Find the back of the net with tips for Week 16 of the EPL season with some big guns striving to bounce back from shock losses.
07:00 (AEDT), Sat 11th Dec @ Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford
History: Played 73: Watford 26 V Brentford 21 (26 Draws)
Last meeting: May 1, 2021 (Championship): Brentford 2 d Watford 0 at Brentford Community Stadium
Final Thoughts: Brentford are keeping their noses in front of the relegation picture, picking two draws and a win from their last four games to sit 13th. After a 2-0 loss at Tottenham in Week 14, they drew 2-all at Leeds three days later – but conceding a 95th-minute equaliser represented a big lost opportunity.
Watford are 17th, staying three points clear of danger despite losing their last three to Leicester (4-2), Chelsea (2-1) and Man City (3-1) since their stunning 4-1 upset of Man United. Emerging from that tough four-match schedule with three points can be viewed as a success for the Hornets – and posting eight goals during that period (in a season total of 20) was certainly unexpected.
Brentford had the edge over Watford during last season’s Championship. After securing a 1-all draw at Vicarage Road, the Bees beat the Hornets 2-0 at home to end an 18-match winless run in the rivalry.
But relishing the chance to play someone more on their level, Watford look decent value as $3.50 underdogs here.
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Watford +1; Total – Over 1.5; Half-time Result – Draw; Both Teams To Score @ $5.28
23:30 (AEDT), Sat 11th Dec @ Etihad Stadium, Manchester
History: Played 124: Man City 50 V Wolverhampton 49 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: March 2, 2021 (EPL): Man City 4 d Wolverhampton 1 at Etihad Stadium
Final Thoughts: Manchester City have surged to the Premier League lead thanks to five straight wins and Chelsea’s Week 15 slip-up. City chalked up a comfortable 3-1 win over Watford last weekend, with Bernardo Silva scoring a goal in each half after Raheem Sterling bagged the opener. A Champions League loss to RB Leipzig took the gloss off the past week somewhat.
Wolverhampton hung onto eighth spot despite a 1-0 home loss to Liverpool last week, conceding in stoppage time. Wolves have lost just two of their last 10 but scoring goals is becoming an issue again, putting just one in the back of the net in their past five games.
After losing both games between the sides the previous season, Man City punished Wolves during the 2020-21 campaign – 3-1 at Molineux Stadium and 4-1 at home.
Man City, $1.14 favourites, should get all three points again here. The defending champs have conceded in each of their last three games but boast eight clean sheets this season; they seem likely to add to that tally against a team with the EPL’s second-lowest goal tally.
Best Bet: Man City To Win To Nil @ $1.64
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Man City -2; Total – Over 3.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Raheem Sterling @ $6.22
02:00 (AEDT), Sun 12th Dec @ Stamford Bridge, London
History: Played 104: Leeds 39 V Chelsea 35 (30 Draws)
Last meeting: March 13, 2021 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Elland Road
Final Thoughts: A 3-2 loss at West Ham last weekend – just their second of the season – saw Chelsea relinquish top spot on the ladder. Chelsea led twice during the match but went down after conceding more than one goal for the first time in this campaign. Their defensive issues continued midweek when they drew 3-all with Zenit Saint Petersburg in the UCL after leaking just one goal in five previous pool games.
Leeds are a lowly 15th but they are avoiding losses, winning two and drawing four of their last seven. A goal deep into stoppage time from Patrick Bamford – just his second of the season after scoring 17 last year – secured a 2-all draw at home to Brentford in Week 15.
Leeds were sent packing from Stamford Bridge with a 3-1 loss last December, but they held Chelsea to a scoreless draw at home. They last beat the Blues in London in 1999.
Chelsea – very short $1.29 favourites to bounce back from last week – should find a way to win but Leeds are no pushovers, conceding no more than two goals and losing by no more than one goal in their past 11 games.
Best Bet: Handicap – Leeds +2 @ $2.00
Same Game Multi: Result – Chelsea; Total – Under 3.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Romelu Lukaku; Chelsea Score In Both Halves @ $8.21
02:00 (AEDT), Sun 12th Dec @ Anfield, Liverpool
History: Played 197: Liverpool 98 V Aston Villa 59 (40 Draws)
Last meeting: April 10, 2021 (EPL): Liverpool 2 d Aston Villa 1 at Anfield
Final Thoughts: Another mismatch according to the head-to-head market, with Liverpool resounding $1.22 favourites to put away Aston Villa.
Third-placed Liverpool have won four straight, though last week’s 1-0 victory at Wolverhampton was decidedly dour after putting four goals past each of Arsenal, Southampton and Everton. Divorck Origi’s 94th-minute goal stole the three points for the heavyweights, while the Belgian also scored the winner in Liverpool’s 2-1 UCL win over AC Milan midweek.
Aston Villa have climbed to 10th with three wins from four matches since Steven Gerrard’s arrival, culminating in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Leicester at home. Centre-back Ezri Konsa scored a goal in each half in an impressive performance.
Aston Villa produced one of the most stunning results in Premier League history by thrashing Liverpool 7-2 last season. The defending champs saved some face with a 2-1 defeat of Villa at Anfield – but only after a 90th-minute winner from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Villa will hold their own, but after getting out of jail in a low-scorer last week, expect Liverpool’s free-scoring form to return at Anfield.
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Liverpool -1; Total – Over 3.5; Both Teams To Score; Anytime Goalscorer – Mo Salah; Anytime Goalscorer – Diogo Jota @ $7.63
02:00 (AEDT), Sun 12th Dec @ Emirates Stadium, London
History: Played 102: Arsenal 52 V Southampton 22 (28 Draws)
Last meeting: January 26, 2021: Arsenal 3 d Southampton 1 at St Mary’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Seventh-placed Arsenal are suddenly under the pump again after losing three of their last four. Defeat to Liverpool and Man United is palatable – but a 2-1 loss to struggling Everton after scoring the only goal of the first half and conceding the winner in stoppage time was a bitterly disappointing result.
