Sunderland to cover the handicap is one of the bets in our Premier League round-up.
Chelsea v Sunderland
Chelsea slumped to a sixth defeat in nine games at Leicester on Monday night and now find themselves below both Bournemouth and Newcastle – two sides that were looking prime relegation candidates a couple of weeks ago. Another defeat here would surely be the end for Mourinho, and the Black Cats won here when bottom of the table in 2014 so it’s not inconceivable. We certainly can’t back Chelsea at 1.33 when they’ve scored just seven goals in those last nine matches and the only time they netted more than once was against Villa. Sunderland have managed a couple of clean sheets under Big Sam and we expect them to at least keep within one of the champions and cover the handicap.
Everton v Leicester
Everton may not have got the win we were looking for from them last weekend but they certainly should of and in Romelu Lukaku, Jamie Vardy, Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley and Riyad Mahrez we have five of the season’s best attackers going head to head. There have been at least three goals in 10 of Leicester’s last 12 matches and in seven of their eight away matches this term while both teams have scored in six of Everton’s last seven games. This game finished 2-2 last season and a repeat is easy to envisage, while the absence of Robert Huth gives an edge to the Toffees that suggests Everton to win and both teams to score is a decent price at 3.70.
Man Utd v Norwich
Louis van Gaal has got to be in danger of losing the support of the players as well as the fans and media following the awful displays of recent weeks. However, they’ve conceded just one home goal all season and have lost just twice at Old Trafford in their last 25 games. Moreover, they’ve won 11 of 13 home games against bottom-half teams since 2014/15, with eight wins by more than one goal, and it is hard to see why they are a longer price to win than Chelsea. Norwich were fortunate to escape with a point last weekend but they’ve lost their last four away matches and have conceded at least twice in four of their last five trips. Last weekend was only the second time United have lost to a promoted side since 2010/11 but at home they’ve won 14 of 15 such matches in that time, including 11 consecutive Win/Win HT/FT doubles, and have also won seven of their last eight home matches following a defeat.
Southampton v Spurs
Both teams suffered disappointing losses last weekend and in the case of Southampton it is now just one point from their last four games. The Saints won just one of their seven home games against the top eight last season and this time around they’ve managed just one point from their four home matches against the current top 12. Spurs, meanwhile, have been very tough to beat this term but have been guilty of drawing too many games and both teams have scored in eight of their last 10 matches. Furthermore, eight of their 10 trips to middle-third teams since the start of last season have had at least three goals as have each of Southampton’s last six home matches against top-half teams.
Stoke v Crystal Palace
Only three points separate Stoke from Palace and while the Potters have been in good form recently, Palace continue to excel on the road under Pardew. The Eagles have not trailed at the break in their last 18 matches, with 15 being level, while Stoke have conceded just one first-half goal in their last 11 games. In fact, there have been just 10 goals in total in Stoke’s last nine matches and while they might have some talented attackers in the likes of Bojan and Arnautovic this is very much a team built around a solid defence.
West Brom v Bournemouth
Bournemouth are coming off an incredible two weeks, with back-to-back wins over Man Utd and Chelsea, but they will face a very different test here. West Brom are unbeaten in four games – all against top-half teams – and Chelsea are the only bottom-half side to have beaten them this season. Since Tony Pulis took over eight of the Baggies’ 15 matches, home or away, against bottom-half teams have had fewer than two goals as they’ve kept nine clean sheets and recorded five 1-0 wins.