Find the back of the net with tips for Week 24 of the EPL season after a two-week international break. It’s a midweek round, which follows a Week 17 catch-up clash.
05:00 (AEDT), Sun 6th Feb @ Turf Moor, Burnley
History: Played 44: Burnley 21 V Burnley 13 (10 Draws)
Last meeting: June 25, 2020 (EPL): Burnley 1 d Watford 0 at Turf Moor
Final Thoughts: Relegation candidates Burnley and Watford try for the third time to get their Week 17 fixture played. Both teams will back up three days later to face far superior opposition in Week 24.
Injury- and COVID-ravaged Burnley are last with just one win on the board. But they have managed nine draws and have played a league-low 18 games – every other club has played at least 20. The Clarets’ only league outing since January 2 was a gritty scoreless draw at Arsenal in Week 23.
Second-last Watford are just two points ahead of Burnley. After picking up just one point in eight games – a dismal run culminating in a 3-0 loss to battlers Norwich – the Hornets axed Claudio Ranieri and brought in Roy Hodgson as manager.
Burnley boast four wins and a draw from their last six clashes with Watford. The hosts are $2.20 favourites here but the unders play looks the safest one here with neither side scoring more than one goal in their last six games.
Best Bet: Total – Under 2.5 @ $1.71
06:45 (AEDT), Wed 9th Feb @ St James’ Park, Newcastle
History: Played 178: Everton 74 V Newcastle 68 (36 Draws)
Last meeting: January 30, 2021 (EPL): Newcastle 2 d Everton 0 at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: Week 24 gets underway with another clash that could prove crucial in the relegation battle.
Newcastle are 18th but have managed 1-all draws with Man United and Watford, followed by a 1-0 victory at Leeds in their only three games since Xmas. Allan Saint-Maximim scored the goals in the two draws, while Jonjo Shelvey’s 75th-minute strike secured the three points at Elland Road. The Magpies also added Kiwi striker Chris Wood to their ranks recently.
Everton are at a low ebb, languishing in 16th – just four points ahead of the relegation zone – after managing just one win and two draws in their last 13 games. Since the calendar flipped over into 2022, the Toffees have lost to Brighton (3-2), Norwich (2-1) and Aston Villa (1-0). Rafael Benitez was punted in mid-January and Frank Lampard will line up for his first match as Everton manager here.
Newcastle won both clashes with Everton last season – 2-1 at home and 2-0 at Goodison Park – and have lost only one of the teams’ last six encounters.
In an intriguing subplot, both clubs are reportedly vying for Dele Alli’s services. There’s little separating the rivals in the head-to-head market but Newcastle’s only loss in their last six at home was to Man City, so I’ll back them to pile even more misery on Everton.
Best Bet: Result – Newcastle @ $2.50
06:45 (AEDT), Wed 9th Feb @ London Stadium, London
History: Played 80: West Ham 46 V Watford 21 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: December 28, 2021 (EPL): West Ham 4 d Watford 1 at Vicarage Road
Final Thoughts: On a short turnaround from their crunch game at Burnley, Watford head to London to take on fifth-placed West Ham.
Hammers are aiming to halt a two-game skid, upset 3-2 at home by Leeds and going down 1-0 at Manchester United, who subsequently leapfrogged them into the top four.
West Ham have won their last four against Watford by a combined 14-4 – including a 4-1 drubbing in late-December after the Hornets scored the first goal at home.
Watford give up two goals per game on average – second-worst in the EPL – while West Ham have scored two-plus in five of their last six. The hosts should get the job done easily.
Best Bet: Handicap – West Ham -1 @ $2.00
07:00 (AEDT), Wed 9th Feb @ Turf Moor, Burnley
History: Played 133: Man United 65 V Burnley 45 (23 Draws)
Last meeting: December 30, 2021 (EPL): Man United 3 d Burnley 1 at Old Trafford
Final Thoughts: Burnley get to stay put at Turf Moor for their two games in quick succession. But they host a Manchester United outfit looking to consolidate their newfound top-four standing.
United have lost just one of their 10 games since Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s exit. They defeated Brentford 3-1 and West Ham 1-0 in their last two games, with Marcus Rashford scoring in both – including a 93rd-minute winner against Hammers. Mason Greenwood found the back of the net against Brentford but has since been arrested and is suspended until further notice.
United carved out a 3-1 win at home at Old Trafford in Week 20, with Cristiano Ronaldo among the scorers as they piled on three goals in the opening 35 minutes.
Despite the Greenwood distraction, United should come away from this road trip with a similar result.
06:45 (AEDT), Thu 10th Feb @ Carrow Road, Norwich
History: Played 115: Crystal Palace 50 V Norwich 44 (21 Draws)
Last meeting: December 28, 2021 (EPL): Crystal Palace 3 d Norwich 0 at Selhurst Park
Final Thoughts: Norwich City are on the march, rocketing to 17th after occupying a bottom-two spot for the first 20 weeks of the season. Following six straight losses to nil, the Canaries revived their hopes of staying in the top tier with back-to-back wins over Everton at home (2-1) and Watford away (3-0).
A second-half brace to Josh Sargent put Norwich on course for their stunning result at Vicarage Road.
Crystal Palace are meandering safely in 13th spot, chalking up five wins (only one more than Norwich) and nine draws this season. Since romping to a 3-0 victory at home to Norwich in Week 20, Palace have lost to West Ham (3-2) and Liverpool (3-1) either side of a 1-all draw at Brighton. Odsonne Edouard has scored in three of Palace’s past four games.
