NO losers last week in his Premier League column, Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) eyes up his three best bets this weekend.
Everton v Sunderland | Saturday 12:45 | BT Sport 1
Despite admirably getting the better of Southampton last weekend, Sunderland are still in the relegation zone and in big trouble. Next up on their fixture list is Everton on Saturday lunchtime and they need to get something from it.
With a spate of recent victories occurring for sides at the wrong end of the table, the bar has been raised for teams like Sunderland and they may need a couple more victories to stay up. That won’t be easy as they’ve failed to win back-to-back games in the Premier League this season, but needs must!
Everton’s season finally started to click into gear in the spring once their flirtation with the Europa League ended. It’s six wins in their last nine games and their 3-0 home win against Manchester United two weeks ago was a massive step forward. Last week they lost 3-2 to Aston Villa but there’s enough to suggest that was just a blip on this great run.
Now the pressure is off this season, Everton are playing with a lot more freedom and guile. They scored 17 goals in their last nine matches and registered in all of those games. The goals are flowing again.
I think they’ll score on Saturday lunchtime and I reckon Sunderland will get involved as well. They’ve scored in their last four games and their win over Southampton last week will surely fill them with confidence. It’s 21/20 with Betfair that both teams score here and I think that’s a very decent price.
Aston Villa v West Ham | Saturday 15:00
Aston Villa are another of those sides in the bottom area of the table in good form but unable to escape from the fear of relegation. They’ve already won two of their last three Premier League games and this match gives them a great opportunity to make it three out of four.
Although West Ham won last week against Burnley, that didn’t take much effort. The Clarets have run out of gas in the Premier League this season and relegation is inevitable. It was the soft tie that the Hammers needed.
This match against Villa will prove a much stiffer test. Tim Sherwood’s side are scoring goals and looking confident, everything they weren’t under former manager Paul Lambert.
As well as reaching the FA Cup Final they’ve won four league games since March and scored 16 in their last eight matches. There’s a belief about the side and morale must be several notches higher than their opponents.
West Ham just depress me to be honest. As I’ve said on numerous occasions in the last couple of months they’re a great side to take on. They’ve won just two of their last 13 league matches and haven’t won away since early-December.
While West Ham are sloping towards the end of the season, Aston Villa have lots to play for and I’m backing them at 20/21 with BetVictor to win this game.
Newcastle v West Brom | Saturday 15:00
What an utter mess Newcastle are in! A few weeks ago it was quite funny what was going on, I mean it wasn’t like they were going to go down was it? Well, that’s now a distinct possibility with the other sides like the aforementioned Sunderland and Aston Villa picking up points. While it’s unlikely, the Magpies could be in the bottom three by Saturday night.
Eight defeats in a row, mutiny in the pack, a mouthy manager, board uncertainty and complete carnage encircling the club, they just have to be taken on eh?
Maybe I’ve missed the boat, but as I mentioned last week I did back them to go down at 33/1 in January and had a great run for my money there.
I’m a big Tony Pulis fan and they’ve just taken seven points from a three game series involving Manchester United, Liverpool and Crystal Palace. I appreciate they’ve got nothing to play for, but that is something Newcastle’s players can only dream about.
They’re 2/1 to win this match at what should be a poisonous St James Park but I’ll back them off 0 on the Asian Handicap at 23/20 with Bet365. It’s simply Draw No Bet but at a bigger price.
Everton v Sunderland – Both Teams To Score (21/20 Betfair)
Aston Villa v West Ham – Aston Villa to win (20/21 BetVictor)
Newcastle v West Brom – Newcastle 0 Asian Handicap (23/20 Bet365)
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