HE fell just short of the treble last week. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) is back with three more Premier League picks this weekend.
Arsenal v Sunderland | Saturday 15:00
This bet makes me feel a bit sick but I’m going to go with it. It’s 4/6 for a start, which is short, but I’ve gone for an odds-against shot on Pick 3, so you know…
The other reason for my nauseousness is the fact that I’m (sort of) taking on Arsenal when they’re hurting and licking their wounds. This is the worst time to take them on as they usually come back with vim and vigour.
The fact is though they’re far too short on Saturday against Sunderland. 3/10 is the best price you can back them at. I reckon that’s more than half a point shorter than they should be.
This is an Arsenal side ravaged with injuries and without their talisman Alexis Sanchez. An Arsenal side with no win in the Premier League since October.
Their opponents Sunderland managed to win three times the number of November points that Arsenal did. Six to the Gunners’ two. There’s no doubt the arrival of Sam Allardyce has had a big impact on the club and it’s incredible to now see them out of the relegation zone.
Two consecutive wins over Top 10 sides Crystal Palace and Stoke have been mightily impressive and as long as they don’t get hammered here I’ll at least see my stake back in my pocket.
Yes, I can back Sunderland +2 on the Asian Handicap at 4/6 which to me seems very generous. Even if they lose by two goals I won’t lose a penny, my stake will be returned.
Arsenal have only beaten the Black Cats by more than two goals in one of their last 17 meetings. In current form the North East side will be in a better position than in a number of those previous clashes.
Sunderland don’t win at Arsenal. You have to go back 32 years to find the last time they won in Islington in the league so I’m not expecting that. But priced at 12/1 they have to be respected in the handicap markets.
Southampton v Aston Villa | Saturday 15:00
I think I’ve finally realised Aston Villa are going down. They’re doomed. Kaput. Screwed. Fucked. For a man my age it’s quite a culture shock. The last time they were absent from the top-flight my Mum was still walking me to school and the idea of seeing a girl’s breasts was utterly terrifying. How times change.
But yeah, I’ve accepted it’s all over for Villa and now I want to back their suffering on Saturday by seducing Southampton. It’s a sadistic thing to do but we’re all animals in this betting game.
Southampton have now lost their last three games. The home loss to Stoke two weeks ago was disappointing, the defeat to Man City last week excusable but the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool in the Capital One Cup midweek was disturbing.
The truth is though Southampton are a much better side than Aston Villa. They have 15 more points than them and have lost seven fewer games than them already this season.
They finished 10 places higher than them in the league last season and thrashed them 6-1 in April in this fixture last season. Their woes are short-term, Villa’s are not.
Surely Ronald Koeman sees this match as their springboard to returning to some good form? After all the Remi Garde effect hasn’t materialised at Villa with just one point won from a possible 12 since his appointment was announced.
Southampton -1 on the Asians are 6/7 and that sits fine with me. A single goal victory will see my stake returned but I’m expecting much more than that.
Swansea v Leicester | Saturday 15:00
I always enjoy pricing up the Premier League matches on a Thursday before I actually see the odds. I’m usually bang on with eight or nine of the games but there’s a big discrepancy here or there. This week it was this match.
I had Leicester at a shade of odds on here. Yes, possibly an over-reaction but I had them as strong favourites. So imagine my surprise to see the sides vying for favouritism!
It’s been a rough rough season for Swansea. The joy of beating Manchester United (again) in late-August is a distant memory now as Garry Monk faces up to the fact his side have won just one of their last 11 games.
Despite coming up against three of the bottom five in their last five games the Swans have picked up just four points out of 15. The only team they’ve beaten since August is Aston Villa. Nuff said.
Are things improving? I suppose a 2-2 comeback draw against Bournemouth showed spirit while Southampton will tell you losing 1-0 to Liverpool ain’t too bad. But I’m not convinced.
For Leicester the dream continues. The Foxes have now accrued 29 points which is astonishing when you think the advent calendars are barely out their wrappers.
One key thing about this team is goals. With 29 in the bank only Manchester City have scored more in the division. But unlike City this side have scored in every match this season. All 17 of them.
The side look confident and that of course is personified by their record-breaking striker Jamie Vardy. There are loads of reasons to like them this weekend.
Leicester are a shade of odds in the Draw No Bet market but I’ll be bolder than that and back them to score two or more goals at 5/4 with BetVictor.
That’s been achieved in three of their last four games and in eight of their last 10 Premier League matches. The only ‘slip-ups’ came against the strong duo of Manchester United and Crystal Palace.
It would be churlish to lament Swansea’s defence to be honest. They’ve only conceded two or more in two of their last six games but let’s not forget they’ve had a soft fixture list.
Aston Villa found a way past their defence, as did Norwich, oh and Bournemouth scored twice against them. Now they meet the second best attack in the league. Can they keep them quiet? I’m hoping not.
Arsenal v Sunderland – Sunderland +2 Asian Handicap (4/6 BetVictor)
Southampton v Aston Villa – Southampton -1 Asian Handicap (6/7 BetVictor)
Swansea v Leicester – Leicester to score Over 1.5 Goals (5/4 BetVictor)
This is a great new player offer from Boylesports! 8/1 on Arsenal beating Sunderland and United getting the better of West Ham.