Angus ‘Statto’ Loughran – Premier League Stats & Analysis
After 5 draws on the bounce there was great relief at Upton Park on Monday night when West Ham got back to winning ways against Southampton.
West Ham v Liverpool, Saturday 2nd Jan, 12.45pm
The Hammers are 11/4 to complete a rare double over Liverpool this season with Liverpool available at 11/10. Another tight match looks in prospect here but it is almost as hard to predict Liverpool as it is West Ham this season. 0-0 is generous at 8/1 while Andy Carroll, a flop at Anfield after his mega money move from Newcastle, grabbed the winner against The Saints on Monday and looks a decent price at 12/5 to score at any time in the first live Premier League match of 2016.
Arsenal v Newcastle, Saturday 2nd Jan, 3pm
December has seen just 3 winning favourites in 20 Live Premier League matches leaving punters on the ropes but it has not all been bad news for the backers as many of the big names have been hitting the target on a regular basis.
Arsenal top the table at start of 2016 and are joint favourites with Manchester City at 13/10 to end the season as Champions. The Gunners are 1/4 to notch 3 points against Newcastle who are just odds on at 10/11 to end the season relegated.
I think they will stay up but they do have a habit of making things difficult for themselves. Arsenal can be backed at 7/10 to be leading at Half Time and the first goal in this one has a great chance of arriving in the 25th minute or earlier at 10/11.
Newcastle might try to play for goalless draw which is available at tasty 14/1 but I don’t think they are strong enough to last 90 mins against a hungry Arsenal side who rather than just be leading the Premier League on goal difference, should be clear at the top.
Leicester v Bournemouth, Saturday 2nd Jan, 3pm
Sitting on the same points tally as Arsenal at top of table and 14/1 for the title, Leicester are only 11/10 to end up in the top 4, which would be a remarkable and now a very possible outcome.
Bournemouth had a fantastic December and despite their numerous injuries are out to 16/5 to be relegated, something many thought was a certainty just a few weeks ago. But Leicester City will be popular to get back to winning ways at 10/11 on Saturday.
Manchester United v Swansea, Saturday 2nd Jan, 3pm
The last time Manchester United went 8 games without a win in January 1990 they went on to win the FA Cup beating Crystal Palace in a final that needed a replay. They play Sheffield United next Saturday at Old Trafford and are 6/1 to win the FA Cup in May.
United have seen 5 of their last 8 matches at Old Trafford end 0-0 and another against Swansea this weekend is 15/2.
They have lost their last 3 meetings with Swansea and are 11/20 to gain a much-needed win at what will be a very nervous Old Trafford. It is 11/10 on the match being level at half time which might be the value bet for the neutral.
Norwich v Southampton, Saturday 2nd Jan, 3pm
Norwich gained a vital win against Aston Villa on Monday and will be hoping to follow that up with another 3 points against Southampton and are a decent price at 12/5 to do so.
The Saints destroyed Arsenal but lost to West Ham over the festive period. They will take great heart that they have only lost once against The Canaries in their last 10 meetings and will most certainly have their backers at 6/5. Shane Long has been the main man in this run netting 6 times in 8 games and is 11/8 to continue this fantastic run by scoring at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon.
Sunderland v Aston Villa, Saturday 2nd Jan, 3pm
The bottom 2 face off at the Stadium of Light in a match where nothing less than a win will do for either.
I thought that about Man United v Chelsea on Monday which finished 0-0 and it’s 13/2 about that outcome here but surely both teams will go for it! Villa look doomed to most and realistically will have to play like Leicester have done in first half of season to survive.
They won 4-0 at the Stadium of Light in March and are 11/5 here for any win and 80/1 for a repeat of March score line.
West Brom v Stoke City, Saturday 2nd Jan, 3pm
WBA and Stoke clash in a big game for Tony Pulis at The Hawthorns after his side received plenty of praise for their entertaining 4-3 win at Everton.
It is only 6/1 and would be typical of football if this ends up 0-0!
Xherdan Shaqiri will have other ideas and is certain to be popular at 16/5 to net at any time at The Hawthorns.
Although any goal is unlikely to better Monday’s goal of the season contender at Goodison Park.
Watford v Manchester City, Saturday 2nd Jan, 5.30pm
Watford have had a terrific season and it could easily have been better with home defeats against Manchester United and Tottenham coming right at the end of games they could easily have won.
At 4/1 plenty will see them as value especially if they play as they did against Liverpool and Manchester City do as they did at Stoke. City may well win but without Vincent Kompany they simply do not appeal in this live TV clash at 5.30 on Saturday night. At 14/5 a draw may be the value.
For Watford look no further than Odion Ighalo at 9/5 and Troy Deeney at 9/4 in the anytime scorer market. For City it is best to wait, and although Sergio Aguero is a great player he doesn’t quite look at his sharpest yet although he is certain to score plenty more goals this season.
Crystal Palace v Chelsea, Sunday 3rd Jan, 1.30pm
Chelsea have been firing plenty of blanks this season but the biggest surprise is they have managed only one win on the road in the Premier League this season at West Brom.
They will be popular of course at 21/20 to gain 3 points at Crystal Palace who would be title contenders if they had shown the same form at Selhurst Park as they have on the road.
Alan Pardew is a terrific coach who gets the best out of his players and clearly seems content in South London.
Palace are 13/5 for a shock 3 points.
All is certainly not well both on and off the field at Chelsea and failure to pick up 3 points here would leave them a huge challenge for rest of season. It was fascinating that at Old Trafford in closing minutes on Monday it was the Blues fans chanting “attack, attack, attack!” In their present position draws are no good.
Everton v Tottenham, Sunday 3rd Jan, 4pm
The final match of weekend looks like being a thriller with Tottenham fans believing they could not only make the Champions League at 4/9, but may even win the title for which they are only 9/1.
Spurs ground out a big 3 points at Watford and are playing well. They are 8/5 to win at Goodison and 18/5 to win with both teams scoring. Both teams are 11/1 to win from behind and Tottenham are 8/1 to win 2-1.
Both sides have a striker in great form. Romelu Lukaku is 23/20 to net at any time and Harry Kane is Evens, both will be popular bets. Having built it up to be a thriller, which I hope it is, a spoilsport’s saver at 10/1 is also recommended because given this season it could go that way and just peter out. Somehow I think it is more likely to be a thriller!
*Prices correct at time of publication.