Norwich have picked up just one win from their last 12 matches against Palace. But I’ll back them to pick up at least a point at home on the back of their recent mini-surge.
Best Bet: Handicap – Norwich +1 @ $1.73
06:45 (AEDT), Thu 10th Feb @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
History: Played 200: Tottenham 85 V Southampton 64 (31 Draws)
Last meeting: December 28, 2021 (EPL): 1-1 draw at St Mary’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Tottenham are looking to get back on track after their nine-match unbeaten streak ended unceremoniously with a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea – Spurs’ first loss since October.
Southampton have inched their way up to 12th with two wins and three draws in their last six games. They held Manchester City to a shock 1-all draw in Week 23 after Kyle Walker-Peters gave the rank outsiders an early lead.
Southampton have lost their last six away games against Tottenham. The teams drew 1-all at St Mary’s Stadium in Week 20, with a Harry Kane penalty cancelling out James Ward-Prowse’s opener.
But Tottenham boast four wins and a draw with Liverpool in their past five home games – scoring 12 goals in the process – and their considerable attacking arsenal will see them get up for a crucial win.
06:45 (AEDT), Thu 10th Feb @ Etihad Stadium, Manchester
History: Played 14: Man City 8 V Brentford 5 (1 Draw)
Last meeting: December 29, 2021 (EPL): Man City 1 d Brentford 0 at Brentford Community Stadium
Final Thoughts: Man City hold a nine-point lead at the top of the table but their 12-match winning streak ended with a 1-all draw away to unfashionable Southampton in Week 23. Kevin de Bruyne has been in marvellous touch for City, while Bernardo Silva has emerged as one of the season’s standout players just months after he seemed set to leave the club.
Brentford have slipped to 14th courtesy of four straight losses, outscored 12-3 in going down to Southampton, Liverpool, Man United and Wolves.
Brentford were plucky in going down just 1-0 at home to City in Week 20. Phil Foden’s 16th-minute strike was enough to get the three points for the defending champs.
Expect a more comprehensive victory from the Citizens at the Etihad, though I still think the $23 underdogs represent better value with a huge head-start.
Best Bet: Handicap – Brentford +3 @ $1.83
07:00 (AEDT), Thu 10th Feb @ Villa Park, Birmingham
History: Played 102: Aston Villa 40 V Leeds 32 (30 Draws)
Last meeting: February 27, 2021 (EPL): Aston Villa 1 d Leeds 0 at Elland Road
Final Thoughts: Aston Villa are 11th on the ladder and have their sights set on a top-half finish this season. They’ve managed five wins and a draw in their last 10 games, following up a 2-all result against Man United in Week 22 with a 1-0 victory at Everton.
Leeds are 15th but took a couple of steps away from the relegation picture with wins over Burnley (3-1) and West Ham (3-2) to kick off 2022. Jack Harrison scored the opener against Burnley before nabbing a hat-trick against Hammers. But they were disappointing in a 1-0 home loss to lowly Newcastle in Week 23.
Leeds have lost just three times in their last 14 clashes with Villa. But it was Villa who took the spoils in their Week 20 showdown at Elland Road, Anwar El Ghazi’s fifth-minute goal securing a 1-0 result.
The market looks about right here with Villa heading in as $1.91 home favourites.
06:45 (AEDT), Fri 11th Feb @ Anfield, Liverpool
History: Played 118: Liverpool 52 V Leicester 41 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: December 28, 2021 (EPL): Leicester 1 d Liverpool 0 at King Power Stadium
Final Thoughts: In what would normally be something of a marquee clash in recent seasons, Liverpool are hot $1.25 favourites to put away inconsistent Leicester at Anfield.
Leicester won the teams’ last two Premier League encounters, however. Both upsets were at home – including a 1-0 result in Week 20, six days after losing a penalty shootout at Anfield. Liverpool prevailed 3-0 in last season’s home fixture against the Foxes.
Since that shock defeat at King Power Stadium, Liverpool have drawn 2-all at Chelsea and beaten Brentford (3-0) and Palace (3-1) handsomely to consolidate second spot.
Tenth-placed Leicester, meanwhile, have not been able to build on that boilover, losing to Tottenham (3-2) and drawing with Brighton (1-1) at home in their only two games since.
Liverpool look a little short head-to-head, but count on them to get the W in what shapes as a more open affair than the clubs’ recent meeting at Leicester.
06:45 (AEDT), Fri 11th Feb @ Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton
History: Played 118: Arsenal 58 V Wolverhampton 32 (28 Draws)
Last meeting: February 2, 2021 (EPL): Wolverhampton 2 d Arsenal 1 at Molineux Stadium
Final Thoughts: Sixth-placed Arsenal are eager to return to form after a modest start to 2022. The Gunners finished last year with four straight wins in which they piled on 14 goals, but since then they’ve lost 2-1 to Man City and been held to a scoreless draw by struggled Burnley – both at home.
Unfancied Wolverhampton are lurking in eighth spot – just two points behind Arsenal – after carving out four wins and a draw with heavyweights Chelsea in their last six games. Following a couple of post-Xmas postponements, Wolves have beaten Man United (1-0) and Brentford (2-1) away either side of a 3-1 home win over Southampton.
Wanderers have lost only one of their last six against the Gunners. They won both encounters last season by 2-1 scorelines.
Meanwhile, Wolverhampton’s only loss in their last seven games at Molineux Stadium was a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool. They won four of those matches and their underdog value is mighty tempting in this pivotal showdown.