By Dave Kelner
6th March 2020
There’s loads to look forward to this week, with five televised games in the top-flight, after a midweek of FA Cup football, so make sure you check out the Punt. The show is available below and on William Hill’s YouTube channel. If you haven’t got time to watch, MAKE TIME. But, if you really haven’t got time, below are a few pointers ahead of the games.
Liverpool v Bournemouth – Sat 12.30pm
Liverpool are in crisis. Jurgen Klopp’s position is in jeopardy. He hasn’t even offered an ill-educated opinion on covid-19. What’s wrong with the man? Liverpool have lost three of their last four in all competitions, and without Jordan Henderson, they are a team that can be opposed at the moment.
Fortunately for them, Bournemouth are on deck and the Merseysiders have such an outstanding recent record against them, that Klopp will be hopeful of maintaining that longstanding unbeaten Premier League run at Anfield. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 54 Premier League home games (W44 D10), with the Reds winning the last 21 in a row.
They’ve won their last five in the league against Bournemouth by at least three goals. Six in a row by that margin in the top flight hasn’t happened for over 100 years.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Oppose Liverpool this weekend. They’ll be focused on Atleti in that crunch Champions League fixture on Wednesday.
Burnley v Spurs – Sat 5.30pm
Burnley are hardly the great entertainers, but they’re unbeaten in six in the Premier League, and have only conceded twice in that spell. Sean Dyche knows how to set up his team and I think they’re guaranteed to frustrate Spurs in this fixture. Jose Mourinho’s team have been hit hard by injury and their recent performances haven’t been inspiring.
It’s unusual to see a side managed by Mourinho capitulate, but unfortunately that’s what happened against Wolves and they’ve since lost out to Norwich in the FA Cup.
My co-host on The Punt, Alex Dunn, saw Burnley in the flesh at St James’s Park last week and expressed his concerns about Spurs being capable of breaking them down. I think there’s a bet here, and it isn’t a pro-Spurs one.
Chelsea v Everton – Sun 2pm
I know we’ve got the Manchester derby, but my prediction is this game will be the one to watch on Sunday afternoon. Everton a free-scoring under Carlo Ancelotti, in fact they’ve scored in every Premier League game since Ancelotti took over on Boxing Day. However, they’ve also conceded in their last 13 Premier League games.
We’re going to get goals in this game. Chelsea’s performance in the FA Cup fifth round against Liverpool was strong, with Billy Gilmour playing the leading role. Whether Chelsea can reproduce that against a full strength Everton is very much open to question.
Everton were slightly unlucky not to beat Manchester United last weekend, and the prolific Dominic Calvert-Lewin is worth a glance in the first goalscorer betting at 7/2.
Everton are without a win in their last 24 Premier League away games, but I think that might change this weekend. Chelsea have plenty of injury issues and there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to go again after their win against Liverpool.
Man United v Man City – Sun 4.30pm
It’s worth checking out the show to hear from Robbie Savage on Pep Guardiola, who he believes has revolutionised English football, and it’s hard to disagree with that assertion.
But this is all about the betting, and City are being priced as if they are in last season’s form. They’re patently not. They were laboured against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final and hardly put Sheffield Wednesday to the sword in the FA Cup midweek, albeit that was a convincing 1-0 win.
United have improved and Alex has put up Bruno Fernandes to score again at 27/10, which looks a fair bet. If you’re after a City goalscorer, Riyad Mahrez (19/10 anytime) must have broken a record for shots on target without scoring midweek and might be given the nod by Pep Guardiola. He’s worth a look, too, but the home side are overpriced in this one.
Leicester v Aston Villa – Mon 8pm
Sometimes you see a price and it astonishes you, and that’s how I feel about Leicester City’s odds this weekend. They’re 4/11 and it’s just way shorter than it should be. I’d expect them to be this price if they were flourishing and Jamie Vardy was free-scoring. They’re not, and he isn’t. Vardy hasn’t scored since late December and is currently sidelined through injury.
Without him, Leicester are lacking in firepower and Ricardo Pereira’s goal on Wednesday was Leicester’s first since the 1st February. Aston Villa were good in the Carabao Cup final, and beat Leicester in that competition in late January. Dean Smith will have his work cut out to get them energised and ready to go again, but Jack Grealish is the sort of character that will want to haul them out of the relegation zone.
I genuinely believe that Leicester should be no shorter than 8/15 in this spot. If you want to be conservative, look at Villa +1 on the handicap or draw no bet, but I’ll be going for them to win the game.