OUR Correct Score man Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) delivers his best bets from this weekend’s action.
Everton v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
A home win will likely be the first box ticked in many an accumulator this weekend, and it is easy to see why. Whilst Everton have lost just once as hosts this season, the visitors are yet to record a league win away from Turf Moor.
Simply put; its very difficult to make a case for Sean Dyche’s men getting anything from this game and I am certainly not going to try.
The Toffees have scored two or more goals in each of their last seven home league games and I believe this tally will reach eight on Saturday afternoon.
Contract issues do not appear to have affected the performances of star men Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley and given manager Ronald Koeman’s confidence that his side can improve on their current seventh place, I do not foresee a form drop this weekend.
I do, however, believe Burnley will score. They have found the net in seven of their last nine away games and whilst they have yet to record an away victory, they have become increasingly competitive.
Indeed, you have to go back to 3rd December to find the last time they lost by more than a single goal. Since then they have lost 2-1 to Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, Watford and Arsenal.
With this in mind, I fancy a 2-1 success for Everton at 8/1. Given the volume of goals they have scored recently, I would also keep 3-1 on side. That is 12/1 with the same firm.
Stoke v Hull | Saturday 15:00
A spot of sleep-walking has led Stoke in to a relegation battle but this game offers them an opportunity to banish any lingering relegation doubts.
Mark Hughes’s may have lost their last four games but that does not tell the full story. They were certainly the better side away at Burnley a couple of weeks back, whilst only a combination of poor finishing and Simon Mignolet prevented them from getting anything at home to Liverpool.
Their record this season suggests that this is a game that they win. Of their five home games against sides currently beneath them, they have won four of them, with three of those victories being by more than one goal.
Regular readers of this column – I should introduce the two of you – will know that I am a big fan of their manager Marco Silva and it is with a somewhat heavy heart (this result will do damage to the ‘Hull to stay up’ bet I placed back in January) that I make this tip.
However, the weight of data leaves me with no option. Whilst their home form under the Portuguese has been excellent, they have gathered just one point from a possible 18 on their travels.
I backed the Potters to beat Middlesbrough 2-0 a few weeks back and this is a scoreline I am sticking with. It has obliged in four of their 16 home games so far this term, which makes the 9/1 Paddy Power are offering on them making it five this weekend very reasonable.
Watford v Swansea | Saturday 15:00
This one is hard to back up with logic! Watford are relatively strong at home whilst Swansea are on a poor run of form and have lost their last five games outside of South Wales.
I simply feel that they have the greater need and will be anxious to improve on their lacklustre display at West Ham last weekend.
I envisage a tight game and in ordinary circumstances I would probably back the home side to emerge victorious. However, that is not the case at present, so I will be taking the 10/1 Paddy Power are offering on a 1-0 win for the away side.
Unsurprisingly, I will also be taking the 50/1 available with the same firm on Gyfil Sigurdsson scoring that goal!
Everton v Burnley – Everton to win 2-1 (8/1 Bet365)
Everton v Burnley – Everton to win 3-1 (12/1 Bet365)
Stoke v Hull – Stoke to win 2-0 (9/1 Paddy Power)
Watford v Swansea – Swansea to win 1-0 (10/1 Paddy Power)
Watford v Swansea – Gyfli Sigurdsson to score first and Swansea win 2-0 (50/1 Paddy Power)