LOTS at stake this weekend in the Premier League. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his three best bets.
Leicester v Newcastle | Saturday 12:45 | BT Sport 1
What a fiendish card this weekend! I must confess I’m light on confidence, but let’s have a crack.
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson has been in the news again this weekend after a remarkable outburst towards a journalist on Wednesday night. I can see why people dislike the guy, but for me he’s great fun. I’ll have a massive wager on him voting Tory next Thursday. Anyway…
While his Foxes side have shown tremendous spirit in recent weeks it’s been the complete opposite for Newcastle. Seven consecutive defeats have raised the relegation alarm in the North East and I’m quite chuffed I backed them to go down in January.
Despite their shocking form I can’t see them going down. The finish line will come just in time for them, and indeed something from this game would put the issue to bed.
I wouldn’t be too surprised if they got a point here as they’ve started to score goals again. One against Tottenham two weeks ago, and two last week against Swansea. I can see them notching again.
It would be folly to suggest Leicester won’t register on Saturday lunchtime either. Even in defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday night they emerged with credit and have now scored in their last six games. I can see Pearson telling them to smash into this weak, unconfident Newcastle side and an early goal would make sense.
I’m going with Over 2.5 Goals here at 10/11 with William Hill. Both sides will play with abandon as they search for a vital win and I’m hoping we see a few goals in this fixture. Four of the last six Leicester game saw three or more goals while it’s the same ratio for Newcastle.
Liverpool v QPR | Saturday 15:00
Yes, I’m backing QPR again. Of course I’m backing QPR again. Well, on the Asian Handicap anyway. They’re 6/4 with Bet365 getting a goal start at Anfield and I’m all over that.
At the very heart of this bet is the fact QPR rarely lose by more than one goal. If you take their league results since the Saturday before Christmas they’ve lost 11 times but only three of those defeats were by more than a goal.
Last weekend’s 0-0 draw at home to West Ham was a hugely disappointing result but their performance the week before against Chelsea was laudable. They have much more riding on this game than their opponents and are worth siding with on the AH.
For Liverpool, these are incredibly flat times. A rousing opening three months of the calendar year have petered out massively. The FA Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa has punctured their spirit and they’ve followed that loss up with a 0-0 draw against West Brom and a defeat at Hull.
With one win in five in the league and question marks over the future of the manager and star striker I think there’s a cloud hanging over the club at the moment and I’m backing to keep QPR +1. As it’s an Asian Handicap bet, I’ll get my stake back if the R’s lose by exactly one goal.
West Ham v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
God, this looks grim eh? I think I’d rather give Steve Evans a cuddle than watch this match.
I’m going for Under 2.5 Goals here at 13/16 with 888 Sport. Why? Well, I think this match pitches the most uninspiring Premier League side in 2015 up against a side who’ve simply run out of batteries.
Burnley have emerged with real credit this season, but it’s hard not to assume that their quest for survival will end in failure. It’s just one win in 14 for Sean Dyche’s side now, and to make matters worse the goals have dried up.
Incredibly they haven’t scored since mid-March and if you split the 14 match run I reference above it makes for galling reading. During those first seven games the Clarets scored eight goals but in the final seven games they notched just once!
As for West Ham, well their Christmas defeats to Chelsea and Arsenal seems to have destroyed their season. Their 2015 league record reads P15 W2 D7 L6. In six of those games they’ve failed to score, including in their last two matches.
This game looks like a narrow West Ham win and I’m confident we won’t see much action. It’s Unders for me.
Leicester v Newcastle – Over 2.5 Goals (10/11 William Hill)
Liverpool v QPR – QPR+1 Asian Handicap (6/4 Bet365)
West Ham v Burnley – Under 2.5 Goals (13/16 888 Sport)
Crikey! Open an account with 888 Sport this weekend and they’ll give you 22/1 on QPR or 12/1 the draw.