Wednesday and Thursday’s Premier League Best Bets

Andy

Norwich v Crystal Palace

Wednesday 9th February – 7:45PM KO

Norwich have hit form when they need it most, finally picking up wins with 3 on the bounce and are now outside the bottom 3. Crystal Palace travel to Carrow Road a lot more concerned than when they beat the Canaries 3-0 in late December.

Despite this upturn in form, it is difficult to trust a Norwich side who have faced the most shots against them this season and conceded the most goals in the league. Where they struggled earlier in the season going forward, recent form has seen Norwich scored in 4 of their last 6 games.

Palace fans have plenty of reason to be optimistic about the direction of their side. Michael Olise has been electric recently, alongside Connor Gallagher being one of the best midfielders in the league this season. Palace should have a significant edge in technical ability in this game and the aerial threat of attackers Edouard and Benteke should provide an alternative route to goal. They will also be boosted by the return of Wilfried Zaha from AFCON.

For all their attacking talent, Palace have been streaky at the back recently, shipping 3 goals to West Ham despite having double the amount of shots. West Ham lined up in a 4-4-2 that day, similar to the system Norwich are operating with under Dean Smith. Notoriously, Palace have struggled against a 4-4-2 more than any other formation this season, conceding a goal on average every 37 minutes, failing to keep a clean sheet against any 4-4-2 side in the process.

Both teams will be seeking three points here in what should be an expansive and open game with plenty of opportunities for each side. I’m taking both teams to score at odds of 1.87.

Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.87 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)


Manchester City v Brentford

Wednesday 9th February – 7:45PM KO

Manchester City welcome an out of sorts Brentford side to the Etihad in what should be a routine victory for the Blues.

Starting with the Bees, they are struggling for form particularly at the back, conceding 16 goals in their last 5 games. Brentford manager, Thomas Frank hasn’t settled on a back 5 in this stretch of games, making at least one change in every game, perhaps contributing to the defensive fragility.

Brentford will travel to a City side that lead the league in shots, touches in the penalty area, corners and are the second top scorers in the league. City are a ruthless side with attacking talent to rotate whenever. The return of Riyad Mahrez from AFCON will only add to the quality City possess as he returned with 3 goal contributions alone on Saturday.

City’s intricate style of play favours a patient build up trying to wear down the opposition, they average 67% possession this season, including 77% in the reverse fixture. Brentford should barely see the ball in this game, so they need to use their possession carefully. However, they have lost the ball more than 250 times so far this season, more than any other side. It is always going to be difficult to stop a side from scoring who average 2.9 goals in home fixtures this season, especially if you give them the ball back easily.

Prediction: Man City to score Over 2.5 Goals, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐)


Spurs v Southampton

Wednesday 9th February – 7:45PM KO

For the first time in 2022, Premier League football returns to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Spurs host Southampton in a pivotal clash for both sides.

Just over a month ago, these two sides met in the reverse fixture where Spurs dominated, having 21 shots to 9 and 66% possession but couldn’t breakdown the sturdy 10 men opposition.

Conte has won 10 of 17 games since taking the reins at Spurs, including an unbeaten home run in the league. His arrival has brought an intensity to Spurs’ pressing game which has in turn brought the best form out of England skipper Harry Kane who appears to be firing again. Kane will look to build on his brace in last week’s cup match, having scored against Southampton earlier this season.

Saints have struggled for form on the road this season, winning just 2 of 11 away games this season, conceding 24 goals in the process. No new additions through January won’t fill the Saints fans with optimism and sadly for them I can’t see them getting any kind of result here.

Spurs to win at odds of 1.62 seems too good to pass up on especially with their home record under Conte.

Prediction: Spurs to Win, 1.62 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)


Aston Villa v Leeds

Wednesday 9th February – 8:00PM KO

Two somewhat under-performing sides meet at Villa Park as Leeds travel to Aston Villa with both sides looking to string some momentum together. Villa are currently 11th but with their investment and talent, they could be far higher. Leeds have taken a step backwards this season and are 15th just outside of the relegation battle, constantly suffering from an injury crisis.

