After a weekend off as the final four sides in Hungary, Ireland, Ukraine and Sweden qualified for the European Championships next summer, the Premier League returns with ‘lucky’ round 13 and there are eight games playing this Saturday.
The biggest game of the day – and the weekend too – is the late kick off at The Etihad as Manchester City welcome Liverpool and the home side are favoured as talismanic striker Sergio Aguero returns to the fray after injury. Elsewhere Arsenal and Leicester, both of whom are looking to overthrow City at the top of the league, have away games but are the favourites to win. The second of these games could see a new name in the record books if Jamie Vardy can return to fitness and bag a goal against Newcastle to make it ten games in a row he’s scored in.
How will these three, and the other five games, go this Saturday afternoon? We preview all of these matches with online sportsbook William Hill and provide our best EPL tips on the action.
Manchester City v Liverpool: 1.70 – 3.50 – 5.50
The biggest match in this weekend’s Premier League action comes from The Etihad Stadium as the table toppers welcome the side that begins the weekend in tenth place to a ground where they are searching for their first EPL victory since 2008. As well as this fine home record of late against the 19 time top flight champions City will be boosted by the return of Sergio Aguero and David Silva for this weekend’s clash after both players have been in unavailable due to injury since the start of October and, despite bagging seven goals in the league the four matches since losing these two key players they have failed to score twice, so their return will hopefully see City find goals more consistently.
Liverpool have turned from a disorganised mess under Brendan Rodgers to a consistent, if not exciting, team under new manager Jurgen Klopp as they have recorded three draws and three wins in their first seven games. The other game was a 2-1 home defeat to their recent bogey team Crystal Palace and it came just before the international break two weeks ago, so this will have focused them to bounce back this weekend, but the question is can they do so?
William Hill certainly do not believe so and despite the fact that Liverpool are likely to see injured striker Daniel Sturridge return to the field for this weekend’s game we cannot see them winning this game either. However, they did put three goals past Chelsea in their last away EPL game and with City failing to keep a clean sheet in their last four on home soil we see goals in this game too. This is why we are backing a home win and goals in this clash.
Back Man City to beat Liverpool and +2.5 goals in the game @ 2.30 in the William Hill Sportsbook.
Watford v Manchester United: 4.00 – 3.10 – 2.05
The first match back after the international break happens at Vicarage Road as Watford host Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United looking for their first win over the side sitting fourth in the table since 1986. They may never get a better chance to end this nine game losing streak as United are beset by injuries and illness for this game to see them without Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial up front while Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw are also all out of this game.
As well as this the Man United manager Louis van Gaal has not exactly endorsed his back up striker James Wilson as he stated “[James Wilson] can play but he cannot play a whole match because he doesn’t have the rhythm of the game.” We take from this that United are likely to struggle up front this weekend and with Watford having kept four clean sheets in six EPL games at Vicarage Road this season this game could be even closer than the odds suggest. If Watford are to get something against United they will need to their attacking players to be firing on all cylinders, but there are doubts over top scorer Odion Ighalo after returning from international duty and if he does not play we can see no goals in this game. We are not the only people that foresee a lack of goals at Vicarage Road as there is little value from William Hill but we are backing both of these sides not to find the net this Saturday lunchtime.
Our money is on Both Teams to Score – No at odds of 1.67 at William Hill.
West Brom v Arsenal: 6.50 – 4.00 – 1.53
It is unsurprising that the visitors to The Hawthorns are the big favourites to win this match as Arsenal are unbeaten in ten matches in all competitions against West Brom since The Baggies triumphed 3-2 at The Emirates at the start of the 2010/11 season. The last time that Tony Pulis’ Midlanders defeated Arsenal in front of their own fans was more than a decade ago when former Gunner Kanu and Darren Carter bagged the goals. The Baggies have not had the best of times on home soil this season with defeats to Man City, Chelsea, Everton and Leicester coming in their six matches whilst they have drawn with Southampton and only beaten second bottom of the table Sunderland.
The one thing that West Brom have in their favour for this match is that, apart from the suspended Gareth McAuley and long term injured goalkeeper Ben Foster, they have a fully fit squad for this clash. Arsenal are missing several key players, including midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey, while a decision will need to be made on French internationals Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud to see if they are in the right frame of mind to play.
