Sunderland are one the selections in our weekend wrap of the non TV Premier League matches.
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Palace may be in sixth and Southampton in 12th but only two points separate the two. However, Palace deserve that spot having played all of the current top 10 plus Chelsea while the four sides Saints are yet to face are all in the top seven. The match odds look fair though, with Palace being far more effective on the road under Pardew and this should be a very evenly matched game. 15 of Palace’s last 17 matches have been level at half-time as have six of Southampton’s seven away games this season and a repeat would not be a surprise here.
Man City v Swansea
Defeat at Stoke saw Man City slip to third and they’ve now been beaten four times in their last 10 matches. Swansea, meanwhile, are in awful form and Garry Monk’s position looks increasingly unstable. Most of City’s struggles have come on the road and at home they’ve won 13 of their last 15 matches with 11 victories by more than one goal. However, they have conceded in all of their last six home games and with Vincent Kompany again ruled out the defence looks vulnerable. City have actually won 11 of 14 home games that Kompany’s missed since the start of last season, compared to nine of 13 with him in the line-up, but they’ve conceded 55% more goals per game in his absence. Swansea have scored in each of their last eight trips to top-six teams but they’ve lost five of those matches and have been beaten despite scoring in each of their last three matches against Man City.
Sunderland v Watford
Sunderland have won two of their last three home games as Big Sam has started to turn their form around and they were somewhat unfortunate not to get anything from their trip to Arsenal last week. Watford have made a fantastic start to Premier League life and excluding matches against the current top six have a record of W6-D4-L0. However, middle-third promoted teams have lost 51% of their 49 trips to bottom-six teams since 2010/11 while winning just 22%. At some point the Hornets are likely to suffer a dip and a resurgent Sunderland will be targeting three points from this match.
West Ham v Stoke
West Ham benefitted from Man Utd’s lack of cutting edge last weekend to pick up a point but with Payet, Sakho and now Lanzini all out, plus Victor Moses expected to be missing, the Hammers have their own problems going forward. Four of their last five matches have had fewer than three goals as they’ve scored just three times and failed to win. Stoke upset Man City last week but they tend to struggle to score on the road as 15 of their last 19 away matches have had fewer than three goals, including 10 of their last 11 trips to middle-third teams of which four have finished 1-1. That has also been the score in this fixture in two of the past three seasons and with neither side looking too likely to score more than once here it should have every chance again.
Liverpool v West Brom (Sunday)
Liverpool have won just two of their last seven meetings with West Brom – they’ve lost three of those matches. Furthermore, they’ve won only half their home games since the start of last season with just four wins by more than one goal. You may not know what to expect from the Reds at the moment but Tony Pulis is easier to predict as he’ll set West Brom up to frustrate the opposition. His 16 away matches in charge have averaged just 1.81 goals per game and his side have been beaten only five times. The Baggies may lose this match but they look good value to at least cover the handicap.