Mark your card for Sunday's Premier League games with George Pitts providing his best bets and score predictions for each clash.
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Brighton v Wolves
- 1630 GMT kick-off on Sky Sports Premier League
Brighton made the most of a crisis at Arsenal to get a great result at the Emirates on Thursday and they face another challenge here.
They have won three (including against Spurs) and drawn two of seven at home this term, but they welcome a Wolves side looking to go 11 matches unbeaten and, with slightly fresher legs after playing on Wednesday, there is no reason why they cannot get something here.
Nuno Espirito Santo's side had a stuttering start to the season but they have silenced talk of not being able to balance European football with domestic action. With the visitors fancied to get at least a point, that makes the handicap price at a fraction under evens too good to turn down.
It is another tough fixture for the Seagulls after a run of games against Manchester United, Leicester, Liverpool and Arsenal, and Wolves might just catch them out.
Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Wolves (Sky Bet odds: 9/2)
Best bet: Wolves on +1 handicap at 1/2
- Brighton have won three of their last four league games against Wolves; drawing the other, while keeping a clean sheet in each match.
- Brighton lost their last home Premier League match, losing 2-0 to Leicester. They’ve haven’t lost two in a row since April, while manager Graham Potter last lost two home league games in a row in November 2018 while as Swansea City manager.
- Wolves are unbeaten in their last five Premier League away games (W2 D3). They last had a longer run without defeat on the road in the top-flight between February-September 1959 (10 games).
- Brighton are yet to win a single home Premier League match after conceding the first goal in 20 attempts (D7 L13). They are one of only three teams to never win after conceding first in a home Premier League game, along with Huddersfield Town (20 games) and Barnsley (6 games).
- Wolves are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches (W5 D5); the second-longest current run in the competition, only behind Liverpool’s 32-match run.
- Wolves are looking to go 11 top-flight matches unbeaten for the first time since September 1962.
Aston Villa v Leicester City
- 1400 GMT kick-off on Sky Sports Premier League
Can Leicester continue their surprise title assault under Brendan Rodgers?
That is the big question and they have answered them all up to this point. Midlands rivals Villa stand in their way here, but the Foxes could be well equipped to grind out the win as two other sides have done at Villa Park this season.
With no European football, Leicester are able to handle the run of games well, with a consistent XI all working in tandem and doing their job brilliantly.
While Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez prove the regular goalscoring outlets, they have plenty of sources elsewhere on the field and a price that stands out in midfield is the 5/1 on Harvey Barnes.
The winger has come on leaps and bounds since returning from his loan spell at West Brom midway through last season and his energy and skill makes him key down Leicester's left flank with Ben Chilwell.
He has one goal and four assists to his name in 11 league starts (and three substitute appearances), with an average just under two shots per game.
Barnes is due a goal, with his last coming in their second game of the season away at Sheffield United, and he is certainly threatening. He had three shots in the midweek win over Watford and a total of six in his three appearances before that.
With late runs at the far post and his overall supporting role to Vardy, the 5/1 best price is well worth taking.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Best bet: Harvey Barnes to score anytime at 5/1
- Aston Villa have won two of their last three home Premier League games (L1), more than they had in their previous 11 in the competition (W1 D3 L7). They’re looking for back-to-back top-flight wins at Villa Park for the first time since May 2015.
- Leicester have won their last three away league games by an aggregate score of 13-0. Only between October-December of their 2015-16 title winning season have they won four consecutive away games in the Premier League.
- Leicester have won their last seven Premier League matches – a win against Aston Villa will achieve their longest ever winning run in the top-flight. The Foxes have only won eight consecutive league games once previously, winning nine in a row between December 2013 and February 2014 in the Championship.
- Aston Villa’s Trézéguet has scored in each of his last three Premier League starts – the last player to score in four in a row for the club in the top-flight was Christian Benteke in April 2013.
- Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has won all four of his Premier League away games against Aston Villa at Villa Park – only three managers have a higher 100% win rate away at a specific ground in the competition: Arsène Wenger at KCOM Stadium, Gerry Francis at Highfield Road and Jürgen Klopp at Selhurst Park (all 5/5).
- Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has scored in his last seven Premier League appearances – the last player to score in eight in a row was Vardy himself, during his record 11-game run between August and November 2015.
- Including play-offs, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last 14 league appearances at Villa Park (4 goals, 7 assists), registering an assist in each of his last two home appearances.
Newcastle United v Southampton
Newcastle continued their great run with an away win at Sheffield United on Thursday and they have another realistic opportunity to add points to the board here.
Steve Bruce's side are now with just one defeat in their last six and visitors Southampton also travel to the north east on a high, with Ralph Hasenhuttl's side unbeaten in their last three.
