Everton vs. AFC Bournemouth: Romelu Lukaku To Score Anytime (19/20 Ladbrokes)
Bournemouth’s troublingly patchy defensive line comes up against 12-goal Romelu Lukaku this weekend, and given he hasn’t scored in his last two fixtures, it’s fair to say he’s due one soon.
Eddie Howe’s defenders have swayed violently in form over the course of the season so far, flitting between weirdly solid and remarkably porous, and right now they’re in the latter category – as evidenced by their match against Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
Simon Francis & Co. have shown great vulnerability when run head-on at, and Lukaku – a human battering ram of a striker – will be licking his lips ahead of this one.
Hull City vs. Liverpool: Under 2.5 Goals (11/10 Ladbrokes)
If you believe in football hoodoos and bogey fixtures, you might well be aware of Liverpool’s continued failings when playing Hull City away from home. They’ve lost three of their last six visits, according to WhoScored.com, and have lost key games at the KCOM Stadium – including one that helped derail their 2013-14 title bid.
There’s only one thing Marco Silva has his Tigers doing in training right now, and that’s defend from a low block. This horrific run of fixtures has seen them play Chelsea away, Manchester United away, now brings them to Liverpool at home, and has them off to Arsenal next week. By the time that’s over, they’ll have literally been defending for 21 straight days.
Luckily, they’re pretty good at it, and with the Reds still not fully convincing, Under 2.5 goals looks nice at 11/10. Hull will make things very tough, and there’s a resilient streak to this team many overlook.
Crystal Palace vs. Sunderland: Palace Win (13/20 Ladbrokes)
Sam Allardyce was left desperately scrabbling around for players late on Tuesday, but did get two through the door. That, combined with the fact the club managed their first league victory under the current manager on the same night, combine for a potentially deadly cocktail of confidence.
Fortunes differed wildly for Sunderland on deadline day, who tried fruitlessly to lure Leonardo Ulloa to the club. A feeling of frustration haunted David Moyes’ press conference that night despite the fact they earned a point against Tottenham Hotspur.
The expectation here is that Palace move from strength to strength and sweep the Black Cats aside. If you’re feeling bold you could try and guess the score – perhaps 2-0, at 13/2? – but every acca needs a safer bet, and a straight home win feels like a winner.
Southampton vs. West Ham: West Ham Win (15/4 Ladbrokes)
It might seem strange to back a team who have just been drubbed 4-0 in midweek to win away from home three days later, but West Ham have the upper tactical hand in this one.
Andy Carroll’s going to cause Southampton’s lightweight defensive line an awful lot of problems, while Slaven Bilic is likely to give his shiny new £10 million toy Robert Snodgrass a full debut at St. Mary’s Stadium. Add to this to the footballing law of inevitably that Jose Fonte will haunt his former club so soon after leaving, and you’ve got yourself an attractive bet at 15/4.
The Saints have threats of their own and they’ve every chance of working the Hammers’ full-backs in the same way that Man City did, but the hosts are so fragile right now it’s difficult to trust them.