Premier League gameweek betting preview

Tottenham – Arsenal

Arsenal head to Wembley to face Spurs having not beaten their rivals in the Premier League at White Hart Lane since 2014.

The Gunners are four points and one place adrift of their neighbours as they sit sixth heading into the north London derby.

But Wenger’s men have won their last nine games at the national stadium, including a penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea in this season’s Community Shield and the Frenchman is pleased to be back at Wembley.

Asked if he preferred the game to be at Wembley rather than White Hart Lane, Wenger replied: “Yes, because we have a positive history there. Of course Wembley is a pitch that is quality, a stadium with a big crowd and it is always a special day in your mind so overall, yes. At Wembley you play special games where you are under pressure to perform and we responded well to it every time.”

Team News:

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has no injuries to contend with for the match.

January signing Lucas Moura could make the squad after working on his fitness this week while Toby Alderweireld is in line to start after playing 90 minutes against Newport on Wednesday.

Harry Winks, Serge Aurier and Danny Rose all returned in the FA Cup fourth-round win in midweek and are also in contention.

Arsenal could be without Petr Cech for the match. The experienced goalkeeper was forced off in the win over Everton with a calf problem and has not trained since as David Ospina prepares to deputise.

Nacho Monreal also came off in that 5-1 victory due to illness but should be available to retain his place while Danny Welbeck (hip) is back in contention. Santi Cazorla (Achilles) remains a long-term absentee.

Stats:

  • Spurs have lost just one of their last seven Premier League games against Arsenal (W2 D4), although that defeat came earlier this season, losing 2-0 at the Emirates.
  • Arsenal are aiming to win both home and away against their north London rivals in the Premier League for just the fourth time in the same season, doing so previously in 2004-05, 2007-08 and 2013-14.
  • This is the first meeting between Spurs and Arsenal at Wembley since April 1993, when they met in an FA Cup semi-final, with Arsenal winning 1-0 from a Tony Adams goal.
  • Harry Kane has scored six goals in six Premier League games against Arsenal, only failing to score in one those games – the reverse fixture this season. The England striker has scored four times in three home Premier League games against Arsenal.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four goals in four previous appearances against Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions; once in the Champions League (2 games) and three goals in the Europa League (2 games).
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan has assisted three goals in 120 minutes of Premier League action for Arsenal so far; the same tally that Alexis Sanchez managed in 1507 minutes of action for the Gunners in 2017-18.

Prediction (2-2)s:

This is a bit of a home game for Arsenal due to their Wembley record. They’ve lost six away games this season, but have got one of the best records at Wembley in recent years.

Spurs’ Wembley record is better than it was, but Arsenal have the ammunition to hurt them. If Wenger turned round and said: ‘Aubameyang, Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Ramsey, you four go and get on with it’, and the other six keep it tight then I would give them a great chance. But the two Arsenal full-backs will be playing as wingers after five minutes and you know they’ll be all over the shop defensively.

Tottenham will create many scoring chances Very Likely
Arsenal will stray offside often Very Likely
Tottenham will score as a result of an opposition error Very Likely
Tottenham will score from a fast break situation Very Likely
Tottenham will score as a result of a through ball Likely
Arsenal will create many scoring chances

Manchester City – Leicester

Pep Guardiola’s side have not been beaten by a team outside the top five since January 2017, and the league leaders already have the best return of any English top division club in history after 26 games.

Sergio Aguero could set a new personal record if he nets against the Foxes in the having scored in each of his last six home games in all competitions – he has never managed seven. But the Argentine has only scored once in four games against Leicester, in a 3-1 home defeat in February 2016.

Team News:

John Stones is available again having missed City’s last two games through illness and a knee problem.

Midfielder Phil Foden (ankle) is also fit but playmaker David Silva (hip), winger Leroy Sane (ankle), striker Gabriel Jesus and left-backs Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph (all knee) are still out.

Shinji Okazaki is expected to drop out with a knee injury that could sideline him for up to two weeks.

A week after a failed move to Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez has declared himself available to face the Premier League leaders, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5.15pm on Saturday, ending a week-long stand-off with Leicester. Manager Claude Puel may be tempted to re-think his position, having said Mahrez would not take part in the fixture against the side who put in a £60m bid for him on Deadline Day.

Stats:

Leicester City haven’t lost three consecutive league matches against Man City since August 1961.

Man City have scored at least three goals in each of their last five Premier League home games; the most they’ve done is six (December 2013), while the record in the division is seven games, by Manchester United in March 2010.