On the pitch Arsenal have scored 11 goals and kept two clean sheets in their three EPL games on the road since losing to Chelsea in September and no matter who plays they will be too good for the home team and we’re backing an easy win at The Hawthorns.
Our top West Brom v Arsenal tip is back Arsenal to win by at least two goals (Arsenal -1) at odds of 2.37 with WilliamHill.com.
Everton v Aston Villa: 1.57 – 3.80 – 6.00
The side visiting Goodison Park this Saturday afternoon looked a much better side in their last match against Manchester City, when they drew 0-0, in Remi Garde’s first match in charge of the Midland side. They did ride their luck at times against the league leaders but they looked a much better side positionally and tactically under the Frenchman than they did at any other stage this season under the management of Tim Sherwood and now they will hope to bring this form to Merseyside this weekend.
Unfortunately for Villa they have lost Jordan Amavi to a knee injury sustained on international duty and they have injury concerns over main strikers Gabby Agbonlahor and Rudy Gestede too, while they face an Everton side that has beaten Sunderland 6-2 as well as drawing with Liverpool and beaten Chelsea on this ground since the start of September. On top of this Villa have not won on this ground since 2008, with Everton winning both of the last two games after four successive draws, and with Villa missing their striking options we cannot see anything but a comfortable win for the home team in this 219th meeting between the sides.
Back Everton to beat Aston Villa by at least two goals (Everton -1) @ 2.60.
Swansea v Bournemouth: 1.95 – 3.10 – 4.50
This match at the Liberty Stadium is the first clash between since they met in the third tier of English football seven and a half years ago during the 2007/08 season when both sides claimed away wins, with Bournemouth winning 2-1 in Wales. With The Cherries having lost all of their last four matches and having taken just a single point in their last six games they will be desperate to repeat that triumph from all those years ago, but are they able to turn things around?
After a fine start to the season that saw eight points from the first two games Swansea now find themselves 14th in the league having claimed just another five points in the eight games that have followed, beating only bottom of the table Aston Villa in this time. They do have a fully fit squad for this match, but with them failing to score in three of their last four matches – again only finding the net against Villa – will they be able to convert this into all three points?
Bournemouth were dominant in their last match against Newcastle but could not find a way through, but they do welcome back Glenn Murray for this game to provide them with a proven goalscorer for the game. Both sides know that this game could be a turning point for their season and they must win, so we see plenty of chances and goalmouth action, so our pick of the match is that there will be goals at the Liberty Stadium.
Our top Swansea v Bournemouth tip is back both sides to score at odds of 1.80 at WilliamHill.com.
Chelsea v Norwich: 1.40 – 4.50 – 8.00
If you’d asked people at the start of the season if after 12 matches of the 2015/16 EPL season that Norwich would be ahead of the defending champions we feel that you’d have had more than a few odd looks, but here we are. These two sides are separated by a single point with the newly promoted side having claimed 12 points to 11 for the Londoners as they sit 15th and 16th in the league. Both teams have scored 16 and conceded 23, but will one of them manage to pull ahead of the other by taking all three points at Stamford Bridge this weekend?
Chelsea have won just one of their last six matches in all competitions and have beaten only Aston Villa in their last six EPL games since beating Arsenal 2-0 in West London more than two months ago. They were beaten 3-1 on this ground by both Southampton and Liverpool in their last two home league matches and we have seen nothing from them this season that leads us to believe that they deserve to be the 1.40 favourites to win this match.
Norwich ended a run of four successive defeats with a 1-0 win at home to Swansea prior to the international break and this will have given them plenty of confidence during that downtime that they’ll fully need for this game, even against a broken Chelsea team. It has been almost 21 years since they defeated Chelsea during the 1994/95 season and they have gone five away games without victory since beating Sunderland during the second round of matches so it will be difficult to win here. They did draw 0-0 with Chelsea at the end of last season, but we see goals this weekend as Chelsea have conceded ten in six at home and Norwich have shipped 15 in six on the road.
We are backing both teams to score and +2.5 goals in the match @ 2.20 in the William Hill Sportsbook!
