West Brom to be holding Chelsea at half-time is one of six Premier League bets on Wednesday.
Chelsea v West Brom
Chelsea’ 3-0 win at Crystal Palace suggested things are turning around post Jose-Mourinho. However, they rarely have an easy time against West Brom and while they won 3-2 when they met earlier in the campaign they were hanging on at the end in what was just their third win in their last eight meetings. The Baggies have won their last two games and have lost just six of their last 19 away matches but they’ve scored only 15 goals in that run as their results have risen from stubborn resistance rather than any attacking flair. Chelsea’s attack, meanwhile, struggled for most of 2015 and they’ve scored just 27 times in their last 19 home matches, whilst winning only nine times, and 13 of the matches have been level at half-time. The Baggies look good value to cover the handicap, particularly if Diego Costa is ruled out after picking up a knock late on against Scunthorpe, and they can go some way towards that by keeping things tight until the break.
Man City v Everton
Everton might be great to watch this season, with their games averaging more goals than any other side, but they aren’t getting the right results. It’s been a case of too many draws for Roberto Martinez’s men as they’ve rarely been beaten but when they have it’s been against the league’s elite and their record against the current top five is just W0-D2-L4. They have scored in the last three of those games though and that is part of an 11-game scoring streak as both teams have scored in 11 of their last 14 matches. Goals at both ends has been a feature of City matches as well and both teams have scored in each of their last eight home games as they’ve recorded six wins in that time and all eight have had at least three goals.
With Martin Demichelis and Nicolas Otamendi set to start in defence that trend should continue, with City having conceded seven times in the three previous times they’ve lined up together. However, they’ve won 19 of their last 20 home games against middle-third teams and while we would avoid them on the handicap against a dangerous Everton side they do look worth backing to win with both teams scoring.
Best Bet: Man City to Win and Both Teams to Score at 2.8
Southampton v Watford
The Saints record of one win in eight doesn’t look great but their most recent home match in the league was a storming 4-0 success over Arsenal and they look a far more effective outfit in front of their own fans. Since being promoted in 2012/13 they’ve won eight of 10 home games against promoted teams, including 2-0 and 3-0 successes over Bournemouth and Norwich this term. Watford are coming off two narrow defeats, against Man City and Spurs respectively, but their away form has been excellent as they’ve lost only twice and have scored in all but one game. Goals have increased in Watford games as the season has progressed, with seven of their last nine matches having at least three strikes and given the Saints’ current shaky defence that is the market we like best. Southampton have managed just two clean sheets in their last 11 home games while four of their last five matches hosting middle-third teams have had at least three goals.
Swansea v Sunderland
Swansea were the biggest victims of the Cup weekend but they should have a fully changed back five for this game, though with just two wins in their last 16 matches confidence must be rock bottom. They do at least have a good home record against bottom-half teams of W7-D5-L1 since the start of last season. Sunderland have lost eight of their last nine away matches in all competitions and defeat here against a direct rival would be a hammer blow to their survival chances. However, neither side has a lot of goals in them and having failed to score in nine of their last 16 matches Swansea look too short at odds-on given their form. Furthermore, these teams have drawn five of their last seven meetings with each other.
Spurs v Leicester
After the Foxes were robbed in the Cup by a harsh late penalty, part 2 of the triple-header between these teams promises plenty more fun. Riyad Mahrez will return for Leicester, while Kane, Lamela and Alli should come into the Spurs starting XI after both sides rotated at the weekend. The last 11 meetings between these sides have all seen both teams score and the three meetings here since the start of last season have seen all three results recorded. We wouldn’t get too excited about Spurs’ odds-on price but there’s every chance of more goals. 16 of Spurs’ last 25 home games have had at least three strikes while Leicester have scored at least three times on their own in four of their last five matches on the road. Furthermore, the Foxes last 10 trips to top-half teams have seen 38 goals as eight have had three or more.
Stoke v Norwich
Stoke can be vulnerable against sides that sit back, with their home record against teams that averaged less than 45% possession on the road last season being just W1-D0-L3 and against teams averaging below that mark this term an even poorer W0-D1-L3. Given these are mostly the weaker teams in the league it doesn’t look a great idea to be backing the home win against a Norwich side that are averaging exactly 45% of the ball on the road this season and have improved defensively as the season has progressed, resulting in seven of their last nine matches having fewer than three goals and both teams scoring in just three of those matches. Nine of Stoke’s 13 home games against bottom-half teams since the start of last season have also had fewer than three goals with both teams scoring just five times.