By Lee Phelps
Last Updated: 10th January 2020
We preview the Premier League TV games on The Punt, but I really wish I was doing the Saturday 3 o’clock kick-offs! There’s a lovely mix of banker home wins and potential big-price away bets.
However, I’m not doing those – my task is to unearth some winners in a tricky set of televised ties.
Sheffield United vs West Ham
Let’s not pretend this is an open and shut case even though the Blades will go fifth with a win at home to the Hammers on Friday night.
David Moyes has had a good start to his return to the London club and faces a side who were put in their place by Liverpool last time out in the Premier League. The Blades have lost their last two league games 2-0, with Manchester City being the other team to beat them since Newcastle did it at the start of December.
It could be spicy too. Sheffield United fans are still seething about the whole Tevez, Mascherano, who goes up, who goes down controversy of 13 years ago, when the Hammers’ signing of the Argentinians was deemed to have broken Premier League rules. They got a £5.5 million fine, but no points deduction and who should pop up with a goal to keep West Ham in the top flight and send Sheffield United down on goal difference? You guessed it: Carlos Tevez.
Football and its fans have long memories and this is the first meeting for these two clubs since then.
As for the result, the Blades have let punters down at similar odds at home recently, but I’m going to side with them at a boisterous, bristling Bramall Lane.
Bet: 1-0 Sheffield United win at 11/2
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
Anyone got a crystal ball or an ‘in’ to get Wilfried Zaha’s medical details?? Betting on this game on Saturday hangs on that man’s participation.
Crystal Palace with him are a real bet here – Roy Hodgson’s men have only been beaten by three teams at their place: Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester. Without him I’m not so sure.
Arsenal have seen an upturn in form with the arrival of Mikel Arteta, but I can’t put my hard-earned cash on them at these prices. They have three wins in 17 games, so I need more proof a corner’s been turned before backing them.
Selhurst Park has seen the fewest number of goals of any Premier League ground (18) so this will be tight.
I’m expecting Palace to score, but I’m taking the outright result out of it and going for a goalscorer. James McArthur bagged one against Arsenal last season and is a very nice price.
Bet: James McArthur to score at anytime at 15/2
Tottenham vs Liverpool
Can anyone stop this Liverpool juggernaut at the moment? The champions-elect are purring and not conceding, which is a lethal combination.
Add to that the fact Harry Kane is out and Jose Mourinho’s task is even harder. Don’t get me wrong, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura are a handful for any defence, but if I’m a red reducer I’d rather face those two.
Mourinho will fancy this strongly and I’m expecting something tactically different from Spurs to slow Liverpool down on Saturday.
I’m not saying a home win is on the cards here, but I think they can take a point in a score draw.
Bet: 1-1 draw at 7/1
Bournemouth vs Watford
At first glance this game wouldn’t be one you’d open the curtains for if it was being played in your back garden, but with a bit more scrutiny it’s a fascinating fixture taking place on Sunday.
Nigel Pearson has got a bit of the sting back in the Hornets and everyone’s favourite next-boss-of-a- big-club Eddie Howe is battling a big Bournemouth dip.
You could make an argument for all three results here, but I guess it’s my job to pick one. I like both teams to score and the recent form suggests an away win, but the price isn’t good enough for me.
When I looked at the match, my first instinct was ‘draw’ and I’m trusting my gut.
Bet: 1-1 draw at 24/5
Aston Villa vs Manchester City
Pep Guardiola and his side may have given up the title race, but they show no sign of giving up the chase. Both these sides were involved in good Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg results this week. Manchester City beat Manchester United without a recognised striker on the pitch and Aston Villa got a draw at Leicester.
City will always be ridiculously short away at a club like Villa and justifiably so, so how do we find some value in an away victory?
The City to win and both teams to score has been a profitable wager this season and I wouldn’t put anyone off that.
But in a game where I can see the away team getting three, I’ll go with Raheem Sterling to score first on Sunday
Bet: Raheem Sterling to score first at 7/2
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