The new year has been rather kind to punters of a Premier League persuasion: not content with a full fixture list at the turn of 2017, the powers-that-be have also come up trumps with another set of matches spread across January 2, 3 and 4.
The middle bunch on Tuesday evening is an intriguing trio. Arsenal’s title credentials will be severely examined at Bournemouth, Sam Allardyce will be looking to bag his first win as Crystal Palace boss, and finally Stoke will be hoping to ease any lingering relegation fears with three points against injury-ravaged Watford.
Here are the pick of the midweek Premier League betting tips:
Bournemouth vs Arsenal (7:45pm)
There’s a sense of the ‘all or nothing’ about these two teams: it was 17 combined matches ago since either experienced a stalemate, and with the Cherries drawing just one of their nine home outings this term we really need to pin our hopes on one side or the other here.
It’s hard to get an accurate read on the unpredictable Bournemouth. Heavy defeats to Arsenal (1-3), Burnley (2-3), Southampton (1-3) and Chelsea (0-3) have been assuaged by victories over Liverpool (4-3), Leicester (1-0) and Swansea (3-0); and that’s their last seven outings! The point, clearly, is that they are conceding goals against quality opposition.
The Gunners continue to go on their merry way with five wins in seven; but the two aberrations on that record were a pair of away defeats at Everton and Manchester City. But closer examination reveals they were unlucky against the Toffees and really ought to have beaten the Citizens: why they defended so deeply in the second half after dominating the first remains a mystery to everyone bar Arsene Wenger.
There’s an element of value shopping in our first selection here, but the second – Over 2.5 Goals – has landed in 11/15 combined outings, so there’s plenty of logic to utilise.
Arsenal to Win (4/5 with bet365)
Over 2.5 Goals (3/4 with BetVictor)
Crystal Palace vs Swansea (8pm)
The calendars have barely trickled over into 2017 and already we have a contender for bet of the year. Surely Crystal Palace, galvanised by the appointment of Sam Allardyce, will claim three points against a hapless Swansea side that has lost five of their last six matches, conceding a whopping 19 goals in the process? And a nearly-double-your-money price of 5/6? We’ll have some of that.
The Eagles’ formline doesn’t read so well either – W1 D2 L3 – but then they have tangled with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in amongst those. Palace will be a much better proposition under Allardyce, who will surely get the best from a talented but misfiring bunch of players.
For Swansea, there doesn’t appear to be much light at the end of the tunnel. They’ve won twice since August 13 – one of those when Palace bizarrely threw away a two-goal lead – and have conceded 29 goals in their last ten outings. It is a recipe for disaster.
Palace, meanwhile, have scored in 15 of their last 18 Premier League starts, and will surely begin to defend better under Allardyce’s pragmatic guidance. Presumably they will soon move up the league table; starting on Tuesday.
Crystal Palace to Win (5/6 with Betfair)
Crystal Palace to Score 2+ Goals (10/11 with Coral)
Stoke vs Watford (8pm)
Perhaps Mark Hughes has been a naughty boy this year, because Santa delivered a rather wretched fixture list to see in the festive period. Away trips to Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea ended in expected defeat, while home ties with Southampton and Leicester yielded just two points.
It’s too early for the Potteries side to press the panic button, of course, but a positive result here is essential.
That’s because Watford are in a state of freefall at the moment with five defeats suffered in seven starts, and four losses on the spin on the road – Liverpool (1-6), West Brom (1-3), Man City (0-2) and Sunderland (0-1) – hardly instils confidence. It’s no wonder the Hornets are one of the biggest movers in the relegation market.
Injuries suffered by the likes of Behrami, Janmaat, Okaka and Pereyra haven’t helped, and with the excellent Nordin Amrabat now joining them on the sidelines, this is not the best of times to be supporting Watford.
Stoke have improved in an attacking sense of late, and the catalyst has been the reintroduction of Peter Crouch to the starting eleven. They have netted five goals in their last three starts against Leicester, Arsenal and Liverpool, and so a Watford side that last kept a clean sheet on October 29 should prove an agreeable opponent.
Stoke to Win (5/6 with William Hill)
Stoke to Score 2+ Goals (Evens with Coral)