Premier League betting tips: Weekend predictions
April 23 2017, 15:27
April 23 2017, 15:27
Divock Origi is backed to find the target when Liverpool take on Crystal Palace in Sunday's clash
United are still alive in the Europa League but their progress came at some cost in midweek with Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both added to a growing injury list.
The way they were huffing and puffing at the end of extra time against Anderlecht suggests physical resources for the able bodied were dangerously low too and Jose Mourinho will have to ask his players to dig really deep as attentions turn back to the domestic top four.
The Portuguese will have to delve deep as well into his box of tricks to fill the gaps – he is fast running out of centre backs after Rojo was stretchered off while Zlatan’s absence means a rethink up front and perhaps an opportunity again for forgotten man Wayne Rooney.
There could have been tougher assignments up next for them than a trip to Turf Moor but this will still be stern test for the depleted numbers remaining as the hosts look to post a victory which should see them safely over the line and survival assured.
The previous meeting this season was resilience personified for the Clarets at Old Trafford after they thwarted wave after wave of attack in a stirring 0-0 draw as 37 attempts rained down on Tom Heaton’s goal.
It can be argued the result on October 29 gave Sean Dyche’s men the confidence to believe they could compete at this level although the much-maligned winless away record still receives an inordinate amount of coverage.
They failed once again in that department at Goodison Park last week but Dyche was still pleased by the performance despite a 3-1 reverse with his players right in the game until Ross Barkley’s deflected shot cannoned in after 70 minutes.
His grafters won’t need much in the way of encouragement to pick themselves up while this United team is there for the taking after a demanding week, having also impressed taking the scalp of leaders Chelsea.
It should be an interesting game for former United player Michael Keane, who has been outstanding at the back for Burnley this season but revealed he will leave in the summer with a return to Old Trafford a viable option.
He was outmuscled by Romelu Lukaku for Everton’s third goal but I expect he will having something to prove as a consequence and be razor sharp against Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and company.
Heaton behind him continues to perform at a high level too while another ex-Red and record signing Robbie Brady has improved by the week and could be worth a second look in one of the goalscoring markets.
For a bet though, I am going for a speculative play on Draw-Burnley in the HT/FT result market in the belief a cagey opening 45 minutes could be followed by a telling breakthrough for the home side when rather than if, fatigue does start to kick in for the weary visitors.
Prediction: Burnley 1-0 Manchester United
Jurgen Klopp continues to get an impressive return from his Liverpool line-up still missing Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson and they showed some steely resolve last weekend to grind out three points at West Brom.
It keeps them right on course for Champions League football next season and with four of the top six all involved this weekend in the FA Cup, a chance presents itself to put another win on the board before Arsenal and Manchester City start to play catch up.
The success at the Baggies followed a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Stoke after Klopp’s failed attempt in the first half to give some of his jaded international players a break and a pretty favourable-looking schedule over the closing weeks is there to be exploited.
I say favourable in as much as it appears that way on paper but overcoming some of the lesser lights has been, and remains, a major issue for the Reds.
Klopp’s side have delivered some absolute stinkers against teams currently around the relegation area and although the wins over Stoke and West Brom were a significant step in the right direction, they still managed to chuck away two points with some clumsy late defensive work in the 2-2 Anfield draw against Bournemouth earlier in the month.
Palace are definitely another banana skin after a massive revival over the past eight weeks, going from dead and buried to mid-table candidates courtesy of five wins from seven.
The fact they are not 100 percent safe just yet makes them such a dangerous rival for the Merseysiders. Indeed, the 2-2 draw forged last week with Leicester having been 2-0 down was for me as notable as the victory over Chelsea, showing a good deal of gumption missing from their game for some time.
Christian Benteke was picked out by Sam Allardyce for praise and the £32m Anfield flop will unquestionably have the bit between his teeth in a bid to keep up the good work – I don’t think we will see any of that subdued celebration nonsense from him if he finds the target.
But the bet I like most is on his Belgian compatriot patrolling the other end of the field, Divovk Origi.
He too got a favourable mention in despatches from his manager after the West Brom game with Klopp saying it was “a really good step for him.”
He seems well ahead in the pecking order now of a probably fit-again Daniel Sturridge while the absence of a rock-like Mamadou Sakho (unable to face his parent club) from the heart of the Palace back four could ignite a brief return to the early-season shambles that was the Eagles defence.
The reverse fixture at Selhurst Park ended 4-2 to the visitors and this has the potential to be nearly as lively with Origi fancied to be in the thick of the action.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Crystal Palace
Defender Steve Cook admitted the 4-0 drubbing Bournemouth suffered at Tottenham last weekend was their most difficult game of the season and the key will be to move on quickly.
That chance is available to them back at the Vitality Stadium and they are odds-on favourites for a valuable three points that would put a far rosier perspective on the battle for top-flight survival.
