PREMIER LEAGUE analyst Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) takes a look at the best bets available at 3pm on Saturday.
Leicester v Watford | Saturday 20th January 2018, 15:00
It’s rare that an odds-on bet takes my fancy but I just couldn’t ignore Claude Puel’s Leicester at 17/20 (Bet365) this weekend.
The Foxes were excellent against Chelsea last weekend and really should have emerged victorious from Stamford Bridge. The triumvirate of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki were a constant menace and I expect them to have a lot of success against a Watford side who have conceded 42 goals from 23 league games this term.
At first sight, Leicester’s record of five wins, two draws and four defeats may not seem that impressive but those losses came against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. Excluding the Big Six, they have won four of their six home games and I believe they possess too much attacking prowess for a Watford side who are in a wretched run of form.
Like many, I was impressed with Watford in the opening months of the season but they are a side that I have often struggled to rate as their turnover of players (and managers) has been so high in recent years.
They have won just one of their last 10 league matches and that was a fortunate victory against Saturday’s opponents. They scored two goals despite having just one shot on-target as the Foxes outplayed them for long periods.
For all their talent in midfield, Watford’s centre forwards options seem to be limited to Troy Deeney and Andre Gray. Excluding penalties, the pair possess just 25 goals from 143 games and I simply don’t see the Hornets scoring enough goals to cover for their defensive frailties.
I recommend taking Bet365‘s 17/20 on a home win and I believe the price will be shorter come kick-off.
Everton v West Brom | Saturday 20th January 2018, 15:00
Despite my penchant for a football bet, I very rarely back my own side and I suppose that’s a good job given that West Brom won their first league game in 21 attempts last weekend!
However, I genuinely believe that it’ll be the first of many under Alan Pardew. I feel our upturn in performance has gone relatively unnoticed by punters, tipsters, journalists and even our own fans!
Despite having just one league win to his name to date, the performance stats make positive reading for Pardew. Ignoring corners, possession and Expected Goals (all of which are very encouraging and a world away from what we saw under Tony Pulis) Albion have out-shot their opponents 122-106 (33-31 if you only include attempts on-target).
Indeed, only five sides have faced fewer attempts on their goal and Albion are even up to the dizzy heights of 16th in the attacking stat.
Both goals against Brighton may have come set pieces but Albion still looked dangerous from open play. The Baggies shot conversion has been unsustainably poor in recent weeks and I fully expect an upturn in results.
Everton’s performance and stats have been woeful throughout Sam Allardyce’s time at Goodison Park so whilst I believe Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun are excellent signings, I still believe the 171/100 Marathon are offering in the Draw No Bet market represents value.