PREMIER LEAGUE expert Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) is back to attack Saturday's 3pm best bets.
Everton v Brighton | Saturday 3rd November 2018, 15:00
Anyone who has the misfortune of following me on Twitter will know that I am absolutely amazed at Brighton’s recent run.
The thought of Chris Hughton’s side putting together such a run of results does not overly surprise me, but it’s the fact that they’ve come when his side have performed so poorly (relative to the opposition). They’ve won each of their last three games 1-0 (at home to West Ham and Wolves and away to Newcastle) but lost the shot count 69-24 across those matches (15-7 in terms of shots on-target and the Expected Goals count in each).
Victories in such circumstances are simply not sustainable so it will probably come as no surprise that I am backing Everton to overcome the Seagulls this weekend.
Aside from Brighton’s poor performance data there are a couple of longer-term trends that lead me to side with the Toffees – namely Everton’s excellent home record against sides outside the ‘Big Six’ and Brighton’s dreadful away record in the top-flight.
Going back to the start of the 2016/17 season, Everton’s record against sides from seventh down reads W24-D5-L2. In contrast, Brighton’s Premier League results against the same sides contain just three victories and six draws in 16 attempts.
Simply put, Everton are a far better side than Brighton and I think there is plenty of evidence to support the view that the 5/4 BetVictor are offering on Everton to win and three goals or fewer to be scored is excellent value.
It’s been a winner in three of the Merseysiders' five league games this term while 12 of Brighton’s 24 games away from home in this league have seen them lose and three goals or fewer be scored.
A 2-0 victory for the home side should also be looked at and that is available at 7/1 with the same firm. It’s no secret that Brighton struggle to score – or create chances – away from home and incredibly nine of their 24 away matches at this level have finished with a 2-0 loss. That includes their result at Goodison last season.
Everton won by the 2-0 scoreline in their last home game with Crystal Palace and while that was a little fortuitous, I expect a more comfortable afternoon here.
West Ham v Burnley | Saturday 3rd November 2018, 15:00
At the risk of repeating myself, I am going for another home victory and three goals or fewer to be scored. A West Ham victory and Under 3.5 Goals is available at 11/8 with BetVictor.
The Hammers started the season poorly, losing their first three games but since then they’ve performed pretty well and probably not got the points tally their endeavours have deserved. They definitely did not deserve to lose at Brighton a few weeks back, merited a point against Tottenham a fortnight ago and were comfortably the better side at Leicester before Mark Noble’s sending off last weekend.
Mauricio Pochettino is likely to have the enigmatic Marco Arnautovic back among the ranks on Saturday afternoon and I expect him to trouble a Burnley defence that has struggled all season.
The Turf Moor side may have an identical record to their opponents but their point tally flatters them. One of their victories came away to Cardiff, a game in which they lost the shot count 21-3.
Even if you accept that the way Burnley defend means that the shot count can be ignored to some extent, it must be a concern to Sean Dyche that his team have faced the most shots on target – 67 – while managing the fewest (with Brighton) at 26.
Burnley have drawn a blank in nine of their last 17 matches away from home but they rarely get hammered – at least from a scoreline perspective – against their peers. Since the start of last season they have played 17 games away to sides outside the Big Six and have only lost by more than a single goal on one occasion – at Fulham earlier this term.
Despite being completely outplayed by Wolves a few weeks back they only lost the match 1-0 and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we saw a similar scoreline here.
I wouldn’t put anyone off a 1-0 Marco Arnautovic scorecast but I will refrain from including it as an actual recommendation as bigger prices will become available come Saturday morning.