Today sees a reduced fixture list due to the League Cup Final tomorrow, contested by Manchester United and Southampton at Wembley. There are six Saturday games to keep us occupied, and more than enough opportunity to gain fantasy points and earn some cash from our wagers. Below, we break down the fixtures, giving you the stats and information you need in order to make the best decisions for your fantasy teams AND your betting slips! Best of Luck!
Chelsea v Swansea
Chelsea have lost only one of their 11 Premier League matches against Swansea City, but have failed to win any of the past 3 games including the 1-0 away defeat on 9 April 2016 (goal by Gylfi Sigurdsson). They have also won 15 of their 17 PL matches this season against the teams currently outside the top six in the table. One of the two exceptions was today’s opposition!
The Blues are the best defence in the league, with 18 goals conceded and 13 clean sheets in the opening 25 games. By contrast, Swansea are the worst defence in the league having conceded 54 goals in the same number of games.
We predict Chelsea to win a close game by a 2-1 scoreline with Sigurdsson scoring for the Swans, and Diego Costa scoring a double for the hosts.
Result: Chelsea 3 – 1 Swansea.
First Goalscorer: Diego Costa (23/10)
Palace v Middlesbrough
Boro have scored the fewest goals in the Premier League this season, but only Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have conceded fewer than Boro’s 27. Alvaro Negredo (6) has contributed 33% of Middlesbrough’s 18 goals this season, although only 2 of the Spaniards goals have come away from home.
No PL player has dribbled more than Palace’s Wilfried Zaha. The Ivory Coast international has accrued 164 dribbles this season, 22 more than second placed Eden Hazard despite playing 2 fewer games than the Chelsea man. Christian Benteke (366) meanwhile has won the most aerial duels in the league, 107 ahead of today’s opposing hitman Alvaro Negredo who is at #4 in the category.
Result: Palace 2 – 1 Boro.
First Goalscorer: Christian Benteke (4/1)
Everton v Sunderland
In the reverse fixture between Everton and Sunderland this season, the Toffees won 3-0 through an 11-minute Romelu Lukaku hat-trick, and Everton have won all three PL home matches in 2017 by an aggregate score of 13-3. In addition, Lukaku has netted in all 4 of Everton’s home games in this calendar year, across all competitions.
Defoe has scored five goals in 21 PL appearances against Everton, with all five netted at Goodison Park. This includes a goal in both of his Sunderland PL away matches versus the Toffees.
Result: Everton 3 – 2 Sunderland.
First Goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku (13/5)
Hull v Burnley
The Tigers (11) have equalled the PL record for most penalties conceded in a single campaign. They have also conceded three penalties in five PL matches against Burnley. If you believe that record is something set to continue, Andre Gray is the designated penalty taker for Burnley.
Only one of Burnley’s 30 PL points this season came away from Turf Moor, and they have lost 7 consecutive PL away matches, with each of the last four ending in a 2-1 defeat. Hull and Burnley combined have scored 51 goals this season, the same as Manchester City. In addition, Burnley have conceded 24 goals in 11 away games, and Hull have conceded 21 goals in 12 home games… both the 4th most in the division.
Result: Hull 2 – 2 Burnley
First Goalscorer: Andre Gray (13/2)
West Brom v AFC Bournemouth
West Brom have won six of their last seven PL home matches and could equal the club PL record of four consecutive home victories, set from August to October 2012. An interesting bet to consider is to take West Brom to be in the lead after 15 minutes at 9/2. The Baggies have scored the opening goal in the sixth minute of each of their last three PL matches.
Bournemouth could remain winless in their opening seven league matches of a calendar year for the first time since 1960 in the third tier, when they did not win any of their first nine. The Cherries have conceded 18 PL goals in 2017, five more than any other team (Crystal Palace next on 13).
Result: West Brom 3 – 0 AFC Bournemouth
First Goalscorer: Salomon Rondon (9/2)
Watford v West Ham
Watford won the corresponding fixture between these sides earlier in the season (4-2) at London Stadium, however West Ham are on a good run of form at the moment. The Hammers have lost only one of their last 6 away games in the Premier League. Two interesting stats which should influence your betting and fantasy football decisions: West Ham have scored 17 PL set piece goals this season, a league high, while only Hull (22) have conceded more PL set piece goals than Watford (17) this campaign. Also, Watford (62) and West Ham (60) are the two teams to receive the most PL yellow cards this season. Watford have a respectable record at home in the league this season, 5 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses from their 12 games but we feel the Hammers should have too much for their hosts today.
Result: Watford 1 – 2 West Ham
First Goalscorer: Michail Antonio (7/1)
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