Round 23 of the Premier League season kicks off this Saturday around the UK as there are eight matches being played with a number of clashes between sides at the top and bottom of the league. Will all of these games go the way of the teams who sit above their opponents? We preview all of Saturday’s EPL action with online sportsbook Unibet.com to provide our best EPL picks.
Following wins for sides in the bottom three of the league in recent weeks the relegation battle is coming to the boil nicely and although Norwich are fifth bottom coming into the weekend’s opening Premier League game they are just two points above the drop zone. On top of this they have lost all of their last three matches in both league and cup conceding nine goals and scoring just one, and with them having conceded 22 goals in their last six clashes with Liverpool, where they lost five and drew one, they will be fearful for this weekend’s game.
However, they have brought in Steven Naismith from Everton to bolster their attacking options and they will believe that he can make a difference going forwards. Boss Alex Neill will feel that new defenders Ivo Pinto and Timm Klose will help tighten things up at the back too and as Liverpool had to play an FA Cup replay during the week, have made no signings and still have a massive issue with injuries with strikers the home side will fancy their chances at claiming their first win over the 19 time top flight champions since 1994.
We are not confident of the home team winning this match, but we do see goals in this match and four of the last five meetings have seen both sides find the net so we are favouring goals at Carrow Road as our pick from the opening match of the weekend.
Our best Norwich v Liverpool bet is back Over 2.5 goals to be scored @ 2.10 with Unibet.com.
This match promises to be a clash of haves and have-nots as the home side in this match at Selhurst Park are hurting up front right now as they have failed to score in any of their last five Premier League matches while Tottenham have failed to score in just one of their last eight games – and they were the dominant side in that clash. Tottenham have scored six goals in their last two matches as they defeated Sunderland 4-1 last week and progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Leicester during the week where a large number of the first team was rested.
While Palace won this fixture 2-1 last season in Alan Pardew’s first match in charge of The Eagles we cannot see them getting anything from this game as Tottenham have far too much ability going forwards and they’ll take all three points in this one.
Our top Crystal Palace v Tottenham tip is back the away win at odds of 2.15 in the Unibet Sportsbook!
These two teams are the surprise sides of the season as they come into this match sitting second and seventh in the EPL table after performing much better than many had expected. The home side can return to the top of the league by avoiding defeat before Man City’s game late on in the evening on Saturday and Arsenal’s game against Chelsea on Sunday, but with Stoke having kept five clean sheets in their last eight away league matches can they unlock the visiting defence to take all three points?
Leicester are stuck in a slightly poor run of form at the moment with just a single win in their last five games as they have scored just two goals, but this attacking deficiency has also an improvement in their defensive performances as they have conceded just two goals in these five games. If their early season stars of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez can rediscover their scoring form then they should win this game, but the question is can they come out of their slump?
Stoke have won just one of their last four away games and were beaten in two of the other three as Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron saw red against Sunderland and West Brom respectively but these are their only two defeats away from home since losing 2-0 to Arsenal in September. They gained revenge for that defeat with a 0-0 draw at The Emirates last week and they have now won three and drawn one of their last four games before this weekend. They drew 2-2 at home to Leicester earlier this season and we would not be surprised to see both of these sides share the spoils again this Saturday.
Our money is on the draw in this Leicester v Stoke game @ 3.45 at Unibet.
Southampton arrive at Old Trafford this weekend looking for back to back successes on the red half of Manchester following a 1-0 win here last season as Dusan Tadic netted a 69th minute winner. However, with The Saints having lost four in a row away from home and failed to win in two and a half months on their travels they will not be most confident about this match. However, with the home side in this clash having scored no goals in the first half of their last ten home matches in all competitions there will be much trepidation for them in this game too.
United will miss five key players for this match as Ashley Young will spend “a long time out” in the words of Louis van Gaal after picking up a groin injury as he joins Bastian Schweinsteiger, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo on the sidelines for this game. Southampton look to be turning things around with five goals scored and none conceded in back to back wins in their last two home games and with new striker Charlie Austin is likely to start this match they will be desperate to get their away form turned around for the second half of the season.
Louis van Gaal has had plenty of criticism from the analysts and the stands in recent times about the defensive and negative style of play from his side so he’ll definitely look to hit the ground running in this one and, as such, we can see goals at Old Trafford.
We are backing Over 1.5 goals to be scored by half time at odds of 3.50.
These two sides are four points away from safety and three points above the relegation zone coming into this Saturday’s match so this Stadium of Light clash is certainly a relegation six-pointer and both sides need to get their hands on all three points. Sunderland have done well against their fellow relegation scrappers recently with 3-1 and 4-2 wins against Aston Villa and Swansea, although once they faced a side higher up the table they were easily defeated as Tottenham claimed a 4-1 victory. Jermaine Defoe scored five of the seven goals scored in those two wins, but can he can fire Sunderland to victory in this match?
