By Antony Jordan
The Premier League action continues unabated this bank holiday Monday as today sees the start of the second half of the season and with there being just a single day without EPL action since Boxing Day will fatigue play into the minds of the managers as they look to rest players in the matches from round 20 of the season?
We preview all of the first six matches from the second part of the 2016/17 campaign with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our biggest and best EPL picks from Monday’s card.
After clashing twice at the end of November as the sides drew 1-1 in the league and then United saw off The Hammers in the EFL Cup 4-1 with both games being played at Old Trafford they now renew their rivalry for their first meeting at the new London Stadium but will it be the home side who had their resurgence ended on New Year’s Eve by Leicester or a Manchester United side that keeps rolling to all three points in recent times that secures all three points in this third meeting of the sides in the last five weeks?
The Hammers had done well in recent times until they failed to find the net against Leicester and were beaten by the champions they had won their previous three games and with the match before that seeing a draw at Liverpool they have taken ten points in their last five EPL clashes. This has seen them move away from the relegation zone, but with them winning their last two home matches by the narrowest of margins as they defeated two of the worst away sides in Hull and Burnley 1-0 how will they cope against Jose Mourinho’s Man United?
The 20 time top flight champions have triumphed in all of their last six matches in all competitions and their last five away games have seen four wins and a draw at Everton where they have netted ten goals to move into the knockout stages of the Europa League and within touching distance of the top four of the EPL. They certainly deserve to be the favourites to win this match, but at their odds on price they offer little value in this match but as both meetings so far this season and seven of the last eight clashes have seen both of these sides score we feel that goals offers the most value at The London Stadium this Monday.
Our best bet on this West Ham v Manchester United is back Both Teams to Score – Yes @ 1.80 with Bet365.com.
The last meeting between Ronald Koeman’s current side and his last employer was settled after just 41 seconds as Charlie Austin bagged the only goal of the game at the St. Mary’s Stadium at the end of November, but with the England striker now spending a long time on the sidelines with injury will we see any goals in this match at all?
The last six away EPL clashes for The Saints have seen them net a lowly five goals – and three of those came in their last match against Bournemouth – while Everton have lost just one match at home all season long, and that came in their last clash against local rivals Liverpool as former Southampton player Saido Mané netted in injury time. They did draw with the fast improving Man United and defeat Arsenal before that and with Southampton having failed to win at Goodison Park since 1997 the general feeling is that The Toffees offer good value to win this match, especially with ten goal striker Romelu Lukaku having netted three in his last five games.
We are backing Everton to beat Southampton at Goodison Park at odds of 2.20 in the Bet365 Sportsbook!
There is a reason that the match odds for this clash at The Stadium of Light are so one sided in favour of the away side and that is that Liverpool head the chasing pack behind Chelsea while Sunderland lead only the relegation zone as they are third bottom of the EPL. The home side have reverted to form again too as following their three wins in four matches between the start of November and the start of December they have suffered four defeats in their last five games and suffered a 4-1 thumping at goal shy Burnley in their final match of 2016.
Liverpool, on the other hand, saw off Manchester City to see them unbeaten in five clashes and they won all of the last four of these conceding just a single goal. Their last 21 matches in all competitions have seen them beaten on just one occasion and with them keeping three clean sheets in their last four matches away from Anfield even at a price of 1.33 to win this match we believe that Liverpool offer value to win this match.
Our top Sunderland v Liverpool tip is back Liverpool to win by at least two goals (Liverpool -1) @ 1.90 at Bet365.
This clash promises to be another one sided meeting as Manchester City and Burnley arrive at this match in reasonable home form and the worst away form in the division respectively. City have taken 18 points from nine home matches this season, scoring an average of almost two goals a game and conceding nine in these nine clashes, while Burnley have drawn one and lost seven of eight away matches, scoring just two goals and conceding 18 times.
However, this does not tell the full story as they both ended 2016 with different results as City were beaten 1-0 at title rivals Liverpool on December 31st and Burnley ran riot past Sunderland on home soil as they netted four times to record back to back wins. Unfortunately for The Clarets they have conceded nine goals and scored just one in their last four games and while they have drawn both EPL meetings with Manchester City they we cannot see them avoiding defeat for a third successive time at The Etihad.
Back Man City to beat Burnley AND Over 3.5 goals to be scored at odds of 2.20 at The Etihad Stadium this Bank Holiday Monday.
The champions visit The Riverside aiming to begin 2017 how they began 2016 on their way to the title and after ending West Ham’s resurgence with a 1-0 win on home soil at the end of last year they will be confident about extending their unbeaten run against their hosts to 14 matches. The Foxes needed two penalties to secure a point on home soil against Middlesbrough when they clashed at the end of November and with their away form this season seeing seven defeats and two draws in nine matches in the league they may need more good fortune to get something from this game.
However, with four losses in their last five Premier League matches before hosting a side that cruised into the last 16 of the Champions League at their first attempt this season Bet365 are struggling to separate the sides. While their overall form recently has not been the best, Aitor Karanka’s men have won three of their last five on home soil with their only defeats coming at the hands of the top two sides in the league in Chelsea and Liverpool. Bournemouth, Hull and Swansea were all beaten with no goals conceded so Middlesbrough are certainly capable of winning this game, but Leicester have netted goals in seven of their nine away games so we can see goals in this clash.
Our money is on Both Teams to Score – Yes @ 2.05 in this Middlesbrough v Leicester game with Bet365.com.
The last two meetings between these sides at The Hawthorns have seen the home side record narrow victories and with wins against Burnley, Watford and Swansea in three of their last four home matches West Brom are the odds on-favourites to secure all three points as they begin the second half of the 2016/17 campaign. They have lost just three of their last nine matches but these came at the hands on high flying Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United so Tony Pulis and his squad will be confident about taking on anyone outside of the upper limits of table.
Hull are second bottom of the Premier League coming into this clash and they are searching for their first win in nine games, although their point at home to Everton last Friday did move them off the bottom of the league. However, nine of their 13 points this season have come at home and their only away points came in their first two road trips leaving them arriving in the Midlands having suffered seven straight defeats away from The KC Stadium. They have conceded 20 goals in this time and they have failed to score in their last five so we feel that, with their recent record, The Baggies offer excellent value to triumph in this clash.