EPL Tips & Preview – Week 21

Palmerbet Blog

Find the back of the net with tips for the New Year’s round of EPL fixtures, including a pair of top-four blockbusters. 

23:30 (AEDT), Sat 1st Jan @ Emirates Stadium, London

History: Played 204: Arsenal 98 V Man City 61 (45 Draws)

Last meeting: August 28, 2021 (EPL): Man City 5 d Arsenal 0 at Etihad Stadium

Final Thoughts: In-form Arsenal get an ideal opportunity to score a rare victory over league leaders Manchester City, who are on a three-day turnaround.

Arsenal are winless in their last 12 Premier League games against Man City, losing the last nine straight by a combined 24-2. The Gunners were subjected to a 5-0 thrashing at Etihad Stadium earlier this season with Ferran Torres scoring a goal in each half.

But the fourth-placed Gunners have come a long way since that blowout and are currently on a blistering four-match winning streak, putting 14 goals past Southampton, West Ham, Leeds and Norwich and conceding just one. Bukayo Saka notched a brace in their 5-0 rout of the Canaries on Boxing Day, while Emile Smith-Rowe scored for the third straight game.

Arsenal’s midweek fixture was postponed.

Man City have built a handsome eight-point lead at the top of the table. They are on a 10-game winning streak, though they battled past Brentford on Thursday (AEDT) with Phil Foden’s 16th-minute goal enough for a 1-0 victory. The defending champs had scored 17 goals in their previous three games.

Backing Arsenal straight up a tasty $6 may be a tad ambitious, but their value is hard to ignore given City’s comparatively hectic schedule.

Best Bet: Handicap – Arsenal +1 @ $2.60

Same Game Multi: Total – Under 4.5; Handicap – Arsenal +1; Anytime Goalscorer – Raheem Sterling; Anytime Goalscorer – Alexandre Lacazette @ $18.83

02:00 (AEDT), Sun 2nd Jan @ King Power Stadium, Leicester

History: Played 59: Leicester 24 V Norwich 22 (13 Draws)

Last meeting: August 28, 2021 (EPL): Leicester 2 d Norwich 1 at Carrow Road

Final Thoughts: Leicester City’s wildly inconsistent season hit a high point midweek courtesy of a 1-0 upset of Liverpool. The ninth-placed Foxes were just 48 hours removed from a 6-3 loss to Man City before producing just their third clean sheet of the season. Ademola Lookman’s 59th-minute goal secured the boilover result.

Norwich City are mired in last place and have lost their last five games to nil – including heavy defeats to Arsenal (5-0) and Crystal Palace (3-0) in the past week.

Norwich notched a win and a draw against Leicester during the 2019-20 EPL season and caused them some problems at Carrow Road in Week 3 this season, the Foxes eventually getting away with a 2-1 win.

Leicester have been an untrustworthy outfit this season from a betting perspective, but they should get the job done comfortably at home as they spy an opportunity to climb up the ladder.

Best Bet: Handicap – Leicester -1 @ $2.10

Same Game Multi: Leicester To Win To Nil; Handicap – Leicester -2; Anytime Goalscorer – Jamie Vardy @ $7.05

02:00 (AEDT), Sun 2nd Jan @ Vicarage Road, Watford

History: Played 51: Tottenham 32 V Watford 8 (11 Draws)

Last meeting: August 29, 2021 (EPL): Tottenham 1 d Watford 0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Final Thoughts: Tottenham will look to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games against a Watford side that has lost five straight.

Spurs have not lost since October, though they will be disappointed to follow up their 2-all draw with Liverpool and 3-0 rout of Palace with a 1-all draw at Southampton. A Harry Kane penalty – the England captain’s third straight game scoring a goal – secured a point for Tottenham at St Mary’s Stadium.

After an 18-day break from the pitch due to COVID postponements, Watford returned with a 4-1 loss to West Ham midweek despite opening the scoring through Emmanuel Dennis (his fifth goal in six games) in the fourth minute.

Tottenham beat Watford 1-0 at home in Week 3 courtesy of Son Heung-min’s first-half goal. None of the teams’ last six clashes have featured a margin of more than one goal. But the Hornets’ defence has been threadbare recently and Spurs should be able to take full advantage.

