Norwich v Southampton
In the early kick-off on Friday Norwich entertain Southampton and the Canaries will be hoping they have found their shooting boots during the break given they scored just once in their last five league games pre-lockdown.
The last five games between the sides has finished in a home win but I think it will be a point apiece this evening. The draw is 23/10 with Unibet with a scoring draw at 7/2. A point is unlikely to suit Daniel Farke’s side who start the game eight points from safety.
The Saints are seven points above the drop zone and Ralph Hasenhuttl has been rewarded with a new four-year contract at St Mary’s. He was a dead man walking after his side were beaten 9-0 at home by Leicester back in October. He has done a terrific job.
Recommendation: Game to finish in a draw at 23/10
Spurs v Manchester United
The visit of Manchester United to Spurs is Friday’s highlight as we continue to come to terms with post covid-19 football. Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Moussa Sissoko would have missed the original game, but they are all back for the hosts while United have an almost fully fit squad available. I fancy United to return south with all three points. Note Spurs midfielder Dele Alli misses the game through suspension.
United are unbeaten in their last 10 games and are 29/20 at Unibet to win in the capital with Spurs 41/20 and the draw at 5/2. The jury is still out on Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Spurs but since he took over at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium only Liverpool (48) and Manchester City (35) have taken more points than Spurs who have 27 alongside Wolves.
I would be surprised if we did not see goals tonight and United to win and both teams to score is priced at 7/2. That looks sure to be popular but United were on a good run prior to the break with Bruno Fernandez looking a terrific acquisition. Paul Pogba is reported fit and available for selection, but I would be surprised if he started although he looks sure to get some game time given United are likely to use all five substitutes. United let’s not forget are still chasing silverware in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Recommendation: United to win at 29/20
Watford v Leicester
Watford have failed to score in 13 league games so far this season and they must do without Gerard Deulofeu, who is out for the rest of the season, against a Leicester side who thrashed Villa in their last league game but had been struggling for league form prior to that home success.
Troy Deeney, who was reported to be wary of returning to training for fear of passing covid-19 to his son, played 30 minutes in the Hornets recent 2-0 friendly success over Brentford and is likely to start. This is a tough game to call although I don’t think there will be many goals.
Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals at 10/11
Brighton v Arsenal
Arsenal – 13/10 at Boylesports – were dreadful against Manchester City midweek, but they will appreciate the calmer waters of the south coast against a Brighton side – 21/10 with William Hill – who are the only side yet to win a league game in 2020 and start the weekend just two points above the relegation places.
Mikel Arteta will have been embarrassed by his side’s poor showing at the Etihad and will demand an improved showing. That won’t be difficult, but will it be enough to pick up maximum points? Not for me.
Recommendation: Brighton double chance – win or draw – at 8/13
West Ham v Wolves
Wolves – 11/10 with bet365 – kept four clean sheets in their last five games pre lockdown and if there is to be a winner at the London Stadium, I feel it will be the visitors from what promises to be a tight battle.
West Ham – 13/5 with Unibet – have several players available following long term injuries including Jack Wilshere who is one of a number of midfield options available to David Moyes.
Recommendation: Wolves draw no bet at 1/2
Bournemouth v Palace
Palace won their last three league games before lockdown, but they have had more than their fair share of luck this term and Bournemouth had scored two or more goals in their last three home league games before the enforced break.
Eddie Howe at his press conference on Friday morning said he had the strongest squad that he has had all season available for the visit of the Eagles and confirmed the overrated Ryan Fraser would never play for the club again.
The Cherries – 31/20 at Unibet – begin the weekend in the drop zone but, if they can contain Wilfried Zaha, I fancy they will take all three points against a Palace side who struggle for goals.
Recommendation: Bournemouth to win at 31/20 with bet365
Newcastle v Sheffield United
I do not expect to see many goals at St James’s Park when Sheffield United are the visitors on Sunday. The Blades were denied a goal at Villa Park midweek through a VAR cock up, but let’s not forget they were extremely poor against Villa.
We don’t know if having that 90 minutes under their belt will be a plus for the Blades although I am not convinced. United’s talisman Allan Saint-Maximin was on fire prior to the break, and if there is to be a winner on Sunday, I feel it will be the Magpies.
Recommendation: Newcastle draw no bet at 13/10 with Unibet
Villa v Chelsea
No Jorginho for Chelsea through suspension, but I would imagine Tammy Abraham will start for the Blues against the club he was on loan with last season when he played such an influential part in their promotion.
Villa were the better side against Sheffield United midweek, but I feel they will find Frank Lampard’s side a different animal in a game where I hope to see goals.
Recommendation: Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 19/10 with Boylesports
Everton v Liverpool
Everton have injury concerns while Liverpool are at full strength and it is hard to look beyond a win for the Reds at Goodison. Carlo Ancelotti did suggest that Andre Gomez would be fit for the Derby which is good news but who will play alongside the Portuguese playmaker is uncertain with Fabien Delph, Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson all in the frame.
Everton are unbeaten under Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison but the old Lady will largely be silent on Sunday evening. It pains me to say it, but it is impossible to look beyond a Liverpool win.
Recommendation: Liverpool to win at 8/13
City v Burnley
City looked slick and sharp against Arsenal midweek and I would be surprised if they did not have too much quality for a Burnley side who sit tenth in the table and would love to end the campaign with another top half finish.
Recommendation: City to win to nil at 20/23 with Boylesports