Something for the Weekend: They're all trying to catch Vardy

A huge age gap between the managers at Selhurst Park and top goalscorer Jamie Vardy's return to league action make Jamie Pacheco's things to look out for this weekend...

Hornets have a real buzz about them

Prize for the best side in the league goes to Liverpool and to Sheffield United as the surprise package of the division.
But if there was an award for the most improved side of late, it would surely go to Watford. Since taking over in early December, Nigel Pearson, their third manager of the season no less, has overseen three home wins in a row over Manchester United, Aston Villa and Wolves respectively, plus two further priceless draws against Palace and Sheffield United.
Those points have seen Watford drift out to 2.86 for relegation from a low of 1.26 before the former Leicester boss arrived.
It's not just the points, either. They look a far better side in all areas of the pitch, more disciplined, motivated and organised, testament to the fact that changing manager sooner rather than later can pay dividends if you can get the right man for the job.
It's 9/5 they can pick up yet another win, this time at Bournemouth.

Vardy holding the trumps in the Top goalscorer market

In the eyes of many, the title race is over but there's still plenty to play for in the top goalscorer market.
Jamie Vardy was flying on 17 goals for the season but he missed the last two matches - one to be at the birth of his child, the other because of injury - allowing the likes of Danny Ings (13 goals, odds of 26.00), Sadio Mane (11 goals, 17.00) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (13, 8.80) to make up some ground on the Leicester hitman.
Vardy is still very much the man to beat at odds of 2.20. The good news if you're opposing him is that he may be a little rusty after missing a couple of weeks of football. The bad news is that Leicester have some pretty tasty fixtures coming up, with Southampton, Burnley and West Ham next. It's just 4/7 he marks his league return to action with a goal.

Kane out, Son in

Harry Kane has a hamstring injury and with those, you never know exactly how long it will take to recover from. To be fair to Kane, he's normally a pretty quick healer so whatever the estimate is, he'll probably come back a week or so ahead of schedule.

At least Jose Mourinho can count on Heung-Min Son again with the South Korean now available in the league after returning to action in the FA Cup at the weekend.
With options out wide and in-the-hole to count on and no-one else really suited to playing upfront, it should mean Son replacing Kane as the main striker for the next few weeks.
Son will be nothing if not refreshed after sitting on the sidelines for a couple of weeks and though Liverpool have improved massively of late in defence, he's worth a look to get a goal given he'll be the most advanced man for Spurs on Saturday evening. It's 9/4 he scores.

Hodgson old enough to be Arteta's dad

A gap of 34 years and 229 days would be about average if it was the age difference between a player and his manager.
But when Palace host Arsenal at Saturday lunchtime, it will be the difference in age between the two managers.
When Roy Hodgson was taking charge of Bristol City back in 1982 in his debut season as a manager, Mikel Arteta was being born! It's the fifth largest age gap in history between two Premier League managers facing each other.
Experience goes a long way in football of course but it's not enough convince the layers that Arsenal shouldn't be odds-on to win the match. It's just 20/23 about the much-improved Gunners taking all three points.

Can the Saints' avenge that 9-0 hammering?

Back in October, Southampton had a man sent off early on and Leicester put on one of the most ruthless displays in Premier League history, scoring nine past a disorientated and shell-shocked Saints' defence, with Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy both getting hat-tricks.
Southampton will no doubt be looking for some sort of revenge when they meet again on Saturday afternoon but with Leicester in fine form, they'll do well to even get a point.
It's 4/7 that the Foxes win, 80/1 that there are over 8.5 goals in the game and 9/1 that Vardy scores a hat-trick again. A Perez hat-trick? 80/1.

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