There was a temptation to back Jetro Willems to build on his strike at St James' Park against Man City last week at a generous 14/1 - despite that price, he has already scored twice this season and regularly gets forward - but this feels too much like a banana skin fixture for the Magpies and that is why the preference is to look elsewhere.
After getting such home results against Manchester United, Manchester City and Wolves, it would be typical of them to drop points here.
Hasenhuttl's Saints have come away with points in four of their seven away games this term (including tough trips to Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham) and they can outscore a Newcastle side that has at times struggled to find the back of the net.
With the hint of a draw also looming here, the odds-against price for the visitors in a draw no bet looks excellent value.
Prediction: Newcastle 0-1 Southampton (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
- Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has lost his last four Premier League matches against Southampton, all during his time at Hull City in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 campaigns.
- Six of the last seven Premier League goals Southampton have scored have been via set pieces (four free-kicks and two corners), including both in their 2-1 win over Norwich on Wednesday.
- Danny Ings has scored in his last four Premier League appearances for Southampton – only two Saints players have scored in five in a row, with James Beattie doing so twice (2002 & 2003) and Matt Le Tissier also achieving it twice (1994 & 1996).
- Each of Southampton’s last 12 Premier League goals have been scored by Englishmen – excluding own-goals, the last team to have a longer run were the Saints themselves between March and August 2014 (13 in a row).
Norwich v Sheffield United
When these two met at Bramall Lane in August 2018, few would have imagined them facing off in the Premier League 16 months later.
Their Carrow Road clash in the reverse Sky Bet Championship fixture saw the points shared in a four-goal thriller and hopefully this will be the same.
The Canaries have won just one of their last 10 and they could really do with a victory to stop a gap opening between them in 19th and their relegation rivals.
After making an unbeaten start away from home in the Premier League (one win, six draws), how typical it would be for Chris Wilder's side to lose here after hard-earned draws at Chelsea, Tottenham and Wolves.
The Blades surprisingly lost at home to Newcastle on Thursday and Chris Wilder will be looking for a reaction from his men. It's an incredibly tough one to call though and there's no desire to get involved in the match market.
The cards market, by contrast, makes for interesting reading - this looks like a match that could have a fair few of them - and the 9/2 on Christoph Zimmermann to be booked does stand out. Besides the mere coincidence that he was booked against the Blades in January, the defender looks good value for a small play in this match.
The Sheffield United attack is notoriously difficult to deal with when they have interchanging players and Zimmermann, who was a big miss at the start of the campaign with a knee injury, is a key man at the heart of defence for Norwich.
He was shown 13 yellow cards in total last season, which shows a tendency to commit fouls on a fairly regular basis, so it was a surprise to see him with just one caution to his name this season.
It will be just his fifth appearance of the season and as he continues to adjust to the pace of the top flight he could go into Simon Hooper's book - the referee, who predominantly takes charge in the Sky Bet EFL, has shown he is not afraid of getting the cards out with 42 bookings and a red in just 11 matches this season.
German defender Zimmermann is partial to a card and in a game so difficult to call, and at this price, it is a no brainer.
Best bet: Christoph Zimmermann to be carded at 9/2
- Sheffield United are unbeaten in their last two away league games against Norwich (W1 D1), having lost five in a row before that. They came from behind twice to draw 2-2 in this fixture in the Championship last season.
- Norwich haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 11 Premier League home games, conceding at least twice in each of the last six (W1 D1 L4). The last team to concede 2+ goals in seven consecutive Premier League home games was Wolves (11 between December 2011-April 2012).
- Sheffield United are still unbeaten away from home in the Premier League this season, though six of their seven games have ended level (W1). The last time the Blades remained unbeaten in their opening eight away games of a season was in League One in 2012-13, while the last time they did so in the top-flight was in 1899-00 (first 10).
- Norwich striker Teemu Pukki has been involved in 11 goals in his first 15 Premier League appearances (8 goals, 3 assists), the best return by a player for a newly-promoted club since 2015-16, when Odion Ighalo was also involved in 11 in his first 15 games for Watford.
- Daniel Farke is yet to see Norwich keep a clean sheet in his seven home Premier League games – the last manager to have a longer run without a clean sheet from his first home match in the competition was Mike Phelan in 2016-17 with Hull City (10 games).
- Teemu Pukki has scored 33% of Norwich’s home league goals since the start of last season (21/63), with no other player scoring more than six for the club at Carrow Road in that time.
- Lys Mousset has scored three of Sheffield United’ last four away goals in the Premier League.
Odds correct as of 1200 GMT on 06/12/19
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