Manchester City restored their 15-point lead at the top with their 3-1 win over Watford last Tuesday. With 16 games of the season remaining, bookmakers have started paying out on them winning. If they do, it will be the third time in seven years. Accordingly, her are our Premier League Tips for the other competition places.
The battle beneath Manchester City is to secure Champions League football for next season. Manchester United lead the way after their 2-0 win at Everton lifted them above Chelsea. The defending champions were held 2-2 in a thrilling match at Arsenal. Liverpool made great strides over the festive season, picking up 13 points from their last five games. They sit in fourth place with a three-point advantage over Tottenham.
Spurs lost ground after they could only draw 1-1 at home to West Ham. While Arsenal are five points adrift of the top four after three draws in their last four matches.
Swansea won their first match under Carlos Carvalhal at Watford. But they remain bottom of the table after losing at home to Tottenham in their most recent league game. Together with West Brom they are four points from safety. The Baggies lost 2-1 at West Ham to extend their club record winless run to 20 matches.
Stoke are searching for a new manager after their FA Cup defeat at League Two Coventry proved to be the final straw for Mark Hughes. He had come under pressure following the 1-0 home loss to Newcastle that left his side in the bottom three. The position of Southampton coach Mauricio Pellegrino is also under scrutiny. The Saints slipped to 17th place and above the relegation zone only on goal difference after a run of nine matches without a win.
Crystal Palace and Newcastle have each taken four points from their last two games to move away from immediate danger. Whereas Bournemouth, West Ham and Brighton all earned draws in their most recent league outings.
The 23rd round of matches brings several key battles at the bottom of the table. Newcastle hosting Swansea, Brighton going to West Brom and Watford taking on Southampton. But the undoubted highlight is Sunday’s meeting of Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield. Let’s look at some Premier League tips for these games…
Premier League Tips – Liverpool vs Manchester City
City may be the runaway leaders in the title race, but they do not have a good record at Anfield. They’ve taken just four points from their 14 league visits since they last won there in 2003. Also, they will be meeting a team who are unbeaten in 17 matches in all competitions.
Liverpool are unbeaten in 11 home league games this season and have won their last four matches in all competitions. Manager Jurgen Klopp will see this as a great opportunity to come up against opponents who have not been at their flowing best over the past month.
City have had to come from behind in their last two cup games at the Etihad following poor first half performances. Only a stoppage time penalty save from goalkeeper Ederson prevented them from suffering a first league defeat of the season at Crystal Palace. They ended Pep Guardiola’s 18-match winning run with a stubborn performance in a goalless draw.
With David Silva in and out of the side as he spends time with his prematurely born son in Spain, Fabian Delph unable to play two games in a week due to repetitive muscle strains and John Stones looking rusty as he finds his way back after a two-month absence, City do have weaknesses for Liverpool to exploit.
If they do so, they will need top scorer Mohamed Salah to be fit after his brief injury absence. He is expected to be available to return on Sunday. Salah has scored 23 goals in 29 appearances for Liverpool, scoring in 10 of his 15 games at Anfield. His presence will go a considerable way to making up for the loss of Philippe Coutinho, who was sold to Barcelona last week.
Premier League Tips – Southampton vs Watford
Southampton’s biggest problem has been scoring goals, but they should find Watford’s porous defence to their liking at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Watford haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last nine league games, conceding 19 goals in that time, while they have the worst home defensive record in the division.
Six of the Hornets’ last seven games have seen three or more goals scored and their 11 home league games this season have produced a total of 37 goals. Overall, Watford’s 22 league matches have produced an average of 3.23 goals per game – only matches involving Manchester City and Liverpool have produced more.
Southampton’s record of just seven away goals scored drags the expected goals line down for this fixture. But there are seven Premier League clubs whose games average fewer goals than the Saints. The trend for goals in Watford’s matches can continue on Saturday, and at a decent price too.
Premier League Tips – Tottenham vs. Everton
A run of three straight defeats has undone some of the good work done by Sam Allardyce in the early days of his Everton reign and there will be added emphasis on keeping things tight when they face Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday evening.
Allardyce was clear when he arrived at Goodison Park that his priority was to keep clean sheets and Everton have certainly improved in that department, conceding only six goals in eight league games under the new boss. In their last nine league games, they have conceded just three first half goals.
Their aim will be to follow West Ham’s lead in frustrating Tottenham, which has been a common theme at the national stadium this season. Spurs have scored only seven first half goals at home – the same number as Huddersfield – while no team has been level at half time more than Everton, who have drawn the first half in 11 of their 22 games.
Premier League Tips: Recommended Bets
|Liverpool vs. Man City||Salah to score||2.75*|
|Watford vs. Southampton||Over 2.5 goals||2.1*|
|Tottenham vs. Everton||Halftime Draw||3.5*|
*Odds at publication. Subject to change.