We preview the Saturday 3pm PL fixtures and expect a goal feast at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester v Watford
The three leading scorers in the Premier League should all feature here with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez for Leicester and Odion Ighalo for Watford. Ighalo’s partnership with Troy Deeney looks increasingly impressive and they’ve only failed to score in one of their five away matches, which was at leaders Man City. Leicester, meanwhile, have scored in every game this term, are second only to City for total goals scored and more than that would sit second in a table for the last 20 games. Seven of their last 12 matches have had at least four goals and they’ve had six wins despite conceding in that time.
Man Utd v West Brom
Man Utd finally scored a goal as they edged past CSKA in the Champions League but there has been just one goal in total in their last four games. The handicap line here is -1.5 so they will need to improve if they are to cover that and Tony Pulis is a master at setting teams up to frustrate. United’s record against the Baggies is poor in recent times having won only one of their last five meetings including defeats here in each of the past two seasons. West Brom have lost only four of 14 away games under Pulis as they’ve kept eight clean sheets with half the matches having fewer than two goals.
Norwich v Swansea
Both these teams are in a slump, with four defeats on the bounce for Norwich and just one win in seven for Swansea. Norwich must also do without captain and key centre back Russell Martin here due to suspension and they’ve not lined-up without him for over a year. Given they are yet to keep a clean sheet this season that doesn’t bode well for their defence. Swansea have won seven of their last 13 away matches when they’ve scored, with just three defeats, and they won four of six trips (W4-D2-L0) to the bottom six last season. Norwich have scored in nine of their 11 matches this season though so a Swansea win with both teams to score is worth a punt at 9/2.
Sunderland v Southampton
Sunderland hit a new low last weekend as they conceded six times at Everton and they now host a Southampton team that are unbeaten on the road this season. However, the Saints have won only one of their five away matches and all five were level at half-time. Since the start of last season 14 of their 24 away matches have been all-square at the break and six of their eight away wins have come after half-time draws. Sunderland also have a trend of first-half draws, including in seven of their last 11 home games against teams placed 4th-10th, but defensively they don’t look like they can resist for a full 90 minutes.
West Ham v Everton
These teams met in week 12 last season when West Ham were in fourth and Everton 10th and it was the Toffees who won, as they’ve done in each of their last six meetings. The Hammers form has been difficult to predict as they’ve gone from beating Chelsea to losing at Watford but at home they’ve failed to score in just one of their last 18 matches. Everton have been playing better than their position suggests but have faced a very tough fixture list. It’s worth noting that Romelu Lukaku has scored four of Everton’s seven away goals this term and since the start of last season he’s scored 36% of their away goals in matches he’s started, while he’s netted more goals against West Ham than against any other opponent.
Liverpool v Crystal Palace (Sunday)
Liverpool broke their run of draws with a superb win at Chelsea last weekend but before we get carried away that is just two wins in nine games. Meanwhile, Palace have suffered a slump as their goals have dried up. However, they’ve won five of 11 games this term and the six they haven’t have all been against the current top six. Since Alan Pardew took over they’ve tended to be excellent on the road, winning nine of 13 away matches, and last season they did the double over Liverpool so should be confident of getting a result. The Reds have won only five of their 13 home games against middle-third teams since the start of last season so they look too short here, particularly given their tough trip to Kazan in midweek.