Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Ahead of a busy Easter weekend, the Sporting Life team provide their best bets for Saturday across a range of sports.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

After profit in midweek on the Champions League, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's 3pm PL kick-offs with the best bets and top stats.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview3

City to get revenge on Spurs

Our tipster expects Man City to be fired up for their Premier League clash with Spurs after their midweek thriller, with two recommended bets.

Norwich City's Mario Vrancic4

Norwich salvage important point

Substitute Mario Vrancic curled home a superb free-kick with virtually the last kick of the game to earn leaders Norwich a point from a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages5

Paper Talk: Battle for Benito

Arsenal and Everton are keen on Fortuna Dusseldorf striker Benito Raman, according to today's back pages.

Free betting tips: Sunday Premier League and includes Manchester City's trip to Crystal Palace

Arsenal players celebrate
Arsenal players celebrate

David John says Arsenal will get the job done despite conceding against West Brom - check out his New Year's Eve selections.

West Brom v Arsenal (1600GMT, Sky Sports Main Event and Premier League)

Cast your minds back to March 18 and West Brom delivered a muscular performance to beat the Gunners at The Hawthorns 3-1.

There was talk of the Baggies at that stage breaking through the 50-point barrier and perhaps even a sneaky outside challenge for a European place but the wheels have crashed off in spectacular fashion with just two league wins since and Tony Pulis relieved of duties.

We come full circle then, so to speak, in terms of the home side perhaps getting back on track as Alan Pardew now has the task of righting a sinking ship that resides in the bottom three and are 9/2 in places to secure their first three points since August 19.

There was plenty of huffing and puffing from them in the recent 0-0 draw at home to Everton, a performance hindered once more by an inability to get the ball in the net and leaves them as the second lowest scorers in the section.

Playmaker Nacer Chadli is back in the treatment room following an aborted comeback from injury in the loss at Stoke so Pardew will be desperate for the clock to tick around to 2018 and the chance to boost his offensive options.

Salomon Rondon has been as guilty as any when it comes to squandering chances but is a doubtful starter here so perhaps a combination of Jay Rodriguez and Hal Robson-Kanu can successfully crack the code.

Five of their last eight games have ended in stalemate, including at both Liverpool and Tottenham, so that should offer some encouragement they can chisel something out of this game despite an impressive effort from Arsenal the other night at Crystal Palace.

Some of their football was of a sensational standard and the return to the middle of the park for Jack Wilshere has added an extra dimension.

However long Alexis Sanchez remains in north London, his time will be enjoyable if Wilshere keeps delivering pinpoint passes similar to the one that set up their decisive third goal at Selhurst Park.

The occasional lapse at the back adds to the entertainment value under Arsene Wenger as they attempt to register a clean sheet having shipped three against Liverpool and another two at Palace.

The hosts are clearly not in that class when it comes to posing a threat in the final third but if they can at last bundle one over the line from a set-piece then an away victory and both teams to score could be a little piece of value.

Prediction: West Brom 1-2 Arsenal - Sky Bet odds: 8/1 (Price Boost)

Crystal Palace v Manchester City (1200GMT, BT Sport 1)

A decent judge made a valid point recently that Manchester City are a very difficult team to back at the moment beyond the obvious angle of them beating anything in their way.

They never look more than a few seconds away from turning the taps on and putting four or five past a rival but Newcastle showed in midweek they can be contained with an ultra-conservative plan and a huge dollop of luck.

Palace are next in the firing line as they try to put the brakes on Pep Guardiola and company as Roy Hodgson certainly has some thinking to do in terms of how to go about the game.

The Eagles look most accomplished when they are going forward so trying to limit the threat of genuine game-changers Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend in favour of a more circumspect approach will more than likely backfire so I would certainly expect something more daring than we witnessed on Tyneside.

Southampton, West Ham and Huddersfield have all managed to poach a goal recently in losing causes so the home side are not without hope of making some sort of impact – both teams to score can be supported at 10/11.

Whether one goal from them will be enough to get anything out of the fixture at all is the burning issue.

The obvious answer is no, bearing in mind that the 61 goals Manchester City have already netted in the top flight this season is 15 more than a pretty rampant Liverpool and averages out at over three per outing.

Guardiola may not want to discuss the issue but the Spaniard stands on the brink as well of equalling the 19 straight victories he posted while in charge at Bayern Munich and has a prime opportunity to eclipse that mark in this one and then with a home game against Watford.

The real obstacle could be the risk of his players feeling a little jaded after all these fixtures are crammed into such a short period of time but I doubt Guardiola would hide behind that as an excuse if their streak does come to a halt.

So no real surprise that the conclusion is another victory for the pacesetters with Belgian maestro Kevin De Bruyne fancied to get back amongst the goals along the way having surprisingly been awry in his attempt to make the win over Newcastle that little bit handier.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester City - Sky Bet odds: 10/1

Recommended bets

1pt Kevin De Bruyne to score anytime v Crystal Palace at 12/5

1pt Arsenal to beat West Brom and both teams to score at 13/5

Posted at 1425 GMT on 30/12/17.

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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Ahead of a busy Easter weekend, the Sporting Life team provide their best bets for Saturday across a range of sports.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

After profit in midweek on the Champions League, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's 3pm PL kick-offs with the best bets and top stats.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview3

City to get revenge on Spurs

Our tipster expects Man City to be fired up for their Premier League clash with Spurs after their midweek thriller, with two recommended bets.

Norwich City's Mario Vrancic4

Norwich salvage important point

Substitute Mario Vrancic curled home a superb free-kick with virtually the last kick of the game to earn leaders Norwich a point from a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages5

Paper Talk: Battle for Benito

Arsenal and Everton are keen on Fortuna Dusseldorf striker Benito Raman, according to today's back pages.

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview

City to get revenge on Spurs

Our tipster expects Man City to be fired up for their Premier League clash with Spurs after their midweek thriller, with two recommended bets.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Saturday's Premier League tips

After profit in midweek on the Champions League, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's 3pm PL kick-offs with the best bets and top stats.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview for Newcastle v Southampton

Saints can seal survival

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