Manager Eddie Howe has received plenty of plaudits once again but the nuts and bolts of his side’s form in 2017 is extremely poor indeed with just two victories as they limp towards the end of the campaign.
I have a feeling they will accrue enough points to get the job done with some winnable games on paper coming up and three of them at home also.
That said, I don’t think they are the most tempting betting prospect here at odds-on bearing in mind you have to weigh up how much confidence has been drained from them after being given the runaround by Spurs and previously Chelsea.
Boro aren’t in that league and their own outlook must be at a pretty low point too after another spirited effort came to nothing at home to Arsenal on Monday night.Inerim boss Steve Agnew is trying to keep spirits up but it is still not happening for the Teessiders in front of goal - Alvaro Negredo took his chance well to get his team level against the Gunners but there was no further progress despite some concerted late pressure on the visitors’ penalty area.
Six games mean there is still time to rescue the situation but I am still not quite sure whether Agnew knows what sort of tactics to deploy – play it cagey or throw on the forwards in an attempt to take a game by the scruff of the neck.
They have not managed a win away from the Riverside since the first day of the season either and although the hosts look shaky, they have enough class in the ranks to create a little bit of separation.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Middlesbrough
o The Cherries have never lost a home league match to Middlesbrough in any tier (W2 D4), keeping three clean sheets in the process.
o Bournemouth are one of two sides Middlesbrough could win both Premier League games against this season – the other being Sunderland.
o Rudy Gestede’s only Premier League win as a player came against Bournemouth, netting the winner for Tim Sherwood’s Villa in August 2015 (W1 D13 L32).
o Boro scored twice in their last Premier League away match, more than in their previous eight on the road combined (1).o Bournemouth have let in 2+ goals in seven of their last eight home Premier League games, keeping one clean sheet against Swansea.
o Steve Cook is the only Bournemouth player to play every minute of this campaign (2970), while Ben Gibson has also done this for Boro.o Middlesbrough have won just one of their last 29 top-flight away games, beating Sunderland in August (D8 L20).
o Indeed, Boro have scored just twice in their last six Premier League games on the road, both at Hull last time out.o The Cherries have conceded 32 goals since the turn of the year, at least six more than any other Premier League side.
The away day woes continued for the Tigers last week and although eventually undone at Stoke by a couple of second-half substitutes and a wonderful goal from Xherdan Shaqiri, they were not a million miles behind the Potters despite a 3-1 reverse.
It is back to home sweet home though at the KCOM Stadium where their record in 2017 reads a magnificent seven victories, one draw and no defeats, good enough to have them chalked up here as odds-on jollies.
They are still only one place and two points above the relegation zone when all is said and done and if that run at home is eventually brought to a halt by somebody then all the work achieved by the impressive Marco Silva could rapidly come undone.
The Hornets lie in wait here and have been dealt a nice hand by the fixture list – three home games in their last four outings and nine points secured has seen them bound into the top half of the table and the safety of 40 points.
Manager Walter Mazzarri does not want his side to relax though and they should heed his advice – he has not been averse to making wholesale changes after a disappointing performance and there will be future repercussions if they is any slacking off.
Captain Troy Deeney is a good example and found himself benched recently but seems back in favour, while the exciting M’Baye Niang’s policy of shoot first ask questions later will keep Hull’s backline right on their toes.
The odds suggests quite a margin between the pair in terms of ability and that is simply not the case.
Hull’s home record does count for something but there is a lot of pressure on them to deliver with time ebbing away and the visitors are capable of taking advantage.
Prediction: Hull 1-2 Watford
o Hull have lost their last two league games against Watford, both by a 1-0 scoreline. They last lost three in a row against them in 1989.
o Watford won on their last visit to Hull in the league, thanks a Troy Deeney winner in April 2013. They’ve never won back-to-back away league games in Hull.
o The Hornets won the reverse fixture in October 1-0 via a Michael Dawson own goal. They had 23 shots in the match, with none on target, which is a record for a winning team in a Premier League match (since 2003-04).
o Hull have claimed 25 points in home games this season, compared to five away, accounting for 83% of their total (25/30).o Marco Silva has won five of his six home games in charge of the Tigers, drawing the other. No Hull manager before him had won three home Premier League games in a row.
o Only in one previous Premier League campaign have Hull recorded more wins than the eight they have this season (10 in 2013/14).
o Watford have surpassed the 40-point mark for the second consecutive season, something they last did in the top-flight in 1987.
o A win for the Hornets would equal their win total for last season (12). In their other two Premier League campaigns, they had 11 wins combined (6 in 1999/2000 and 5 in 2006/07).
A promising start from Paul Clement at the helm for Swansea is turning into a bigger nightmare by the week and he has labelled this fixture as not only ‘must-win’ but the biggest game in years for the hosts.
