Swansea snatched a last-gasp win at Watford over Christmas.

Both Teams to Score When Hornets Host Saints

Swansea snatched a last-gasp win at Watford over Christmas.

The bottom half of the Premier League has become ridiculously tight, with just five points separating 10th placed Watford and 18th placed Stoke. Manchester City are running away with the title so the excitement in the second half of the season could well be found in the battle to avoid relegation.

The tense situation is summed up in this Saturday’s fixtures as a number of evenly-balanced matches are lined up for Saturday afternoon. Watford versus Southampton is one such game and it’s a big fixture for both clubs. The Hornets have had an extended run of poor form to slip away from their early season high, losing six of the last seven Premier League games since holding Spurs to a 1-1 draw back at the start of December. Southampton’s poor record stretches back even further, and with just 20 points on the board, the Saints are in the thick of the relegation tussle. They’ve won just four of twenty-two games this term and are without a victory in the last nine Premier League fixtures.

Huddersfield and West Ham are another two clubs deep in the mire, with 24 and 22 points respectively. The newly-promoted Terriers will probably be happy with their position of 11th in the table, but the Hammers are fighting to pull away from 15th place after flirting with the bottom three for much of the season.

Crystal Palace have managed to do just that under Roy Hodgson – the Eagles are up to 14th right now, despite spending most of the early part of the season rooted to the bottom. They play Burnley at home on Saturday, looking to maintain a run which has seen them lose just one of the last nine at Selhurst Park. The Clarets have been the revelation of the season and still hold on to 7th place, although a five-point gap has now emerged to 6th placed Arsenal. Nonetheless, Burnley were good enough to secure a 2-2 draw at Manchester United as recently as Boxing Day and will provide Palace with a stiff test.

Watford v Southampton

We’re backing both teams to score in the first two games mentioned, starting with Watford and Southampton at odds of -125   with ComeOn.

Watford’s 3-0 win over Bristol City in the FA Cup was only their second win in the last ten games, the other a 2-1 home win over Leicester. Home form offers a little more optimism – they’ve won two of the last three at Vicarage Road and were 1-0 up against Swansea before two late goals turned the game on its head. Moreover, both teams have scored in five of the Hornets’ last six in front of their own fans.

Southampton have been struggling for results all season despite, at times, playing some very attractive football. They’ve only failed to score in two of their last ten games (Manchester United and Chelsea), but have also failed to keep a clean sheet in eight of those ten.

Huddersfield v West Ham

Both teams to score when Huddersfield entertain West Ham is a tasty price at +115   with ComeOn.

The bookmakers may be pricing this game on the basis of both sides being largely defensive in nature, but it does not necessarily follow that this game will be a dour affair. David Moyes has made a habit of defending deep and in numbers against the ‘big’ sides – see last week’s 1-1 draw at Spurs – but his team has been much more open against sides more on their level. The 2-1 win over West Brom followed a 3-3 draw at Bournemouth and a 2-3 home defeat to Newcastle. This gives the impression that when the onus is on the Hammers to play a more adventurous game, defensive organisation suffers.

Huddersfield also have a reputation for being defensively organised, but in truth, they have only kept two clean sheets in the last ten games. Both teams have scored in five of those ten matches. The Terriers have failed to find the net in three of that ten match sequence but each of those matches were away, and they will fancy their chances at home to a team which is below them on the table. They’ve scored in six of the last seven in front of their own fans, including goals against Man United, Man City and Chelsea.

Crystal Palace v Burnley

Finally, the draw is the value call when Palace host Burnley at odds of +230   with BetVictor.

The Clarets have been in dreamland this season, sniffing around the top four, but there is little margin for error at the business end. A run of five Premier League games without a win has seen them fall five and seven points respectively behind Arsenal and Chelsea. They’ve played Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United in those five so it’s hardly a desperate run of form, but they might have hoped for more than 0-0 draws against Huddersfield and Brighton. However, the Clarets have only been beaten three times in the last ten away games, and two of those were at Manchester City in league and cup.

Palace have staged a remarkable turnaround under former England boss Hodgson. the Eagles have slowly worked their way out of the bottom three and up to 14th, but with just 22 points on the board they are far from being out of the woods. What Hodgson has instilled is a hard-to-beat attitude – evidenced by five draws in the last ten matches.

Three of the last six games between these two sides have ended 0-0 and another stalemate could well be on the cards.

Tips Summary

Watford v Southampton – Both teams to score
Saturday 13th January, 15:00 GMT
Odds:  -125

Huddersfield v West Ham – Both teams to score
Saturday 13th January, 15:00 GMT
Odds:  +115

Crystal Palace and Burnley to Draw
Saturday 13th January, 15:00 GMT
Odds:  +230

Share this article: