OUR Saturday 3pm man, Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79), is back with his three best bets from Saturday’s Premier League card.
Bournemouth v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
Onwards and onto the final Saturday of the Premier League season. Three games kicking off at 3pm, two of them looking incredibly dull, one of huge significance.
First up it’s Bournemouth v Burnley. With both sides safe from the drop, it’s very hard to spare more than a seconds thought on this game, but you know, this is my job.
Sean Dyche’s interviews last weekend after their draw against West Brom were telling. He came across as a very proud boss, job done and all that, well done lads, your goals for the season have been achieved.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the tempo and intensity dropped and their awful away form returned this Saturday on the South Coast.
Only Hull have taken fewer away points than Burnley this season and they lie 19th in the Away Table. While their road form has improved, it’s still hard to trust them.
I still think there’s something that Eddie Howe covets this season, and that’s a Top 10 finish. That would be an incredible achievement for a club like Bournemouth and a massive marker on his CV.
It’s just two defeats in 11 for the Cherries and those came against the Top 2 and there’s no doubt they’re on a lovely run of form just now.
Home wins have come against West Ham, Swansea and Middlesbrough in the last couple of months and at 10/11 I’m happy to back them on Saturday to add Burnley to that list.
Middlesbrough v Southampton | Saturday 15:00
Middlesbrough’s hopes of an unlikely survival were destroyed on Monday night when they were brutally beaten 3-0 by Chelsea.
It must be frustrating for the fans as they didn’t really have a crack at it. It was a bit like fancying a girl for months but never getting around to asking her out only to see her hook up with someone less attractive than you.
The pain looked authentic on Monday night as they tumbled back into the Championship and I’d like to think they’ll put on a show for their fans on Saturday as they play their final game at the Riverside this season.
We saw last week that being liberated from the stresses and strains of trying to stay afloat can do good things to a club and Boro will hope to do something similar to Sunderland on Saturday.
It’s been a bit of a flat season for Southampton hasn’t it? They did reach the EFL Cup Final but they’ve looked fairly conservative under Claude Puel and a far cry from the swashbuckling Top 6 bothering outfit of last season.
Saints have scored just 39 times this season and that puts them in the bottom six of the scoring charts. It all feels a little flat and it wouldn’t be a huge shock if Claude Puel’s tenure came to an end in the coming weeks.
So with these positions in mind, the 3/1 on Middlesbrough appeals a lot more than the 21/20 on Southampton. 188BET offer 10/11 on the North East side avoiding defeat. I’ll take it.
Sunderland v Swansea | Saturday 15:00
Rather than my view on this game, why not have a listen to Mark Langdon and Mark O’Haire debate it in this 188BET video.
Stoke v Arsenal | Saturday 17:30 | Sky Sports 1
This is a fixture that I like betting on. Stoke almost always are the side I back. They’ve rarely let me down in fact as Arsenal’s record in the Potteries is poor.
Arsene Wenger’s side haven’t won in Stoke for seven years and since 2011 are P6 W3 D3 L0. It’s not been a happy hunting ground, truly emphasised in that 3-2 December 2014 loss that saw Wenger abused by fans at the train station on the way home.
I’m far less inclined to back Stoke this time round though. Like last season they’ve drifted towards the end of the season and it’s possible they could finish as low as 15th.
Last season they won just one of their last seven matches and this time round they’ve picked up one victory in their last nine games.
To be fair, their usually reliable home form has remained mainly intact with losses to big clubs Chelsea and Liverpool supplemented by a win over Hull and a draw against West Ham.
As I’ve said above with regard to Middlesbrough, the fact that this is Stoke’s last home game of the season is a plus point for the club. They did win their final home game of last season against West Ham.
Arsenal being Arsenal have come with a late rattle just as all hope had gone. It’s four wins out of five in the league for Wenger’s men but in truth it’s hard to say they’ve been impressive in any of them.
Suddenly talk of Top 4 has been reignited and while it’s still unlikely, this weekend provides them with hope with Man City and Liverpool also engaged in challenging fixtures.
Neither of these sides look in great nick and I can’t imagine many goals. Under 2.5 Goals looks appealing at 29/20 but to give me a little more breathing space I’ll back 2-3 goals at 5/4 with BetVictor.
Remarkably that’s paid out in seven of the last eight Arsenal matches and it looks a fair price to occur again on Saturday evening.
Bournemouth v Burnley – Bournemouth to win (10/11 Bet365)
Middlesbrough v Southampton - Middlesbrough +0.5 (21/20 188BET)
Stoke v Arsenal – Exactly 2-3 Goals (5/4 BetVictor)
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