OUR Correct Score man Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) delivers his best bets from this weekend’s action.
Hull v Watford | Saturday 15:00
I would like to say that this column is a little more sophisticated than Hull at home = back them and Hull away = oppose them but in recent weeks it may have looked that way!
Whilst I evidenced their dreadful away record under Marco Silva when tipping them to lose 2-0 at Stoke (they lost 3-1), this week it is impossible to get away from their incredible home form under the Portuguese when analysing this fixture.
Since Silva took over, the East Yorkshire side have won five and drawn one of their Premier League matches at The KC Stadium. They have scored at least two goals in each of those victories but only managed to keep a clean sheet in one of those games, which leads me to believe that a 2-1 victory to the home side is the best way to play this.
Since the start of the season, four of Hull’s 16 home fixtures have finished in this manner (two out of six under Silva) suggesting that the 8/1 available with Bet365 is good value.
My lack of understanding of who, or what, Watford are, however, leads me to be more cautious. In my view it is hard to think of a Premier League outfit who have had less coverage this term.
Whilst they have enjoyed impressive victories against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal it does seem like they have gone under the radar a little.
I know that Troy Deeney’s goal return is heavily padded by penalty kicks but that aside it feels like their high turnover of players and staff makes it hard to gauge (at least to the neutral) how good their squad is and what their realistic expectations should be.
You are therefore led to look at purely the league table, which tells you that they are sitting comfortably in midtable, with 40 points secured with six games to play.
Clearly Hull have the far greater need for the points and whilst this will be factored into the odds, it is worth noting that Watford have secured just 12 points from 15 away games all term. They have failed to score in eight of those and lost four by two goals to nil.
I am consequently also going to take the 17/2 with Bet365 on a 2-0 victory for the home side.
Swansea v Stoke | Saturday 15:00
You know the drill… Swansea to win 1-0 with Gyfil Sigurdsson to score first at 30/1 (BetVictor). This one is certainly due!
The Icelander had several chances to get on the scoresheet last week and had he done so before his colleague Alfie Mawson’s grave mistake, he may well have returned a 50/1 winner for this column.
Like Watford, Stoke have little to play for and like Hull, Swansea are fighting for their lives. I foresee another tight game for Paul Clement’s side, although this time hopefully they are on the right side of the result.
At the time of writing, 30/1 on Sigurdsson to score first in a 1-0 victory is available but have a shop around as I believe north of 30s could be possible.
Liverpool v Crystal Palace | Sunday 16:30 | Sky Sports 1
Twelve of Liverpool’s home games this season have seen both teams find the net, whilst the same can be said for 10 out of 16 of Palace’s away matches. I am therefore quite surprised that you can get 5/6 on Both Teams To Score on Sunday afternoon.
My hunch here is for a 2-1 victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men. However, I backed them to win by this scoreline against both Arsenal and Everton in recent weeks and they scored a completely unnecessary third goal on both occasions.
Whilst Crystal Palace are still not mathematically sure of safety, Big Sam is bullish about their survival hopes and with home games with Burnley and Hull to come, the 30/1 available on the exchanges is a fair reflection on the probability of the Eagles getting relegated.
Palace have been on a great run recently, gaining 16 points from their last seven games, including the notable scalps of Chelsea and Arsenal and I do not see Klopp’s side taking them lightly.
I do believe they will ultimately have too much for the South London side though and will once again split my stakes here. A 2-1 victory for the Anfield outfit is 9/1 with SkyBet whilst 3-1 is 12/1 with Bet365.
These scorelines have obliged in three of their last four home games so these options should give us a run for our money.
Hull v Watford – Hull 2-0 Watford (17/2 Bet365)
Hull v Watford – Hull 2-1 Watford (18/1 Bet365)
Swansea v Stoke – Swansea 1-0 with Gyfil Sigurdsson to score first (30/1 BetVictor)
Liverpool v Crystal Palace – Liverpool 2-1 Crystal Palace (9/1 SkyBet)
Liverpool v Crystal Palace – Liverpool 3-1 Crystal Palace (12/1 Bet365)