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Bournemouth v Watford
Watford are now unbeaten in their last five in all competitions under Nigel Pearson and, although last week's FA Cup capitulation to Tranmere will not sit well, the Premier League is the priority and they are now just one win from safety.
With Aston Villa facing Man City later in the day, the Hornets could finish the weekend outside of the relegation zone and what a turnaround that would represent in such a short space of time.
They have not won away under the former Leicester boss and they can see this clash as a realistic chance to get three points.
Bournemouth may have renewed confidence from their FA Cup thrashing of Luton, but their league record of late is atrocious, with just one win in their last 10 (surprisingly against Chelsea) and Eddie Howe's side have dropped into the bottom three.
In a relegation six-pointer, you have got to fancy Watford against a Cherries side still without a fair few key players through injury.
Pearson's men should get at least a point, but the win is preferred and that is why we are backing them in a draw no bet.
These games are ones where teams rarely like to take risks, so the DNB provides us with the insurance, but the Hornets have their mojo back under Pearson and the even-money price on them coming out on top looks good value. They play with purpose and desire and Bournemouth, well, don't at the minute and are far too inconsistent.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0-2 Watford (Sky Bet odds: 12/1)
Best bet: Watford in draw no bet at evens
Dale Tempest says:
If you've followed this column you’ll know we’ve been with Watford for quite a while and we’ll stick with them at Bournemouth. The intensity is back and Troy Deeney is back under Nigel Pearson. It’s a level ball game so draw no bet will be my play.
- Since beating Manchester United on November 2nd, Bournemouth have collected fewer points than any other Premier League team, taking just four points from 10 matches (W1 D1 L8).
- Watford have won 10 points from five Premier League matches under Nigel Pearson (W3 D1 L1) – only Liverpool and Manchester City have won more in the Premier League since he was appointed as Hornets’ boss (12).
- In the Premier League this season, Bournemouth have attempted the fewest shots in open play (128) and are the only team to have not reached double figures for open play goals (9).
- Watford manager Nigel Pearson has won 32 points from his last 14 Premier League games with Leicester and the Hornets combined (W10 D2 L2) – among all current managers in the competition, only Jürgen Klopp (40) has won more points from their last 14 games coming into the weekend’s games.
Aston Villa v Manchester City
It can often be difficult to find value in a Manchester City game, but backing them to get a clean sheet at odds-against could be worth taking.
Pep Guardiola's side are not best known for their clean sheets due to their unconvincing defence, having got just seven overall and only three on the road so far. But, with plenty of injury problems going forward, Villa could be left short going forward and relying even more so on Jack Grealish.
Record signing Wesley is injured, so too is goalscoring midfielder John McGinn. It would have been a great opportunity for young forward Keinan Davis but he is also doubtful while Jonathan Kodjia is out with illness.
That means Anwar El Ghazi could deputise and, with City already expected to dominate possession, they could well cruise at Villa Park as they seek their ninth win in 10.
Dean Smith needs a new striker and the sooner the better.
Prediction: Aston Villa 0-3 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Best bet: Man City to win to nil at 5/4
- Aston Villa have lost nine of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Manchester City, winning 3-2 in September 2013 and drawing 0-0 in November 2015.
- Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in eight of their last 10 Premier League meetings with Aston Villa, including each of the last three. Indeed, they’ve won their last two league games against the Villans by an aggregate score of 7-0.
- Aston Villa have picked up six points in their last three Premier League games (W2 D0 L1), two more than in their previous nine games in the competition (W1 D1 L7).
- Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero has scored six goals in his last four Premier League starts against Aston Villa.
- Since the start of the 2011-12 season, no player has more Premier League goals against newly-promoted teams than Sergio Agüero (31); the Argentinian has 174 goals in total in the competition, one behind Thierry Henry on 175, who is the top scoring non-English player in Premier League history.
- Manchester City’s Fernandinho is the only Premier League player with more ball carries (463) than Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish (439) in the division this season. However, Grealish has carried the ball a league-high distance of 5624 metres & has created more chances following a ball carry than any other player (24) in the competition in 2019-20.
Odds correct as of 1330 GMT on 10/01/20
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