton, Burnley, Brighton to come in their Premier League fixture list, making that figure eight in a row is not totally out of question.
But it is the Hammers we are talking about, they are bound to ‘West Ham it up’ somewhere down the line.
They are without Marko Arnautovic and around seven first team players in total due to injury, but their side is now settled and on a roll under Manuel Pellegrini and they can get their third win in a row at the London Stadium for the first time.
Watford have not been on a great run, winning one game since the start of November and they nearly threw that away as Cardiff put on a late fight back last week.
Watford’s high corner count this season makes the 15/8 available for them to take the most corners worth a small stake. But, last week’s win at Fulham aside, a West Ham victory usually comes with both teams scoring and the stats point that way. At around 3/1, that is your best option.
Best bet: West Ham to win and BTTS at 3/1
Opta facts and statistics
- West Ham are looking to win five Premier League games in a row for the first time since February 2006 under Alan Pardew.
- West Ham are looking to win three consecutive Premier League games at the London Stadium for the very first time.
- Watford have picked up just 10 points from their last 60 available away from home in the Premier League (W2 D4 L14).
- West Ham’s Michail Antonio has scored six goals and assisted one more in his last eight league appearances against Watford.
- Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucouré has registered a goal involvement in each of his last three Premier League games (2 goals, 1 assist) – his longest such run in the competition.
- Felipe Anderson has been involved in six goals in his last seven Premier League games for West Ham (5 goals, 1 assist).
Odds correct as of 1230 GMT on 20/12/18