After profit in midweek on the Champions League, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets and top stats.
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- AFC Bournemouth v Fulham
- Huddersfield v Watford
- West Ham United v Leicester City
- Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton and Hove Albion
Bournemouth v Fulham
The shackles came off for Fulham last week, with Scott Parker's side surprisingly beating Everton at Craven Cottage last weekend.
With relegation already confirmed, some of these Cottagers players are arguably playing for their futures with a squad overhaul likely in the summer and they have some favourable fixtures to finish the season before returning to the Sky Bet Championship.
Meanwhile their opponents Bournemouth were 3-0 winners in this fixture in October and they have failed to put a real run of successive wins together since. Such inconsistency has seen them drop out of the race for a top half finish but they remain well clear of safety thanks to such a promising start to the campaign.
The Cherries will be full of confidence though after ending a three-match winless run by netting five without reply at struggling Brighton last time out.
After getting such a result, it would be no surprise to see Bournemouth typically slip up here and there are some generous prices if you fancy Parker's men to return to London with something.
With chances expected at both ends, the eye-catching price is on Fulham forward Ryan Babel to have at least two shots on target.
The Londoners sprung a surprise when they signed the Dutchman in January and he received some criticism for his past reputation but the former Liverpool man has, to his credit, put in some good performances and it would be no surprise to see another top-flight side take a chance on him.
Since his arrival, Babel has been directly involved in more league goals than any other player with four goals and three assists, one of which came against the Toffees.
He has added a direct approach to Fulham's play in his supporting role to Aleksandar Mitrovic and averages just under two shots per game. He tends to shoot in a flurry too, having at least two efforts in a single game on seven occasions.
The Vitality has played host to some crackers in recent seasons and there could be goals in this one with both having unconvincing defences. But, with chances expected, backing Babel in the shots market at 9/2 could be a good way to go without relying on the result.
Super 6 prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Fulham (Sky Bet odds: 7/1)
Best bet: Ryan Babel 2+ shots on target at 7/2
- Bournemouth have lost just one of their last 11 league games against Fulham (W7 D3 L1), a 3-1 defeat at the Vitality Stadium in January 1994 when both sides were in the third tier.
- Fulham have only won two of their 13 league visits to Bournemouth (W2 D3 L8), and are winless in their last three trips to the Vitality Stadium (D1 L2).
- Fulham have had a player sent off in each of their last two games against Bournemouth, Fernando Amorebieta receiving a red card in March 2015 and Kevin McDonald in the reverse fixture in October.
- Bournemouth are winless in their last four Premier League home games (D2 L2). They last went five without a win at the Vitality Stadium in February 2017 (D2 L3).
- Following their win against Everton last time out, Fulham are looking to secure back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since April 2014. However, the Cottagers have won just two points from their 51 available on the road this season (W0 D2 L15).
- Bournemouth’s Premier League games have seen 110 goals scored this season, more than any other side in the competition (F49 A61).
- Ryan Fraser provided two assists in Bournemouth’s 3-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage in October, the only time the Scotsman has achieved this feat in a Premier League game.
- Bournemouth pair Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson have combined for 11 Premier League goals this season – only one duo has ever combined for more in a season; Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn Rovers during their 1994-95 title-winning campaign (13).
- Following his goal and two assists against Brighton last time out, Callum Wilson has become the first Bournemouth player to register 20 goal involvements in a single Premier League campaign (12 goals, 8 assists).
- Ryan Babel has been directly involved in seven Premier League goals since his debut for Fulham in January (4 goals, 3 assists), at least four more than any other player at the club.
Huddersfield v Watford
Already-relegated Huddersfield welcome FA Cup finalists Watford and it is difficult to make a case in favour of the hosts.
Scott Parker and Fulham may have got a win after relegation was confirmed and the weight was off their shoulders, but it is difficult to see the Terriers doing that as their season peters out under Jan Siewert.
Goals have been a problem for the Yorkshire side all season, with a lot of performances being reasonable but just lacking in the final third. They have scored just eight goals in front of their own fans this term.
