- Manager-less Everton host Chelsea
- Liverpool to continue winning
Everton vs Chelsea
Everton are sitting in relegation zone after a merciless 5-2 thrashing by Liverpool on Wednesday night. Marco Silva was sacked as expected, as his side’s poor finishing led to 8 defeats in 11 games. They are also shocking in defence with no combination of back-4 working at the moment. The Toffees are facing a Chelsea side that has scored 19 goals Away this campaign. Exactly what they needed after letting in 5 goals (4 in first half) against their bitter rivals.
The Pensioners may be comfortable on the road ( 4 wins in 5) but are overly reliant on their talisman Tammy Abraham- the defeat against West Ham says it all. Similar to Everton, they are shaky at the back without their rock Antonio Rudiger. The stats say it all, Chelsea are shipping an average of 2 goals a game Away in the PL. While Everton have a goal scoring threat in Richarlison, who will be up for the challenge of Zouma and Tomori.
In terms of team news for Everton, everyone is fit, besides Gomes. As for Chelsea, no Rudiger and Loftus-Cheek, but Barkley is back. Tammy picked up a knock against Aston Villa- but after the defeat against West Ham, you can’t imagine Lampard planning a game without his No. 9 who has 11 PL goals. Chelsea will be careful with their key man as they have a must-win CL game against Lille on Tuesday night (to avoid Europa League).
Bournemouth vs Liverpool
Eddie Howe’s boys endured a shocking 1-0 defeat to 10-man Crystal Palace, which saw Bournemouth drop to 14th, 2 points off relegation. The Cherries are on a terrible run of form (4 defeats in 5). To put it in perspective, based on form, Bournemouth are statistically the worst team in the PL right now.
This comes just in time against a Liverpool side who can’t stop winning. Plus, the Reds rested key players in the mid-week Merseyside slaughter. Expect Klopp to bring Salah back to the starting line-up as Liverpool seek to maintain their strong lead. The Egyptian King loves playing against this particular opponent- he has 6 goals in his last 4 games against Bournemouth. The Reds have won the last 4 out of 5 meetings in this fixture, and should make it 5 straight wins. The Cherries will be without their highest goal scorer Harry Wilson as he cannot play against his parent club.
Many people are expecting goals at either end as both teams can’t seem to get a clean sheet from anywhere. However, with Alisson back in goal, Liverpool will be feeling confident at the back again.
Tottenham vs Burnley
Mourinho’s Tottenham winning streak came to an end at Old Trafford, where the hosts could have won by more. The defeat provided further proof of Tottenham’s dodgy defence and questionable Sanchez-Alderweireld partnership. They have now conceded 8 goals in 4 games.
The defeat also raised concerns of the effectiveness of their fabulous four against a strong defence. What happens when facing a side ready to defend deep and afford little space to play? This is what Burnley are built on. Still, Kane and co should be on the score sheet for this one. We’re expecting a win for the Special One, who expects his boys to be raging and take their anger out on Burnley. Besides he needs momentum ahead of curing his side’s PTSD when facing Bayern Munich.
Spurs will be looking to win again against a Clarets side that has lost 4 of their last 6 games, and are low on confidence. In fact, Burley’s only away win this season was at Watford who are destined for relegation. But if Chris Woods and Ashley Barnes pair up again, they will make life difficult for the Spurs defence. Clean sheets are unlikely in this game, as both teams will seek to exploit each other’s weaknesses.
Watford vs Crystal Palace
Manager-less Watford are just trying to clean up a mess of their own making. To describe it as chaos would be an understatement. The Hornets have a THIRD manager, and it’s not even January yet! The League’s worst team must navigate a tricky tie against an in-form Crystal Palace. Lady-luck shined on them though, Crystal Palace’s resolute defending makes them ineffective up-front. So there should be few goals in this clash.
The Eagles managed to beat Bournemouth without their recognised back-four. They will be looking to repeat that feat again to jump to 5th position and stay clear from relegation zone. With attacking threats of Zaha and Ayew, they will try to take advantage of Watford’s miseries.
Make sure to check out the analysis of the Manchester Derby and go on the website to see our experts predictions to give you value betting. We’re expecting winners only. Happy Betting!
[Article was posted before Watford appointed a new manager. Former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson named as Watford coach, and will lead his team against Crystal Palace on Saturday.]
Kenny Obi (Twitter: @chigiviews)