THREE weekend Premier League bets for Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79). Do you agree with him?
Southampton v Aston Villa | Saturday 12:45 | BT Sport 1
I seem to select the Saturday lunchtime match every week and it’s the same again here. Southampton and Aston Villa enter this game in contrasting from. For the home side it’s just one win in six while the visitors boast figures of three wins in their last four.
Saints’ form has unravelled since mid-January in all honesty but there’s no doubt it’s been a great season. From pre-season relegation candidates to mid-season Champions League contenders, it looks like their campaign will pan out similar to last season. Top 8 with backs slapped.
Despite the drop off in overall form, their recent home performances have been encouraging. Three wins in their last four matches and a draw against Tottenham have been encouraging and I certainly think they can score in this match.
I also reckon Villa can score here too and that’s why I’m backing Both Teams To Score at Evens. The Midland club have been transformed under the tutelage of Tim Sherwood. They’ve scored 24 in his 14 games in charge, look shot of relegation and are in the FA Cup Final. Still slagging him? Still slagging Sherwood?!
Villa have notched in seven straight games and in 10 of their last 11. They’ve banged in three against Everton and two each against Manchester City and Liverpool. They can score here and help my BTTS bet.
Burnley v Stoke | Saturday 15:00
Many of you will disagree with this but I’m pretty settled on my view. I reckon Burnley might just beat Stoke on Saturday. Unfortunately I’m a bit of a pussy at the moment so I’ll back them on the Draw No Bet market instead.
Why? Well firstly I do think Sean Dyche will insist his players give maximum effort on what is their last home game of the season. It could be Turf Moor’s last game in the Premier League for a very long time and perhaps it may be Dyche’s last home game in charge at this club.
Their excellent but ultimately hollow win over Hull last week was just the tonic for this match and Danny Ings rediscovering his scoring touch is also a factor I have in mind.
How are you with hangovers? I’m awful to be honest. It’s more mental than physical with me. Start to think about ex-girlfriends, what a poor person I am and about the time I was really nasty to my Mum. On that note, I think Stoke might be on a bit of a mental hangover on Saturday.
There’s been a swathe of examples this season of clubs performances sharply dipping the game after a stunning result. I call it The Hangover Effect. Last week Stoke crushed Spurs 3-0 and reached the 50 point landmark. That’s a landmark I believe they’ve been targeting for many months. Imagine how pleased they’ll feel about themselves?
If further evidence was needed, Stoke have beaten a current Top 6 side four times this season and on two occasions followed it up with defeats to Leicester and Burnley and on the other occasion drew with Crystal Palace. Saturday will be the fourth time it occurs as they beat Spurs last weekend of course. Burnley draw no bet for me.
Man Utd v Arsenal | Sunday 16:00 | Sky Sports 1
I fancy goals in this match as the finishing line approaches for both these sides. I’m expecting an element of fun and abandon in this Old Trafford encounter and it’s worth remembering the home side will overtake Arsenal if they win.
That was my preferred option at first. 14 league wins out of 18 at Old Trafford and six wins out of seven is mighty impressive. Yes, Arsenal beat them there in the FA Cup in March, but that seemed to jolt them up to higher level of form and crushing wins over Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City followed.
It’s gone a little off-piste since then with three consecutive league defeats in April/early-May but I’m putting that down to the end of a long, hard complicated season. A game like this should get their peckers back up again.
The absence of Michael Carrick from Louis Van Gaal’s line up has caused his side problems and that’s definitely a contributory factor in the fact they’ve leaked eight goals in their last five games.
He won’t be back on Sunday so that’s why I expect Arsenal to contribute to the scoreline here. Things looked all so smooth for Arsene Wenger’s side but that’s just not how it’s meant to be and they bizarrely lost 1-0 to Swansea on Monday night.
They’ll fancy their chances of getting at United and putting themselves back in pole position for second place. They’ve scored in 20 of their last 22 matches and are renowned for bouncing back strongly after disappointing defeats. Not once this season have they lost back to back games in consecutive weeks.
Expect a strong bustling performance from both sides in this Old Trafford match and I’ll back Over 3 Goals on the Asian Handicap Goal Line at 16/11 with BetVictor. This means that if exactly three are scored I get my stake back, any more and I get paid out.
Southampton v Aston Villa – Both Teams To Score (Evens Betway)
Burnley v Stoke – Burnley Draw No Bet (19/20 Coral)
Man Utd v Arsenal – Over 3 Goals Asian Handicap Goal Line (16/11 BetVictor)
It’s take your pick time from Betfair this weekend in the big Sunday match.