Stoke and Bournemouth to produce goals is one of the bets in our Saturday Premier League round-up.
Bournemouth v Stoke
Stoke beat Bournemouth 2-1 earlier in the season but they’ve hit a rut recently as they’ve lost three consecutive matches 3-0 and haven’t scored in four. However, all those opponents were in the top half and they’ve lost just one of their 10 trips to promoted teams since 2012/13, albeit with eight draws. Bournemouth’s form is reasonable and excluding against the current top three they’ve scored in nine of their last 10 matches, with both teams scoring in seven. Five of their last eight at home have had at least three goals, as have six of Stoke’s last seven games, and we expect the Potters to find their shooting boots for this one.
Crystal Palace v Watford
Having been challenging for a Champions League spot at Christmas, Palace are now battling it out with Chelsea in the battle to avoid being London’s worst club. That’s the result of an eight game winless streak that has seen them score just three times. However, Watford are also in a bit of a slump following five defeats in seven games, including failing to score in four of the last five. Six of Palace’s last seven home games against middle-third teams have had fewer than three goals as have four of Watford’s last five road trips and with both attacks struggling it may be that just one goal will settle this.
Everton v West Brom
After being guilty so often of failing to win matches they’ve dominated this season Everton have thrashed Stoke and Newcastle in back-to-back games to move into the top half. However, if they’d made the most of the chances they’ve created they could well have been fighting for a Champions League spot right now. However, that lack of a killer instinct has let them down before and they’ve drawn three of their last five matches with West Brom, including a pair of nil-nils in this fixture in the past two campaigns. The Baggies are playing some ugly stuff but they’ve not been in the bottom three since the early days of the season and are unlikely to change their approach now. Both teams have scored in just seven of their 21 away matches under Tony Pulis – 14 of which have had fewer than three goals – and with the Toffees recent improvement in defence this looks likely to be a low scoring affair.
Norwich v West Ham
Norwich have lost five consecutive matches while conceding 16 goals as they’ve fallen into the bottom three. West Ham, meanwhile, have won only one of their last eight away matches but their more general form has been good as they continue to sit sixth and had a morale boosting Cup win in midweek. The Canaries have won their three home games this season against the current bottom six, but they were in better form then and in their other home matches they’ve gone just W1-D3-L5. Despite their mediocre away form of late it’s surprising to see the Hammers as outsiders with Norwich struggling as much as they are. Since 2010/11, top-half teams have won 46% of their 84 trips to promoted sides between January and the end of the season.
Swansea v Southampton
Swansea are unbeaten in four as they look to climb away from the bottom three, although they might see it as two points dropped last weekend having led at half-time. Southampton are in even better form as they’ve taken 13 points from a possible 15, while keeping five clean sheets and despite facing four top-half sides in that run. Swansea have conceded just nine times in their last nine games and four of those came in a game with Sunderland. Since the start of last season half their 16 home games against top-half teams have been goalless at half-time, as has been the case in five of the Saints last six trips to bottom-half sides. Goals have tended to be rare in meetings between these two as five of seven games since 2012/13 have been goalless at half-time and six of seven have settled the Under 2.5 market.