Arsenal to brush Newcastle aside is one of six bets in our Premier League round-up.
Arsenal v Newcastle
Newcastle have been slightly unfortunate to lose both their matches over the festive period but no one will expect them to get anything from this game. Arsenal have won their last eight meetings with the Magpies and have won 12 of 14 home matches against bottom-six teams since 2013/14 with nine victories by more than one goal. Newcastle’s away form has been poor for over a year now and they’ve lost six of their last eight trips to top-six teams by more than one goal and another heavy defeat could be on the cards here.
Leicester v Bournemouth
Leicester showed their title credentials by holding Man City to a draw on Tuesday but they will expect all three points from this one. The Foxes have won 10 of their last 15 home matches and five of their last six here against bottom-half teams. Furthermore, they’ve won four of their last five games anywhere against promoted teams. Bournemouth have lost six of their 10 away matches, including five of six trips to teams currently in the top 12, and the home side look good value to continue their title push.
Man Utd v Swansea
Man Utd put up an improved performance against Chelsea even if the 0-0 final score was one of the least surprising conclusions of an unpredictable season. However, they’ve not won in six now as they’ve scored only three goals and have won only two of their last six at home against bottom-half teams. Since Garry Monk’s departure Swansea have kept three consecutive clean sheets and it won’t be easy for United to break them down. Furthermore, they’ve won their last three matches against the Red Devils, who are three points worse off after 19 games than in any previous Premier League season, and look decent value to get something out of this game, while under-goals also has to be considered.
Norwich v Southampton
Southampton followed their thrashing of Arsenal with a disappointing loss at West Ham and they have now lost five of their last seven matches. However, Norwich have kept just two clean sheets this season, and those were against Villa and Swansea, so we’d certainly expect the Saints to find the net, and they do have an excellent record against promoted teams. The home side will also expect to score though as they’ve only failed to strike in one of their nine home games and with Southampton’s current inconsistency that’s the bet we like best here.
Sunderland v Aston Villa
We’ll probably be watching this game in the Championship next season but defeat for either will surely end and hopes of a great escape in the next few months. Sunderland played OK against Liverpool on Wednesday but failed to score, as did Villa as they were beaten at Norwich. It’s hard to see where Villa’s goals will come from right now as they look for their first win under Remi Garde and 13 of their last 15 trips to bottom-six teams have had fewer than three goals, but since 2011/12 they are unbeaten in nine matches against Sunderland, albeit with five draws and three 0-0s. With injuries mounting up for the Black Cats this is certainly a great chance for Villa but they are also missing important players, with Jordan Ayew and Ashley Westwood suspended, and this could well end in a draw that helps neither team.
West Brom v Stoke
Stoke’s improving form has seen them move to within two points of Crystal Palace in fifth and in Bojan, Shaqiri and Arnautovic they have three of the most exciting players in the league. Excitement and West Brom are two words that definitely can’t be used together but they’ve won their last two meetings with Stoke by the classic Pulis score of 1-0 and 11 of their last 16 games have had fewer than three goals. Before scoring four at Goodison, Stoke had netted just four times in their previous eight away matches, all of which had fewer than three goals and this has the makings of a low-scoring affair. Furthermore, the Baggies last seven home games against middle-third teams have seen just two first-half goals and they are bound to try and keep things tight.