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Manchester City V Chelsea And The North London Derby Head A Busy EPL Weekend

Could this weekend see the Premier League title race and perhaps even the race for fourth behind the top three, effectively over?

It seems strange to suggest that given that we are barely halfway into January, but given how the fixtures have worked out, we could well see Manchester City moving 13 points clear at the top of the table on Saturday.

That would be a gap that Chelsea and Liverpool would find almost impossible to bridge over the remainder of the season, especially with City in dominant form at the moment and not looking likely to drop points against any opponent.

After a couple of games in midweek, we now face a weekend of Premier League action that stretches from Friday through to Sunday and there are some huge clashes to enjoy over that period.

If you would like to enjoy a wager on some of the Premier League games this week, then check out the myriad of bets on offer for each game with bet365 Sport.

And outlined below are our tips for the big games this weekend, starting with Friday night’s clash at the AMEX Stadium.

Premier League Fixtures

Friday 14th January

  • Brighton v Crystal Palace (8.00pm)

Brighton are 9th in the table, with Palace 12th and there are four points between the two teams, who share one of the more unusual rivalries in the Premier League. Brighton’s good form of late has seen them lose just once in their last five games and they have been one of the most difficult teams to beat this season, losing just four games (only the top three have lost fewer).

Palace have improved under Patrick Vieira but they are still inconsistent at times and I think that must be an issue for the manager. Also, both teams have key men missing due to the African Cup of Nations with Bissouma of Brighton and Zaha, Kouyate and Ayew for Palace all missing. As such, I think this game will be a low scoring one and I think a draw is the likely outcome which is 15/4 with bet365 Sport.

Saturday 15th January

  • Manchester City v Chelsea (12.30pm)

I don’t think it is unfair to say that this game could well decide Chelsea’s title hopes for this season. The Londoners must win this game if they are to start eating into the lead that Manchester City hold over them at the moment, which is ten points. A draw doesn’t really help Chelsea any and would maintain Manchester City’s lead over the Londoners.

Therefore, Chelsea must go for the win but after four draws in their last five EPL games, and with Manchester City on a long winning streak of nine games in a row, it is hard to see that here. My gut feeling is that despite Chelsea’s efforts, City will emerge with yet another win and perhaps with it, put themselves in an unassailable lead in the EPL. City to win is 13/20 with bet365.

  • Burnley v Leicester City

Burnley have plenty of games in hand on most teams in the EPL, but winning them has proven to be a problem. With just one win this season, the Turf Moor side have struggled to move away from the drop zone and badly need a win here. I can’t see that happening against a Leicester side that have been much better in their last couple of games. The Foxes are missing a couple of players for the African Cup of Nations, but so are Burnley and I think the visitors will land the win here. Take Leicester to win at 7/5.

  • Newcastle United v Watford

After going out of the FA Cup at home to League One Cambridge United last week, Newcastle United fans have a right to expect a reaction here. Watford have lost all their last five games in the Premier League and they are ripe for the taking if Newcastle can match the effort and endeavour they showed against Manchester United. I feel they owe their fans one and as such, I am expecting the home side to pick up just their second win of the season here. Take a Newcastle win at even money.

  • Norwich City v Everton

There’s no doubt that the pressure is on Everton manager Rafa Benitez after some less than convincing performances from his team and the fact that they have dropped right onto the fringes of the relegation battle. Nothing less than a win against bottom side Norwich will do here and in truth, Everton should be able to achieve that. If not then Benitez’s job could well be on the line, but I am backing the Toffees to earn their manager some breathing space with a win here. Back Everton to win at even money.

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton

Southampton had a fine win in midweek over Brentford and they’ll come into this game in confident mood having moved to 11th in the table. Wolves are three spots ahead of them with four more points and they have the second best defensive record in the Premier League, the problem is they have the second worst goalscoring record with just 14 goals. I can’t see there being plenty of goals in this one, but I am backing Wolves to come away with a narrow win at 6/5 with bet365.

  • Aston Villa v Manchester United (5.30pm)

These two teams met in the FA Cup last week with United coming out on top with a narrow 1-0 win at Old Trafford. Villa played well in that game but could not score the equaliser and Steven Gerrard will be hoping to gain revenge over the Red Devils here. United’s form of late hasn’t been great under Ralf Rangnick and this will be a test for them but I feel they will do just enough to claim a point. I’d bet on the draw here which is a 13/5 shot with bet365.

Sunday 16th January

  • Liverpool v Brentford (2pm)

With the other two teams in the top three facing each other on Saturday, Liverpool could find themselves 14 points behind City, or still 11 or 12 points behind them but with two games in hand, the first of which is this one on Sunday against Brentford. The Bees were well beaten at Southampton in the week but face a Liverpool side without Mane, Keita or Salah who are at the African Cup of Nations as well as Trent Alexander Arnold, who is out with Covid. Even so, Liverpool should have more than enough quality to win this game as their odds of 3/10 suggests and that’s the bet to back here.

  • West Ham v Leeds United (2pm)

This game is another rematch from the FA Cup last weekend, where West Ham were the victors and in truth, I can’t see anything other than the same result here today. The Hammers have been in great form over the last 12 months, while Leeds have struggled to pick up results this season and I think West Ham will be easy winners as their price of 8/13 suggests.

  • Tottenham v Arsenal (4.30pm)

A North London derby that has plenty on the line. With fourth place in the Premier League in the sights of a number of teams, Arsenal and Spurs are two of them embroiled in that battle. The Gunners are two points ahead of Spurs but have played two games more than their rivals, and if Spurs win here, they’d be a point ahead with the chance to extend that to seven. An Arsenal win puts them five points ahead with Spurs having two games in hand. However, I feel the most likely outcome here is a Spurs win which is 6/4 with bet365.  

Ian John

Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.

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