Leicester haven’t collected a single point in any of their last nine Premier League matches against sides starting that day top of the league, losing all nine by an aggregate score of 3-20.

Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 25 home Premier League games (W20 D5); it’s the 14th such run of 25+ games in Premier League history, and the longest since Chelsea’s run of 26 that ended in April 2014.

Jamie Vardy’s three Premier League goals against Man City all came in the same game, a 4-2 win in December 2016; he is one just three players to score three Premier League goals against Man City with all goals coming in a hat-trick, along with Gabby Agbonlahor and Tony Cottee.

 

Prediction:

Man City have got to put their chances away, that wins you matches and it’s not happening at the moment. They’re doing enough, though, and I can’t see anything but a home win.

Leicester aren’t going anywhere – they’re not getting relegated or going into the top six – they’re a prime FA Cup team. Other sides in relegation trouble will be looking at them later in the season and going: ‘when have we got Leicester at home?’

Manchester City will control the game in the opposition’s half Very Likely
There will be a low number of cards shown Likely
Leicester will stray offside often Likely
Leicester will score as a result of an opposition error Likely

Everton – Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace will have to win a first league game without Wilfried Zaha since September 2016 if they are to beat Everton, with the winger ruled out for a month with injury.

The Ivory Coast international, who has scored four goals this season, suffered a knee injury during last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

There were fears the Eagles could be without their talisman for the rest of the season.

Following their 5-1 humbling at Arsenal last weekend, Everton have won one of their last eight top-flight games – at home to Leicester on January 31 – but have only lost once on home soil since Allardyce took over on November 30, and that was against Manchester United on New Year’s Day.

Team News:

Everton’s Leighton Baines will not recover from a long-term injury in time for the visit of Palace, but is back in training and could be fit to face Watford next week.

Also approaching comebacks are Maarten Stekelenburg (groin), who has also returned to the training pitch, and Ramiro Funes Mori, who continued his return from knee surgery with 45 minutes for the under-23s in midweek.

In addition to Zaha, goalkeeper Julian Speroni (knee) and defender Martin Kelly (hamstring) are also missing, joining Bakary Sako, Jeffrey Schlupp, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon and Connor Wickham on a lengthy injury list.

January signings Alexander Sorloth and Erdal Rakip will be in the squad.

Stats:

Everton are unbeaten in each of their last six Premier League matches against Crystal Palace (W2 D4), since a 3-2 defeat in September 2014.

Crystal Palace have not lost at Goodison Park in any of their last four Premier League visits (W2 D2), last tasting defeat in a 4-0 drubbing in April 2005 under Iain Dowie.

Crystal Palace have won more Premier League away games vs Everton than they have against any other club (4).

This will be the first Premier League game between two managers who had previously been appointed permanent manager of the England national team since Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson faced off in May 2004 – Keegan’s Manchester City beat Robson’s Newcastle 1-0 at the Etihad.

Sam Allardyce took charge of 21 Premier League matches as Crystal Palace manager last season, averaging 1.24 points per game (W8 D2 L11). He has a higher average at Everton so far (1.33).

Christian Benteke has had a hand in four goals in four Premier League appearances at Goodison Park (three goals, one assist).

Gylfi Sigurdsson has been involved in six goals in his last five Premier League starts against Crystal Palace – he has scored twice and assisted four goals.

Prediction:

Palace have just had two draws and a battering by Arsenal. I’m going to go with Everton to win – without Wilfried Zaha I think Palace will struggle, and they’ll be back in a relegation battle.

Everton have got home advantage, it’s a big match and Sam Allardyce seems to win big games at home when they need to get a result. The other week they played at home and won against Leicester. They’ll have enough to get out of trouble.

There will be a high number of cards shown Likely
Crystal Palace will steal the ball from the opposition often Likely
Everton will steal the ball from the opposition often Likely

 

Newcastle – Manchester United

Manchester United are expected to recall Paul Pogba for the visit to Newcastle United, live on Super Sunday, after the Frenchman was dropped in the win over Huddersfield last weekend.

Pogba was criticised for his performance in the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham on January 31 and manager Jose Mourinho selected Scott McTominay in his place for the routine victory over the Terriers at Old Trafford.

Manchester United will look to build on a record of nine wins from their last 13 Premier League matches against Newcastle at St James’ Park. However, Mourinho has never won on Tyneside. Ahead of the trip to Newcastle, live on Sky Sports Premier League, Mourinho said: “It’s true. I think it’s the only stadium in the Premier League [where I’ve not won]. Also Huddersfield but only [managed a game there] once.

