By Dave Kelner
Last Updated: 21st February 2020
In a week where Financial Fair Play has dominated the headlines, we’re going to put the four Premier League TV games under the spotlight in the hope of cashing in ahead of the weekend. We’ve got a London derby to kick things off and Liverpool will bid to extend their lead at the top of the table to a million points – or something like that – on Monday night.
Chelsea v Spurs – Sat 12.30pm
Spurs have a dismal record against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, having won just one of their last 33 meetings away at their London rivals, and Jose Mourinho must be devastated that Son Heung-Min is the latest to be ruled out through injury. Mourinho says that the club’s injury situation ‘’couldn’t be worse’’ and with Son and Harry Kane absent, it’s tough to see Spurs winning this one, but that’s more than reflected in the odds.
Chelsea were dismal against Manchester United on Monday night, in a game that lacked any real quality and they’ve already lost seven games at the Bridge this season. Odds-on, having failed to win any of their last four in the league, no thank you.
Mourinho isn’t the only one with selection issues. Callum Hudson Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic are all fighting for fitness and without them, Frank Lampard and Chelsea have regressed. With both teams lacking in firepower, I’ll be looking low on the goals. I can see this being a tense, niggly affair, with the pair lacking in confidence.
Leicester v Man City – Sat 5.30pm
There’s a chance that UEFA meting out punishment to Manchester City will have a detrimental effect on their performances, however with Pep Guardiola promoting a siege mentality, his ‘us against the world’ rallying cry, might spark a little improvement at the end of a lacklustre season.
It’s difficult to put a finger on exactly what has gone wrong, but City’s defensive problems have unsettled the rest of the team, and they clearly haven’t been as clinical as previous seasons.
There will be a temptation for some punters to snap up attractive quotes about Leicester winning this one, however I’d suggest some caution. In Brendan Rodgers’ first 14 home league games in charge of Leicester, they only conceded seven goals, while in their last four at the King Power, they’ve conceded nine. Maybe they’re finally feeling the loss of Harry Maguire, or more likely it’s just coincidence.
I expect this to be very entertaining, but don’t see much value in the 90 minutes market. Go for goals.
BET: Over 3.5 goals @ 6/5
Arsenal v Everton – Sun 4.30pm
Arsenal and Everton are two of the in-form teams in the Premier League, with the Gunners unbeaten since late December, and Everton unbeaten in the league since New Year’s Day. I’ve been much more impressed with Everton under Carlo Ancelotti and think the Toffees rate a decent bet this weekend.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin benefited from Duncan Feguson taking a charge on a temporary basis and his development has continued under Ancelotti, with Bernard and Richarlison excelling in supporting roles. Ancelotti might struggle to keep hold of Lucas Digne in the summer, with Manchester City and PSG reportedly in the hunt for the left back, who is a threat going forward as well as being defensively sound. Everton have a balanced team and the same can’t be said about Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta has done well with Arsenal, but they’re still not good at the back and even with that potent attacking threat – Nicolas Pepe finally showed his worth against Newcastle – I think the Gunners will be exposed. Ancelotti has won twice at the Emirates – winning in November 2009 with Chelsea and March 2017 with Bayern Munich – and he can land the hattrick.
Liverpool v West Ham – Mon 8pm
Liverpool’s run of form is absolutely astonishing. They’ve won their last 17 Premier League games, just one shy of the all-time record held by Man City, and it’s inconceivable that the Hammers will halt that run.
The appointment of David Moyes hasn’t worked out, but the issues at the club run much deeper. They haven’t invested well and some of the players they have brought in, are failing the club with their performances. West Ham are mired in a relegation battle and a trip to Anfield is unlikely to yield any reward.
Moyes is yet to win an away match against Liverpool in 15 attempts, but he has managed seven draws, which is no mean feat.
Obviously, as has been the case with a number of Liverpool matches this season, we’re on the hunt for a bet away from the outright market, and I’d tentatively suggest looking at Sadio Mane to score in a Liverpool win. Mane has four in his last five against West Ham and has scored in each of his last three against the Hammers.