AFTER a profitable week last weekend Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a confident look at this weekend’s Premier League matches.
Sunderland v Manchester United | Saturday 12:45 | BT Sport 1
Yeah Sunderland again. I’m pretty sure there’s no team I’ve written more about this season than the Black Cats but because they’re always a big price they’re always worth a look.
I still think they’ll stay up this season due to the wilyness of their manager Sam Allardyce. Yes, it’s a big task but performances and results so far this year indicate progression.
On Saturday they host a Manchester United side wrapped in rumour, dissatisfaction but strangely decent form. For all the frustration surrounding the club just now they’ve only lost one game from their last nine.
Having said that (bar that 3-0 home win over Stoke) they’ve looked massively uninspiring. Their 1-1 draw against Chelsea last weekend was plodding and predictable and up against a battling Sunderland side they could find things tough.
I’m banking on the Black Cats to score here. Allardyce’s side have notched in six of their last seven matches with Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool all breached.
You can be sure they won’t fear Manchester United. Why should they? The way they fought back at Anfield last Saturday was very encouraging and should put them in a good place for this match.
It’s both teams to score that pricks my attention here so I’m obviously hoping that the visitors find the scoreboard as well. At odds against I’m happy to commit.
It’s been a fruitful 2016 goals wise for United. They’ve gone Over 2.5 Team Goals in three of their eight matches this calendar year and have scored in seven of them.
There’s enough evidence for me to get stuck into BTTS and I also like 1-1 and 2-3 Goals. At 11/10 the stats would suggest it’s a value bet. I’m on.
Everton v West Brom | Saturday 15:00
You’ll probably think I’m mad but I just have to take Everton on here. Why? Well, it’s the price innit. 8/15? How ghastly. The Toffees have let down their backers on a number of occasions this season and playing at those prices is not for me.
Unlike Stoke they seem to have kicked on from heartbreaking Capital One Cup semi-final elimination and at long last seem to have discovered the winning thread.
The Toffees have now won three games in a row in all competitions for the first time this season. All three have been 3-0 wins but the quality of opposition hardly screams from the page.
First up were League Two side Carlisle in the FA Cup, that was followed by a Newcastle team who’ve struggled all season and last week Stoke were beaten convincingly. That was the Potters’ fifth consecutive defeat.
I’m always a fan of taking on unreliable sides when they’re on a good run and going off at short prices. One month ago Everton would have been around the 4/6 mark but now look really short at 8/15.
Yes of course West Brom are in a pretty sorry state at the moment. They needed penalties to get past League One Peterborough on Wednesday night in the FA Cup, haven’t won in five league games and their fans are massively pissed off with Tony Pulis.
Logically Everton should win this. But then this is a side who have fluffed their lines at home to Swansea and Stoke in the last six weeks and before that failed to get past Norwich and Bournemouth.
West Brom for all their perceived gashness have only lost two of their last nine fixtures and managed a fine draw at Stamford Bridge last month.
With Everton being so disgustingly short the Baggies have been pushed out to a chunky 13/2 and in turn are as big as 21/20 with a goal start on the Asian Handicap. I like this.
Chelsea v Newcastle | Saturday 17:30 | Sky Sports 1
Sunday looks an epic day in the Premier League. So exciting! I’m trying to figure out how I should play it, Quiet day in front of the box or an all-afternoon sesh at the local. 1/5 the former to be honest, I have to do a presentation on Monday to a business I’m trying to impress.
Anyway, I’m deviating. This is the warm up for Sunday and to be honest it leaves me a bit cold as two of the unsexiest sides in the division this season clash at Stamford Bridge.
This notion that Chelsea have turned the corner and are flying again is absolute tosh. Yes, they’re unbeaten in 11 matches under Guus Hiddink but they’ve rarely made us gasp.
From those 11 matches they’ve won three in the league. The 3-0 win against an out of form Crystal Palace side was impressive, the Sunderland win before Christmas showed steel in the toxic post-Mourinho atmosphere while victory at the Emirates was hugely aided by the sending off of Per Mertesacker.
Six draws have come in this series with three going Under 2.5 Goals and that’s the angle I’m taking here. It’s a pleasant surprise to see it chalked up at odds against.
As I’ve said before, Newcastle seem to take one step forward and one back. They’ve won back to back games just once this season in all competitions, have lost six of their last nine matches and sit 17th in the table.
Goals wise they’ve mustered up 26 goals (only four sides have scored fewer) and have gone Under 1.5 Team Goals in eight of their last 10 matches.
On top of that four of their last eight matches have seen them fail to score and in all those occasions they lost to nil. It could be a similar story on Saturday night.
With Chelsea not firing on all cylinders and Newcastle having a propensity to throw in a poor effort every other game this could be a bland affair. It’s Under 2.5 Goals for me.
Sunderland v Manchester United – Both Teams To Score (11/10 Netbet)
Everton v West Brom – West Brom +1 Asian Handicap (21/20 Netbet)
Chelsea v Newcastle – Under 2.5 Goals (24/19 Netbet)
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