November 7th, 2019

Premier League Gameweek 12

The worst international breaks are the ones that sneak up on you. I had no idea this one was coming! Thankfully that’s it, the Euro 2020 qualification campaign is over after next week and we can get back to the Premier League rat race.

We’re into November now which means my insane neighbor has replaced his Halloween decorations with Christmas ones, but it did get me thinking just how much football there is to come between now and the end of the year. Wonderful. Let’s get stuck into the Premier League Gameweek 12 shall we?

Norwich v Watford

I’ve been dreading the preview of this game to be honest. What can you really say about two teams that have been a bit rubbish so far this season? Norwich (13/8 to win) have the edge here in so far as they’ve actually managed to win two games of football this season, one against the reigning champions no less.

On the other hand, their defense has more leaks than a broken colander and they haven’t exactly been prolific in front of goal either, finding the back of the net just twice in their last five games. Gone are the days where Teemu Pukki terrorized opposition defenses though 6 goals in 11 games in his first season is no mean feat.

He’s 21/20 to end his barren goal scoring run here. Watford are still looking for their first win of the season and despite three draws in a row coming into their last fixture against Chelsea, they lost that one 2-1. Performances have improved since Javi Gracia got the boot and like I said last week, that elusive first win definitely isn’t far away.

They could just do with scoring first in a game for once though, having been ahead for just 119 minutes this season. The Hornets’ improved performances seen them come in to this game as 6/4 favorites to come away with the points and overtake Norwich in 19th place. Give that a go and see if you can figure out why they’re called the Hornets, yet have a moose on their club crest.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace

Christian Pulisic scored his 4th goal in two league games to secure the three points against Watford last time out and the American is looking worth every penny of the £58 million spent to bring him to Stamford Bridge before their transfer ban kicked in.

Unbeaten in their last five games, Frank Lampard’s men look set to continue their march towards the top 4 against Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime. The Blues come off their crazy draw with Ajax on Tuesday night and will fancy their chances against this Palace team.

Roy Hodgson’s men will be reeling from their defeat to Leicester which left them without a win in their last three matches. Top scorer Jordan Ayew will look to get at a Chelsea defense that has conceded 17 goals this season with just two clean sheets in their last five games, he’s 10/3 to score anytime.

Only Leicester and Manchester City have scored more goals than this Chelsea side and Tammy Abraham is just one goal off the top goalscorer chart this season with 9, he’s 5/2 to score first. Early kick offs usually end up with both teams scoring so for this one, I like Chelsea Goals Galore Plus which is a very tempting at 17/10.

Burnley v West Ham

Despite some early promise, West Ham find themselves without a win since September. They travel to Burnley this weekend and that’s not somewhere that many teams want to go in search of a result, only Chelsea and Liverpool have left Turf Moor with all three points this season.

To make matters worse, West Ham have only won once on the road this season and that was against Watford (so that doesn’t really count). Without the Europa League to distract Burnley this term, they haven’t really flirted with the bottom 3 in the same way they did last season but are without a win since early October.

This is a good opportunity for Sean Dyche’s side to get a win here and they’re favorites to do so at 13/10. Sebastien Haller has been off the boil lately having not hit the target in his last 3 games, he’s 13/8 to score anytime and end that run.

Recent results between these two sides suggest that this could go either way, both teams alternating wins over the last 5 meetings. There’s almost always goals too and the last 5 meetings between these two offering roughly over 2.5  goals per game which is 8/11. It’s 11/8 for both teams to score and either team to win and given the unpredictable nature of results between these two, this could be a bit of value for the 3pm kick offs.

Newcastle v Bournemouth

Newcastle got just their third win of the season after a 3-2 win over West Ham at the weekend. It was the first time Steve Bruce’s side had managed to score more than one goal this season and gives the side a much needed confidence boost going into this one.

Bournemouth will be bouncing into this game after beating Manchester United, which is however a worrying record for the Cherries having found the net just three times in the last five games. Despite that, they could find themselves as high as fifth going into the international break provided results go their way.

Newcastle will want to build on their good performance last week but Bournemouth will be a tough ask for them and have kept three clean sheets on the bounce. Joelinton set up the opener for Newcastle last time out and he’s 11/5 to go one better and score anytime.

Bournemouth are a generous 7/4 to come away with all the points here and given their opponents have won just once in front of their own fans this season, I’d be all over that price with Callum Wilson 21/5 to score the first goal and add to his 5 for the season.

Southampton v Everton

With much of Everton’s last game overshadowed by Andre Gomes’ horrific injury, a point was a fair result for the Blues. Marco Silva is bound to be feeling the pressure now and they must win to avoid going into another international break in the relegation zone.

On paper, they should beat this Southampton team pretty handily due to the fact that the Saints aren’t very good at the moment, but then neither are Everton in fairness. Southampton are winless in their last five and Ralf Hasenhüttl has a job on his hands keeping this team in the division.

Everton will look to use Gomes’ injury as inspiration to turn their season round and the best way to do it would be against this poor Southampton side, their at a good price at 7/5 to win. Dominic Calvert-Lewin could add to his three league goals this season and he’s 11/2 to open the scoring. A win here takes Southampton out of the bottom three and they’re 15/8 to win and give their fans a much needed boost.

Tottenham v Sheffield United

Sheffield United continue to surprise! They could find themselves in a Europa league place if results go their way this weekend and they’re coming up against a Spurs team that have some real issues both on and off the field.

I’m not sure if you could even call the Blades getting a win here an upset at this stage and it’s a very tempting 9/2. Still, any team with Harry Kane in is guaranteed goals, he’s got 6 so far this season and is 11/4 to open the scoring here.

