CHRIS Graham (@chrisgraham79) scours the Premier League coupon for his best bets of the weekend.
Sunderland v Arsenal | Sunday 13:30 | Sky Sports 1
After following Sunderland down a cliff all season it was particularly galling to be on BTTS and not a Black Cats win in their 3-0 victory over Norwich last weekend. It summed up my weekend really. Despite that I’m doing the same thing again here.
It’s another massive game for the club and Sam Allardyce must be well up for it as he takes on another guy he’s never really liked in Arsene Wenger.
Despite their awful position the Black Cats have lost just two of their last nine matches and in that spell have beaten Manchester United and drawn with Liverpool and Southampton.
They’ve played 15 times in 2016 and scored on 11 occasions and with Jermaine Defoe being Jermaine Defoe and Fabio Borini finding some form I’m hoping they can do the same again on Sunday.
Arsenal got the job done on Thursday against West Brom at a flat Emirates but dissatisfaction reigns at the club as the feeling of another trophyless season sinks in.
Their stats are pretty shocking at the moment with just four wins from their last 13 games and last week’s long odds-on draw at home to Crystal Palace was very poor.
I couldn’t be backing Arsenal at odds on here against a gritty Sunderland side but I’d be stunned if they failed to penetrate the goal on Sunday. The Gunners have notched in their last 12 matches and have conceded in eight of those games.
Yes I’ll be backing Both Teams To Score here at 8/11. The fight must go on for Sunderland and in some ways also for Arsenal.
Leicester v Swansea | Sunday 16:00 | Sky Sports 1
I just have to back Leicester here at 4/5. It’s yet another too-big price being flashed in front of our faces. It’s one of those bets where you have to get involved.
At home to Swansea I reckon Man City would be around 4/11, 2/5. Spurs a similar price just now with Arsenal probably 4/9. Leicester sit above all those sides in the table with 34 of the 38 games played.
The Foxes come into this game unbeaten in eight and with five wins from their last six games. At the King Power they’re unbeaten in 13 Premier League games and have won five of their last seven games there.
Yes, of course they’re missing Jamie Vardy on Sunday. A talisman for the club this season, his loss will be felt sorely but at the prices one has to maintain faith.
Despite manager Francisco Guidolin claiming the Swans were not safe yet after losing 3-0 to Newcastle last week, it would take some swing to suck them into the relegation picture.
It looks like the Italian may be on his way in the summer and that’s another demotivating factor for the players as they grapple with these last four games of the season. Put it this way, the fire in the belly of the Leicester players will be a lot spicier than the one nestling in their Welsh opponents. At 4/5 they have to be backed.
Liverpool v Newcastle | Saturday 15:00
I’ll be honest with you, last weekend was grim. In fact it was probably my worst betting weekend of the season. I wish I was the kind of guy who could shrug it off but I’m not. When weekends like that happen you start to question everything you do. But anyway, enough of that. Onwards and upwards…
It’s all about the North East for me this weekend in my Premier League column and I’ll kick off with Newcastle. I got with them +1 on the Asians on Tuesday night as was rewarded as they drew with Manchester City. I’ll take exactly the same route here.
On Saturday they go to a Liverpool side in superb form. It’s just one defeat out of 17 for Jurgen Klopp’s side and next week they have a European semi-final to savour. The stars are aligning for a possible big league campaign next season under the German.
It’s much more gritty and depressing for Newcastle. They’re fighting for their Geordie lives at the moment down in 19th in the table but the last two games have brought hope.
Champions League winning manager Rafael Benitez is now in charge and a 3-0 win at Swansea last week plus that Man City draw really has injected some positivity in the club.
He goes back to Anfield on Saturday and bookmakers are taking no chances by offering the Magpies at best price 11/2. Six weeks ago you would have probably got double those odds.
Liverpool come into this game at 3/5 which you can’t turn your nose up at all. Klopp will rotate his 11 but that hasn’t been an issue in recent weeks.
Having said all that I’m willing to invest faith in Rafa and Newcastle again here. The stakes are massive and the side are improving. They’ve already beaten Liverpool this season and while that’s unlikely to reoccur here they have to be respected.
I’ll back them +1 on the Asian Handicap again at Evens with Bet365. Stats to back up the pick? I’m afraid there are none, this is a hunch.
Liverpool v Newcastle – Newcastle +1 Asian Handicap (Evens Bet365)
Sunderland v Arsenal – Both Teams To Score (8/11 Stan James)
Leicester v Swansea – Leicester to win (4/5 Stan James)
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