It’s matchday 25 in the Premier League and BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen is here to preview his best bets ahead of the action.
Both teams to score
Wolves v Leeds United 1-1
Leeds’ 4-2 defeat at Arsenal means Marcelo Bielsa’s side have won six and lost five of their last 11 Premier League matches. However, despite that patchy form, they currently sit two points ahead of Wolves in the table.
For all Leeds’ Jekyll & Hyde style, three wins in five on the road is decent form in anyone’s book.
Wolves have won their last four meetings with Leeds, including a 1-0 win at Elland Road back in October. However, they have won just four matches on home soil this season which is simply not good enough if you have aspirations of European qualification.
There’s not much between these two and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it ended all square.
Under 2.5 goals
Southampton v Chelsea 0-1
Chelsea travel to St Mary’s rejuvenated since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival. The Blues’ are undefeated since the German took over and are noticeably a lot more robust at the back.
They take on a Southampton side that have shown encouraging signs of improvement in recent weeks after a bit of a mid-season slump.
I think this one could be tight; however, Chelsea have the look of a side that can grind out results whilst keeping the ball out of their own net, and I think that’s exactly what they’ll do here.
Burnley to win
Burnley v West Brom 2-0
Burnley arrive here unbeaten in three Premier League matches after their 1-1 draw with Fulham on Wednesday night.
They welcome a West Brom side that are without a win in six Premier League matches, however, there were some positives to take from their deserved draw against Manchester United last weekend.
That said, this match provides a whole different test. I think Burnley will quite happily let West Brom find their way into the game with the hope of nicking one at the other end. With that in mind, it’s a home win for me in this one.
Liverpool to win
Liverpool v Everton 2-1
Incredibly, Liverpool come into the Merseyside Derby undefeated in their last 24 matches against Everton in all competitions at Anfield.
That run stems all the way back to 1999 and a game I played in. As I recall it was a good old fashioned derby that included three red cards.
Although Liverpool are winless in five at Anfield, Tuesday’s away win against Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League will have given the players a huge lift.
Everton arrive here in great form on the road. The Toffees are undefeated in their last 7 away matches in the Premier League, so they should be in good spirits ahead of this one.
That said, Liverpool looked a lot more like their old self midweek. Mo Salah was excellent again, and if he’s in the mood, he could play a big part.
Unfortunately for Everton, I think they’ll have to wait a bit longer for that Anfield win. I’m siding with the Reds to shade it in what should be an entertaining derby.
Fulham to win
Fulham v Sheffield United 2-1
Sheffield United travel to Craven Cottage having lost 10 of their 12 away matches in the Premier League. Hosts Fulham really need to start turning their draws into wins. They’ve drawn 10 matches this season but did earn a fantastic 2-0 win at Everton last weekend.
I think this will be tight although I did watch Sheffield United when they lost 3-0 to West Ham in their previous match. The Hammers won by that margin despite not playing with a recognised striker.
That worries me and I get the feeling that the Blades’ players may sense that their season is all but over. With that in mind, I’m going for the points to stay at home.
West Ham draw no bet
West Ham v Tottenham 1-0
Well, we seem to be saying this every week right now; but what a huge match this is for Jose Mourinho. His Spurs side bounced back to form midweek against Wolfsberger in the Europa League in a match where we finally saw Gareth Bale show glimpses of a return to form.
That said, they come up against West Ham side who have been terrific this season. David Moyes’ has his players well drilled and very organised.
I think this one could be another tough match for the visitors, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the home side taking a slender victory.
Ollie Watkins to score anytime
Aston Villa v Leicester City 2-2
Here we have two counter-attacking specialists going head-to-head. So, with that in mind, it will be interesting to see how both managers approach the match tactically.
What’s exciting for me is the prospect of seeing so much excellent home grown talent on the pitch. With the likes of Grealish, Watkins, Barnes, and Maddison on the park, I think it’s looking likely that goals will be on the menu.
I’ve said for a while now that I’m a big fan of Ollie Watkins. As good as he is, he’s also benefitting from the service of Jack Grealish, who is a striker’s dream.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see him continue his good goal-scoring form in a scoring draw.
Manchester City -1 goal on the handicap
Arsenal v Manchester City 1-3
Arsenal continued their improved form with victory at home to Leeds last Sunday. The game was over by half-time, although the Gunners were a little complacent in the second half when conceding two goals.
Manchester City continued their ruthless run of form winning away at Goodison Park midweek. The Citizens are steam-rolling all before them at the minute, and with a win in the cup already under their belts at the Emirates this season, I think they’ll have too much for the home side once again.
Manchester United to win to nil
Manchester United v Newcastle United 2-0
A little bit of complacency has crept back into the Manchester United side recently. Last week’s draw against West Brom was pedestrian, however, they were back at their best when swatting aside Real Sociedad 4-0 in Spain on Thursday.
Steve Bruce has managed to get a reaction from his players following a horrid run of form at the start of the year. That said, this is a big test for Newcastle and it’s one I think that’s just out of their grasp at the minute. It’s 2-0 Manchester United for me.
Brighton v Crystal Palace 1-1
Crystal Palace travel to Brighton once again missing their star man, Wilfried Zaha. Brighton have won a lot of fans in recent weeks with big wins against Liverpool and Tottenham, however, when you look at their home record, it doesn’t fill you with confidence.
The Seagulls’ have failed to win 15 of their last 16 home matches in the Premier League, so I’ll be approaching with caution here.
I think Crystal Palace will sit in and try to hit on the counter, and if they get one, I think that’ll be enough to take a point at least.