OUR Saturday 3pm man, Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79), is back with his three best bets from the Premier League card.
Stoke v Hull | Saturday 15:00
Just five games on the 3pm card so options are limited. Leicester look overpriced but the fact they’re facing Atletico Madrid just three days after their match against Crystal Palace is a massive turn off. So, onwards with these three…
It’s been amusing to hear Stoke are in a relegation battle this week. First it was Bournemouth that were going to go down, then Watford were in trouble but now it’s Stoke apparently. Rubbish!
Ok, Stoke are going through a bad patch at the moment for sure. They haven’t won a game since March 4th but more worrying than that they’ve lost four games in a row.
While 0 points out of 12 is a poor haul, they’ve hardly been embarrassed. They’ve been narrowly edged out by Top 6 sides Chelsea and Liverpool while a 2-0 loss to resurgent Leicester isn’t shameful. Burnley have been outstanding at home this season and they got the better of Stoke at Turf Moor last midweek.
So in my view, it’s a case of calm the fuck down when it relates to Stoke relegation chatter. It won’t happen, and hopefully it will be killed off on Saturday when they beat Hull.
I think all neutrals want Hull to stay up. The dashing Marco Silva has been wonderful since he took charge and they’ve managed to escape the bottom three after a run of three wins in their last five matches.
Crucially, all three of those victories have come on home soil and there’s no getting away from the fact their away form is poor.
Hull have picked up just one point from their last 14 away games. That’s one point out of a possible 42. Woeful form, and worth chancing on it to continue here.
I doubt this will be an easy match for Stoke, and a 1-0 win at 13/2 is a big runner here. October was the last time the Potters scored more than twice at home and five of their last six games at the Bet365 have seen them notch just once.
Expect a grind from the home side on Saturday. Their efforts should be enough though to end the tittle tattle of relegation chat.
Everton v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
On the same number of points as Stoke are Burnley, and the Lancashire club are closing in on their best league season for decades.
Four points from their last two matches has surely put them clear of any relegation concerns but with Everton, Man Utd and Crystal Palace to come, it might be a nervy few weeks.
On Saturday they face the Toffees at Goodison and their prospects look limited in the extreme. Everton are around the 4/9 mark and it’s hard to argue with that assessment.
There’s just so much to love about Everton in 2017. In 13 league matches they’ve lost just twice. Those defeats came against Tottenham and Liverpool away so no shame there.
In this period they’ve also spanked Man City 4-0, put six past Bournemouth and scored four against Hull and buoyant Leicester.
At Goodison they’ve gleamed, sitting third in the Home Table after just one league defeat there in over a year. It’s formidable stuff.
Their opponents look like cannon fodder when you realise they’ve picked up just four points on the road this season with no victories to their name.
Granted, their road form has picked up (December was the last time they lost by more than one goal) but I still feel this looks a very stiff task as Everton push to put pressure on the big six.
It’s a simple one for me here, I’ll back Everton -1 on the Asians. Ronald Koeman’s side have scored 26 times in their last seven games and should be capable of going Over 1.5 here.
Sunderland v West Ham | Saturday 15:00
They’ve stank the place out for most of the decade but it now looks assured that Sunderland won’t be staying any longer in the Premier League.
10 points adrift of safety, no win or even a goal since February 4th and with a manager rapidly losing credibility, it’s bleak times for Sunderland at the moment.
With just one point won from their last seven matches I get the feeling tools have been downed at the Stadium Of Light and realism has crept in. The Wearsiders could crawl to the finish line next month.
It’s been an odd, humbling season for West Ham after last year’s heroics but any relegation concerns were surely put to bed last weekend when they beat fellow strugglers Swansea.
The relief and joy was palpable at the London Stadium last Saturday and that might ease the tension as the Hammers play their final six games of the season.
West Ham have won at Southampton and Crystal Palace this season and surely won’t fear this limp Sunderland side on Saturday.
The Black Cats have won just three of their 16 home games in the Premier League this season and the last one came way back in 2016. I’ll chance the Hammers on Saturday.