Premier League Best Picks: Arsenal Should be Wary of Palace

Stuart Woodrow

Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:24 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 4:24 PM UTC

With Manchester City losing their first league game of the season last week, a tiny it of hope has been ignited in the chasing pack. In reality it will take a Newcastle-style implosion for Man City to fail to win the league now, but football is a game of hope over reality.

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Brighton v Chelsea is the first game Premier League match Saturday, and after being taken to extra time in midweek, Chelsea will be thinking they could have done with more rest. Brighton aren’t a team that’s going to be enjoying European football next season, it’s not even guaranteed they’ll be enjoying Premier League football, but there are easier teams to be facing. Expect Brighton to be well organized and resolute for the first 45 minutes at least. No bet for me, but no easy ride for Chelsea, either.

Arsenal welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates, and it’s not a good period for Arsene Wenger. He’s admitted his big purchase from the summer is struggling to adapt, he’s just sold Theo Walcott to Everton, and Alexis Sanchez will be sold as well if a decent offer comes in. A visit from a resurgent Palace is the last thing he’ll want right now. I think we’ll see goals from both sides on this one and maybe even a winner. I’m happy to be a little cautious and go for a simple Both Teams To Score (Yes) bet at -143 with 5Dimes.

Burnley have stumbled a bit recently and Manchester United seem to have got into some form. There’s no value in the Match Odds market here so I’m not betting in this one. I am expecting an away win, though.

Everton v West Brom will be a home win. Everton have let their standards slip recently, and Sam Allardyce will be reminding them that’s unacceptable. Expect to see a bounce against one of the most poorly run sides in the league. Everton are available at +129 with BetVictor.

After getting hurt by Watford’s unjust equalizer last week, I’ve got to step away from them this week. For the record, Leicester have the better stats pretty much all-around (Watford shade the goal-scoring home/away stats though), so I’m expecting a home win.

Stoke are playing Huddersfield in Paul Lambert’s first game as Stoke manager. Unlike a lot of people I think Lambert has something about him as manager. In the right environment I feel he can do a good job, and with the Coates family backing him, maybe Stoke will be that club. Certainly at Norwich he looked to be very promising. A series of strange career choices after that have hurt him. I’m betting on a Stoke win because there is clear value here. Take the +104 offered by Pinnacle.

Bournemouth had a hard beat against Wigan midweek and they’ll be disappointed coming away from that one. I don’t think FA Cup success was on the cards for them, though, and they should simply concentrate on Premier League survival as I don’t think they’re anywhere near safe. No bet for me, but West Ham have looked better under David Moyes and home advantage may pay off here.

Expect Man City to bounce back against Newcastle, just don’t expect it to be pretty or have the kind of odds you’d want to take.

Sunday's game between Southampton and Tottenham looks like a banana skin. Spurs were dominant in their recent match at Wembley against the Saints but my “far-out” system is saying I should look at a home win. I’m not backing it yet, but it’s an interesting call.

Swansea v Liverpool in Monday’s only game and it’s not one I’ll be dwelling on long. I can’t find a bet I want to back, so I’m staying out of this one.

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