'Overs' looks a safe bet but such is Palace’s away record they are definitely worth a punt.
Aston Villa v Swansea
Both these teams are struggling for form but its all relative and Villa’s struggles are both worse and longer term. They’ve picked up just one point from their last eight games – a home draw against bottom of the table Sunderland. They’ve also lost their last three meetings with Swansea and since 2013/14 have lost 13 of 22 home games against middle-third teams (W6-D3-L13). Garry Monk’s side might be struggling right now but they’ve won half their 12 trips to bottom-six finishers in the past two seasons with just two defeats – they were level at half-time in four of those wins and five were by a single goal. Given Villa’s woeful second-half record of W1-D15-L16 in their last 32 matches the HT/FT double looks worth a go.
Leicester v Crystal Palace
A 2-2 draw in Leicester’s last game made it 10 consecutive matches where both teams have scored, with 42 goals in total during that time. Leicester’s performances have been excellent this season while Palace have been superb on the road ever since Alan Pardew took over as they’ve won nine of 12 matches with their only failures coming at Spurs, Chelsea and Southampton. Seven of those 12 trips had at least three goals with five having four or more. Overs looks a safe bet here but such is Palace’s away record they are definitely worth a punt having done the double over the Foxes last season and seven of those last nine away wins came despite conceding.
Norwich v West Brom
Five of Norwich’s nine games this season have had at least four goals and with the chances on offer it could easily have been more. West Brom, in contrast, have been a classical Tony Pulis side as they’ve kept five clean sheets, resulting in three 1-0 wins and two goalless draws, but have otherwise conceded at least twice and lost. Given Norwich have just conceded six against Newcastle they look a very short price here, particularly as the Baggies have lost only four of their 13 away matches under Pulis, including W3-D5-L1 at bottom-half teams.
Stoke v Watford
After a tough start to the season Stoke have won their last three matches. Admittedly Bournemouth and Villa are looking like prime relegation candidates but not many teams win to-nil at the Liberty and this match represents a great chance to make it four on the bounce. However, half of their last 20 matches against promoted teams have finished level. Watford have conceded just one first-half goal this season as seven of their last eight matches have been level at the break and with both teams’ matches this season in the bottom five in the league for goals per game we could see another tight affair.
West Ham v Chelsea
Another week and another disappointing Chelsea performance as this time they failed to win in midweek against Dynamo Kiev. In contrast West Ham were impressive winners at Palace last weekend and have now scored at least twice in seven consecutive matches. The Hammers away record is superb but at home they’ve fallen short of expectations and in the previous two campaigns they lost 10 of 14 home games against top-seven finishers. Furthermore, they’ve picked up just one point in their last five matches against Chelsea while failing to score. We still can’t trust the Blues but they’ve opened the scoring in their last two matches while the Hammers have conceded first in three of their four home matches this season (against Norwich, Bournemouth and Leicester).
Bournemouth v Spurs (Sunday)
We keep saying it but Bournemouth may be the most overrated team in the league. Backing them every week would have resulted in a 50% loss and this is a team that lost at home to Villa this season! Spurs are unbeaten since the opening day and have won eight of 12 trips to bottom-six teams since 2013/14. Even more impressive is their record against promoted teams going back a further season, as they’ve won 16 of 18 undefeated matches including seven of nine on the road. All seven of those away wins were by just one goal margins but we’re happy to stick with the straight win.