Have you missed the Premier League? To be fair, that was an exciting international break, with Macedonia beating Italy in the last minute and Mo Salah’s Egypt failing to qualify for the World Cup at the hands of his Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane, Mane's Senegal teammates (and some laser pointers). There was also that Gareth Bale free kick.
It’s still great to have the PL back though, especially in the midst of such an incredible title race with Manchester City and Liverpool separated by just 1 point. There’s also the 3-way tussle for 4th place between Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United. Mikel’s men are in the box seat but far from over the line. And then, of course, there is the prospect of one of the most storied names in English football being relegated.
We’ve dug deep into the stats to pick out the best tips from across the competition, based on finding the best value and the best odds.
Liverpool v Watford - Liverpool/Liverpool (HT/FT)
Liverpool might still be a point behind Manchester City, but the momentum is certainly with Jurgen Klopp’s side. They will be confident of picking up 3 points here at Anfield against 18th placed Watford to pile the pressure on to Pep’s men who take on Burnley later in the day. The Reds have won 14 of 16 against bottom half teams this season, and an incredible 13 of those 14 wins have been HT/FT victories
Watford have lost at half time and full time 12 times this season, which isn’t too bad for a struggling side. Against the best teams in the division though, they have been beaten at the break and the final whistle a lot more often - losing 4 of their 7 matches against the top 5 in that fashion. That record includes the last time they faced Liverpool in the league - a 5-0 humbling at Vicarage Road where Sadio Mane scored the first goal after just 9 minutes and Liverpool were 2-0 up by the half.
After consecutive wins against Brighton and Tottenham at the end of February, many thought Sean Dyche’s men were going to pull off their annual party trick and avoid relegation yet again. However, 3 consecutive defeats at the hands of Leicester, Chelsea and most importantly Brentford have put the dampers on that a bit. Burnley are currently 4 points adrift of Everton and safety as things stand, although they do have 3 games in hand on Leeds who they trail by 9 points.
The first step to picking up points for them would be to start finding the back of the net. Burnley have failed to score in any of their last 3, and in 5 of their last 7 at Turf Moor. They will find life hard in that respect against a Manchester City side who have kept 5 clean sheets in their last 7 on the road in the PL, winning 5 of those 7 games to boot. City have won all 3 of their matches against the bottom 2 without conceding a goal so far this campaign. That record includes a 2-0 victory over Burnley at the Etihad in October. Burnley, by contrast, have lost all 3 of their league games against the top 2 and are yet to score a goal against City or Liverpool in the league this season.
Chelsea v Brentford - Home Win (WinDrawWin)
After a difficult couple of months on the pitch in December and January, Chelsea have recently run into big problems off the pitch. However, on the pitch they have quietly put together 5 consecutive PL wins to ease themselves 5 points clear of Arsenal and avoid becoming embroiled in the scrap for the final Champions League places.
They will expect to make that 6 consecutive wins against a Brentford team who have lost 6 of their last 7 away league games, and all 4 of their road matches against the top 5 this season. Thomas Frank’s side lost 0-1 on their own turf the last time they faced Chelsea in the Premier League.
To say the form of these two sides has been mixed would be a bit of an understatement. Having lost 6 consecutive Premier League matches before they beat Norwich, Leeds have now won 2 on the spin. Southampton came off a run of 1 defeat in 10 to lose 3 in a row. The one constant is that matches involving these sides usually produce goals. There have been at least 2 goals scored in 18 consecutive league matches for Ralf Hassenhüttl, while for Leeds there have been over 1.5 goals in 14 of their last 16 league contests.
Jesse Marsch is yet to keep a clean sheet as Leeds boss. But that's not all on him. United also conceded in all of Marcelo Bielsa’s last 12 matches in charge meaning that the West Yorkshire side have not kept a PL clean sheet in 16 attempts. The last time these sides met in the league at Elland Road, Bielsa's side ran out 3-0 winners. A repeat of that result feels unlikely here, but we could well get another game with 3 goals in it.
Manchester United v Leicester - Home Win (WinDrawWin)
Although it was a tough result for their fans to take, and generated a lot of comment on social media and from Sky Sports’ pundits - Manchester United’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City was actually their only defeat in their last 10 league games. In fact, they have won 6 of their last 9 league games at Old Trafford, which is a decent return.
Leicester have lost 5 of their last 6 away league games, and all 6 of their away matches against teams in the top 10 this season. It has all fallen apart for Brendan Rodgers’ men this season on the road this season. But they have also struggled, even at home, against the sort of teams who they were competing with for a Champions League spot last campaign. Ralf Rangnick will be confident of taking advantage to move ahead of Arsenal before they play on Monday night.
Accumulator Best Odds: 7.18
All of the first 5 matches in this acca are taking place on Saturday. If you’re happy with odds of 6.18 and want a Saturday acca then we suggest you stop there. However, if you want to increase your risk, and carry your acca across the Premier League weekend, rather than stopping on Saturday, then we have one more selection from Sunday which you can add to bring the odds for this Premier League Accumulator Top to 12.92.
West Ham v Everton - Home Win (WinDrawWin)
Everton have lost 4 consecutive away league matches, and Frank Lampard is yet to pick up a single point on the road as the man in charge at Goodison Park. Looking back further, Everton have lost 8 of their last 9 on the road.
Hosts West Ham have won 3 of their last 4 at the London Stadium in the Premier League and will be hoping for a repeat of their 1-0 victory on Merseyside earlier in the campaign.
Accumulator Best Odds: 12.92