“I think it’s difficult, honestly, I’ve always felt beautiful matches but difficult. I like to go there and like the feeling of going to Mr Robson’s home.

“I like St James’ Park, I think it’s really nice and the atmosphere.The fans are good and enthusiastic. I like the Geordies.

“I lost and drew a few times [at Newcastle in the Premier League]. I hope the result is different but I know the characteristics of the game are not going to be different.” Meanwhile, Benitez has dismissed claims his side are defensive ahead of United’s trip.

Newcastle were criticised for their approach at home to Manchester City earlier this season, and Benitez believes his side will need to be clinical if they are to emerge with anything from this weekend’s encounter.

“One bad result in this league can change everything,” he said. “We have to be strong. Sometimes we deserve more, but you have to take your chances.”

Team News:

Benitez will make a late decision on striker Islam Slimani ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United.

The loan signing from Leicester arrived with a thigh injury and although he is training, he remains a doubt for the game.

Defender Ciaran Clark (knee) and midfielder Mohamed Diame (knock) are fit, but full-back Jesus Gamez (ankle) is not yet ready to return.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to first-team training two days ago, but the Manchester United striker will not be ready for Sunday’s trip to Newcastle. The 36-year-old was given a new one-year deal after recovering impressively from a serious knee injury sustained in April, but managed only seven appearances before suffering a complaint with the same knee.

Ibrahimovic is back in training having last featured on Boxing Day, but will continue to be on the sidelines this weekend – as will Eric Bailly (ankle), Daley Blind (ankle ligaments) and Marouane Fellaini (knee).

 

Stats:
Newcastle have won two of their last 28 Premier League games against Man Utd (D7 L19), failing to win any of their last six (D2 L4).

Meanwhile, Manchester United have won more away Premier League games at St. James’ Park than any other club (12).

Jose Mourinho has never won a Premier League match at St. James’ Park (P6 W0 D3 L3) and has managed more away league games at Newcastle without winning than at any other club in his managerial career; although he has won two League Cup matches there, in November 2004 and December 2006.

Romelu Lukaku has averaged a goal or assist every 65 minutes against Newcastle United in the Premier League (six goals, four assists in 651 minutes).

Newcastle are the only Premier League side that Alexis Sanchez has faced more than twice without scoring against (four games), although he assisted twice against them in December 2014.

 

Prediction (0-2):

Manchester United are just efficient, aren’t they? They played a weakened Huddersfield at home and fell over the line – you could not come off that pitch and say they could have won by nine, but they were efficient.

 

Newcastle have got a chance, because Manchester United won’t blow you away. Rafa Benitez is one of the best managers at setting teams up not to lose games, and with players like Jamaal Lascelles at set-plays, you never know.

Manchester United will score from a wingplay situation Very Likely
Manchester United will control the game in the opposition’s half Likely
Newcastle United will create many scoring chances Likely

 

Southampton – Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk returns to Southampton for the first time since his £75m move to Liverpool when the sides meet on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

If the Saints fail to win, Mauricio Pellegrino’s side will equal a club record of seven home Premier League games without victory.

Pellegrino made 13 appearances for the Reds under Rafa Benitez in 2005, before serving as his assistant at Anfield between 2008-2010.

The Saints’ win at West Brom last week was their first in 13 Premier League games and they could give record-signing Guido Carrillo his first home start for the visit of Liverpool.

Van Dijk is the latest of six players to move from St Mary’s to Anfield since June 2014, for a combined total of £172.5 million, but his arrival has coincided with a spate of late goals conceded by the Merseysiders.

Harry Kane’s 95th-minute penalty in a 2-2 draw with Spurs last Sunday was the fifth they had shipped from the 80th minute onwards since January 1, more than any other team in the Premier League.

 

Team News:

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino reported no fresh injury problems ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match against Liverpool.

Striker Manolo Gabbiadini had been carrying a hip problem last weekend against West Brom, where the Italian was an unused substitute in the 3-2 away win.

Charlie Austin, though, remains out as the forward continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Stats:

There has been just one goal scored in the last two meetings between these sides in all competitions at St Mary’s – in the two before that, there were 12 goals scored.

The Reds haven’t conceded in any of their last three Premier League games against Southampton (W1 D2) – indeed, the last player to score against them was current Liverpool player Sadio Mane in March 2016.

Southampton are unbeaten in their six previous Premier League games played on a Sunday this season, though five of those have ended as draws (W1 vs Everton).

Liverpool have only lost one of their last 17 Premier League games, winning 11 and drawing five.

