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Sunderland has got itself out of the English Premier League relegation zone but one does not expect the Black Cats to get any points from its match at Southampton on Saturday.
Southampton has lost back-to-back English Premier League games to slide out of contention for one of the division’s UEFA competition spots but, according to one’s collateral form analysis, the Saints remain head and shoulders above Sunderland despite their recent reversals against Chelsea and Bournemouth. Southampton has a 13-1-5 English Premier League collateral form edge over Sunderland, including a 1-0 away victory in November’s reverse fixture – Dusan Tadic netted the only goal at the Stadium of Light from the penalty mark. Dig a little bit deeper and Southampton’s English Premier League collateral form advantage over Sunderland becomes even greater – for example, the Saints enjoy leads over the Black Cats of 5-0-1, 8-0-2, 10-1-2 and 13-1-3 depending upon how far down the ladder one goes. That 5-0-1 English Premier League collateral form figure in favour of Southampton is particularly enlightening because it means that the Saints have outperformed Sunderland in head-to-head combat versus five of the division’s top six teams, with the exception to the rule being Tottenham.
If Sam Allardyce does manage to keep Sunderland in the English Premier League then it will be because there are three sides that are inferior to the Black Cats and not because they are decent. Several bookmakers, including Coral, Skybet and Totesport, are quoting Southampton at odds of 57/100 1.57 -175 0.57 -1.75 0.57 to get back on track with a weekend win.
The other two English Premier League matches of interest feature three of the teams challenging for the title – Leicester at Watford and Tottenham hosting Arsenal.
Watford to lose at Manchester United was one’s English Premier League midweek headline selection and the Hornets are well worth opposing again when Leicester visits Vicarage Road on Saturday. Leicester boasts a 12-3-4 English Premier League collateral form advantage over Watford and, what is particularly interesting, is the difference between the results of the Foxes and the Hornets against the big boys. Leicester, which beat Watford 2-1 at the King Power Stadium when the reverse English Premier League fixture took place in November, has collateral form edges over the Hornets of 5-0-0 and 7-1-0 if one focuses on the division’s top sides.
Bet365, BetVictor and Paddy Power are just three of the bookmakers that are offering odds of 3/2 2.50 +150 1.50 1.50 -0.67 about Leicester defeating Watford and proving that it can handle the pressure of topping the English Premier League ladder. Leicester will have one more day to rest its aching limbs than Watford before the last of Saturday’s eight games.
Arsenal has won just one of its last five matches and that was a lucky victory courtesy of a stoppage-time goal, form that has jeopardised its prospects of winning the English Premier League, English FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.
One thinks that Arsenal will drop out of the English Premier League title race if it loses at Tottenham on Saturday and that is one’s pick for the huge derby that will kick off the round. Nothing separates Tottenham and Arsenal on one’s raw English Premier League collateral form analysis, with Spurs and the Gunners tied at 9-1-9. But Tottenham’s 1-1 English Premier League draw at Arsenal in November means that it edged the reverse fixture, while Spurs have had slightly better results than the Gunners versus the division’s heavyweights. Odds of 71/50 2.42 +142 1.42 1.42 -0.70 with Marathonbet about Tottenham beating Arsenal appeal as being more than fair.
Finally, here are one’s English Premier League collateral form analysis results for every one of Round 29’s 10 games. The asterisk signifies the direct head-to-head winner.
Tottenham 9*-1-9 versus Arsenal
Chelsea 9-3-7* versus Stoke
Everton 12*-1-6 versus West Ham
Manchester City 16*-0-3 versus Aston Villa
Newcastle 7*-1-11 versus Bournemouth
Southampton 13*-1-5 versus Sunderland
Swansea 8-3-8* versus Norwich
Watford 4-3-12* versus Leicester
Crystal Palace 7*-3-9 versus Liverpool
West Bromwich 4-1-14* versus Manchester United
Southampton to beat Sunderland
Saturday 5th March, 15:00 GMT
Odds: 57/100 1.57 -175 0.57 -1.75 0.57
Leicester to beat Watford
Saturday 5th March, 17:30 GMT
Odds: 3/2 2.50 +150 1.50 1.50 -0.67
Tottenham to beat Arsenal
Saturday 5th March, 12:45 GMT
Odds: 71/50 2.42 +142 1.42 1.42 -0.70
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