A midweek Premier League card and Chris Graham (@chrisgrahamn79) is on hand to take us through his three best bets.
Stoke v Norwich | Wednesday 19:45
I really like Stoke here and I’m surprised to see them priced at odds against. It’s a nice match for those who want to get involved with them. They’ve lost two on the bounce and are up against a side who’ve won three of their last four league matches. The Potters price was ripe to be juicy.
Similar to the match above I just think Stoke are a step up from Norwich. They very much look to be in that wee group of sides fighting to finish between 6th and 11th and I’d be stunned if they finished below that.
I still think Norwich have a fight on their hands to stay up. They’ve given themselves a real chance over the festive period with three big wins but look who they were against.
The Canaries firstly managed to see off an utterly inept Manchester United side and then claimed a win over truly awful Aston Villa before a win over Southampton the weekend before last. Saints have now lost eight of their last 10 matches.
Coming up against Stoke is a wholly different matter for Alex Neil’s side and I think they’ll struggle. The Potters have won three of their last four matches at the Britannia.
Mark Hughes’ men were too committed for Manchester City, too clever for Manchester United and before that saw off Chelsea in the Midlands too.
Norwich have lost five of their last six away games in the Premier League and have won just twice on their travels in the 2015/16 league season. Odds against Stoke makes a lot of appeal.
Manchester City v Everton | Wednesday 19:45
I just get the feeling we’ll see a very strong Manchester City performance here. With Arsenal at Liverpool it’s perhaps a chance for them to creep closer to the Gunners.
They’ll be annoyed that Everton managed to beat them last week at Goodison in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg and I’ve no doubt they’ll put that right here.
It will probably be a bit of an anti-climax for Everton to face City again and before the second leg in two weeks time. It seems a big ask for this side to chin City in consecutive weeks.
There are still worries encircling the Toffees and it’s disappointing to see them in the bottom half of the table on a season like this when the Top 4 door has been unlocked since August.
A run of just one league win in seven is not good enough and Roberto Martinez’s side have dropped points against the likes of Swansea, Norwich, Bournemouth this season.
Everton have yet to win away at a top half side this season and look out of their depth here when you factor the strong home form of their opponents.
For all Man City’s horrid form this season they have been solid at home with eight wins from their 10 matches and the Etihad will be key to them winning the title over the next four months.
City have won four of their last five home matches by more than one goal and I’m banking on the same thing happening again here. At 11/14 I’ll back them -1 on the Asian Handicap, I’m not expecting a push.
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace | Tuesday 19:45
Did you know Crystal Palace have won more than double the points away from home than Aston Villa have overall this season? Yes, Palace have won 17 points on their travels while Villa remain on eight for the season. Palace are begging to be backed here.
Sure, Villa’s appalling run of form has to come to an end at some point but I’m doubtful whether it’s here. This side are atrocious and their fans have certainly clicked this as we saw ugly scenes after their failure to win at Wycombe on Saturday in the FA Cup.
Overall Palace are a much better side than Villa. They’re 13 positions higher than them in the table and a gargantuan 23 points ahead of them in the league standings.
On top of this, Alan Pardew’s side excel on their travels. They sit fourth in the Away Table after five wins from their nine away games. They’ve won at Chelsea, Liverpool, Stoke, Watford and Norwich and should have nothing to fear here.
On top of that again is Villa’s woeful home form. This side haven’t won on their home turf in the league since May of last year and have picked up just three points this season.
In my opinion Palace should be getting very close to the Evens mark so to see a general 6/4 makes me go all warm inside. It has to be backed for me.
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace – Crystal Palace to win (29/20 Netbet)
Stoke v Norwich – Stoke to win (21/20 Netbet)
Manchester City v Everton – Manchester City -1 Asian Handicap (11/14 Netbet)
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