Aston Villa 2.30, the draw 3.20, Sunderland 3.25
Just one point separates these two teams and while both lost on Boxing Day, Sunderland’s defeat to a poor Hull side will give the greater cause for concern. After ten winless matches, the Tigers won 3-1 at the Stadium of Light – a result that, in many ways, is as bad as the 8-0 reverse against Southampton.
Overall form is typically mixed for two teams in the lower middle half but home advantage, coupled with the fallout from the Black Cats’ loss, should hand the points to Villa.
Best Bet: Both teams to score 1.90
Score Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Sunderland 10.50
Hull City 2.20, the draw 3.30, Leicester City 3.35
Leicester were rightly labelled ‘unlucky’ to have lost to Spurs but while they ran into Hugo Lloris in inspired form, some poor finishing and a lack of confidence contributed to their ultimate downfall.
The Foxes will need to be sharper on Sunday against a Hull side boosted by that Sunderland victory and if they can keep battling as they did against Tottenham, it should lead to a share of the points.
Best Bet: Leonardo Ulloa to score anytime 3.65
Score Prediction: Hull City 1-1 Leicester City 6.50
Manchester City 1.15, the draw 7.50, Burnley 21.00
Games like these – particularly when they involve Manchester City – don’t always go according to the market and Burnley continue to play bright football, even if results aren’t going their way.
Narrow and some would say undeserved defeats to Spurs and Liverpool over the Christmas period suggest that the Clarets will be competitive but even with their injury issues, City are the only logical bet – even if it may be closer than the odds indicate.
Best Bet: David Silva to score anytime 2.48
Score Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Burnley 5.80
Queens Park Rangers 2.30, the draw 3.30, Crystal Palace 3.15
While QPR’s away form continues to disappoint, three straight home victories makes them a better option than these odds may indicate. Meanwhile, Palace haven’t won since that memorable 3-1 victory over Liverpool in November, and although there have been encouraging draws against Spurs and Stoke this month they weren’t enough to keep Neil Warnock in a job.
With the Eagles dropping into the bottom three, it all seems to point to a home victory so we’ll go with form for once in another tight win for the hosts.
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals 2.07
Score Prediction: Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Crystal Palace 9.00
Stoke City 1.85, the draw 3.45, West Brom 4.40
A recent run of improved results suggest that Stoke are an obvious bet but there’s little in the way of consistency for the Potters. A team that is capable of winning at Manchester City, Spurs and Everton have also gone down at home to Burnley, and West Brom have every chance of another upset.
However, the Baggies are in the middle of a wretched run that has seen them win just one in eight. I’m taking Stoke – although not necessarily with 100% confidence.
Best Bet: Jon Walters to score anytime 4.20
Score Prediction: Stoke City 1-0 West Brom 6.75
West Ham 3.40, the draw 3.50, Arsenal 2.10
The Hammers have tested all of the top sides this season and will therefore be confident of at least a point against Arsenal at Upton Park. The Gunners have patchy form and were less than convincing against QPR but should be inspired by the fact that victory is likely to take them into the top four.
Form may suggest a draw but I’m backing the away side to edge it.
Best Bet: Both teams to score 1.55
Score Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Arsenal 8.50