All the signs point towards cards in this game with both teams prone to a yellow card and referee Jarred Gillet averaging 4.25 per game in the premier league.

Firstly, the home side Leeds lead the league in cards per game, most cards away from home and are third in fouls per game. Interestingly, despite their card record, no player has more than 6 cards for Leeds this season, with most players picking up multiple cards. I personally like Diego Llorente to be carded as he averages just 1.06 fouls per game but has been carded 6 times. Emi Buendia, Coutinho and John McGinn all draw over 2 fouls per game and should win plenty of free kicks in this game, which considering how many times Llorente is carded per foul should give opportunity for a card.

Villa also love to play in a game with yellow cards, with 45 for and 45 against in 21 games this season. McGinn, Cash and Mings all have 5 or more yellows this season, and left back Lucas Digne could be an outside look for a card having been booked on debut and facing up against Leeds star man, Raphinha. All these stats have been taken from this season, however even with a manager change Villa are still a card heavy side with 42 cards (for either side) in their 10 league games under Gerrard.

Leeds should struggle to contain the electric nature of the Villa attack and Villa should be worn out by Leeds’ pressing and fitness levels. Not to mention these two sides have a history of not getting on as we all saw in the championship with a dubious goal decision. I’m taking over 3.5 cards expecting both sides to be carded at least twice in an eventful game.

Prediction: Over 3.5 Cards, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐)


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Wolves v Arsenal

Thursday 10th February – 7:45PM KO

Bruno Lage is quietly working wonders at Wolves, especially defensively with the second least goals conceded in the league. Molineux has seen just 16 goals this season in 11 games showing defensive stability as the main priority.

However, there have been issues for Wolves going forward as they have the worst xG outside the bottom 4 and are in the bottom 3 for goals scored despite having attacking talent such as Raul Jimenez back. Prioritising stability in defence has been pivotal to Lage, especially in a game like this where a 0-0 is a good result for Wolves.

Arsenal have been slightly leakier at the back but have only conceded 25 goals at just 1.1 per game this season, finding more success at the other end than their hosts. However, they have scored just once from their last 47 shots, failing to net since the 1st January.

The loss of club captain Aubameyang on a free to Barca without a replacement should see a slight change of system at Arsenal. However, change will take time, especially with added pressure on young shoulders in the form of Smith-Rowe and Saka, and I don’t expect this team to come out firing at Molineux.

Overall, under 2.5 goals looks like brilliant bet in this game as Arsenal have really struggled for goals in recent games and Wolves have had a brick wall at home all season. Just 24% of Wolves games have featured over 2.5 goals and I can see this game going under 2.5 here.

Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)


Liverpool v Leicester

Thursday 10th February – 7:45PM KO

Leicester produced another shambolic display at the back last Sunday, falling to defeat away at Nottingham Forest. After conceding 4 to a Championship side, the last team you want to face is the leading scorers in the Premier League who now have Salah and Mane back from AFCON.

Despite sitting 10th in the league there is a real concern for the team’s performances particularly defensively and the atmosphere around the club seems sour. Contrast that to Liverpool who could look to give new signing Luis Diaz a Premier league debut in this game alongside Salah and Mane’s return, and this looks like a very one-sided game.

With the majority of the game going to be played in the Leicester half, I like Liverpool to have plenty of corners this game. The reverse fixture, which Leicester actually won, featured 13 corners including 12 to Liverpool. As well, Liverpool lined up without star left back Andy Robertson that game who has the 3rd most crosses in the league, a main source for corners. It goes without saying that other full back Trent Alexander-Arnold is also a crossing threat, leading the league in crosses.

Liverpool average 8 corners per game (2nd in the league) while Leicester average 6.4 against per game, the third highest in the league. In a game so one-sided with the return of a full strength Liverpool side, I can see plenty of corners for them in this game.

Prediction: Over 7.5 Liverpool Corners, 1.73 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)


Written by an Andy verified content writer

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