There are six matches playing in the EPL this Saturday as a number of sides return from action in Europe during the week. Man City defeated Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2 as they bounced back from defeat to Stoke last weekend and with them facing the managerless Swansea following Garry Monk’s sacking during the week can they continue their resurgence or will we see another shock?
The next biggest game sees shockers Bournemouth fresh from their win over Chelsea taking on the injury ravaged Manchester United who were sent packing from the Champions League during the week. We preview both of these games along with our EPL picks, as well as all of the rest of the day’s action, with online sportsbook Betfair.com.
Man City v Swansea: 1.28 – 5.50 – 12.00
It has been a week of change for the Welsh side who visit The Etihad Stadium this Saturday as manager Garry Monk was fired from his position after chairman Huw Jenkins said things needed to change following just a single win – against bottom of the table Aston Villa – since the end of August. The goals have dried up as they have scored just seven in 12 matches during this run and it has ultimately cost the former player and club legend his job, but can the players and caretaker manager Alan Curtis dig deep this weekend to upset the odds?
They are facing a Man City without key players Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany, with the captain being the biggest loss. They have won six of their eight games while conceding just one goal with the Belgian in the side compared to just three wins in seven with 15 netted against them without him in the side. However, with Swansea failing to score in four of their last six away matches the City defence will confident about keeping their first clean sheet since August in front of their own fans and while we are not confident of them doing so we can see them scoring enough goals to win this match easily.
Our best Man City v Swansea bet is back Man City to win by at least two goals (Manchester City -1) at odds of 1.75 at Betfair.
Norwich v Everton: 2.87 – 3.50 – 2.50
The first match from this weekend’s Premier League round of games comes from Carrow Road where Norwich City welcome Everton looking to go four games unbeaten against The Toffees in front of their own fans. They certainly need it too as they have won just one of their last ten matches in all competitions as they have slid to 16th in the table and are out of the bottom three on goal difference alone.
Things will not be easy for them this weekend as, despite their excellent home record against Everton, the away side in this weekend’s opener have some key players in their arsenal as Romelu Lukaku is the second highest scorer in the league this season and has scored in his last five games while Arouna Koné and Ross Barkley have both chipped in with goals lately. Leighton Baines has returned from injury to boost the backline of the Merseyside club too and with them unbeaten in seven games since beating Norwich on penalties in the Capital One Cup six weeks ago we cannot see them losing this match.
Our top Norwich v Everton tip is back the away win @ 2.50 with Betfair.com.
Crystal Palace v Southampton: 2.50 – 3.25 – 3.00
These two sides are on different paths at the moment as Crystal Palace come into this match having lost just one of their last five games, while Southampton are without a win in four and were held 1-1 at home by Aston Villa last weekend. As such, we are not surprised to see the home side the favourites to triumph at Selhurst Park despite a poor home record that has seen four defeats in eight games this season, including losing 1-0 to Sunderland at the end of November. They did bounce back with a 5-1 thumping of Newcastle in their last home game but they have failed to record back to back home wins this season so far. Will this weekend see an end to that record?
This match will be vital for The Saints as they have slipped down the table to 12th place but they could not be travelling to a better ground this weekend. They have won all of the last three visits to South East London and have won all of the last six meetings between the sides in the league, but with them now four matches without a clean sheet in league and cup where they have conceded 11 goals things will not be easy for them this weekend as goals seem to be drying up. They have not managed to score more than a single goal in a match since November 1st and, as such, we foresee goals in this clash – just like in two of the last three meetings.
Back Over 2.5 goals to be scored in this Crystal Palace v Southampton game at odds of 2.20.
West Ham v Stoke: 2.62 – 3.20 – 2.90
This clash of West Ham and Stoke will be another tough fixture for the home side as they are struggling with injuries as Winston Reid and Victor Moses have joined Dimitri Payet, Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini on the sidelines for this weekend’s action and they face a Stoke side that eased past Man City last weekend. These teams are in very different forms right now as West Ham are without a win in five as the injury problems they have threaten to overwhelm them and ruin their excellent start to the season while Stoke are finding their feet and while they sit 11th coming into the weekend they can move to within a point of fifth in the table with a win the right set of results.
The visitors to Upton Park come into this game with just two defeats in their last 13 in all competitions and with the defence and goalkeeper Jack Butland playing so well during this time they have kept eight clean sheets. With the majority of the of the creative and attacking players out injured for the home side this weekend and them having kept just a single clean sheet on home soil this weekend we see Stoke scoring and keeping The Hammers out.
Our money is on Stoke to beat West Ham @ 2.90 in the Betfair Sportsbook!
Sunderland v Watford: 2.75 – 3.20 – 2.62
The home side at the Stadium of Light will be boosted by the return of striker Jermaine Defoe and defender Wes Brown for this crunch tie with Watford that could see them go level on points with Chelsea at the full time whistle. They are still missing midfielders Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson through injury and after being undone by the ability of Arsenal last weekend they’ll be looking to close up shop and nick a winner for their third win in four matches.
However, in Watford they face a difficult side to beat as they have walked away with nothing on just three occasions in their last eight matches and this trio of losses came against sides in the top four of the league. They have won back to back matches against Aston Villa and Norwich, and with their attacking pairing of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney having bagged 14 goals this season – including seeing the team score at least one in each match played since August – they will be the more confident of the two teams. However, Watford have conceded in seven of their last ten games and with Sunderland needing the points there are likely to be goals in this clash in the North East.
We are backing both teams to score in Sunderland v Watford at odds of 1.85 at Betfair.
Bournemouth v Man United: 3.25 – 3.25 – 3.25
After dragging themselves out of the bottom three of the league last week with the best result in the history of the club as they won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to defeat Chelsea, Bournemouth are only the slight outsiders to defeat Manchester United this weekend. There are several reasons for this in the fact that United were beaten 3-2 in Germany by Wolfsburg to be eliminated from the Champions League during the week and that they are missing nine first team players for this late kick off in the EPL. Out go defenders Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling joining the injured Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia, Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw while Bastian Schweinsteiger is suspended for the game.
United have picked up a reputation for being good defensively recently, but with just one clean sheet in five on the road and seeing Wolfsburg walking through the backline at will on Tuesday night Louis van Gaal will be concerned with a much weaker defence this time around.
Bournemouth have a large number of their injury problems coming into the biggest match at the Vitality Stadium this season and possibly ever. They have drawn with Leicester, Watford and Everton as well as beating Sunderland on this ground this season, and with them having one of the best team spirits in the league this season we can see them getting something from a United side that struggles for goals in the league.
Our top Bournemouth v Man United tip is back Bournemouth to win on the Draw No Bet market @ 2.25 in the Betfair Sportsbook!