By Antony Jordan
With this midweek seeing a round of Premier League football, it means that the festive season of EPL action is well underway. There are two matches, including Gunners visiting Goodison Park, being played around the UK this Tuesday evening and the sides that finished in the top two places in the league last season both look to build on their fine performances over the weekend, but will they be able to do so on their travels?
We preview the Everton v Arsenal and Bournemouth v Leicester clashes with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our best round 16 EPL picks.
It is a tale of two very different stories for the sides that clash at Goodison Park this Tuesday evening as recent times have seen Everton slide down the table following a good start to the season, while Arsenal have impressed in recent times by topping their Champions League group and second only to Chelsea in the battle for the Premier League title. Adding to this is the fact that The Gunners triumphed home and away against The Toffees last season as they won 2-1 at home and 2-0 on this ground later in the season – and this was their first win at Goodison Park since 2012 – now they aim to secure all three points once again and secure top spot in the EPL as we move towards Christmas.
Everton come into this game having suffered a 3-2 defeat at Watford at the weekend to see them with a record of just one win in ten EPL games now as they have added just seven points to their total in this run after starting the season with four wins and a draw in their first five clashes. Their home form, however, sees them unbeaten with this season with three wins and four draws in seven clashes at Goodison Park but two of those wins have come against sides in the bottom five of the league and the other was against Stoke during the period that they failed to win any of their opening seven games.
Arsenal, on the other hand, come into this match having lost just one of their last 23 games since suffering a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day of the season – and this loss came with a rested side in the EFL Cup to Southampton. They topped their Champions League group, are just three points off the top of the league – and can go top with victory in this match – and are full of confidence right now despite having a lengthy injury list. They have won five and drawn two of seven away matches in the league this season and with 18 goals scored in this time combined with Everton’s poor form we can see only one winner this Tuesday evening.
Despite going on to lift the Premier League title last season by ten points The Foxes found things tough going against The Cherries as they drew 1-1 on this ground, with the champions needing an 86th minute penalty to rescue a point, before seeing no goals scored at The King Power Stadium as the teams shared the spoils again. After their stunning performance against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the weekend that saw them win 4-2 Claudio Ranieri and Leicester will be hopeful of turning a corner in their title defence that has seen them battle relegation rather than fight to retain their title this season, but can they record back to back EPL victories for the first time this season and move ahead of their hosts?
If Leicester are to secure victory this Tuesday evening they will need to bring their home form with them as they have suffered six defeats in seven away games, drawing only with Tottenham in the odd one out. They have found the net in all but one of these matches (away at Chelsea) but the fact is they have conceded a total of 18 goals on their travels this season as the other Premier League teams have figured out their tactics and ways of playing, while The Foxes are truly missing N’Golo Kante in midfield to break up play and give extra shielding to the defence.
The home team at the Vitality Stadium for this Tuesday night action have been in patchy form over the last ten games with four wins, four losses and two draws, but they will take heart from the fact that three of these victories have come on home soil. This sees them having won four and drawn one of their last six on the south coast and with the 6-1 thumping of Hull and coming from 3-1 down with 15 to play against Liverpool to win 4-3 they have shown that they have goals in them too.
We feel that with Bournemouth’s style of play and Leicester’s ability to concede goals that the value on this match comes from the goals market due to dual draws last season and Leicester’s best performance of the season on Saturday against Man City meaning that the outright market could see any of the three results available.