Watford, meanwhile, will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat to Arsenal, where they played around 80 minutes with 10 men after Troy Deeney's dismissal. Even without talisman Deeney, they should do the job at the John Smith's Stadium as they aim to finish best of the rest (seventh). Leicester and Wolves currently lead the way on 47 points, but Watford are just a point behind with a game in hand over some of those.
With this chance in mind, they should return to Hertfordshire with all three points. Huddersfield offer little going forward (watch them net a handful now) and, with the Hornets' desire, the 33/20 price on Watford/under 3.5 total goals is worth considering.
But the fact Watford have won their last four games with a goal in both halves - and achieving this in the return fixture against Huddersfield in October - means the preference is to back the visitors to net in both periods. It is available at just under 2/1 and gives you a nice price for an away victory.
Super 6 prediction: Huddersfield 0-2 Watford (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)
Best bet: Watford to score in both halves at 43/25
- Huddersfield Town have scored in each of their 14 home games against Watford in all competitions (W9 D1 L4), netting 24 goals in total (1.7 goals per game).
- Watford haven’t completed a league double over Huddersfield since the 2012-13 season, the only occasion they’ve achieved such a feat.
- 17% of Huddersfield’s Premier League wins have been against Watford (2/12) – the Hornets could become the first team Huddersfield have beaten three times in the competition.
- Since beating Bournemouth 4-1 in February 2018, Huddersfield haven’t scored more than once in any of their 22 Premier League home games, netting just nine goals in total (W3 D3 L16).
- Huddersfield have lost 13 Premier League home games this season – only Sunderland in 2002-03 and 2005-06 (14) have ever lost more at home in a single campaign in the competition.
- Watford have lost three of their last four league games (W1), as many as they had in their previous 14 (W6 D5 L3).
- Watford have lost their last three away Premier League games, shipping 10 goals in the process. They last lost more consecutively on the road in their last six such games last season.
- Watford haven’t won an away league game against a team starting in the relegation zone since December 2015 (1-0 at Sunderland), drawing two and losing six since then.
- Steve Mounie is the only Huddersfield player to score more than once in the Premier League at the John Smith’s Stadium this season (2).
- Gerard Deulofeu has been involved in 14 goals in all competitions this season (9 goals, 5 assists), averaging a goal involvement every 129 minutes – the best ratio of any Watford player.
West Ham v Leicester
An interesting match at the London Stadium, where Leicester can boost their chances of a seventh-placed finish with a win at West Ham.
Five years ago these two managers were battling it out for the Premier League title, with Manuel Pellegrini and Man City coming out on top to triumph Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool.
Rodgers will be hoping his Leicester side can bounce back after losing his second game as Foxes boss, at home to Newcastle, which ended a four-match winning streak.
They face a Hammers outfit which also lost last time out, at Man United, and there is a danger their season will peter out with a gap opening up between them in 11th and the four sides chasing a seventh-placed finish.
It is tough to call which way this one goes, with the visitors slightly more fancied, but the preferred option is to avoid the result.
It is interesting to see both sides' starts to games. West Ham have scored six and conceded seven in the opening quarter of an hour this season, with an early goal coming in their last three home games.
Leicester, meanwhile, have one of the worst records in this period having conceded 12 and scored just three. One of those has been scored under Rodgers' management and his side have made stronger starts since his arrival from Celtic.
Therefore the 2/1 price on a goal to be scored in the opening 15 minutes looks worthy of a small play. A nice price which does not rely on a particular team and one that can be settled early in the afternoon.
Super 6 prediction: West Ham 1-2 Leicester (Sky Bet odds: 17/2)
- West Ham have only managed one victory in their last nine encounters with Leicester in all competitions (W1 D3 L5), a 2-0 away win in May 2018.
- Leicester have won two of their last three league trips to West Ham (D1), as many as their previous 29 visits (W2 D6 L21).
- West Ham have scored in 22 of their last 23 home league games against Leicester City (W17 D3 L3), only failing to score in a 1-0 defeat at the Boleyn Ground in August 2000.
- Since winning 3-2 at West Ham in March 2017, Leicester have won just one of their last 12 Premier League games in London (D4 L7), winning 1-0 at Chelsea earlier this season.
- West Ham have lost their last three Premier League games, last losing four in a row in their opening four matches under Manuel Pellegrini this season.