Best Bet: Handicap – Tottenham -1 @ $2.75

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Tottenham -1; Both Teams To Scoer; Anytime Goalscorer – Son Heung-min @ $9.36

04:30 (AEDT), Sun 2nd Jan @ Selhurst Park, London

History: Played 63: West Ham 24 V Crystal Palace 16 (23 Draws)

Last meeting: August 28, 2021 (EPL): 2-2 draw at London Stadium

Final Thoughts: Crystal Palace bounced back from a 3-0 Boxing Day loss to Tottenham with a win over Norwich by the same scoreline, putting some nice breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone.

Fifth-placed West Ham ended a lean recent run with a 4-1 rout of Watford on Thursday (AEDT) after conceding in the fourth minute.

Crystal Palace twice came from behind via Conor Gallagher goals to force a 2-all draw at West Ham in Week 3. Pablo Fornals and Michail Antonio found the back of the net for the Irons.

Palace are no pushovers – particularly with just one home loss against their name this season – but I’m leaning towards West Ham making it back-to-back wins for the first time since early-November.

Best Bet: Draw or West Ham and Over 2.5 @ $2.60

Same Game Multi: Result – Draw; Both Teams To Score; Anytime Goalscorer – Michail Antonio @ $8.24

01:00 (AEDT), Mon 3rd Jan @ Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford

History: Played 15: Aston Villa 6 V Brentford 3 (6 Draws)

Last meeting: August 28, 2021 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Villa Park

Final Thoughts: After having two straight games postponed by COVID, 14th-placed Brentford have returned with losses to Brighton (2-0) and Man City (1-0) in the past week.

Twelfth-placed Aston Villa have only played once since December 14, going down 3-1 to Chelsea on Boxing Day. But they had been in decent touch, winning four of their previous six and holding their head high in plucky losses to Man City and Liverpool.

Brentford are unbeaten in their last seven matches against former Championship rivals Aston Villa. The teams drew 1-all at Villa Park in Week 3 after Ivan Toney (Brentford) and Emi Beundia (Villa) scored in the first 13 minutes.

When Brentford plays a fellow bottom-half team, we usually see a few goals. Aston Villa are tempting as only a narrow favourite but I’ll take the over.

Best Bet: Total – Over 2.5 @ $2.06

Same Game Multi: Result – Aston Villa; Total – Over 2.5; Both Teams To Score; Anytime Goalscorer – Ollie Watkins @ $9.89

01:00 (AEDT), Mon 3rd Jan @ St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton

History: Played 103: Newcastle 41 V Southampton 38 (24 Draws)

Last meeting: August 28, 2021 (EPL): 2-2 draw at St James’ Park

Final Thoughts: Southampton are 13th with just four wins on the board, but they have proved a tough nut to crack for most sides this season. They have lost just one of their last six and following up a Boxing Day upset of West Ham (3-2) with a draw against Tottenham (1-1). Skipper James Ward-Prowse scored for the third straight game to earn the point against Spurs.

Second-last Newcastle United put up a fine fight against visiting Man United earlier this week. After conceding 11 goals in a three-match losing streak, Newcastle drew 1-all with the heavyweights after Allan Saint-Maximin opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Their subsequent clash with Everton was postponed due to COVID cases and injuries in the Magpies camp.

Newcastle have lost just one of their last nine against Southampton – last season’s clash at St Mary’s Stadium (2-0). The clubs produced a thrilling 2-all draw at Newcastle in Week 3, with both sides scoring 90th-minute goals.

The Saints have had trouble converting good performances into wins – drawing nine games – and the value in a stalemate is tough to ignore.

Best Bet: Result – Draw @ $3.80

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Newcastle +1; Total – Under 2.5; Half-time Result – Draw @ $4.86

01:00 (AEDT), Mon 3rd Jan @ Elland Road, Leeds

History: Played 63: Leeds 33 V Burnley 18 (12 Draws)

Last meeting: August 29, 2021 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Turf Moor

Final Thoughts: After something of a resurgence in October-November, Leeds United are currently on a three-match losing streak and have not played since December 18. COVID-depleted Leeds were hammered 7-0 by Man City and 4-1 by Arsenal in their last two games.

Burnley returned to the pitch after an 18-day break against Man United on Friday (AEDT), going down 3-1. The 18th-placed Clarets had lost only one of their previous seven games.

Leeds won both clashes with Burnley last season to nil, but the clubs drew 1-all at Turf Moor in Week 3 after second-half goals from Chris Wood and Patrick Bamford.