Klopp has won 49 of his 94 Premier League games in charge (D28 L17). Victory here will make him the 45th different manager to record 50 wins in the competition, and he’ll be the ninth fastest to do so in terms of games (95).

Sadio Mane has scored six goals in his last five Premier League appearances at St. Mary’s Stadium. I was a bit disappointed with Liverpool last weekend, they were given the runaround in the second half by Spurs and didn’t know what to do. In big matches, they generally turn up, and I haven’t seen too many teams do that to them.

With Southampton, it’s down to results earlier in the weekend. Depending on what happens they might be able to stick 10 behind the ball and go for a 0-0, and it might be a bonus. They had a massive result at West Brom last week. I think Liverpool will win, but it could easily be 1-1.

Southampton are nowhere near the worst team, but they could have won more easily – I think they set up too negatively at home when they have got the players to have a go. They could upset a few teams if the reins were off.

Liverpool will score a long shot Extremely Likely
Liverpool will create many scoring chances Very Likely
Liverpool will score as a result of an opposition error Likely

 

Huddersfield – Bournemouth

Huddersfield are without defender Tommy Smith, who is sidelined with concussion.

Christopher Schindler and Laurent Depoitre returned to training on Friday having missed the FA Cup fourth-round replay win over Birmingham with foot injuries but both remain doubtful.

Danny Williams is back after dead leg while Jonathan Hogg is set to be recalled after he was rested in midweek. Bournemouth have Adam Smith and Steve Cook back in contention for the trip to the John Smith’s Stadium.

Cook hobbled off after just 13 minutes with a hamstring problem during the 2-1 win over Stoke City.

Smith has not featured since sustained a knock in the draw at West Ham last month. Tyrone Mings is continuing to recover from a back injury while Jermain Defoe (ankle) has returned to training but he is yet to be reintroduced to the first-team squad.

Prediction (1-3):

Six or seven weeks ago Huddersfield would be highlighting this game as one to win, but Bournemouth are seven games undefeated. If you gave Huddersfield this position at the start of the season, with 12 games to go, they’d have gone: ‘right, we’ll start from here’.

If Bournemouth are anywhere near the level they had at Chelsea, they’ll win comfortably. They thought they could just turn up against Stoke but they turned it back around there too.

Huddersfield will be shown a high number of cards Likely

West Ham – Watford

Prediction (2-0): West Ham had a bad result against Brighton but David Moyes has done well overall, and I don’t think the speculation about him this week will hurt them. They’ve got to get back and win, and I think they will.

Watford had a great result against Chelsea, but that was their first for a long time. It does give them a little breathing space, though. They were the team on the glass mountain with moccasin slippers on; it looked like they’d never stop sliding but that was a massive result.

There will be a high number of cards shown Very Likely
Watford will be shown a high number of cards Very Likely
West Ham will make a comeback if they go behind Very Likely
Watford will make a comeback if they go behind Very Likely
West Ham will be shown a high number of cards Likely
West Ham will stray offside often Likely

 

Swansea – Burnley

Prediction (2-1): Burnley have found their position now and are finding their results. They had an unbelievable start and were punching above their weight. They had a good result against Manchester City, but they faced a lot of chances.

Swansea have got some major momentum, even in the cup with the second-string out, and there’s a bit of a buzz about the place. Carlos Carvalhal’s done a phenomenal job, but he needs to keep them up or it becomes a job similar to Marco Silva at Hull.

Burnley will dominate in the air Likely

 

Stoke – Brighton

Prediction (2-1): Stoke had a good win and then drew with Watford, and that was a bad result for me. People look at it and think it’s not too bad, another clean sheet, but following that up with a defeat means you’re back in a bit of trouble. It was a bad result for Stoke to lose at Bournemouth.

Brighton struggle away from home. I thought they played well at Southampton the other week, but sat back when they went in front and I think they’ll do that again, whether they’re leading or not.

There will be a low number of cards shown Likely

Chelsea – West Brom

Prediction (3-0): Chelsea need to win, they just need to win. That’s what it has come to now. You looked at the Bournemouth and Watford games and thought there are six points to cement the top four and concentrate on Barcelona in the Champions League.

Now you’ve got fixtures of Barca, Man Utd, Man City, Barca after West Brom – it could all go Pete Tong very quickly. If they don’t win, you don’t see how they’re going to finish in the top four with the games coming up.

Alan Pardew is going to put 10 behind the ball, and keep it very tight for 20 minutes and hope the fans get restless. They’ll look at what Bournemouth did, but without the same pace on the counter-attack I don’t see how they can hurt Chelsea.