Saturday Premier League 3pm Tips: Easy wins for Blues and Foxes but Blades could falter
Our Premier League tipster Mike Norman enjoyed a super Saturday last week with four winners from four selections including at prices of 6.5 and 3.4. Our man returns with more recommended bets for this Saturday...
Injury-hit Cherries to lose heavily
Chelsea 1.29 v Bournemouth 13.00; Draw 6.60
After winning six Premier League games on the spin Chelsea's form has dipped in the last few weeks, losing three of their last four league encounters, while they endured a nervous ending to their Champions League game in midweek - eventually winning 2-1 - against a Lille side they were expected to beat convincingly.
But you'd have to be extremely brave to bet against Frank Lampard's men taking all three points at home to Bournemouth on Saturday given the form of the Cherries.
Eddie Howe's men have now lost five consecutive Premier League games, and from their last 11 matches in all competitions they have just a solitary home win to their name. The worrying aspect of Bournemouth's current form is that they've failed to beat the likes of struggling West Ham, Watford and Norwich in that spell, and that they've failed to find the back of the net in six of those 11 games.
A mounting injury list - in fact, let's call it an injury crisis - won't help Howe's mood ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge with key players Nathan Ake and Callum Wilson joining the already sidelined Junior Stanislas, Charlie Daniels, David Brooks, Steve Cook and Adam Smith.
In better news, Josh King is close to a return as is rated as 50/50 for Saturday's game but you already get the feeling that this will be a damage limitation exercise for Bournemouth.
It's difficult to envisage the Cherries getting on the scoresheet at the Bridge, while if anywhere near the form they were in during October and November then the Blues really should be good for three or four goals. With this in mind I'll take a chance on Chelsea -2 to win at around 2.90.
Foxes to lead early in another victory
Leicester 1.26 v Norwich 14.50; Draw 7.20
After recording eight consecutive Premier League wins Leicester are starting to look like the only realistic challengers to Liverpool at the top of the table. Okay, Man City are only six points behind the Foxes but you really do sense that the Citizens' title race is already run and that come February their focus will be 100% on the Champions League.
Leicester meanwhile have no European football to concentrate on, and while I have no doubt that their main target from here will be to finish in the top four, the way they are playing at the moment they have to be considered as serious title challengers.
Brendan Rodgers' men have another gilt-edged opportunity to take three points on Saturday when they host relegation favourites Norwich at the King Power Stadium.
The Canaries went six away games on the spin without scoring a single goal before beating a massively out-of-form Everton team three weeks ago. They've since lost on the road again - to struggling Southampton - so it's easy to understand why a home win here is trading at just 1.26.
The Foxes have made a habit of winning games in the second half recently, though they did score two first-half goals and were in front at the interval against Aston Villa last Sunday, and I expect that's how this game will go also. Norwich have lost 11 league games this term and they've conceded an alarming 17 first-half goals in those defeats.
Leicester to lead at the interval before going on to win is available to back at 1.78 on the Exchange, but I'm happy to boost those odds slightly by saying the Foxes will triumph in that manner in a game that will witness at least three goals. The Leicester HT/FT and Over 2.5 Goals bet can be backed at 2.16 on the Betfair Sportsbook (Same Game Multi).
Odds-on Blades have to be opposed
Sheffield United 1.95 v Aston Villa 4.30; Draw 3.85
Sheffield United have been brilliant this season and are just two points off fifth spot in the Premier League table. Villa are struggling and currently sit 17th, level on points with Southampton who are in the relegation zone.
That's one way - and the way many people see it - of looking at the respective form of two of the Premier League's newly-promoted clubs. But how about this. Villa take three points from this game and they'll be just four points behind the Blades. Chris Wilder's men have won five league games this term, Villa have won four. United have scored 19 goals, Dean Smith's men have scored 23.
Put the way I've just put it and there really isn't that much between these two teams, certainly not enough to make the hosts odds-on shots to win on Saturday anyway.
And as I've said quite regularly of late, I quite like Villa away from home as I always feel that they'll get on the scoresheet. Smith's men have found the back of the next in all bar one of their last seven away games, that coming against Man City, and in all of their road trips this season they've scored an average of just over two goals per game.
If Villa can maintain that average at Bramall Lane on Saturday then they'll be extremely tough to beat.
It's almost impossible to crab any of Sheff Utd's form this term, but the fact is on home soil they've won just two of their last seven matches, losing to the likes of Southampton, Newcastle, and League One outfit Sunderland (EFL Cup) in that sequence. They've also failed to score in four of their last seven home games.
So yes, the Blades are sitting pretty in the table while Villa are just above the drop zone, but all things considered - and that's largely the home form of United and the goalscoring ability of Villa - then I'm more than happy to oppose the home team and get the draw and away win on my side in this encounter.
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