It was a cracking midweek in the Premier League for followers of SBO.net as we landed five out of six bets on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It would have been a clean sweep but for Crystal Palace’s late winner over Watford which denied us the draw result, but it was a very profitable couple of days regardless.
We backed both teams to score in the Southampton vs Leicester game, but the Saints strike turned out to be little more than a consolation as they were thumped by a revitalised Foxes team. On Saturday Leicester host Crystal Palace in search of a fifth win in a row after Premier League wins over Spurs, Burnley, Newcastle and Southampton. The Eagles have had a decent run of their own – unbeaten in six games – but this is where it might come to an end.
Burnley briefly entered the top four after Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Stoke, and Sean Dyche’s men are a big price to get a victory at Brighton. The Clarets are back down to 6th after Wednesday’s results but are level on points with Spurs and Liverpool in 4th and 5th. they visit a Brighton team which has lost four of the last five matches and is now just three points above the relegation zone.
Watford are another side, like Burnley, which has performed above expectations so far this season but it has now been four without a win. However, the circumstances of those games suggest that the Hornets can be given a chance to come good when they host Huddersfield on Saturday.
Leicester v Crystal Palace
First it’s the Foxes at odds of -103 with 888Sport.
Crystal Palace are unbeaten in six – drawing four and winning twice. There has been a significant improvement in recent weeks under Roy Hodgson, although late goals have played a huge part. They were trailing at home to both West Ham and Watford before fighting back for a draw in the former game and a victory in the latter in midweek. It was also an injury-time winner that gave them three points against Stoke a few weeks ago. This can be seen as a good sign of character, but it is also concerning that Palace regularly find themselves in need of late goals to get results.
Leicester have also had a huge turnaround since Claude Puel took over at the club, and as we noted in a previous column here, Mahrez and Vardy are reaching the levels of the title-winning season again. Leicester’s run of four wins has included home victories over good sides in Spurs and Burnley, and Palace don’t live up to that standard. Leicester have smashed seven goals past Newcastle and Southampton in the last two games and should have too much firepower for the Eagles.
Brighton v Burnley
We’re going to take a chance on the Burnley bandwagon at big odds of +220 with BetVictor.
Having tipped the Clarets to be best of the rest in the Premier League, we’ve backed them several times for a good profit this season. The bookmakers continue to underestimate Burnley despite the fact that they are 6th in the table and have the best defence in the division outside the top two Manchester clubs. Their latest good run has seen them win six of the last eight games, keeping five clean sheets in the process. Away from home, they’ve won three of the last five, including wins on the South coast at Southampton and Bournemouth.
Brighton are in danger of slipping back down the table after a relatively good start to life in the Premier League. It’s been four defeats in five games for Chris Hughton’s men and although they are 13th in the table, just three points separate them from the bottom three. Goals were always going to be a problem at this level, and it is a worry for Seagulls fans that their side has only hit the net once in those last five matches. They will find it hard against Burnley’s rock-solid defence, and if the Clarets can get on the scoresheet, one goal may be enough to gather another three points.
Watford v Huddersfield
Finally, Watford can bounce back to form at home to Huddersfield at odds of -125 with BetVictor.
It may be four games without a win for Watford, but at least there are excuses. They performed well enough in the 4-2 home defeat to Man United, and at one point even looked as though they might claw back to a draw. A 1-1 draw with Spurs was a decent result in the next game, but they were down to ten men for more than a half in the 1-0 loss at high-flying Burnley. Daryl Janmaat’s early goal gave them the lead at Palace in midweek but two very late strikes from the eagles snatched the points. There are enough reasons to believe the Hornets can bounce back at home to a Terriers side which is beginning to find life in the top-flight a little bit tough.
Huddersfield made that glorious start to the season but those summer memories are fading as winter sets in. They’ve been beaten in five of the last six games and have failed to score in three of them. 12th in the table looks like a good position but they are only four points ahead of the relegation zone in a congested bottom half. A few more defeats will see them dragged right into the battle. They’ve only gained one win and one draw on the road this season, losing their other six away games, and this is a difficult game against a good Watford side.
Leicester to beat Crystal Palace
Saturday 16th December, 12:30 GMT
Burnley to beat Brighton
Saturday 16th December, 15:00 GMT
Watford to beat Huddersfield
Saturday 16th December, 15:00 GMT