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EPL review week 12: North London derby, and a challenge for City

TAGs: English Premier League, Man City, West Ham

A look ahead at the weekend’s English Premier League odds including a North London derby, a tough challenge for the leaders at The King Power, and a new beginning for West Ham.

Arsenal v Spurs

Arsenal +135
Spurs +185
Draw +255

EPL Review Week 12: North London derby, and a challenge for CitySpurs come into this feisty tie on the back of two wins since their slender defeat at Old Trafford, including a victory over the European Champions. Christian Eriksen underlined his status as a world-class performer by scoring a hat-trick to take Denmark through to the World Cup Finals in the summer. Harry Kane has scored six goals in six derbies, including netting five in five. Mauricio Pochettino is yet to taste defeat in the Premier League at the Emirates in six attempts.

Arsenal comes into the game on the back of a humbling away to Man City and a less than stellar performance at home to Crvena Zvezda in the Europa Cup, but before those two performances, the Gunners had put together a string of four victories.

Four of the past seven games between the two have been draws, so that’s where I will place my money.

Verdict – Draw

Liverpool v Southampton

Liverpool -255
Southampton +650
Draw +375

Liverpool hasn’t beaten Southampton in five games in all competitions, losing three and drawing two, including those two defeats in the League Cup Semi-Final last year. But this is a very different side to the one that played so well under Claude Puel.

The Saints are inconsistent with three wins, four draws, and four defeats, and have only scored nine goals all season. In contrast, Liverpool, sit in fifth, having scored more goals than Southampton in their past three games.

If the Saints are going to keep Liverpool at bay then Virgil van Dijk is going to have to put in the kind of display that put him on Liverpool’s Most Wanted list in the Summer.

I don’t think that will happen.

Verdict – Liverpool Win.

Crystal Palace v Everton

Crystal Palace +145
Everton +200
Draw +215

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is hoping Everton’s inability to find a successor to Ronald Koeman allows his side to catch them off guard when they visit Selhurst Park.

Everton is still trying to prise Marco Silva from Watford offering to double his wages, and pay the Hornets £8.5m in compensation, a few months after spending £150m on transfers.

David Unsworth is in the hot seat, and before the international break, he stopped the rot with a 3-2 win over Silva’s Watford side after coming back from a two-goal deficit. Before that win, Everton had gone eight games without one.

It’s a case of business as usual for palace since that shock victory against Chelsea. Roy Hodgson’s side has since racked up three defeats and a draw, including a humiliating League Cup exit at Bristol City. Good news for Palace is that Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injury in midweek won’t keep him out of the starting lineup.

Palace has failed to beat Everton in their previous five matches, and Everton beat them 1-0 at Selhurst Park last season, a scoreline I see repeating itself.

Verdict – Everton Win

Leicester v Man City

Leicester +800
Man City -305
Draw +425

EPL Review Week 12: North London derby, and a challenge for CityLeicester seems to have found a stable footing since Claude Puel replaced Craig Shakespeare winning three and drawing three of their past six games. No better team than Man City will visit the King Power this season, but the Foxes have an excellent record against the Northerners, winning two of their previous four ties, scoring seven goals, including four at the King Power when Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick last season.

City arrives at the home of the former champions on the back of a club record 15 consecutive victories, easily the best form in Europe, and if they do beat Leicester, they will become only the second side to win their first six away games (Chelsea won eight in 2008/09).

Nicolas Otamendi misses the game through suspension, Vincent Kompany is working his proverbials off in the hope of replacing him. It will be the Belgian’s first competitive match since City went on that blood vessel popping run.

I smell a shock.

Verdict – Leicester win

West Brom v Chelsea

West Brom +525
Chelsea -175
Draw +285

I believe this is the season that West Brom goes down, and Chelsea will accelerate that process with a comfortable win at The Hawthorns. With the Baggies failing to win a Premier League game since August, it appears Tony Pulis’ rival managers have figured out how to manoeuvre around his parked bus.

West Brom host the champions having lost their previous three games. They have only won once in ten ties against Chelsea, and their home form against reigning champions is appalling with 11 straight defeats.

