Premier League Best Picks: Mahrez Could Give Chelsea Fits

Stuart Woodrow

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:11 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 10:11 PM UTC

Some will argue that a Premier League season can’t hinge on a single game, but this weekend we can see a couple of matches that could make a real difference.

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There are some important Premier League games coming up this weekend. They may not be “BIG” in the typical media sense (OK, one is) but they are important for the respective clubs to set the tone of the rest of their campaign.

Six games all kick off at the traditional time on Saturday, the first of those that I’m going to look at is Crystal Palace v Burnley. Palace looked doomed earlier this season, but they’re now up to the almost respectable place of 14th. Burnley have been great entertainment this season, and although they’ve slipped back down to 7th they’re still a hard team to beat and Palace will find it tough this weekend. There’s no value for me in this one so I’m steering clear.

West Brom v Brighton is up next, and this is one of those pivotal games I referred to. West Brom should not be in their current position, but they’ve been a little unlucky with injuries and, in my opinion, made a poor decision when to change their manager and also which manager to bring in. Brighton were expected to be one of the sides battling relegation this season, and if West Brom can’t win this one the Baggies will be Boing Boing-ing their way down to the Championship.

Chelsea v Leicester could very well be an interesting game. Chelsea are too far back to win the title, but this may be the kind of game where Leicester try to relive past glories. It’s also the kind of stage where Riyadh Mahrez shines, and I can see them giving Chelsea a real game in this one. Both Teams To Score (Yes) is at +100 with a number of bookies, William Hill being among that number.

Watford v Southampton has a really good bet in my eyes. Certainly, there is significant value to be backing the away side so I’m taking the +206 offered by Pinnacle. I think the Saints will pull together now that the VD has been taken from their ranks.

You could argue that there is some value in Swansea winning away at Newcastle but with a new man only just getting his feet under the table, I think it’s too soon to be backing them with any money.

However much I’d like to back Huddersfield in their game against West Ham, there’s no justification for doing so. For that reason, I’m skipping this one.

Saturday is finished off with Spurs playing Everton at Wembley and again I like BTTS (Yes) for this one. Spurs need Toby Alderweireld back, and I can see Everton pinching a goal from a set piece. Take the +125 offered by William Hill.

Arsenal should fare well against home side Bournemouth in Sunday’s first game. The Cherries like to play good football and that suits Arsenal down to the ground. There’s no value so enjoy the game but avoid betting on it.

The BIG game of the weekend is Liverpool v Manchester City. City have a horrendous record at Anfield, they haven’t won here since the 2002/3 season. At odds of +215 with Pinnacle, there is serious value on the home side winning. I don’t particularly like the choice, but I back value, not gut feel, so I’m putting my money there.

Manchester United v Stoke is the last game of the weekend, and it’s getting late for Stoke to bring in a new man in time for this one. No bet for me and probably not a game I’ll bother to sit down to. Stoke have a big question to solve and getting it right is going to be pivotal for them.

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