IT’S getting more and more intense in the Premier League as the season draws to a close. Who’s Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) backing this week?
Tottenham v Aston Villa | Saturday 15:00
I’m sounding a bit like a broken record at the moment but I’ll be backing Both Teams To Score in an Aston Villa game for the third time in a week here. It paid out last Saturday at Old Trafford and emphatically against QPR on Tuesday, so why stop now?
There should be lots of fire and passion in this game as Tim Sherwood takes his Villa side to his old stomping ground of White Hart Lane. He’ll be desperate to make his mark here and it’s no surprise to see Tottenham pushed out to 8/13 in the betting.
Thankfully I missed their game against Burnley on Sunday, but it was a rare occurrence for them to come up short goals-wise in the Premier League. Indeed that was their first league game in 2015 to go Under 2.5 Goals.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have scored two or more goals in 12 of their last 16 league encounters and in every home game of the calendar year so far. They’re unbeaten at White Hart Lane since early-November and should be too strong for Sherwood’s side.
So I’ve made the case for Spurs, now let me try with Villa. As I mentioned, I think Sherwood in his own self-aware way will be desperate to prove points here and hopefully for him garner some.
Whatever you think of him, he’s getting his side to score goals now. Only 12 goals were scored in Paul Lambert’s 25 league games in charge, while Sherwood has already saw his side score 11 in seven top-flight matches.
Tottenham have conceded more goals than Hull this season, so after scoring at Old Trafford last week, Aston Villa will fancy themselves to notch here.
West Brom v Leicester | Saturday 15:00
I like this. It’s West Brom for me here. I had them chalked up around the 10/11 mark so to see 13/10 with most firms is a nice surprise.
The odds have undoubtedly been affected by last weekend’s contrasting events for these sides. West Brom were inexplicably hammered 4-1 by QPR at home, while Leicester gained a precious home win over West Ham.
Let’s start with West Brom. You’d have to put that score down to a freak result. Going into that game, the Baggies had won six of their seven home games under Pulis and had counted Southampton and Swansea amongst their victims.
It seems likely they may have taken their foot off the pedal due to their (almost certainly) safe position in the table. Pulis was very vocal in his post-match comments stating that his players still had a duty to see out the season and make sure safety was 100% assured. I’m expecting a reaction on Saturday.
I was pleased Leicester won last week and it’s what they certainly deserve after a season blighted with misfortune, but I won’t be getting carried away. If you were hand-picking opponents to play in the Premier League at the moment, West Ham at home would be right up there.
That’s what Leicester got last week and they still almost managed to mess it up. Andy King’s 86th minute goal was what separated the sides and the Foxes live to fight another day.
Since Pulis took over at West Brom his side have picked up 15 points compared to eight for Leicester, and with that strong home form to bear in mind as well they look a cracking odds-against bet against a side with just two league wins in 2015.
QPR v Chelsea | Sunday 13:30 | Sky Sports 1
I’m excited about this game from a betting point of view. As usual QPR look vastly underrated so it’s time to make hay.
Chris Ramsey’s side had an encouraging week with a 3-3 draw at Aston Villa following their very surprising 4-1 win at The Hawthorns. It’s the first time this season they followed up a league win with a non-defeat. Are their survival instincts kicking in?
As well all know, their home form has been fairly impressive this season, and it reflects a side in mid-table rather than one fighting to stave off relegation. On only one occasion this season have they lost a home league game by more than one goal.
It’s also worth factoring in the decent record they possess against their West London rivals. QPR have beaten Chelsea twice since they returned to the Premier League after a long absence in 2011/12. Both were accomplished at huge odds.
I’m probably in the minority here but I just can’t get excited about Chelsea at the moment. For me they’ve had a flat 2015 and yet still look like cruising their way to the title. What does that tell you about the Premier League?
They were knocked out the Champions League by PSG and haven’t won a league game by more than one goal since mid-January. They conceded five goals to Spurs and two to Hull and even if they lose this game they know they’ll be ok.
If the QPR players can’t get up for this game then what chance have the club got. They must be buoyed by the last week and their opponents are without main striker Diego Costa.
The 7/5 on QPR +1 on the Asian Handicap looks a storming value bet, but I’m going to be even braver and back QPR to get something from this game. It’s QPR on the Double Chance market at 11/5 with 888 Sport that I’ll select here.
Tottenham v Aston Villa – Both Teams To Score (17/20 Ladbrokes)
West Brom v Leicester – West Brom To Win (13/10 BetVictor)
QPR v Chelsea – QPR Double Chance (11/5 888 Sport)
What’s your best bet in the Premier League this weekend? Disagree with Chris?
Let us know in the comments box below?