Premier League betting tips ..............
Dec 26, 2017
Watford - Leicester City
I sided with City for their recent trip to Newcastle United .......
I am not sure that United should be favoured here. They have won just once ( v Crystal Palace before their upturn) in ten starts and conceded at the rate of two per game in the other nine, failing to score in the last two at home to Watford and Bournemouth. We have been here before with them and when things turn sour for the Magpies in the top flight, they can go rancid quickly and they suddenly feel like a team under huge pressure. City are 5-4-1 from their last nine, the loss came v a Manchester City side carrying all before them and the Foxes were on the wrong end of some poor decisions from the match officials in that game and could have taken something from the contest. That aside, they have only conceded 7 in 9 with Harry Maguire forcing his way into World Cup contention, he and Wes Morgan have really gelled and City look solid defensively once more and, at the other end of the pitch, the "real" Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have reappeared.It is just over two years since City last played here, they won 3-0 with those two enjoying themselves greatly and this all feels like a little bit of history repeating.
Then updated ahead of a visit to Southampton at the other end of the country .........
City won 3-2 and now have 17 points from eight starts under Claude Puel and whilst we know possession stats mean little in modern football, considering how the Foxes won the league title with so little of the ball, it is a sign of how far they have come/changed this season that they saw 63% of it on the road at the weekend. They started both halves poorly, were a goal down early, but still looked the only team likely to win and offensively, they look potent once more under the French head coach. Mahrez has been directly involved in eight goals in 16 appearances in the Premier League this season (four goals and four assists), which is just one fewer than his total from 36 games last season and he appears to have at long last stop sulking. Vardy has seven goals in 14 league games and Demarai Gray scored his third in seven Premier League appearances since Puel took charge, having scored just once in his first 50 .Puel has to be given full credit for the freedom they are playing at and is this really the same man who's Southampton were not much fun to watch , especially here at St Mary's (only Sunderland scored fewer home goals), but his team finished 8th and played in a cup final and if you had told a Saints fan five yeras ago that their coach would be sacked after posting that record, they would have said you were crazy ! Anyway, I doubt that Puel will need much motivation this evening on his return and City look good value to come away with a result.
They won that 4-1 and whilst they lost at home to resurgent Crystal Palace next time out, the travel might well have been to blame and they have subsequently drawn with both Manchester clubs, City in the cup.
Palace need to win again now, they have scored twice in their last five home games and are really taking the game to opponents here and Watford arrive wobbling slightly with just one point from a possible nine and having played 55 minutes at Burnley just a couple of days ago with ten men. It feels like teams are starting to work out Watford and we have been here before at this stage of the season, they were 5-3-4 after 12 games a year ago, then went 1-3-6 until mid January, it feels like the right opposition, at the correct time for Palace, but the hosts are gambling and have drawn three of their last four home starts 2-2 and you would not bank on them keeping a home clean sheet.
The Eagles won 2-1 and Watford have since lost to Huddersfield here at Vicarage Road 4-1 and away to Brighton, two promoted teams and they are not in a good place and I strongly favour City to land a third away win for themselves and us.
1.75 units Leicester City -0.25 ball 2.31 asian line/Sportmarket.
AFC Bournemouth- West Ham United
Ahead of Bournemouth's last home game, a visit from Liverpool I wrote ...........
These two played out two shootouts last season, with four goals shared at Anfield and the Cherries coming from 0-2 and 1-3 (65 minutes played) down to win by the odd goal in seven here, with a 94th minute winner. That was played in December last year and something similar this afternoon would brighten up a cold day. Both fixtures could have produced more goals and four was almost the minimum that Bournemouth could have scored in the home tie. There has been an almost constant theme with the hosts games here on the South Coast since they were promoted and that is the wide open nature of most and ahead of the game 54 weeks ago my notes included .......
We spoke so much last season about the open nature of Bournemouth home games, we have not seen that to quite the same level this season. but that has more to do with how teams have set up when arriving at Dean Court, Manchester United came here and played their part in a four goal thriller and we know 100% that Liverpool will not be coming to sit back, it is simply not in their DNA under Jurgen Klopp. The Cherries went toe to toe with Arsenal at the Emirates last weekend and were in things and gave as good as they got for 90 + minutes and will need no second invitation to get forward this afternoon. No Coutinho for the visitors, but Lallana and Firminho should be fit to play. Andrew Surman remains out for Bournemouth and whilst we have not seen it yet, the defensive midfielder (ever present for over 25 months since joining until October) is very important to them and his absence will be felt today with Liverpool so good at pressing and moving the ball quickly.
This season they started a little more conservatively, but that did not suit them and results and performances have improved since they went for things a little more and ahead of a recent 4-0 win here over Huddersfield I commented...........
I like Bournemouth as a club, they always try to play football and to win games, that approach has served them well in the Premier League, at least until this season when they are currently only one point outside the drop zone. They have not been as adventurous it has to be said, I hope that has been a blip and not by long term intent, that is alien to most of the players, the head coach and club. Anyway, they have a good series of fixtures in the next month , before a tough looking end of the year (both Manchester clubs and Liverpool back to back) and I expect them to be going for it in these games. They do tend to do that in these fixtures and have won their last five starts here against newly promoted teams. Those wins have come by a combined 17-3, with all going "over" and Bournemouth leading at half time in four, we need that early breakthrough again, but a good chance it will come.
Liverpool won 4-0 and Bournemouth have subsequently conceded four at Manchester City and two at Stamford Bridge (cup) and have now faced the top four inside 10 days and that will always take a toll, but they will also surely welcome the lesser level of opposition.
West Ham had looked far more disciplined under David Moyes, until they returned to their old ways and some calamitous defending at home to Newcastle United who were previously in freefall ( see Leicester preview notes above) on Saturday, conceding three. I expect both to score today and each to push for the win, two bottom four teams meeting should usually mean goals and that should again be the case.
1.5 units "over" 2.5 goals 2.12 asian line/Sportmarket.
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