With the return of domestic football, we are being treated to some exciting match-ups this weekend in the Premier League. We’ve previewed match week 12 and picked out some of the best bets available on NetBet Sport’s football odds page.
Chelsea to beat Leicester – 20/27
Leicester’s start to the campaign has been somewhat inconsistent. Although Jamie Vardy has looked back to his best, the Foxes have struggled at the opposite end of the pitch. They haven’t kept a clean sheet since their opening day win over Midlands rivals Wolves, which is a stark contrast to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. The visitors have kept seven clean sheets in 11 games and conceded just once on the road. An unlikely culprit has shouldered the goalscoring responsibility in Romelu Lukaku’s absence, with wing-back Reece James flourishing given the attacking freedom allowed by his new manager. Many teams will struggle to deal with James and Ben Chilwell on the flanks this season, and we expect Leicester will be the latest given their defensive frailties that have already been showcased thus far.
Aston Villa to draw with Brighton – 21/10
This is one of those games which looks incredibly difficult to call. Aston Villa have lost five in a row, but with Steven Gerrard at the helm, could they be one of the many teams to experience the new manager bounce-back? Given they’ve conceded 13 in their last five, we’re not sure they will be defensively secure enough to keep Graham Potter’s side at bay, but they do have bundles of talent in their attacking line which could cause problems. Brighton are also in the middle of a poor run of form, failing to win in their last six. However, they have faced the likes of Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool in that time, so it’s probably not too much of a cause for concern for Potter. Both are in need of a win, but it looks an even tie.
Crystal Palace to beat Burnley – 6/4
Patrick Vieira’s Palace have been the surprise package of season thus far. Since their loss on the opening day of the season, they have tasted defeat just once in 10 games, a run which includes a 3-0 win over Tottenham, a 2-2 draw away at Arsenal and a 2-0 win at the Eithad. They will face a Burnley team that has been strengthened by the arrival of Maxwel Cornet from Lyon. The Ivory Coast international has hit the ground running at Turf Moor with four in his first six league games and he will be crucial in helping Sean Dyche’s side avoid the relegation scrap. We think the Eagles will have more quality on the day. Conor Gallagher is in the form of his promising young career and Wilfried Zaha is unplayable on his day.
Newcastle to beat Brentford – 31/20
Newcastle are another of the Premier League sides hoping a new manager will turn things around. The arrival of Eddie Howe certainly sets the tone for how the new owners expect the Magpies to play going forward, and the former Bournemouth manager arguably already has the players at his disposal to do so. Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron are all dynamic attacking talents, but it is in defence where things need to be tightened up. They will host Brentford this weekend, an exciting team which has fallen to four consecutive defeats, most recently a disappointing 2-1 loss to Norwich. It promises to be an exciting clash, and with the electric atmosphere that can be expected at St. James’ Park, we think Howe can kick things off with a win.
Southampton to beat Norwich – 1/1
Dean Smith has what looks like an impossible task in turning things around at Carrow Road. Their 2-1 win over Brentford last time out was not enough to lift them off the bottom of the table and the Canaries are still five points adrift of safety. Not only do Norwich have the worst defensive record, having conceded 26 in 11, they have also scored the fewest goals in the league (5). The Saints had a rocky start to the campaign, but have turned things around with three wins in their last four, including three clean sheets. Jan Bednarek and Ghanaian prospect Mohammed Salisu have formed a strong partnership at the heart of Southampton’s defence, whilst Che Adams and Adam Armstrong remain a threat at the other end of the pitch. The home side are lacking in quality throughout and we expect Southampton to take advantage of that.
Manchester United to beat Watford – 5/11
You just never know what you are going to get from this Man Utd side, making it difficult to back them. That being said, surely Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s handful of world-class players will come good eventually. Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo have done what you would expect them to and the return of Marcus Rashford has added another dimension to United’s attack. The midfield and defence on the other hand has not been so positive. There seems to be a lack of structure in the way the Norwegian sets up his team and an absence of any solid game-plan out on the pitch. Despite the clear discontent amongst fans and players alike, United should have enough in their front men to pick up the points at Vicarage Road. Watford have lost four of their last five, failing to score in all of those defeats.
West Ham to beat Wolves – 27/20
David Moyes’ side are flying high with six wins from their last seven, an impressive run which includes wins against Belgian giants Genk in Europe, Manchester City in the EFL Cup and most recently Liverpool. Michail Antonio looks set for his most prolific Premier League campaign to date and the powerful forward netted in each of his World Cup qualifiers with Jamaica over the international break. Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals have all played their part in the Hammers’ scintillating run, with nine goals and eight assists between the attacking midfield trio. They will travel to the Molineux to face a Wolves side who were comfortably beaten by Crystal Palace last time out, just as they looked like they were beginning to build up a head of steam. Given West Ham’s performances this season, we’d back them against most teams in the league.
Liverpool to beat Arsenal – 5/12
Mikel Arteta has turned things around at the Emirates and Arsenal now sit just two points behind Liverpool, but we can’t see them getting anything from this game. Jurgen Klopp’s side are averaging nearly three goals per game and there is no better player in the world than Mohamed Salah right now. The Egyptian has already scored 10 and assisted seven in just 11 games, with the forward looking unplayable on the right side of Liverpool’s front three. The 3-2 defeat to West Ham was a bump in the road, but we expect the Reds to get back to winning ways this weekend.
Manchester City to beat Everton – 1/7
If it weren’t for the impeccable defence of Tuchel’s Chelsea, we’d probably all be talking about how Man City have performed at the back. The one lingering question that has been raised over recent years is regarding City’s centre-halves, but Pep has answered them convincingly this season. City have kept seven clean sheets of their own, equalling Chelsea’s record. Instead, we are now asking if they can keep up with the goalscoring prowess of Chelsea and Liverpool. The loss of Sergio Aguero has left Gabriel Jesus as the only recognised number 9 in the squad and it has fallen on the likes of Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva to provide the goals. They should be too good for an Everton side struggling with the absence of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Toffees haven’t won in five and we can’t see that changing at the Etihad this weekend.
Tottenham to beat Leeds – 20/29
Given the world-class forwards at their disposal, it’s quite unbelievable that Spurs are one of only two teams yet to reach double figures for goals scored – the other is Norwich. With Antonio Conte now at the helm, we are likely to see vast improvements in the shape and defensive structure at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Conte’s defence first approach should stop them leaking goals, but the domestic form of Harry Kane must improve. Kane has managed just one goal in 10 league appearances this season, but what better way to find some form in front of goal than scoring seven in two games for your country. Conte should help turn things around and we expect the home side to kick on with a win against Leeds.
*Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.
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