Southampton v Stoke: 1.61 – 3.50 – 6.50
Although they are the massive favourites to win this match in front of their fans Southampton will certainly not have things all their own way at the St. Mary’s Stadium this weekend. The reason for this is that Stoke have kept four successive clean sheets away from home in all competitions since losing to Arsenal in mid-September and the key player in all of this has been goalkeeper Jack Butland. The England youngster has made a league high 50 saves this season and he has really shown his worth over the last two matches as he kept out dominant Newcastle and Chelsea sides to see Stoke claim four points in respective 0-0 and 1-0 results. He’ll have plenty to do if he’s to keep another clean sheet this weekend.
Southampton have been moving up the table in recent weeks as they have lost just one of their last ten EPL games – at home to Manchester United – and they have won four and drawn two of their last six clashes. They have back to back clean sheets coming into this match, but this may not last as Stoke have looked a lot more solid at the back since welcoming back captain Ryan Shawcross from injury and with Jon Walters full of confidence after his two goals for Ireland saw them qualify for Euro 2016 he’ll be out to claim more points for his club this weekend.
Despite all of the good work going on defensively of late for these two sides, matches between these two teams have always been close affairs and with nine of the last ten meetings seeing both sides find the net adding to both teams bags of confidence from recent weeks we are confident of goals this weekend.
Our money is on +2.5 goals at St. Mary’s at odds of 2.05 with William Hill.
Newcastle v Leicester: 2.75 – 3.25 – 2.60
The final of the eight matches playing in the week 13 of the Premier League comes from St. James’ Park where a Newcastle side that extricated itself from the relegation zone with a narrow 1-0 win against Bournemouth prior to the international break welcomes the surprise side of the season so far in Leicester. The visiting side, who start the weekend third in the league just a single point behind Man City and Arsenal, have not won away at Newcastle since the end of the 1999/2000 season but they bring the league’s second highest goal tally – 25 in 12 matches – and the league’s top scorer in Jamie Vardy who has netted 12 times this season so this run stands a great chance at being ended this Saturday afternoon.
The biggest issue for the visiting side is that Vardy missed the two England games he was called up for during the international break with a thigh injury, but if the hitman is fit for the match and he can find the net he’ll equal an EPL record of scoring in ten consecutive matches, a feat that only former Manchester United Ruud van Nistelrooy managed with, coincidentally, the tenth goal coming at St. James’ Park against Newcastle.
Newcastle are unbeaten in three at home as they are now finding their feet in the league under new manager for the season Steve McClaren, but with their first two choice goalkeepers in Tim Krul and Karl Darlow out injured and Rob Elliot missing both of Ireland’s matches during the international break they may find themselves leaky at the back against one of the most attacking sides in the league. As a result of this we are backing Vardy to get his name in the record books this weekend as he bags his 13th goal of the season.
Our best bet for this Newcastle v Leicester game is back Jamie Vardy to score anytime @ 2.10.
There is certainly plenty of mull over in these eight clashes happening this Saturday but, if we were pushed, this trio of bets is our top tips from the games.
- Jamie Vardy to score anytime @ 2.10
This one may be a little risky in case the England striker does not play, but with him having an eye for goal that is equalled by no-one in the English top flight this season and Newcastle questionable at the back having numerous goalkeeper injuries and 22 goals conceded if Vardy does play we have no doubt that he’ll find the back of the net.
- Everton -1 v Aston Villa @ 2.60
The visiting side to Everton are a massive project for any new manager as they are struggling for goals and now with their main attacking players big doubts for this match they are unlikely to offer any sort of challenge for Roberto Martinez’s men. Villa were much better against Man City, but they offered too much defensively and were fortunate not to be punished for it. We cannot see Everton being so forgiving this weekend.
- Both teams to score – No in Watford v Man Utd @ 1.67
Okay, this pick does not have the biggest of odds, but we are that confident that both of these sides will not find themselves on the scoresheet at full time due to doubts, injuries and illnesses to the majority of the attacking players on both sides. Watford do not score nor concede many goals and with United looking dour at times we can see there being very few, if any, goals at Vicarage Road.