We’ve had another European gameweek to enjoy, which is an excellent double-edged sword as it means we have a Super Sunday fixture list worth eschewing that trip to Ikea for.
At least three sides with genuine title ambitions are in action, as well as a pair who may be in relegation contention come May. We’re a few months away from any definitive moments, but every point is going to count at either end of the table.
Here is the pick of Sunday’s Premier League betting tips:
Chelsea vs West Brom (12pm)
If there was anybody left doubting Chelsea’s title credentials this term, presumably those remaining souls have since changed their mind following the Blues’ 3-1 win at Manchester City last time out.
Admittedly, the Citizens created enough chances to win two games of football, but you don’t get any reward for that at the end of the day and if you are completely incapable of defending, as they continue to be, then you will get punished by a quality operator like Chelsea.
Eight wins out of eight for Antonio Conte’s side since he switched to that 3-4-3 system, and he will certainly be looking to make it a perfect nine here. His outfit have continually found ways to win matches on home soil this season against a diverse array of opponents, from Mourinho’s bus parking to Tottenham’s energetic disrupting.
West Brom, as much improved as they are under Tony Pulis this term, will provide perfect ‘back foot’ fodder.
The Baggies will defend deep and in two banks of five, most probably, and as such will be a tough nut to crack. It’s just that the exuberance and confidence flowing through Chelsea means they will surely, eventually, break the Midlanders’ spirits.
Chelsea to Win & Under 2.5 Goals (23/10 with William Hill)
Manchester United vs Tottenham (2:15pm)
It’s fair to say that as punters we don’t really know where we are at with Manchester United. They look extremely capable, but with four draws in five starts clearly they are lacking the kind of killer instinct they employed so liberally in the Sir Alex Ferguson years.
That will be music to the ears of Tottenham, who appear to have gotten their act together with two wins in the space of four days with a goal difference of +7.
With United conceding in five of their last six, clearly there is an opportunity for Spurs here. They have an extra day’s rest compared to their opponents from European excursions, and they only had to go down the road to Wembley while the Red Devils embark on a journey to freezing cold Ukraine.
Harry Kane, in a rich vein of form, will surely prosper against a leggy United backline missing Chris Smalling.
But Mourinho’s men have been excellent at Old Trafford recently even if their results don’t suggest that to be the case. This could well end in a score draw or a one-goal win to either side.
Both Teams to Score (4/5 with bet365)
Harry Kane Anytime Goalscorer (9/5 with Betfred)
Southampton vs Middlesbrough (2:15pm)
Occasionally the Premier League produces results that throw all acknowledged wisdom out of the window, and Southampton’s 0-3 loss to Crystal palace last week was certainly one of those.
The Saints have developed a reputation as one of the finest defensive units in the division, with Oriel Romeu an excellent shield in front of the outstanding Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk. To concede three – and not find the net against a Palace side that had conceded 17 in their previous five games – is a major outlier.
There’s work to be done then, and that won’t be made any easier by the visit of the superb Middlesbrough. There are few superlatives remaining to describe the Boro’s recent form, and they were denied he three points they deserved at Leicester last week by some rather dubious decision from the officials.
Aitor Karanka’ side are grinders, keeping ten men behind the ball before embarking on carefully constructed counters. How else can we explain why five of their last six have gone Under 2.5 Goals?
It will be back to basics for the Saints here, defending from the front and building from there. A low scoring contest is likely to ensue as a result.
Under 2.5 Goals and Both Teams to Score: No (Evens with William Hill)
Liverpool vs West Ham (4:30pm)
Revenge is a dish best served cold, as the old saying goes, and as that bone-crunching breeze rolls in off the Mersey on Sunday it is likely that West Ham might find themselves chilled to the core by Liverpool’s attacking enterprise.
The Reds will be fuming after throwing three points away at Bournemouth last week, and Jurgen Klopp has no doubt impressed upon his players the need for no more slip-ups this side of Christmas.
Happily for the German, the Hammers are in no kind of form to disrupt his side’s plans for domination. Sympathy is offered to Slaven Bilic and his extensive injury list, with the likes of Antonio, Cresswell and Collins rated as possibles, rather than probables, for this one.
Five games without a win or a clean sheet speaks volume; not ideal ahead of a trip to an Anfield faithful baying for blood.
Liverpool -1 (5/6 with Paddy Power)