Premier League Preview: The Week 2 Sides Are All But Relegated?

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Premier League Preview: The Week 2 Sides Are All But Relegated?

Sam Tighe

Leicester City vs. Stoke City: Leicester Win (1/1, Ladbrokes)

Seeing Leicester at evens to beat Stoke at home caused this writer a double-take; surely I’ve missed something, surely there’s something I’m blissfully unaware of?

But no, this is a Foxes side on a three-game win streak, in their best form this season, on the highest of mental highs, taking on a Potters side with little left to play for and who haven’t mustered so much as an away goal in their last three attempts.

Craig Shakespeare has taken Leicester back to their roots to great effect; Mark Hughes, meanwhile, is still seemingly trying to establish his with a higgledy-piggledy team.

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Marco Silva

Hull City vs. West Ham: Over 2.5 Goals (10/11, Ladbrokes)

According to WhoScored.com, there have been over 2.5 goals scored in eight of West Ham’s last nine Premier League matches, and with a trip to Hull on the horizon, we expect that to become nine of the last 10.

The Tigers have been strong on home turf ever since Marco Silva took the reins, with victories over AFC Bournemouth, Liverpool and Swansea City all significantly boosting their survival hopes. You’d expect them to put a few past this West Ham defence, who have appeared hapless of late and are now missing their leader Winston Reid.

Similarly, you’d back a forward contingent of Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew, Robert Snodgrass and Manuel Lanzini to net at least one, making Over 2.5 Goals a nice bet if you’re not brave enough to tip a result either way.

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Watford vs. Sunderland: Under 2.5 Goals (4/6, Ladbrokes)

Watford vs. Sunderland just screams under 2.5 goals. Neither side have been any good of late, with the Hornets winless in four and the Black Cats rooted to the bottom of the table, seven points off safety.

Despite the presence of Jermain Defoe, the goalscoring threat Sunderland pose has been exceptionally limited of late; they haven’t scored a goal since January 14, and the last time a player not named Defoe netted for them was on Christmas Eve.

With Watford’s injuries preventing them from gaining any semblance of form, this should be a grim watch with few goals.

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Llorente

Swansea City vs. Middlesbrough: Swansea Win (20/21, Ladbrokes)

Many will expect this one to follow the form book: Swansea, who have three successive home wins under their belts, to beat Boro, who have three successive away losses in reply.

This column certainly does, but the likelihood of it being decided by a one-goal margin also seems high. You can’t expect managerless Boro to just roll over – as tempting as it is to believe that’s what will happen – as if they lose, they’ll be eight points off the Swans with only nine games to play.

But the Teessiders are awful in front of goal, that fact cannot be escaped, and they can’t outscore anyone – let alone a side spearheaded by Fernando Llorente and fuelled by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

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