Chelsea put an excellent series of results together before their humbling in Roma but rebounded well with a victory over title rivals Man Utd the last time out.

Verdict – Chelsea win

Bournemouth v Huddersfield

Bournemouth -115
Huddersfield +340
Draw +235

Bournemouth struggle at home and Huddersfield struggle when playing away. However, Bournemouth does have a solid record at home when facing newly promoted sides winning five and drawing one of their past six, and they’ve only lost once to Huddersfield in their last ten outings.

Both sides have shown patches of decent form in recent weeks. Bournemouth narrowly losing to Chelsea and Spurs and beating Stoke and Newcastle away. Huddersfield still have the scent of that United win under their nostrils, and beat West Brom at home before the international break.

Verdict – Draw

Burnley v Swansea

Burnley +105
Swansea +300
Draw +210

Burnley have never beaten Swansea in the Premier League, losing all four ties, but they have won their past two games, and a third would equal their previous best set in 1975.

Burnley has only conceded two goals at Turfmoor this season all season, and Swansea sits in the bottom three after losing four games on the spin.

Verdict – Burnley win

Man Utd v Newcastle

Man Utd -380
Newcastle +1100
Draw +450

Man Utd will be hoping to return to winning ways when they face Newcastle on the weekend. Jose Mourinho’s side likes playing Newcastle having only lost once in their previous 32 league games, winning 22.

United are imperious at home, winning their previous six, and are undefeated at Old Trafford in their last 22 games. The Red Devils are the only Premier League club yet to concede a goal in front of their home crowd.

Paul Pogba is still out injured, and Romelu Lukaku will be hoping to end his seven-game goal drought after scoring 11 in his first ten appearances for his new club.

Newcastle doesn’t arrive in a confident mood after losing their last two league games to Bournemouth and Burnley by a single goal each time. The only positive for visiting Newcastle is the record of their boss. Rafa Benitez has won at Old Trafford with both Chelsea and Liverpool, and if he can pull off one of the shocks of the weekend, he will become the first manager to do so with three clubs.

Verdict – Man Utd Win

Watford v West Ham

Watford +105
West Ham +260
Draw +240

EPL Review Week 12: North London derby, and a challenge for CityWatford has been the surprise package of the season, sitting as high as fourth place, but they are currently going through a malaise with three defeats on the trot, including surrendering a two-goal lead against lowly Everton last time out.

West Ham turns up at Vicarage Road with a brand spanking new managerial team. David Moyes and Stuart Pearce will be hoping to hit the ground running after the Hammers failed to win any of their previous five games. If they do turn it around it will be without Javier Hernandez who suffered a hamstring injury playing for Mexico in midweek.

Watford has only lost once against West Ham since returning to the Premier League, and the Hammers have only recorded one win on their travels in their last 13 matches, drawing six and losing six.

Verdict – Watford win

Brighton v Stoke

Brighton +135
Stoke +225
Draw +210

The bookies give the edge to the high-flying Seagulls in this one and with due cause. Brighton sits eighth in the Premier League thanks to a run of four games unbeaten (winning two and drawing two). Stoke, on the other hand, sit a few feet from the trapdoor but will be buoyed by their home draw against Leicester and their away win at Watford.

Verdict – Draw

Fixtures in Full

Arsenal v Spurs
Liverpool v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Everton
Leicester v Man City
West Brom v Chelsea
Bournemouth v Huddersfield
Burnley v Swansea
Man Utd v Newcastle
Watford v West Ham
Brighton v Stoke

Premier League Table

1. Man City – 31
2. Man Utd – 23
3. Spurs – 23
4. Chelsea – 22
5. Liverpool – 19
6. Arsenal – 19
7. Burnley – 19
8. Brighton – 15
9. Watford – 15
10. Huddersfield – 15
11. Newcastle – 14
12. Leicester – 13
13. Southampton – 13
14. Stoke – 12
15. Everton – 11
16. WBA – 10
17. Bournemouth – 10
18. West Ham – 9
19. Swansea – 8
20. Crystal Palace – 4

Premier League Winning Odds (Courtesy of Bodog)

Man City -700
Spurs +1400
Man Utd +1600
Chelsea +1800

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