Saturday & Sunday’s Premier League Predictions and Best Bets

Andy

West Ham v Newcastle

Saturday 19th February – 12:30PM KO

These teams shared 6 goals in one of the more entertaining games of the season back in August and given Newcastle’s change of fortunes since January this has the opportunity to be an interesting, goal-heavy clash.

The Hammers rescued a late point at Leicester last week but were shaky at the back, an all too familiar sight for fans. Dawson nodded home in the last minute but defensively there was trouble without Zouma who was injured in the warm up but he should be back for today, a welcome boost. Injuries to starting full backs Manquillo and Trippier should give the home side an advantage in the wide areas, particularly with the form of Jarrod Bowen which can’t go unnoticed.

Meanwhile up North, the Geordies are flying, winning 3 on the bounce and unbeaten in 5. Trippier’s absence will be felt heavily having netted stunners in his last two performances, but new signings such as Bruno Guimares should be in line to play a bigger role than recent weeks. Usually willing to play for a point, I think Howe will look to build momentum and take the game to West Ham knowing their defence will struggle to hold out. Saint-Maximin up against Coufal is a pace mismatch and will probably be productive for the visitors. Traditionally, Newcastle travel well to West Ham and have beaten them away more than any other side have in the Premier League.

West Ham’s home defeats this season have come due to defensive struggles, conceding 10 in their 4 defeats at London Stadium. They have scored 23 in 12 home games including a goal in every game and this game will come down to whether Newcastle can keep pace with West Ham’s attack. Saint-Maximin’s record is strong against West Ham and they should lean on him heavily in this fast paced game. With both sides hopeful of 3 points, I’m expecting both managers to take the game to the opposition in a game full of goals again.

Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals, 1.8 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)


Arsenal v Brentford

Saturday 19th February – 3:00PM KO

Two out of form attacking teams face off in North London as Arsenal look to narrow the gap on the top 4 with games in hand but have to be wary of visitors Brentford who beat them 2-0 earlier this season.

Arsenal have 2 goals and 4 red cards this calendar year which isn’t good reading for Arsenal fans, but they secured their first win of the year at Wolves last week. A front 4 of Saka, Smith-Rowe, Odegaard and Lacazette should start this game meaning plenty of creativity on show and for Brentford to deal with.

Brentford snapped their losing streak on Saturday, with a point against Palace in a dull encounter. This weekend they could welcome back Ivan Toney which could be massive in helping them pull away from relegation. Brentford are prone to conceding corners, conceding the 3rd most in the league away from home. Arsenal are 4th in corners for at home and I expect them to have plenty here against a Brentford side lacking a fully fit attack.

It’s tough to look at recent corner stats for Arsenal as they have 4 red cards in 6 games but in their last home match against Burnley, they had 12 corners despite not finding the back of the net. Against a Brentford side who average 6.33 corners per game away, they should find corners a plenty especially using the space in behind the wing backs when the box is crowded.

Prediction: Arsenal Over 6.5 Corners, 1.91 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)


Aston Villa v Watford

Saturday 19th February – 3:00PM KO

After disappointing results for both these sides last weekend, Aston Villa and Watford look to bounce back with a more positive performance at Villa Park.

VAR dubiously disallowed an Ollie Watkins equaliser for Villa at Newcastle last weekend, but Gerrard’s men were underwhelming and managed just a single shot on target. It took a moment of Kieran Trippier brilliance to seal the win for Newcastle, but it was a lack of attacking threat for Villa that surprised me most from this game. They are a side that struggle on the road for goals in comparison to at home, scoring 11 in 12 away games and 20 in 11 home games. In fact, Brentford are the only side outside the top 5 to hold Villa to a goal or less at home this season.

Under Roy Hodgson, Watford appear to have sacrificed all attacking intent in favour of defensive stability, starting Tom Cleverly (32) and Juraj Kucka (34) as the two wingers. 0 goals and 0 points in three games, Watford are clearly struggling, and I expect changes in this game. Having seen minutes off the bench against Brighton, Ismaila Sarr is in line for a start and young Brazilian Joao Pedro also can’t be too far away having scored Watford’s last goal over a month ago and impressing recently.

In this game I’m taking Villa over 1.5 goals at odds of 1.67. Watford have to change and improve and could look to take the game to Villa today especially with the return of Sarr. I don’t expect them to be able to handle the attacking talent Villa have, particularly with one of the worst defensive records in the league. The reverse fixture finished 3-2 to the Hornets, with Villa grabbing late goals when they brought on the pace of Leon Bailey and Jacob Ramsey. Now Ramsey is one of the first names on the team sheet and Villa have Coutinho, Watkins and many more to lean on. If Watford decide to play more aggressively and start Sarr then this should also free up Lucas Digne to overlap with his attacking threat.

