Mark your card for Thursday's Premier League games with Paul Higham and George Pitts providing a best bet and score prediction for each clash.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion (2015 KO)
A home bow for Freddie Ljungberg after a so-so debut at Norwich, where the Gunners did come back from a goal down twice, but also did show plenty of the fragility that cost Unai Emery his job in the end - it seem's this Arsenal team are beyond a 'new manager bounce' if it exists.
The Gunners have conceded two goals in seven of their last nine, and haven't won in eight games now, and they're so bad that backing them at 8/13 against a side who have won just one point on the road since the opening day of the season makes little appeal.
Brighton's stats look pretty dreadful, having lost four in a row on the road and conceding 13 in their last six away games as they sit just outside the drop zone, yet there seems a better atmosphere around this club than at the Emirates at the moment.
Graham Potter's men gave a good account of themselves at Anfield last week and Arsenal away doesn't have the same fear factor that the trip to the Premier League leaders does. They're a lot more lively going forward these days and can certainly bother Arsenal at set pieces.
Arsenal have to come out and try and put on a show for their home fans and for new interim boss Ljungberg, but you just can't trust them to keep the back door shut against anyone these days - that's just not the sort of thing that can be turned around after a few days.
It's very tempting to take a punt on Brighton to bag a big upset, although a draw may be the limit of their possibilities, and it'll be amazing if both teams didn't find the back of the net, and we should have a few goals at either end to enjoy.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Brighton (Sky Bet odds: 12/1)
- Arsenal have never lost a home match against Brighton in any competition, winning six, drawing two and keeping six clean sheets in the process.
- Brighton are unbeaten in their last three meetings with Arsenal (W1 D2) – they’ve never gone four without defeat against them in all competitions.
- Arsenal have only lost one of their last 25 Premier League home games (W17 D7), though are winless in their last three at the Emirates (D3). They last went four league games without a home win in August 2012, while they last did so within a single season in February 1995 (8 games).
- Arsenal are winless in eight matches in all competitions (D6 L2) – should they fail to beat Brighton, it would be their worst winless run since March 1977, a run of 10.
- Six of Brighton’s last eight Premier League goals have been scored via set pieces (four free-kicks, a corner and a penalty) – their first eight goals this season were all scored in open play.
Sheffield United v Newcastle United (1930)
Sheffield United's rise under Chris Wilder is worthy of an Amazon documentary alone, so it's about right they take to the stage on Thursday.
The Blades are unbeaten in seven in the Premier League now and they sit ninth in the table. But during that run, five of them have been draws and Wilder will see this as a great chance to extend their run and get their first Bramall Lane win in over a month.
Former Sheff United boss Steve Bruce takes his Newcastle side to the Steel City on the back of just one defeat in their last five.
They have lost five of their seven away matches though and favourites Sheff United should get the better of them.
The interesting thing for United is their 17 goals this season have been spread throughout the team - Lys Mousset is the top scorer on five then eight other players have contributed.
Scottish midfielder John Fleck has added two and he is great value to grab another. We tipped him earlier in the season to score his first Premier League goal, then typically he scored the following week at home to Burnley!
He also scored in their clash with Man United in front of their own fans and with confidence high he can make it three home games in a row.
The 28-year-old gets in good positions in and around the box, also making late runs to pick up the scraps. He has had 15 shots in total this season and has had at least one effort in seven of his last eight appearances. At a best price of 10/1, backing him to get on the score sheet is well worthy of a small play, against a Magpies side which has so far only tended to step it up at home/or against the big six.
Prediction: Sheff United 2-0 Newcastle (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)
Best bet: John Fleck to score anytime at 10/1
- None of Newcastle’s seven Premier League away games has ended in a draw this season (W2 L5). The Magpies have kept just one clean sheet in those seven games, beating Spurs 1-0 in August.
- Eight of Newcastle’s 13 Premier League goals this season have been scored by defenders – the highest such ratio in the competition in 2019-20 (61.5%).
- Sheffield United have conceded only one goal in the opening 30 minutes of Premier League matches this season – fewer than any other side.
- No player has had more shots without scoring in the Premier League this season than Miguel Almirón (23, level with Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick). However, the Paraguayan did register his first assist in the competition last time out against Manchester City.
Odds correct as of 2030 GMT on 04/12/19
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