Norwich v Leicester
These two teams are battling at opposite ends of the division but, despite there being 32 points and 17 places between them in the Premier League, I don’t think there’s a massive difference in quality. Clearly, Leicester are the superior side, but I think Norwich have some players, especially offensively, which could get in and around the Foxes squad.
Emi Buendia, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki are three players that I think are more than capable of playing at this level and I’d be surprised if some other top division sides didn’t sign them if and when they get relegated. Despite being bottom of the league, their xG (Expected Goals) is the 18th best in the league and their Xpts (Expected Points) has them outside of the bottom three.
Leicester, on the other hand, look to be on the verge of returning to the Champions League, having featured in the competition having won the league in 2016. They are currently nine points clear of Manchester United in 5th but seven points behind Manchester City in 2nd.
Their attacking talent is up there with the best in the league, with James Maddison, Ayoze Perez, Harvey Barnes and – the league’s joint top goalscorer – Jamie Vardy. They have goals across the pitch and even full-backs Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Periera have chipped in with goals in recent weeks for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
31/54 (57%) of these sides combined league games this season have seen over 2.5 goals, with Norwich averaging 2.78 and Leicester averaging 3.00 goals per game. If over 2.5 goals cops again here, we’d see a half win, whilst four or more goals in this game would give us a full payout.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 at 1.840
Brighton v Crystal Palace
This is one of those strange games that is labelled as a derby, but nobody is quite sure why. It all dates back to the 1970s when both sides met five time across the 1976-77 season. They are both battling to avoid relegation this campaign, which means this should be a pretty tasty encounter on Saturday lunchtime.
Looking purely at xPTS, Brighton are faring significantly better than Palace, with Graham Potter’s side 10 points better off than the Eagles when it comes to the data. They also have a superior xG so, when it comes to the deeper analytics, you have to side with the home team here.
Data aside, Brighton’s home form is solid, if not spectacular. They’ve lost just one of their last five games and, whilst they’ve drawn three of those, those points could be valuable come the end of the season. Those draws have all been 1-1 and the defeat was by a 1-0 scoreline, so it’s clear they’re looking to edge out games now we head into the business end of the season. This looks like a good tactic for this one, against a Palace side struggling to find the back of the net.
Roy Hodgson’s side are the joint lowest scorers in the league and they’ve failed to win an away game since the end of November. I have my doubts about Jordan Ayew, Christian Benteke and Cenk Tosun and, along with Wilfried Zaha, are really struggling to score the goals that could keep Palace up.
I backed Brighton to win this game in the reverse fixture and was denied by a late Crystal Palace equaliser, but I have faith in the Seagulls to get the job done this time. This is available at 2.070 and I think that’s a more than fair price.
1×2 Betting Recommendation: Brighton to win at 2.070
Watford v Liverpool
The Premier League is all but wrapped up but it looks like Liverpool are stuttering on their way to lifting their first title in 30 years. They lost their Champions League first-leg 1-0 to Atletico Madrid a couple of weeks ago, whilst also coming from behind against West Ham to win 3-2 at Anfield on Monday. They’re still unbeaten but their performances will have to improve if they are to be just the second team to do so come the end of the season.
As for Watford, their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday seems slightly unfair, having had what they believed to be an equaliser ruled out by VAR and putting in a brave performance at Old Trafford. I firmly believe that if Nigel Pearson was in charge from the start of the season then they’d be pushing for the top half and I have no doubt that they’ll avoid relegation.
They have an abundance of quality across the pitch, with the likes of Ben Foster, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gerard Deulofeu just a number of players who are all more than capable at this level. They are 12th in the xPTS table since Pearson has taken over the club and it’s clear that he has made a huge impact at Vicarage Road.
Liverpool have a FA Cup game against Chelsea on Tuesday and, whilst Jurgen Klopp hasn’t taken this competition particularly seriously, he will have at least one eye on that game. You also have to question how much Monday’s tussle took out of the Reds players and I think they’ll look to grind this game out, just as they have done plenty of times this season.
I like the look of Watford with a +1.25 start for this game, which you can back at 1.880. Along with the reasons above, it has landed in all of Liverpool’s last five away games and Watford’s last five home games, so I will be siding with the Hornets here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Watford +1.25 at 1.880
Preview by: @AdamGoodwin
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