Bournemouth claimed a 2-0 win against The Black Cats earlier this season as they scored twice in the first ten minutes and with them having lost only to league leaders Arsenal on the road in the last two months they will fancy their chances at completing the double over Sam Allardyce’s men. They have kept clean sheets against Chelsea and Leicester in this five game run, which has seen two wins and two draws, and with them bagging a 3-0 win at home to Norwich last weekend they will believe that their spending on new attacking players will see them to victory. However, we do see the home side getting chances and taking them, with their form player bagging at least one.
Our best Sunderland v Bournemouth bet is back Jermaine Defoe to score anytime @ 3.10 with Unibet.com.
While new signings Nordin Amrabat and Costel Pantilimon, an attacking midfielder and a goalkeeper, are likely to be in the squad for this trip to Vicarage Road the away side have a serious injury crisis right now. They are down to just four fit defenders for this match while apiss Cisse, Siem de Jong, Kevin Mbabu, Gabriel Obertan, Massadio Haidara, Mike Williamson and Vurnon Anita are all out of the game too. Since ending a four match losing streak, the final of which was a 1-0 defeat on this ground in the FA Cup, Newcastle have picked up four points – thanks to a last gasp goal to draw 3-3 with Man United and then beating West Ham – and are now within a point of safety, but can they avoid a third straight loss to The Hornets this season to move out of the relegation zone?
Watford have not been in the best of forms recently with their 1-0 win against this Saturday’s guests being the only occasion that they have not been defeated in their last five games. They are four games without a point in the EPL and without a goal in two. However, their last two home games saw them bag goals in 2-1 losses to Tottenham and Man City, and with Newcastle having so many injuries right now we feel that the home side will claim all three points this Saturday.
Our top Watford v Newcastle bet is back the home win at odds of 2.08 in the Unibet Sportsbook!
This match is a local derby as the side from West Bromwich takes on their fellow Midlanders at The Hawthorns looking for their second win this season over the team bottom of the EPL. The reverse of this fixture saw the game decided by a single goal from the much talked about striker Saido Berahino five minutes before half time and despite Villa having beaten Crystal Palace 1-0 and drew 1-1 with Leicester in their last two EPL games the home team are still favoured for victory in this game. Villa can consider themselves lucky to have gotten these points recently as the Palace goalkeeper dropped the ball into the net in the first of these point scoring games while Leicester missed a penalty last weekend. Will their luck continue into a third match in succession?
Villa have lost eight and drawn two of their last ten away league matches and were beaten by fellow relegation strugglers Norwich and Sunderland in their last two, so they will be far from confident coming into this game. This will play into the hands of West Brom who have lost just one of their last five home league games, including defeating high flying Arsenal and Stoke plus Newcastle as well as drawing with Tottenham. They welcome back goalkeeper Ben Foster after injury to bolster their defence and with Villa being so poor on the road we cannot see them getting anything from this game.
Our money is on the home win in this West Brom v Aston Villa match @ 2.13 at Unibet.
The final match we’re looking at is the late kick off on Saturday as West Ham look to bounce back from the away defeat at Newcastle that saw their nine game unbeaten run ended while City are looking to return to top of the league for the first time since the end of November. They’ll need Leicester to drop points against Stoke for this to happen (something we see happening) and they’ll need to win at Upton Park for the first time since 2013, but are they capable of doing this?
City have not impressed away from home this season and their late, late comeback at Watford in their last away league game is the only time that they have managed to secure all three points in the league in seven road trips. They have Sergio Aguero back from injury and with the Argentine scoring two and creating one of the four goals scored as they romped past Crystal Palace last weekend on home soil he will be a handful for the home side. However, with The Hammers last having lost an EPL match on home soil in August they will be confident of back to back victories against one of the front runners for the title and with Dmitri Payet once again running the show for them we feel that the home side will get something from this match.
We are backing West Ham/Draw Double Chance at odds of 2.28.
Top EPL Picks:
It has been away for a short while, but we’re bringing top EPL picks section this week with a trio of bets that we’re certain to back from the eight games played on Saturday. These are as follows:
- Tottenham to beat Crystal Palace @ 2.15 – This one is a straight forward bet as it’s a team with no strikers versus a side with Harry Kane who has scored 12 goals in the league, which is 11 goals less than Palace have all season. We see Kane, as well a wide ranging and regularly scoring midfield, firing Tottenham to victory.
- Jermaine Defoe to score anytime v Bournemouth @ 3.10 – With Defoe having bagged five goals in his last three matches, including drawing blank against Tottenham last time around, we feel that the odds of 3.10 to score anytime on home soil against a side that has conceded 37 goals in 22 games is too good to pass on.
- West Brom to beat Aston Villa @ 2.13 – The money is on the home win this one as Villa have not won away from home since the opening day of the season and have lost eight of the ten away league games in between. They have four points in their last two games thanks to riding their luck but West Brom will be too good for them this weekend.