It’s been a cracking week for football fans. After the struggle of the international break, this week has been a splendid reminder of what makes club football so much fun.
It was a packed weekend of club action and then we have/had European matches to carry us through the drab midweek days.
Before we know it, it will be time for the Saturday afternoon games again. Here are a few thoughts on four of the Premier League’s 3pm matches.
CRYSTAL PALACE vs Burnley
Crystal Palace and Burnley are the two worst sides in the league on form. Palace are winless in seven, Burnley are winless in six and they are right in the midst of a very tight-fought relegation contest.
Palace’s draw away to Manchester United will have pleased Roy Hodgson, but they continue to look poor in the final third.
Burnley were unlucky to lose to Newcastle. Sean Dyche’s side have regressed massively from last year’s freak campaign and their expected numbers are the worst in the league.
The defence that defied the odds is conceding chances at an alarming rate. Palace’s dysfunctional attack and Burnley’s shaky defence make it a tricky match to call.
The Clarets’ back line might be exactly what Hodgson’s side have needed.
TIP: Over 1.5 Crystal Palace goals @ 3/4
PREDICTED SCORE: Crystal Palace 2-1 Burnley (Priced at 7/1 with 888sport)
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Huddersfield are unbeaten in three matches, having climbed out of the relegation zone thanks to a couple of victories. Winning at Wolves last weekend was a surprise, though not on the same scale as it would have been a month or so ago.
The Terriers are set for a long year battling against the drop, but their recent form will have given them renewed confidence.
Brighton are five points above their hosts despite a poor run. Defeats to Cardiff and Everton were followed by a home draw with Leicester.
Chris Hughton’s side have been leaky defensively and they do not have the attacking firepower to compensate for that.
These are two well matched sides, but home advantage gives Huddersfield the edge.
TIP: Huddersfield to win OR draw @ 7/20
PREDICTED SCORE: Huddersfield 1-1 Brighton (Priced at 5/1 with 888sport)
LEICESTER CITY vs Watford
These two are set for a season in the comfort of mid-table. Separated by just two points, there is a good chance they finish the season where they are right now.
They have conceded the same number of goals, Leicester have scored just one goal more than the visitors, and they sit ninth and 10th. Everything suggests a close match at the King Power.
The form guide suggests they are heading in opposite directions, however.
Leicester are unbeaten in four, while Javi Gracia’s side have had a blip after a great start and picked up a solitary point from their last three Premier League outings.
Leicester are good value to take all three points from this one, even without the suspended James Maddison.
TIP: Leicester to win @ 6/5
PREDICTED SCORE: Leicester 2-0 Watford (Priced at 9/1 with 888sport)
MANCHESTER CITY vs AFC BOURNEMOUTH
Manchester City are on course for a season even better than last. Pep Guardiola’s side are as close to unstoppable as we have ever seen in the Premier League.
They have scored 13 goals in their last three league matches and dropped just four points all season.
Bournemouth got some early wins under their belt, but their form has unsurprisingly dropped as their schedule toughened. The Cherries have lost their last three and are now firmly back in mid-table.
The defensive vulnerabilities are present again, which does not bode well for a trip to the Etihad Stadium.
As with most matches City play, it’s simply a question of how many they score. Bournemouth will give it a go unlike others and that should see plenty of goals fly in.
TIP: Over 4.5 goals @ 6/4
PREDICTED SCORE: Man City 4-2 Bournemouth (Priced at 28/1 with 888sport)
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*