OUR Correct Score man Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) delivers his best bets of the weekend.
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth | Saturday 9th December 2017, 15:00
Put simply, I think my proposed 2-1 triumph will be a common result for Crystal Palace this season. Despite keeping their opponents scoreless in their last two matches – their only clean sheets of the season – Palace still gave up – and created – some big chances in both matches and against a Bournemouth side with just three clean sheets themselves this term, I struggle to foresee another stalemate.
Both Crystal Palace wins this season have been 2-1 and despite Roy Hodgson’s reputation as quite a defensive manager, it is worth noting that in his time in charge at West Bromwich Albion, this was their most common method of victory.
Incredibly, Crystal Palace have found the net in just four of their 15 league games this term. That said, they scored precisely two goals on each occasion and as I have stated in a previous article, their shot conversion stats are unsustainably bad.
After a tough start to the season, during which they only scored five goals in their opening eight matches, Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth have now scored in five of their last seven matches and I trust them to find the net this weekend. They have scored exactly once in four of those games and I think they are likely to do so again this weekend.
I actually think Palace are a tad short at a best price of 11/10 but do believe that they win this game more than the 11% of the time. I therefore recommend taking the 8/1 with William Hill on the Eagles winning by that 2-1 scoreline.
Tottenham v Stoke | Saturday 9th December 2017, 15:00
It’s fair to say Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side have found Wembley less homely than White Hart Lane, particularly in the league. Aside from a 4-1 victory against an attack-minded but defensively porous Liverpool side, they have yet to score more than a single goal in any home game.
They have faced five sides outside of the ‘Big Six’ – Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion – and their results have read 1-1, 0-0, 1-0, 1-0 and 1-1. Five is an incredibly small sample but having watched Spurs in a couple of those matches it’s clear that they have found it tough to break opponents down in their new surroundings.
Whilst none of those sides have conceded as many goals as Mark Hughes’ Potters I don’t think that is a fair reflection on the Staffordshire outfits ability. Fourteen of those goals came in three matches against the free-scoring Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool and I don’t think the final result in any of those games was a fair reflection on the 90 minutes.
Stoke did manage a clean sheet in their home victory against Arsenal and given that they have lost by four goals to nil to this opposition the last three times they have faced them, I think they will take a very cautious approach on Saturday afternoon.
If I had a gun to my head, I would back a 1-0 victory to the home side – that is available at 38/5 with Marathon– but I am conscious that Stoke have failed to score in just three league matches this season.
This and Spurs’ fondness for a 1-1 scoreline, means I will also take the 12/1 Bet365 are offering on this as a saver. Last week’s failure to back 2-0 to Everton for precisely this reason cost me, so I am taking a more cautious approach this time!
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth – Crystal Palace 2-1 Bournemouth (8/1 William Hill)
Tottenham v Stoke – Tottenham 1-0 Stoke (38/5 Marathon)
Tottenham v Stoke – Tottenham 1-1 Stoke (12/1 Bet365)