Prediction: Aston Villa Over 1.5 Goals, 1.67 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)


Brighton v Burnley

Saturday 19th February – 3:00PM KO

Brighton return to the Amex after defeat at Old Trafford looking to add to their points tally with a win against bottom of the league Burnley.

These two draw heavy sides aren’t exactly known for goals, and neither is the Amex. Brighton have had 2 out of 11 home games go over 2.5 goals, averaging under 2 goals per game. These 2 games were against Leicester’s awful defence and Man City who scored 4, so when they line up against Burnley with an underwhelming attack and sturdy back line, I expect under 2.5.

Meanwhile, Burnley have scored the second least amount of goals and significantly less than a goal a game, failing to capitalise on 5 clean sheets. The Burnley front line have failed to score in 48% of games this season despite the introduction of big centre forward Wout Weghorst. They have seen just 3 goals combined at both ends in their last 4 matches.

Brighton and Burnley rank 18th + 20th for games with over 2.5 goals and with two of the most underrated backlines in the league facing off, with favourable matchups against attackers, I can barely see more than a stalemate. I’m taking under 2.5 goals which has happened in 6 of 9 PL matchups between them.

Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals, 1.6 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)


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Crystal Palace v Chelsea

Saturday 19th February – 3:00PM KO

A London Derby awaits fans at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace welcome newly crowned Club World Cup Champions, Chelsea.

A young, inexperienced Palace side will be without one of their star men Connor Gallagher, facing his parent club and should struggle in this game. Playing against a patient Chelsea side, who rank 3rd in possession, Palace will need to use their time on the ball effectively, something they struggle with having been dispossessed the 3rd most out of any side in the League.

Chelsea return to domestic action hoping not to lose a second London derby on the road in a row. I expect Chelsea to be ruthless here, trying not to give Palace a chance as they iron out inconsistencies with their recent results. Chelsea should dominate, frustrating their opposition by keeping the ball away. The last 3 games where Palace have under 50% possession (Liverpool, Spurs and Brighton) they have had 2 or more cards, racking up 8 in those 3 games. They also have had 2 or more cards in 4 of 6 games against a back 3 this season, struggling with being overrun.

Referee David Coote averages 4.57 yellows per 90, one of the highest rates in the league. Combining that with Palace’s home card record (2 per game) and the added tension of a London derby and I can easily see Palace taking a few yellows out of frustration.

Prediction: Over 1.5 Palace Cards, 1.53 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)


Liverpool v Norwich

Saturday 19th February – 3:00PM KO

Notoriously a fixture for Liverpool to boost their goal difference, Norwich will travel to Anfield just hoping to not be on the end of a battering.

Liverpool were resilient and impressive on Wednesday striking late to win 2-0 at Inter Milan, not an easy place to win. After that win, Virgil van Dijk has rightly seen plaudits come his way for another outstanding display. However, this win felt different to me. A Liverpool side which have struggled for depth in previous seasons saw substitutes Firmino and Diaz have a large impact on the game with the former netting the first goal. In a week where Liverpool play two league games and an EFL cup final, they should be able to play real quality and run rampant against Norwich.

The visitors have seen an upturn in form recently until they faced real quality in Manchester City who stuck 4 past them. As much as Norwich have improved, they don’t have the fitness and quality to hold off a world class attack for a full 90 minutes. Whichever combination of Salah, Mane, Diaz and Firmino should capitalise on defensive errors which sees Norwich have the most goals conceded and worst xG against. I don’t see bad odds on Liverpool to score over 2.5 goals @ 1.57.

Klopp won’t give up on the title easily and will look to make this a statement win, keeping a clean sheet in the process. Having won 14 of their last 16 v Norwich and drawing the other 2, I can see Liverpool dominating. The last two meetings between these sides finished 3-0 and I wouldn’t bet against that scoreline again. Liverpool -2 handicap is my bet here, as I don’t see Norwich adding to their tally of 6 away goals this season, half of which came in just one game, while their defence should be blown away by a freshened Liverpool front 3.

Prediction: Liverpool -2, 2.0 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)


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Southampton v Everton

Saturday 19th February – 3:00PM KO

Surprise relegation outsiders Everton are in a very different situation approaching this fixture to the reverse at Goodison Park in August where the Toffees ran out 3-1 winners. Injuries, signings and a managerial change put a very different look on this fixture in comparison to the last one where Saints will see this is an opportunity to extend the gap over the bottom half.

