Sunday and Monday feature three live televised Premier League games with Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton all in action. It’s a great two days for armchair fans and there are some decent betting opportunities.
Liverpool busted many a betting coupon when they were held to a 0-0 draw at Anfield during the week by West Brom and Jurgen Klopp will expect a reaction from his players on Sunday. They travel to the South coast to play Bournemouth – the scene of a 5-1 win against Brighton in the Reds last away game. The Cherries are without a win in the last five games, although they have drawn three of them. Eddie Howe’s side have slipped down the table with that run and find themselves a mere two points above the relegation zone in a very congested bottom half.
Manchester United were left reeling by the 2-1 Old Trafford defeat by rivals City but they bounced back a 1-0 win over Bournemouth in midweek. The Red Devils travel to West Brom on Sunday to play a Baggies side which is proving hard-to-beat under new boss Alan Pardew. They’ve drawn four of the last five matches, including stalemates against Spurs and Liverpool, but you have to go back to August for their only two wins in the Premier League this season. United cannot afford to drop any points in their pursuit of City at the top of the table, and with their rivals up against Spurs on Saturday evening, this may represent a chance to catch up if Pep Guardiola’s team don’t get the result.
Finally, Everton finish the Premier League fixture list with a home tie against Swansea on Monday night and the Sam Allardyce renaissance may well continue. The Toffees have won four games with clean sheets and earned a point at rivals Liverpool since Allardyce took charge and the Merseyside club is worth following in the near future. Swansea have lost eight of the last ten games and are now firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.
Bournemouth v Liverpool
A Liverpool win with both teams to score is quoted at odds of +190 with 888Sport and that is the recommended bet.
The Reds dominated possession and chances against West Brom and Everton in the two recent Anfield draws, but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net enough times to match their superiority. That’s not something they usually struggle with – having scored 29 goals in the previous eight games. With his side in 5th place in the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp will expect them to get back to winning ways and they are up against a Bournemouth side which has lost four of eight home matches this season.
The Cherries are in 14th place but only two points above the drop zone and Eddie Howe could easily find his team getting dragged into the relegation battle. They are without a win in five matches but have been competitive in each of them and they carry a decent goal threat. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bournemouth on the scoresheet against a Liverpool side which gives up plenty of goals, but one suspects they will struggle to keep out the Reds’ potent attack.
West Brom v Manchester United
Manchester United are backed to get the three points from a tricky game at West Brom at odds of -172 with 888Sport.
The Red Devils were shocked by City’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford – a result that left many pundits declaring that the title race is over. That may be premature but the way the Citizens are playing suggests it will be tough for anyone to catch them. However, United cannot down tools and must approach every game with the intention of closing the gap if their city rivals happen to slip up. Apart from that defeat, United have been ruthlessly efficient in the Premier League in recent games, beating Arsenal, Brighton, Watford and Bournemouth.
West Brom haven’t won in fifteen games and are only outside of the relegation zone on goal difference. Alan Pardew described the Liverpool draw as ‘gold dust’ and may well adopt similarly defensive tactics on Sunday. Important points can be gathered with such a pragmatic approach but once a side with that setup concedes it is always difficult to get back into the game. Manchester United are more than used to breaking down teams which put eleven men behind the ball, and they are fancied to get through at least once. The Baggies have scored the fewest goals in the division bar bottom club Swansea and it’s hard to see where the goals will come from if they do end up going behind here.
Everton v Swansea
Finally, most punters will be on Everton on Monday night and so they should be at odds of -133 with BetVictor.
Swansea are bottom of the league for good reason – they’ve scored just nine goals this term and are on a run of eight defeats in the last ten games. The Swans have also lost the last five away games on the spin and manager Paul Clement is under huge pressure to start getting results. However, their squad is relatively thin by Premier League standards and it will be an uphill battle to survive in the top-flight this season.
Everton were expecting big things this season but a terrible start under Ronald Koeman cost the Dutchman his job. Sam Allardyce apparently needed to do little else than accept the job to turn around Everton’s form – starting with the 4-0 rout of West Ham as he watched from the stands. The Toffees are now a much more organised side playing to their potential and this should be another Goodison three points. The goal conceded in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool is the only one they’ve let in under Allardyce’s tenure, with four clean sheets in four victories otherwise. Punters looking for big odds might consider backing Everton to win to nil against the lowest-scoring side in the division.
Liverpool to win and both teams to score
Sunday 17th December, 16:30 GMT
Manchester United to beat West Brom
Sunday 17th December, 14:15 GMT
Everton to beat Swansea
Monday 18th December, 20:00