Premier League – Terriers to find their bite

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THE Premier League returns on Saturday and our man Daniel McCulloch (danmcc84) shares his best bets from the 3pm fixtures.

Burnley v Leicester | Saturday 14th April 2018, 15:00

Barring Southampton lifting the FA Cup, it looks increasingly likely that seventh placed Burnley will be in The Europa League next season. They face their closest challenges, Leicester, on Saturday afternoon in a game that could be more entertaining than is initially perceived.

Much has been made of Burnley’s ability to continually outperform their performance data but the key feature for me is the number of tight games they have had. Just four of their 32 matches have been settled by more than a single goal – wins over Swansea (2-0) and West Ham (3-0) and defeats to Manchester City and Tottenham (both 3-0).

In contrast to other sides, Burnley’s efforts have not regressed since reaching the ‘magical’ 40 point mark. After beating Everton to reach that milestone, they have won their next three fixtures and it can’t be long before Garth Crooks is calling for Chris Wood to be called up to the England squad!!

Manager Sean Dyche has repeatedly praised his side for their ability to stay in matches and win tight games and it is noticeable how few goals there have been in the first half of their matches. A league-high 16 of their 32 games have been goalless at half time whilst 41% (24/59) of the goals in their matches have come in the final 20 minutes.

To date this season, 21 of their 32 matches (66%) have seen a goal during this period, including each of their last eight. With this in mind, I believe that the 5/6 Bet365 are offering on a goal after 69:59 is great value.

Burnley host a Leicester side who tend to be involved in many of the Premier League’s more entertaining matches. 21 of their 32 matches have seen both sides find the net and they, too, have seen many a game decided late on. 18 of their 32 matches (56%) have included a goal in the final 20 minutes, including eight of their last 10 which gives me further confidence that this bet will be a winner.

Both sides also have a penchant for a 1-1 draw (12/62 between them) and I wouldn’t put anyone off this either, at 11/2 with the same firm. If you were to put £10 on a goal in the final 20 minutes, I would recommend putting £2 on the game finishing by this scoreline.

Crystal Palace v Brighton | Saturday 14th April 2018, 15:00

It seems incredible to me that this match has not been chosen for television on a weekend when games between Liverpool and Bournemouth and Manchester United and West Brom will be on our screens.

This fixture may traditionally be a bigger rivalry for Brighton fans but it is enormous game for both sides given a defeat will severely increase their chances of playing Championship football next season.

When Roy Hodgson took over as Crystal Palace manager, I remember writing that in my experience his reputation as a manager who played relatively dour football was unfair. He was superb asset when Head Coach of my side, West Bromwich Albion, but we only kept nine home clean sheets in his 25 games in charge. 2-1 was our most common scoreline in victory under Roy and it has been a similar story since he took the helm for The Eagles.

Overall, 17 of his 29 league matches in charge have seen both sides find the net and goals certainly haven’t been in short supply at Selhurst Park. 10 of his 14 home games (71%) have seen both teams score and there have been 39 goals across those matches.

Brighton’s struggles on the road have been well-documented and the fact that they have only scored seven goals away from home worries me a little. However, I do think they have been a slight victim of variance as their expected goals figure is over 10.

I expect a good atmosphere in South London and cannot see either side keeping a clean sheet so believe the 11/10 Ladbrokes are offering on Both Teams To Score is too big to ignore. Bet365 price a 2-1 home victory at 17/2 and given that four of Palace’s seven victories have finished with this result, that looks like a decent play for small stakes.

Huddersfield v Watford | Saturday 14th April 2018, 15:00

It was a miserable March for Huddersfield and with fixtures with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in May, its likely that they need at least four points from their two games before then – home games against Watford and Everton – to prevent it being an awful April.

On paper, Watford have better players but I fancy The Terriers to get something here. If you look at their home record against sides from seventh down, it reads W4-D5-L2. The only sides they have lost against are West Ham and Crystal Palace, both of whom possess greater attacking talent than Watford.

The Hornets have scored just twice in their last nine away games, they have not won on their travels since 25th November and generally seem to be meandering towards another season of survival and not much else. They currently sit on 37 points so are not mathematically safe but I can’t see a conceivable scenario in which they get relegated.

I am not overly confident that Huddersfield will win the game as their record suggests that a stalemate is good value. Much was made of their 30 shots at home to 10-man Swansea in their last home encounter, but only four of those were on target and their expected goals were about 1.3. Therefore, I believe that Huddersfield Draw No Bet is the way to go.

That is 10/11 with William Hill and I believe it represents the value in this encounter.

Best Bets

Burnley v Leicester – Goal after 69:59 (5/6 Bet365)

Crystal Palace v Brighton – Both Teams To Score (11/10 Ladbrokes)

Huddersfield v Watford – Huddersfield draw no bet (10/11 William Hill)

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