We pick out the best bets from the non-televised weekend Premier League fixtures.
Aston Villa v Newcastle
Aston Villa looked like they might win a game last weekend but somehow still managed to lose as Troy Deeney scored twice in injury time. That was a club record 11th straight defeat and it’ll be hard to lift themselves for the final two games. Newcastle have taken just one point from their last 10 away games but, while that may provide hope for Villa, the Toon are unbeaten in four and improving all the time. Still, 1.65 for Newcastle is far too short to consider, even given they’ve not lost in nine meetings with Villa, and so we’ll look for goals. Five of Villa’s last six home games have had at least three strikes as have Newcastle’s three trips to the rest of the current bottom five this season.
Bournemouth v West Brom
In their last six matches Bournemouth’s only points came in a win over Villa while the Baggies have picked up just two points from their last possible 21. 12 of the Cherries’ last 16 matches have had at least three goals including each of the last eight so that looks a more reliable place to look for a bet. West Brom’s goal stats are almost the polar opposite but with nothing to play for they might offer a little more entertainment than usual. For a real long shot, if we focus on Bournemouth we see that they’ve scored in four of their last six home defeats and the Baggies are 7.5 to record a win with both teams scoring.
Crystal Palace v Stoke
Palace should be safe by the time this game kicks off, provided Norwich don’t beat Man Utd, and the fact they’ve not won in 19 rounds won’t mean a thing. Stoke are struggling along as well though, with two points – from home games against struggling Sunderland and Swansea – their return from their last five matches. It’s one clean sheet in 14 games for Sparky’s boys and eight of their last nine away matches have had at least three goals. Both teams have scored in four of the five meetings between these teams since 2013/14 and in keeping with our round-up so far we’ll hopefully see more goals here.
Sunderland v Chelsea
Chelsea found some fight on Monday night to rescue a point and hand the title to Leicester. We wouldn’t be surprised if that’s their last meaningful contribution this season though, as their players start to think about the summer holidays, Euros, Copa Americas and Olympics, and there could be several new faces given a chance. There’ll be no break for the Black Cats though and they’re back in the bottom three despite just one defeat in eight (against the champions). Sunderland were abject in a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea earlier this season but they’re playing far better now and have conceded just 11 times in their last 13 home games. Chelsea have been better on the road recently than at home but Villa are the only team to fail to score against them in their last 11 matches and with Sunderland’s good defensive record at home we fancy them to get something here.
West Ham v Swansea
Slips from the two Manchester clubs last weekend means that nine points from West Ham’s final three games may still be enough to snatch fourth. With little for Swansea to get excited about now they are safe the Hammers are deserving favourites. Unbeaten in their last 15 home games they’ve scored at least twice in each of their last seven matches, home or away, and have won this fixture in each of the past three years. Swansea have won their last four at home but taken just one point from their last four on the road while conceding 12 times. Furthermore, they’ve lost 10 of their last 16 trips to top-half teams but eight of those defeats were despite scoring and given the Hammers have also conceded 12 times in their last seven games we could be in for an open game.
Liverpool v Watford (Sunday 16:00)
With just one top-five finish in the past six seasons the fact Liverpool are fighting with Southampton for seventh is not too surprising. Defensively they are the worst team in the top eight and have actually been worse under Klopp than they were under Rodgers. They are undoubtedly better going forward now but this team is still a long way from being title contenders. 10 of their last 11 matches have had at least three goals while the exception still saw both teams score. Watford have won two of their last three games and four of their last six have had at least three goals as only Arsenal have stopped them finding the net, so goals backers should look to the ‘overs’ markets.
With a W6-D3-L2 record on the road this season when scoring Watford might fancy a shock at Anfield and can be backed at 8.5. Liverpool are certainly far too short given the only teams to beat the Hornets by more than one goal this season are all above the Reds in the table. Four of Liverpool’s last six home defeats have come when level at half-time and if there’s any fatigue from their midweek Europa League semi-final Watford could punish them as the match goes on.