JUST three games in the Premier League this Saturday. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) skims through them for us.
Bournemouth v West Ham | Saturday 15:00
Tough times for Bournemouth in 2017 but last Saturday’s fortunate draw at Old Trafford may have a positive effect on the club. That point snapped a run of four straight defeats and it breeds hope for the South Coast club.
Manager Eddie Howe will look to build on last Saturday as they approach this match against West Ham at the weekend and I think they might emerge with something.
Although a back of West Ham +1 on the Asian Handicap yielded no loss on Monday night, I was slightly disappointing in how they failed to give Chelsea a fright.
The Hammers are in that bracket of sides in the middle of table at the moment where motivation may be less fiery with, let’s be honest, not too much to play for.
It’s two defeats in a row at the Vitality for Bournemouth but one of those was against Man City. They were hardly outclassed that evening and also have draws against Arsenal and Watford on home turf to their name in 2017.
I see this being a very evenly-balanced contest as the Cherries scrap for their lives, so to see the draw the biggest price out the three outcomes is pleasing. A share of the spoils for me.
Everton v West Brom | Saturday 15:00
Both these sides suffered tough defeats last weekend. Everton went down with their heads held high as they lost 3-2 at White Hart Lane in a really positive game. But West Brom simply weren’t in the zone as they lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace.
West Brom were one of my picks last week so it was a bitter pill to swallow as they succumbed to relegation threatened Palace. The fear now is that they drop their hands with the season winding down and again with nothing concrete to play for.
On that basis, the 7/10 on Everton winning here could be a sound back, but aren’t they in the same situation? Sunday’s defeat looked to be their last opportunity to break into the Top 6 and they look to be stranded in 7th place now.
Everton’s home record is very impressive when you dig into it. They’ve won four in a row at Goodison in the league and have lost just one of their last 16 home Premier League fixtures.
Albion have just two away wins from their last 13 road matches and it seems a big ask to get with them here. I’ll back a narrow Everton victory in what could be a flat game for both sides.
Hull v Swansea | Saturday 15:00
One of the worst things about following football is some of the nonsense spouted in the media when discussing the sport. The whole thing is wedded in short-termism.
When Marco Silva was appointed as Hull manager he was ridiculed by Proper Football Men. This looked silly after a bright start for the attractive young coach and that theory was quickly torn up.
But yet, almost as ridiculous, was the opinion I heard about three weeks ago from a senior journalist who is often in the media. He claimed that Silva might be a good candidate to replace Arsene Wenger at the Emirates. How absurd?!
That kind of chat has extinguished after Hull have picked up just one point from their last three matches and they now lie four points off 17th place.
On paper, a 2-0 loss at Arsenal and a 3-1 defeat at resurgent Leicester is hardly something to be ashamed of, but the home draw to Burnley can only be viewed as two points dropped.
Before this, Silva’s side had racked up four wins from eight matches and there’s just a feeling that that momentum has been halted a little.
That’s something that can’t be pointed at Swansea. Paul Clement really has got his side humming and three wins from their last five matches is superb work. The two they failed to win were against Chelsea and Man City so it really is impressive form.
For me, there’s nothing to suggest that this resurgence won’t continue on Saturday and I’m happy to back the Swans on the Draw No Bet at 19/17.