CORRECT SCORE specialist Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) delivers his best bets from Saturday’s Premier League card.
Bournemouth v Watford | Saturday 15:00
Two sides who are waiting for their 2017 to ignite meet at Dean Court on Saturday afternoon, with both teams looking for their first league win of the calendar year.
It’s been a poor couple of weeks for Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth. After letting a three-goal lead slip at home to Arsenal, they were dumped out of the FA Cup by League One Millwall before conceding three goals in a further loss to Hull last weekend.
Their form, however, looks spectacular when compared to their visitors. Watford have failed to win in the league since 10th December, leading to rumours that manager Walter Mazzarri’s days in Hertfordshire may be numbered.
Their away record is particularly concerning, with just three goals from their last eight games telling a sorry tale.
With neither Troy Deeney or Odion Ighalo able to capture the form of last season, it is difficult to build a case for them returning from the south coast with any points to show for their efforts.
Whilst Bournemouth’s defence has been far from watertight this season, they have kept clean sheets in four of their 10 home games to date.
Three of those have ended in 1-0 victories and with that in mind I am happy to take BetStars up on the 7/1 they are offering for this scoreline. It is as short as 11/2 elsewhere and I believe that the latter price is more accurate.
Crystal Palace v Everton | Saturday 15:00
I was torn between the 1-0 Crystal Palace win (11/1 Betfair) and the same scoreline in the Middlesbrough v West Ham game and after much soul-searching plumped for the 11/1 shot rather than the 13/2 one!
Data-wise, it is rather difficult to back this one up!
Whilst Everton have lost by this scoreline away from Goodison on two occasions this season I am also aware that Palace have only kept one clean sheet at Selhurst Park this term.
Sometimes, therefore, you simply need to trust your instinct.
As stated last week, I cannot see Palace being in such a precarious position come May and a win here can kick-start their season. I simply believe this is the kind of game that Sam Allardyce wins and 1-0 is the most likely score line if that is to happen.
A 1-0 home win is 11/1 with Betfair. I need to stop writing about this game before I change my mind!
West Brom v Sunderland | Saturday 15:00
Whilst West Brom have had a good first half to the season, they have had a poor couple of weeks.
Fans hopes of a cup run this season were dashed by a home defeat to Championship Derby and Tottenham once again exposed how the vast gap between the top-six and the Black Country side.
Against sides above them in the league, Albion have managed just one point from eight games and have a goal difference of -14. In contrast, they have a record of W8-D4-L1 to sides currently below them in the table.
It is therefore difficult to make a case for 19th-placed Sunderland taking all three points, especially when considering how wafer-thin their squad is looking at the minute.
I do, however, find it difficult to back The Baggies to keep a clean sheet.
They have managed just three all season and are once again likely to be without key defender Jonny Evans. Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley have been excellent servants to the club but they do have a combined age of 70.
Jermain Defoe may also be in the twilight of his career but the Sunderland strikes retains his predatory instincts and he may be worth a look at in the anytime scorer market.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis is unhappy with the number of goals his side has conceded, but even he should be pleased with the volume they have scored themselves.
Last year, they did not win a single game by more than a goal, a feat they have managed on five occasions in 2016/17. Three of their last four home games have seen them win 3-1 and I like the 14/1 Bet365 are offering on Albion repeating this achievement.
Hedge your bets a little, however, and also back the home side to win 2-1 (8/1 Bet365).
Good luck and boing boing!
Bournemouth v Watford – Bournemouth 1-0 Watford (7/1 BetStars)
Crystal Palace v Everton – Crystal Palace 1-0 Everton (11/1 Betfair)
West Brom v Sunderland – West Brom 2-1 Sunderland (8/1 Bet365)
West Brom v Sunderland – West Brom 3-1 Sunderland (14/1 Bet365)
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