Premier League expert Jamie picks out the best Premier League bets week for the upcoming weekend.
Newcastle vs Leicester – Leicester over 1.5 Team Goals @ 11/10
Leicester travel to St James’ Park sitting 3rd in the table whilst having no away losses to their name this campaign. The justification for this bet is due to the excellent form Leicester have been in this season and they’ve been scoring for fun lately. Player of the Month Jamie Vardy already has 12 goals to his name and will be looking to add more to that when he plays a Newcastle side that have shipped in 22 goals from 12 games, averaging just under 2 goals a game. In addition, Leicester have had 6 away games and have averaged 2 goals a game on their travels this season which is why I think over 1.5 team goals is good value for money. Out of the 12 games this season, Leicester have scored at least 2 goals in 9 of them – making them the 2nd top scorers in the Premiership with 25 goals, just 1 behind Manchester City.
Claudio Ranieri’s side will be looking to maintain their incredible record of scoring in every single game this season against a Newcastle side who are deep in the midst of a relegation squirm, for that reason, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them carry on that record. Therefore, I think Leicester over 1.5 Team Goals is a good bet for this match.
Southampton vs Stoke – Stoke or Draw @ 11/8
2 out of the last 3 meetings between the two sides at St Mary’s have ended in a draw and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Stoke leave the south coast with at least a point this weekend as they will be full of confidence following their 1-0 at Chelsea. Away from home, Stoke have only conceded 5 goals in 6 games, whilst only scoring 5 themselves. The stats seemingly show that Mark Hughes’ side are resolute in defence and that will be key against Southampton because 12 of their 19 goals have come at home this season, so if the Saints find a breakthrough, Stoke may find it difficult to find an equaliser, therefore I can see Stoke putting in a resilient defensive shift to keep them at bay. The potters have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 3 away games and they are always known as a team which are tough to break down.
Stoke may have to rely on their hot-prospect Jack Butland. The young Englishman has really surpassed his potential in recent weeks and thoroughly deserved his England call up, and at the price they are, he may help Stoke pick up at least a point this weekend. Stoke or Draw is good value for this contest.
Chelsea vs Norwich – Chelsea @ 4/9
Albeit Chelsea have started off the season in the worst possible way they could imagine, their upcoming fixture against a Norwich side may well be a catalyst to guide them up the table from their current 16th position. The Blues have won 4 of their last 6 at Stamford Bridge in all competitions and have kept 3 clean sheets in the process. It may not replicate Mourinho’s 78 game unbeaten run at the Bridge, but at the weekend against the Canaries, who’ve not won in 6 away games and only picked up 2 points, Mourinho’s men will be strong favourites going into this clash. Alex Neil’s side have underlined their defensive difficulties on their travels this campaign. They have conceded 15 from 6, including that 6-2 demolishment at Newcastle.
Even with the problems Chelsea have, with Mourinho back in the dug-out following his suspension, I expect them to win this battle and leapfrog Norwich in the table. Norwich’s away form is deeply concerning and I can’t see them going to Stamford Bridge to improve that, therefore, I think Chelsea to win is the best bet for this one.
Swansea vs Bournemouth – Swansea @ 3/4
Cruelly for Bournemouth, arguably three of their most important players; Callum Wilson, Max Gradel and Tommy Elphick still remain side-lined for this match and it really has proved costly in recent weeks as Bournemouth have lost their last 5 games and slipped into the relegation zone. On the road they’ve lost 5 of their 6 matches, leaking in 16 goals. Their opponents, Swansea, have not won in 4 and have developed problems of their own as Garry Monk is the favourite for the next Premier League manager to get sacked.
However, I think this bet is good value because I feel that the Swans are due a performance this weekend after a row of tough fixtures, and at the price they are, it may be too good to turn down. Eddie Howe’s side have only scored once in their last 3 and as likeable as they are, I just can’t see Bournemouth grabbing anything from this one, putting themselves in real danger of slipping even further into the relegation zone.