Everton a serious threat
Everton, having thumped Villa 4-0 at Goodison Park last weekend, rate the best bet in the Premier League away to Bournemouth.
Having been affected by the demands of the Europa League last season, Roberto Martinez's side have re-emerged as a high-class, solid and sometimes exciting team. Their only defeats this season have come against teams in the top four and they are seventh in the table, with an excellent W5 D3 L0 record against teams below them.
More specifically, Everton's record against bottom-half teams is W4 D2 L0 and in five of those six games they have scored at least two goals (the exception was a 0-0 away to Swansea). That indicates Martinez's side will be a serious threat to Bournemouth, who have managed only one clean sheet in 13 games this season and that was against fellow strugglers Sunderland.
Bournemouth have lost four out of six against top-half teams and, having conceded every time, they have the joint-highest goals-against in that category (17, along with Sunderland).
Their points in that category came from a 4-3 win at West Ham and a 1-1 at home to Leicester back in August, but four of their five goals in those games were scored by Callum Wilson and they have struggled since he was sidelined by injury, with three straight defeats against top-half teams by an aggregate score of 12-2.
In the whole of Martinez's reign, Everton have achieved a win rate of 61% and a loss rate of just 15% against bottom-half teams and they look a solid bet at win odds of 2.526/4.
Watford's protection racket pays off
Aston Villa are in even more dire straits than Bournemouth and, after the encouraging goalless draw at home to Manchester City in Remi Garde's first game in charge, they returned to their bad old ways with last weekend's 4-0 capitulation at Everton.
Apart from the surprise draw against City, Villa have not taken another point against a team outside the bottom three (having won at Bournemouth and drawn with Sunderland in August) and they are likely to have problems at home to solid Watford on Saturday.
Watford are doing best of the three promoted teams primarily because of their effectiveness against the rump of the Premier League - a key factor in avoiding relegation. Four of their five defeats have been against top-four teams and their record against the rest is W4 D4 L1 (with only five goals conceded in those nine matches).
Quique Sanchez Flores, who has impressed with the stability he has brought to Watford, says the primary job of the smaller teams is to "protect themselves" and his side have prospered because they do that much better than teams like Villa.
On top of that, Watford are quick on the counter-attack in away games, especially with Odion Ighalo (four goals in six away appearances), and the only home defence they have failed to breach is Manchester City's.
Villa have conceded against every opponent outside the bottom three and their record against the top 10 defensive sides is W0 D1 L6 (Watford rank eighth in that category).
Unless Garde can get Villa back to the defensive organisation they had against City and keep a clean sheet, Watford look set to take something from the game and there is a good chance of a win.
Back Everton to beat Bournemouth at 2.526/4 (1pt)
Back Watford on Draw No Bet v Aston Villa at 19/20 with Betfair Sportsbook (1pt)
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