Winless in their last four, 16th-placed Southampton are coming off back-to-back draws against Leicester (2-2) and Brighton (1-1). The Saints have made a habit of starting well – including goals in the opening five minutes of three of their last five games – but they have not scored a second-half goal in their past six outings.
Last season the teams drew at Emirates Stadium and Arsenal snared a 3-1 win at Southampton, either side of the Gunners’ 1-0 FA Cup victory.
Arsenal boast five wins and a draw from their last six at Emirates Stadium, while Southampton have won just once – at Watford – on the road. The hosts look the goods here.
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Arsenal -1; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Emile Smith Rowe @ $6.85
04:30 (AEDT), Sun 12th Dec @ Carrow Road, Norwich
History: Played 72: Man United 40 V Norwich 17 (15 Draws)
Last meeting: June 27, 2020 (FA Cup): Man City 2 d Norwich 1 at Carrow Road
Final Thoughts: Manchester United are inching in the right direction amid their managerial upheaval. New boss Ralf Rangnick enjoyed a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace – United’s second straight victory for the first time since mid-September – in his first match at the helm. Unable to convert a slew of first-half chances, United broke through via Fred in the 77th minute, while they kept just their third clean sheet of the season.
United drew 1-1 with Young Boys in midweek Europa League action to finish top of their group.
Norwich City have slipped back to last on the ladder after their four-match unbeaten streak (wins over Brentford and Southampton, draws with Wolves and Newcastle) ended via a 3-0 loss at Tottenham.
The Canaries have struggled against the EPL’s big-name sides this season and Man United will be eager to use their trip to Carrow Road to flex.
Best Bet: Handicap – Man United -1 @ $2.25
Same Game Multi: Man United To Win To Nil; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Cristiano Ronaldo; Half-time Result – Man United @ $7.42
01:00 (AEDT), Mon 13th Dec @ Turf Moor, Burnley
History: Played 92: Wet Ham 39 V Burnley 35 (18 Draws)
Last meeting: May 3, 2021 (EPL): West Ham 2 d Burnley 1 at Turf Moor
Final Thoughts: West Ham head to Turf Moor aiming to consolidate their top-four position with back-to-back wins. Hammers knocked off league leaders Chelsea 3-2 at home last week, twice coming from behind before Arthur Masuaku’s 87th-minute winner. They then clinched top spot in their Europa League group with a 2-0 win at Rapid Wien midweek.
Burnley, 18th on the ladder, had their plucky five-match unbeaten streak halted last week by a disappointing 1-0 loss away to fellow stragglers Newcastle.
After losing four of the previous five against Burnley, the Irons beat the Clarets 1-0 at home and 2-1 at Turf Moor last season.
This is a real banana skin game for a West Ham side that has lost its last two league games on the road. But their efforts over the past week suggest they can get the job done against a relegation contender.
Best Bet: Result – West Ham @ $2.00
Same Game Multi: Handicap – West Ham -1; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Michail Antonio; Half-time Result – West Ham @ $12.03
01:00 (AEDT), Mon 13th Dec @ King Power Stadium, Leicester
History: Played 129: Newcastle 54 V Leicester 48 (27 Draws)
Last meeting: May 7, 2021 (EPL): Newcastle 4 d Leicester 2 at King Power Stadium
Final Thoughts: Leicester City’s struggles continued last week, held to a draw by Southampton before going down 2-1 at Aston Villa in the space of four days. The Foxes are 11th and have won just one of their last six. The Europa League provided no relief for Brendan Rodgers’ spluttering side, beaten 3-2 by Napoli to miss a spot in the knockouts.
Meanwhile, Newcastle finally secured their first win – and climbed off the bottom rung of the EPL ladder – with a 1-0 home win over Burnley. The Magpies have lost only one of their last five with Eddie Howe seemingly having a positive impact since his arrival last month.
Leicester won 2-1 at St James’ Park last season but crashed to a shock, ultimately crucial 4-2 late-season defeat to Newcastle at home.
It’s difficult to get on-board with Leicester as a heavy favourite at present – Newcastle will provide a decent challenge to a big-name team short on confidence.
01:00 (AEDT), Mon 13th Dec @ Amex Stadium, Brighton
History: Played 32: Tottenham 16 V Brighton 8 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: January 31, 2021: Brighton 1 d Tottenham 0 at Amex Stadium
Update: The Premier League have officially confirmed that Brighton vs Tottenham has been called off following an outbreak of coronavirus at the London club.
03:30 (AEDT), Mon 13th Dec @ Selhurst Park, London
History: Played 53: Everton 22 V Crystal Palace 13 (18 Draws)
Last meeting: April 5, 2021 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: Everton pulled off a pressure-relieving upset last week and moved to 12th, but their last-gasp victory over Arsenal will have been in vain if they can’t follow it up on this road trip to London. The Toffees snapped an agonising eight-match winless streak (featuring just two draws) when Demarai Gray’s brilliant strike in stoppage time gave them a 2-1 win over the Gunners.
Crystal Palace are 14th after three straight losses to Villa (2-1), Leeds (1-0) and Man United (1-0). It’s been a disappointing slide for Patrick Vieira’s side, who had lost just twice in their first 12 games.
Everton are unbeaten in their last 13 against Crystal Palace. The Toffees prevailed 2-1 at Selhurst Park last season, while the Liverpool-hosted fixture finished 1-all.
Palace are $2.25 favourites at home and have been held scoreless just once at Selhurst Park. But after last week’s breakthrough, I’m picking Everton to pick up their first point on the road in more than two months.