This weekend sees the Barclays Premier League enter into its twelfth round of fixtures, and there are some crucial games taking place up and down the country. Here are the previews, odds and tips for every game this weekend.
BOURNEMOUTH v NEWCASTLE UNITED (12:45 BT SPORTS 1)
A classic relegation six pointer, and we are only in November, as both teams are languishing in the lower half of the table. Bournemouth sit 17th, whilst Newcastle languish one place below in 18th. Both teams put in poor performances last week, with Bournemouth losing to an average Southampton side at St Mary’s 2-0, whilst Newcastle drew 0-0 with Stoke City at St James Park, their second game in a row without scoring in front of goal. A closer look into the long term form of both these teams does not provide good reading either. Bournemouth have lost their last three, whilst Newcastle have failed to win on the road this season. However, manager Steve McClaren may be encouraged by the south coast teams last performance at Dean Court, a 5-1 loss to a Spurs team inspired by a Harry Kane hat trick. The Magpies may also have to rely on their own recent hat trick hero, Georginio Wijnaldum, to break their current rut in front of goal and give them their first win in two. The Cherries are still without top goal scorer, Callum Wilson, and summer recruits, Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings to add to manager Eddies Howe’s woes.
With both teams struggling to find form this season, the draw at 12/5 looks good value, coupled with Wijnaldum as first goal scorer at 8/1.
LEICESTER CITY v WATFORD (15:00)
Two of this seasons surprise packages here, with a lot of pundits tipping both to be lower in the league standings at the start of the campaign. Leicester, who are the leagues second top goal scorers, sit in the hefty heights of third, a position manager, Claudio Ranieri could only have dreamed of leading into the 2015/16 season. Watford, though further down the ladder in eleventh have surprised and impressed all who have seen the Vicarage Road outfit this season, with strikers Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney showing signs that the two man strike partnership can still prove effective in the modern English game. Both teams boast the first and joint second top goal scorers in the league, with Jamie Vardy leading the way with 11 goals and both Riyad Mahrez and Odion Ighalo joint second, scoring seven a piece. The Fox’s have won three out of their last five at the King Power, whilst Watford hold a respectable away form, winning two out of their last three games.
The first goal scorer market is definitely one to consider here, with Vardy 10/3, Mahrez 5/1 and Ighalo 6/1. Leicester also look good value at 2/1 with the -1 handicap.
MANCHESTER UNITED v WEST BROM (15:00)
Manchester United will relived after scoring their first goal in three matches against Russian outfit, CSKA Moscow midweek, giving them a 1-0 victory in the Champions League. However, they still remain goalless in two in the Barclays Premier League and will look to Wayne Rooney to replicate his European goal scoring form in the domestic competition. West Brom, sat 12th in the table, are the joint second lowest scorers in the league, but did beat United at Old Trafford last season 1-0, with Jonas Olsson handing the Baggies the spoils. Michael Carrick is still suffering injury problems, whilst West Brom midfielder, Darren Fletcher looks set to return to Old Trafford and captain the midlands team.
Man Utd 3/10
West Brom 10/1
It is hard to look past United here. They will win, and win well. 3-0 United 13/2, Martial first goal scorer 7/2.
NORWICH CITY v SWANSEA CITY (15:00)
Swansea travel to Suffolk boasting a poor run of form, winning only one of their last six games, home or away, in the Premier League. That win, however, did come away from the Liberty Stadium, with a 2-1 victory at Villa Park. Alex Neil’s Norwich team are currently on their longest losing run under his management, with four losses in succession, a run only bettered by bottom side, Aston Villa. The Canaries also hold a poor defensive record, conceding 23 goals in just 11 games, whilst Garry Monk’s Swansea team is better in comparison (15). Both sides top goal scorers have dropped in form since the start of the season, with Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew scoring only once between them in their last five matches, and Nathan Redmond has failed to add to his tally of four since September.
Both sides have been below par this season and are more than likely to cancel each other out. Draw 23/10. Nathan Redmond to score at any time 5/2, Andre Ayew first goal scorer 7/1.
SUNDERLAND v SOUTHAMPTON (15:00)
Sam Allardyce’s start to his Sunderland managerial tenure has been hard to judge, with his side showing vast improvements in their 3-0 victory in the Tyne-Wear derby, but also reverting back to their defensive instability at Goodison, losing 6-2. They still remain in the relegation zone (19th) and hold the unwanted title of conceding the most goals in the league. Southampton, on the other hand, have started to revert back to the form of last season that saw high praise from a platter of pundits. Sitting seventh in the table, and without a loss away from St Mary’s this campaign, boss Ronald Koeman will be looking to Italian striker, Graziano Pelle to continue the Saint’s revival in form.
Southampton -1 handicap looks good value 2/1, as does Northern Ireland international, Steven Davis, as first goal scorer 12/1.
