West Ham vs Chelsea, Saturday 12.30pm
Chelsea’s chance creation numbers are enough of a negative from the past two games to put me off backing them in this one at odds-on. They’ve averaged about 1.2 non-penalty expected goals per game over the last 180 minutes of football against Manchester United and Watford. That’s a little south of their usual 1.7 average under Thomas Tuchel.
Newcastle vs Burnley, Saturday 3pm
Never have a team with seven or fewer points after 14 games avoided relegation from the Premier League. It might just be ‘one of those seasons’ for the Toon Army, judging by a 1-1 draw with Norwich earned despite Ciaran Clark’s decision-making. Newcastle looked solid enough with 10 men until Teemu Pukki’s outstanding finish but, for the first
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Southampton vs Brighton, Saturday 3pm
Two teams I’d pay money to watch but two teams I don’t trust in front of goal, Saints and Brighton are both in the bottom four for conversion rates this season and only Wolves and Norwich have scored fewer goals (13).
Wolves vs Liverpool, Saturday 3pm
Eight of Liverpool’s nine wins in the Premier League this season have been achieved with a clean sheet. Everton broke that run in the midweek 4-1 but created little in the way of high probability chances other than Demarai Gray’s goal. Meanwhile, all five of Wolves’ defeats this season have come without them scoring in the match.
Watford vs Manchester City, Saturday 5.30pm,
My main betting attack on the match will centre around the performance of the sensational Joao Cancelo.
He is fast becoming City’s most important player in terms of chance creation – his link play with his teammates is seriously impressive and results in the full-back enjoying plenty of space to work with in the final third.
And once he gets into these dangerous positions, he’s happy to fire shots at goal, posting 18 shots on goal in his last nine appearances in all competitions. I’d expect him to go close to keeping up that average in this game where City will be dominating territory for the majority. The 6/5 for him to have a shot on target makes plenty of appeal.
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