He admits his players have not responded well to the pressure of a relegation battled with flat performances against West Ham and Watford so I wonder what his thinking is behind placing so much emphasis on this outing?
Both the above fixtures finished 1-0 so not a great deal more would have been needed to take something from them in all honesty.
The excellent Alfie Mawson’s horror mistake to gift Etienne Capoue a winner last week has been the last six weeks in a nutshell and probably adds credence to the old wives tale about being punished for every little mistake when you are at the bottom of the table.
Swansea have been priced up at around the 5/4 mark and that looks pretty skinny for a team in their predicament, but Stoke are the ideal type of opponent to try and restore some confidence.
It is just about job done for the Potters after a 3-1 success over Hull ended a barren spell of four defeats on the spin to leave them on a handy 39 points.
There are some very talented players under the leadership of Mark Hughes but they remain frustratingly hit and miss and well capable of luring punters in to erroneously supporting them on the back of a decent display.
They were making heavy weather of beating the Tigers but two inspired substitutions worked the oracle and I get the feeling Hughes himself sometimes does not know quite what he will get.
So I am going to take a punt on the home side to respond in a positive manner to Clement’s battle cry – Mawson will be fired-up to make amends while it is high time Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Lorente stood up and were counted.
Prediction: Swansea 2-0 Stoke
o Swansea have won just one of their last seven Premier League contests with Stoke (D3 L3).
o Stoke are looking to win consecutive away league games at Swansea for the first time. Their win in October 2015 was their first in six away fixtures against the Swans.
o Wilfried Bony has scored five times in his fixture (three for Swansea and two this season for Stoke). He hasn’t featured for the club since December however.o Gylfi Sigurdsson has provided more assists from set plays this season than any other Premier League player (6). He’s also created the most chances from set-pieces (44).
o Marko Arnautovic has been directly involved in 10 Premier League goals this term (6 goals, 4 assists); the most of any Stoke City player.
o All 11 teams to have conceded 68+ goals after 33 Premier League games of a season have been relegated that campaign.
o Swansea have lost five of their last six Premier League games (D1), after winning five of the previous eight.
o Stoke haven’t scored an away goal in the Premier League since January at Sunderland, going 506 minutes without a goal on the road.
o The Potters have won six of their seven Premier League games this season against the current bottom four teams of the division (D1).
A recent win and a draw for the Hammers has eased them clear of immediate danger but they remain far from convincing and any weakness here will be exposed for sure by a very confident Everton outfit.
That usually means a goal or two for Romelu Lukaku, who bids to extend his scoring streak against the Londoners to a remarkable 10 matches and he could not be in better form either having banged another one home in the 3-1 win over Burnley last weekend.
Slaven Bilic can take heart that Everton’s away form is not a patch on what they have shown at Goodison Park but they certainly deserve to be match favourites here with a place in the top six still very much up for grabs.
The hosts have been rocked by more injury news concerning Andy Carroll and a recurrence of a thigh problem means he will be sidelined after a positive showing in the 2-2 draw at Sunderland.It means a chance at last for Diafra Sakho to try and re-establish himself in Bilic’s good books, while January arrival Robert Snodgrass really caught the eye for the first time on Wearside with by far his most meaningful display.
He could be of interest in the anytime goalscorer market and probably could do with winning over a few of the fans as the time has arrived to make a consistent impact with Michail Antonio ruled out for the remaining games this season.
There is no Mark Noble or Sam Byram either so West Ham do look a little bit light in terms of personnel and it all points to the visitors bagging a first away victory since Crystal Palace in January.
Manager Ronald Koeman has really impressed with the work he has done in his first season on Merseyside and talked in the week of being aggressive, getting on the front foot and scoring early.
If he can put that into operation - and I don’t see any reason why not - it seems like a recipe for disaster for the twitchy home side and fickle fan base with a final result that could get ugly.
Prediction: West Ham 1-3 Everton
o West Ham have won only one of their last 17 Premier League games against the Toffees (D5 L11).
o Everton haven’t lost away to West Ham in the Premier League since April 2007, winning six of the last eight (D2).
o Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his nine previous appearances against West Ham for Everton (all competitions, nine goals in total).
o Lukaku is the top scoring Premier League player in 2017, netting 14 times with just 23 shots on target.
o Both teams have scored in each of the last seven Premier League games in which the Hammers have hosted Everton, although this is their first meeting at the London Stadium.
o The Hammers have 16 fewer points this season after 33 Premier League games than they had at this stage last season (53).
o Slaven Bilic’s side have also scored eight more goals on the road this season (26) than they have at the London Stadium (18).
o The Hammers have dropped 22 points from leading positions this season, their joint-most points dropped in a single season (level with 2010/11 in which they were relegated).
o Phil Jagielka has scored in each of his last three games for Everton; as many as he had scored in his previous 71 in the Premier League.
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