- West Ham have only lost one of their last seven home league games (W4 D2), though it was against Everton in their last match at the London Stadium.
- West Ham have picked up just four points from their last 27 available against sides starting the day in the top half of the table (W1 D1 L7), with the Hammers scoring just three goals in that run.
- Leicester are looking to win three consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since April 2016.
- West Ham’s top league scorer this season Felipe Anderson is looking to score in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November.
- Leicester’s Marc Albrighton has been directly involved in five Premier League goals against West Ham (1 goal, 4 assists) – against no side has been involved in more. He’s either scored or assisted a goal in all three of his top-flight away games against the Hammers.
Wolves v Brighton
Both teams could do with a win for very different reasons and it would be no surprise to see Brighton return to the south coast with at least a point.
Both losing FA Cup semi-finalists, they have a game in hand over teams around them in the Premier League table so have five games remaining each and have it all in their hands with regards to finishing in the top seven and avoiding relegation respectively.
Chris Hughton's Seagulls were beaten at home by Cardiff in midweek which saw them drop to within two points of the Bluebirds, who occupy the final relegation spot.
They have reasons to be positive travelling to Molineux though. The first is that they can do the double over Nuno Espirito Santo's side, with Glenn Murray's strike settling the reverse fixture at the Amex in October, so they know how to grind out a victory against them. The second is that Wolves have lost two of their last three in the Premier League and Hughton will want to hit them while they are down.
Despite that form, Nuno's Wanderers remain front-runners to finish seventh, which would be some achievement in their first season back in the top flight.
They have been guilty of dropping points at home this season, drawing three and losing five of 16, and the 3/1 on a scrappy Brighton in draw no bet looks like a good price on an away win, with the insurance of your stake back if they draw. That being said, confidence is not fully in Albion at the minute, and the preference is to go with a big-price scorer.
For all Wolves' big money imports, Matt Doherty has been one of their stars this season and the right wing-back has seven goals and four assists to his name in all competitions. He scored in the semi-final defeat to Watford at Wembley earlier this month and is due a goal in the Premier League having not scored since their away win at Newcastle in December.
The Republic of Ireland international plays in an advanced role in this side, getting forward at every opportunity, and he averages over a shot per game in the league this term.
With Doherty's importance going forward and the fact 22% of Wolves' shots at Molineux come from the right-hand side, the 8/1 available on Doherty anytime looks too good to turn down with no onus on the result.
Backing him each way to open the scoring gives you a tastier price, too.
Super 6 prediction: Wolves 1-1 Brighton (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers have only recorded two wins in 14 games against Brighton at Molineux (W2 D5 L7), with a current winless run of four (D3 L1).
- Brighton have won each of their last three league fixtures against Wolves, keeping clean sheets in each encounter – they had won just three of their previous 17 meetings beforehand (W3 D10 L4).
- Each of the last five meetings between Wolves and Brighton have failed to see both teams score; Brighton winning three, drawing one and losing one.
- Wolves have lost two of their last three Premier League games, more than they had in their previous eight in the competition (W4 D3 L1). However, Wolves are unbeaten in their last five at Molineux (W4 D1).
- All five of Brighton’s away wins in the Premier League have come against sides starting the day 13th or lower in the table. Against sides starting in the top half, the Seagulls have earned just two points from their 39 available (P13 W0 D2 L11).
- Brighton have won just one of their last eight Premier League away games (D1 L6), and haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 11 on the road.
- Wolves have a better points-per-game ratio against the current top six in the Premier League this season (1.3) than they do against the sides currently in the bottom six (1.1).
- Wolves’ Raúl Jiménez has been directly involved in six goals in his last five Premier League games at Molineux (3 goals, 3 assists).
- Diogo Jota has had a hand in nine goals in his last seven home Premier League games for Wolves (6 goals, 3 assists). The Portuguese forward has only failed to score or assist a goal in one of those seven matches (1-1 draw with Newcastle in February).
- Brighton’s Glenn Murray has scored 27% of Brighton’s away league goals this season (4/15), with three of those four goals coming in his last four appearances on the road.
Odds correct at 1630 BST on 18/04/19