Fantasy football managers will be well aware of John Lundstram who bagged his first professional brace against Burnley and kept a clean sheet earning a massive 21 points. He’s the highest scoring player in the game this season so far, eclipsing the likes of Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling, if you don’t have him in your team get him, it’s as simple as that.

In reality, the 25 year old midfielder has become the heartbeat of this team and is 13/2 to add to his already impressive goal tally so far. Lys Mousset has 3 goals in 8 appearances so far this season and the former Bournemouth player is 11/4 to get his fourth goal of the season.

Spurs have lost just once at home this season while United are unbeaten on their travels. Mauricio Pochettino can now call upon Heung-Min Son after his red card against Everton was rescinded. Tough one to call this but Tottenham at 8/13 doesn’t really present much value given the fact that they haven’t recorded a win since the end of September. Sheffield United are 9/2 you know?

Leicester v Arsenal

Leicester are evens to win this… Evens!! That’s madness considering they’re comfortably the third best team in the country right now. I’ll say that again evens. Arsenal, while 5th place have struggled this past few weeks and with rumors abound that Unai Emery is soon for the chop, Granit Xhaka being stripped of the captaincy meaning that Leicester are in a great position to strengthen their claim on the top four.

Nineteen goals in the last five games for the Foxes suggest they’ll have no problem hitting the back of the net here and given Arsenal’s one clean sheet in their last five games, there’s a possibility for another high scoring game.

Over 3.5 goals is 13/8 but if you’re looking to add a result to that, you can get Leicester to win with over 3.5 match goals at 7/2. Really hard to look past Leicester here, Arsenal have holes in their back four, are rudderless in midfield and blunt in front of goal where their opponents are free scoring and have the joint best defensive record in the league.

The only criticism I can muster about this Leicester side is that their two defeats this season have come from last season’s top six, even if that does include Manchester United. They should have enough quality to come out of this on top and kick this Arsenal side while they’re well and truly down. Evens just to win? All day mate.

Manchester United v Brighton

Brighton travel to Old Trafford off the back of beating Norwich last weekend and Graham Potter will be hoping for three consecutive wins for his side for the first time this season. Just one win in the last five games for United will be encouraging for Brighton fans heading into this game.

But there’s a clear gulf in quality between the two squads and United are comfortable favorites for this one at 4/7, although with Ole at the wheel, you don’t know what way that particular bus is going to go. United’s win over Norwich in gameweek 10 was the first time they’ve scored more than once in a league match this season since the opening day against Chelsea, and they’re 14/1 to repeat that and win 3-1.

Brighton top scorer Neal Maupay failed to add to his tally for the season last time out but is 3/1 to score anytime here against a United defense that has failed to keep a clean sheet in the league since September. Marcus Rashford is never far away from the score sheet having got 5 goals so far this season and for him to score the first goal, you’d be looking at 7/2.

Wolves v Aston Villa

Villa will be feeling robbed of three points after a late smash-and-grab by Liverpool last weekend. Villa led for much of the game and proved the biggest threat to the league leaders unbeaten start so far this season, until they didn’t.

Despite two defeats in a row, a win here could catapult them right up to mid-table if results go their way. They face draw specialists Wolves, who since beating Manchester City have had to share the points in their last three outings. Wolves came out on top in two of their last four meetings and drew once. Wolves’ extra Premier League experience should see them through this one though and they’re good value at 10/11 to win.

Wesley gave Liverpool trouble in Villa’s last outing due to his physical presence and he’s 5/2 to score anytime here, adding to his 4 goals already this season. As usual Raul Jimenez will be one to watch in front of goal here and to open the scoring, he can be got at 18/5. If you fancy Villa to end their two match unbeaten run you can get them as big as 18/5 and given Wolves’ lack of wins this season, that doesn’t sound like a bad outside chance to me.

Super Sunday-Liverpool v Manchester City

This is the big one! The two matches between these teams last season ultimately decided where the title ended up, this season is no different. Round one of a heavyweight title fight. The first battle in the war for the Premier League crown.

Liverpool come into this game unbeaten, just as they did last year and while City have dropped eight points already this season, the potential nine point gap that could open up is something that Pep Guardiola will not want to see. Both managers are intimately familiar with each other given the nature of the last two seasons as well as their time in Germany, so I wouldn’t expect too many tactical surprises.

A look at both sides

There’s a slight cause for concern defensively in the Liverpool camp with just three clean sheets in the last eighteen games this season in all competitions, but the Reds have also discovered a knack for scoring late goals, turning draws into wins.

City meanwhile are their free scoring and conceding just twice in the last five games will give them a boost, especially when their defense is a bit of a makeshift one. Given City’s dominance in the Premier League in recent seasons, you might be surprised to find out that they haven’t won at Anfield since 2003 with Anfield becoming a bit of a fortress again.

City have won 2 of the last 6 competitive meetings if you count the Charity Shield, and the crucial meeting at the Etihad in January ultimately decided where the title went last season. This is a game that everyone can enjoy, rarely a goalless draw happens between these two so I’d expect goals a plenty. I just can’t bring myself to commit to a result.

Who will get the goals?

Sergio Aguero has never scored at Anfield in 10 attempts, including 2 appearances for his old club Atletico Madrid. Aguero is 5/4 to score and finally break his Anfield hoodoo. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored against Genk in midweek to make it four for the season, he’s got form for scoring against City though, scoring twice against them in 2018 before his injury. You can get him at 5/1 to score anytime here.

City come into this as 6/4 favorites and you’d have to look very far back to find the last time Liverpool were 17/10 to win a game of football. Mohamed Salah has been quiet in front of goal lately despite getting five goals so far this season and he’s 11/2 to open the scoring.

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