Leeds have managed two draws and three wins from their last six at home – I’ll back them to get up against a limited Burnley outfit on a short turnaround.

Best Bet: Result – Leeds @ $2.10

Same Game Multi: Result – Leeds; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Patrick Bamford @ $5.50

01:00 (AEDT), Mon 3rd Jan @ Goodison Park, Liverpool

History: Played 20: Everton 10 V Brighton 4 (6 Draws)

Last meeting: August 28, 2021 (EPL): Everton 2 d Brighton 0 at Amex Stadium

Final Thoughts: Everton have won just one of their last 11 games and have not played since December 16, when they secured a promising 1-all result with heavyweights Chelsea.

Brighton and Hove Albion’s last outing was also a 1-all draw with Chelsea, on Thursday (AEDT), following on from a 2-0 win over Brentford on Boxing Day. Tenth-placed Brighton had not won since Week 5, but they still have only four losses against their name.

Everton grabbed a 2-0 win over Brighton in Week 3 – Brighton’s only loss during the first eight weeks of the season. The Seagulls have never won at Goodison Park, while their last draw at the venue was in 1982.

The teams can barely be split in the head-to-head market, but Brighton shape as the better pick despite their heavier recent schedule.

Best Bet: Double Chance and Total – Draw or Brighton and Under 2.5 @ $2.20

Same Game Multi: Result – Brighton; Total – Under 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Neal Maupay @ $9.19

03:30 (AEDT), Mon 3rd Jan @ Stamford Bridge, London

History: Played 189: Liverpool 82 V Chelsea 65 (42 Draws)

Last meeting: August 28, 2021 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Anfield

Final Thoughts: Another absolute blockbuster to bring in the New Year, but contenders Chelsea and Liverpool are both looking to turn around some subpar recent results.

Chelsea have recorded underwhelming draws with Everton, Wolves and Brighton among their past four games, along with a solid 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day. Romelu Lukaku scored the opener against Brighton on Thursday (AEDT) but Chelsea conceded an equaliser in the 91st minute.

Liverpool are bristling from just their second loss of the season, a shock 1-0 defeat at Leicester on Wednesday (AEDT). It was the first time this season Jurgen Klopp’s charges have been held scoreless. The Reds are battling a heavy injury toll, headlined by Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcantara and Divock Origi.

Liverpool have picked up two wins and a draw from their last three EPL games at Stamford Bridge. The heavyweights drew 1-all at Anfield earlier this season, with Mo Salah’s penalty on halftime cancelling out Kai Havertz’s opener. Expect a similarly hard-fought, low-scoring affair in this one as both sides attempt to regain some form and momentum.

Best Bet: Result – Draw @ $3.40

Same Game Multi: Total – Under 2.5; Result – Draw; Anytime Goalscorer – Mo Salah @ $10.09

04:30 (AEDT), Tue 4th Jan @ Old Trafford, Manchester

History: Played 108: Man United 52 V Wolverhampton 36 (20 Draws)

Last meeting: August 29, 2021 (EPL): Man United 1 d Wolverhampton 0 at Molineux Stadium

Final Thoughts: Another absolute blockbuster to bring in the New Year, but contenders Chelsea and Liverpool are both looking to turn around some subpar recent results.

Chelsea have recorded underwhelming draws with Everton, Wolves and Brighton among their past four games, along with a solid 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day. Romelu Lukaku scored the opener against Brighton on Thursday (AEDT) but Chelsea conceded an equaliser in the 91st minute.

Liverpool are bristling from just their second loss of the season, a shock 1-0 defeat at Leicester on Wednesday (AEDT). It was the first time this season Jurgen Klopp’s charges have been held scoreless. The Reds are battling a heavy injury toll, headlined by Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcantara and Divock Origi.

Liverpool have picked up two wins and a draw from their last three EPL games at Stamford Bridge. The heavyweights drew 1-all at Anfield earlier this season, with Mo Salah’s penalty on halftime cancelling out Kai Havertz’s opener. Expect a similarly hard-fought, low-scoring affair in this one as both sides attempt to regain some form and momentum.

Best Bet: Result – Draw @ $3.40

Same Game Multi: Total – Under 2.5; Result – Draw; Anytime Goalscorer – Mo Salah @ $10.09