WEST HAM UNITED v EVERTON (15:00)
The best looking of Saturday’s fixtures takes place at Upton Park this weekend, with both sides sporting brands of attacking and attractive football so far this campaign. Slaven Bilic’s West Ham are the third top goal scorers so far this season, behind only Leicester City and leaders, Manchester City. Not only have the Hammers won plaudits for their team cohesion and expansive performances this season, individual displays have certainly caught the eye of pundits. Dimitry Payet continues to impress from the wing, with five goals to his name so far. Midfield powerhouse, Cheikou Kouyate has provided presence in midfield and the return of Andy Carroll upfront has only added to the East London team’s attacking prowess. Everton, however, come off the back of a 6-2 win at Goodison last week, and Roberto Martinez’s team have only lost once on the road this season.
West Ham 6/4
Both teams look likely to score here, but the added impetus of the Upton Park crowd make the Hammers slight favourites. Both teams to score and West Ham to win 10/3 and Payet to score and West Ham to win 5/1 look very good value.
STOKE CITY v CHELSEA (17:30 SKY SPORTS 1)
Chelsea’s woes continued last weekend, falling to a revitalised Liverpool side 3-1, leaving newly appointed Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, delighted with his first win the Premier League. Mourinho’s men briefly held the worse defensive record in the league (22), following their defeat to the reds before the 3pm kick-offs, and will look to sure up their defence at the Britannia. Sat fourteenth in the table, the Potters have been unable to replicate the fortress status of the Britannia this season, with only one victory at home all season. However, they have conceded ten less goals than the blues and Mark Hughes’s team have already beaten their opponents this season in a Capital One Cup tie in October. Neither side has a player in the top 10 goal scorer of assisting charts as of yet, but Mark Hughes has been encouraged by the performances of the returning Bojan to his Stoke City side, and in Xhedran Shaqiri they have a real gem of a player. Mourinho will need to make sure that John Terry and Gary Cahill rekindle their defensive partnership of last season to come away with the points from the Potteries.
It is now or never for Jose Mourinho and his team need perform. Both teams to score and Chelsea to win 10/3 looks a good price as Chelsea’s defense is shaky. However, for the Mourinho skeptics out there, Bojan to score and Stoke to win 2-1 is a tasty 60/1 long shot.
ASTON VILLA v MANCHESTER CITY (13:30 SUNDAY SKY SPORTS 1)
The comparison of stats between these two clubs prove that they could not be further apart. Villa sit rock bottom of the table, are win less in 10 (since the opening day of the season), have lost their last seven in succession and have only scored three times in their last six at Villa Park. City lead the way in the standings, are the leagues top goal scorers, have the joint second best defensive record and have four clean sheets in their last five away matches. However, Villa may benefit from a change of tactics following the appointment of ex Lyon boss, Remi Garde, on Monday. Manuel Pellegrini saw his side qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League midweek and will look to continue this form into the domestic competition.
City to win is good value for an accumulator at 4/9, as is Yaya Toure as first goal scorer 6/1. Perhaps you fancy a Garde renaissance and a Villa win? Gabby Agbonlahor anytime and Villa 2-1 125/1.
ARSENAL v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (16:00 SUNDAY SKY SPORTS 1)
A North London derby to wet the Sunday tea time appetite here and both teams come into this fixture in sparkling form. Both sides sit high in the table, with the Gunners second and Spurs fifth and both are first (Arsenal) and second (Spurs) in the overall form table. Tottenham have not lost since the opening day of the season and have scored eight goals in their last two matches, with England striker, Harry Kane bagging himself four goals in the process. Arsenal, however, have the stingiest defence in the league (8) and have already beat Spurs this season in the Capital One Cup. Spurs have only won one of the last five league meetings between the teams at the Emirates (2-3 2010) with all their goal scorers that day now not employed at the club. The Gunners have put nine goals past their North London counterparts in the last five derbies between the two and will be looking to gain two more points from the corresponding fixture last season, which ended 1-1, courtesy of a Nacer Chadli equaliser.
Both teams to score looks very likely 8/13. Kane to score at anytime 21/10 is certainly good value and the half time/full time market may also be worth a punt: Arsenal/Tottenham 40/1 the long shot for this one.
LIVERPOOL v CRYSTAL PALACE (16:00 SUNDAY)
The statistics for both these teams come out very similar, with both sides scoring 12 goals so far this campaign, whilst Palace (11) have conceded one less than the Reds (12) under the management of Alan Pardew. Klopp’s crop have not lost in six Barclays Premier League games, winning their two, the latest being a victory at Stamford Bridge. The Eagles, however, have not won in three, which may be down to the dip in form from their charismatic wingers, Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha. Liverpool will look to Brazilian talent Philippe Coutinho to replicate his brace last week at Stamford Bridge to light up the Anfield faithful and bag Klopp another three points.
Crystal Palace 17/4
Liverpool to win and Coutinho to score 13/5.
(Odds correct on creation of article).