Despite having lost just once at home all season, Southampton will see this as an opportunity to win just their 4th home game against an Everton side who have won just once on the road. Quietly, the Saints are on a wonderful stretch of form taking points off United, Spurs and City in their past 4 games. They have scored in 10 straight games, a run stretching back to mid-December against Arsenal which is the last Saints game where BTTS didn’t land. Only losing to Wolves in this run, I expect Hassenhuttl to target this as a must win game to keep momentum up.

The 3-0 victory against Leeds last week saw Everton line up with Van de Beek, Gordon, DCL and Richarlison all starting, a showcase of their attacking talent. Despite this, it was Michael Keane and Seamus Coleman who fired Everton into a 2-0 lead. An embarrassing result away at Newcastle appears to be in the past as Lampard looks to drag his side away from the bottom 3 and build some form.

Keeping just one clean sheet on the road this season, Everton are struggling, and I don’t expect them to tighten up defensively in this game. Despite that, the return of almost every attacking playmaker from injury should pose a threat to a Saints back line longing for a clean sheet. Both teams should get plenty of opportunities and stick at least one away a piece.

Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.65 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)


Man City v Spurs

Saturday 19th February – 5:30PM KO

Man City look invincible right now and Spurs’ recent defensive form does not fill me with optimism for this game. Conceding 6 goals in their last 3 is not the form you want to carry into a game against a side who have scored 34 home goals in 12 games, 7 more than anyone else.

City put 5 past Sporting in midweek and 4 past Norwich on Saturday but now return to the Etihad to maintain their grip on the PL title. Pep appears to be finding the best out of Raheem Sterling again and Bernardo Silva which is bringing about the return of emphatic victories as opposed to 1 and 2-0 victories. Having lost just twice all season, City will be out for revenge against Conte’s Spurs and won’t take them lightly.

I can’t see Spurs setting up to win this game and, in all likelihood, they will invite plenty of pressure onto themselves, a tactic which could backfire with just 3 clean sheets away this season. These clean sheets came against Watford, Wolves and Benitez’s Everton, 3 of the worst attacking sides showing how they struggle against any real quality.

City have won six of their last seven at home against Spurs and I can’t see this game going any other way. I also struggle to see how they only win by one on recent form and -1 handicap at odds of 1.8 is too good an offer.

Prediction: Man City -1, 1.8 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)


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Leeds v Man United

Sunday 20th February – 2:00PM KO

Looking to complete their first double over Leeds this century, United travel to Elland Road for another hotly contested derby.

Currently 15th in the table, Leeds’ failure to build on an impressive first season can be pinned mainly on injuries. It is quite difficult to maintain the intensity Leeds play at with so many players ruled out including lead striker Patrick Bamford. There has been 42 goals in their last 10 games, conceding 29 in that process and I expect a similar direction of traffic on Sunday.

United will look to maintain a top 4 push on Sunday, having defeated 10 man Brighton in midweek. Keeping a clean sheet has been a rarity for United and considering they have failed to keep back to back clean sheets all season, it should be a struggle for them to do so this Sunday. Bruno Fernandes and Ronaldo both netted in that Brighton game, hitting form when United need them to start performing more than ever to keep touch with the top 4. Having netted a hat trick in the reverse fixture, Fernandes should be targeting this game particularly as Leeds won’t have Kalvin Phillips to mark him due to injury.

Once a formidable road team, United have gone unbeaten in 6 away games since defeat at Watford but have thrown away three leads in that stretch with both teams to score landing in every game apart from Norwich. In this feisty game, I expect the home crowd to add to the pressure on United’s back line and cause that mistake early on. So many attacking options against an injury depleted Leeds gives me no worry about United scoring, bearing in mind they put 5 past them earlier this season without Ronaldo.

Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)


Wolves v Leicester

Sunday 20th February – 4:30PM KO

Two very contrasting styles of football meet at Molineux as the defensively solid Wolves under Bruno Lage welcome a Leicester side without an away clean sheet in the Premier League, the only side with this record.

Despite Wolves being the defensive specialists, it’s Leicester who have kept 5 clean sheets in this fixture with Wolves struggling to find the net. The reverse fixture finished 1-0 to Leicester with a Jamie Vardy goal the difference between the sides.

100% of Leicester’s games have seen at least a goal this season, and 100% of away games have seen over 1.5 with 80% going over 2.5. Only once have they failed to score away from home this season against Liverpool. This is all despite the injury to star striker Jamie Vardy.

Wolves will be without key midfielder Joao Moutinho, allowing Leicester to progress through the lines easier and breaking up the duo of Moutinho and Neves. This should allow third top scorer Youri Tielemans more time on the ball to create chances alongside Maddison and I think Leicester with all the quality they possess should break down Wolves at least once.

Prediction: Leicester to Score 1+ Goal, 1.44 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)


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