Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Back Newcastle to Carver open hapless Villa

John Carver's men look a solid bet to beat Aston Villa
John Carver's men look a solid bet to beat Aston Villa

Mike Norman enjoyed a good Saturday last weekend with wins at nice prices for Stoke and Swansea amongst others, and here our man previews the five Premier League fixtures kicking-off at the traditional time of 3pm...

"The way Villa are performing in front of goal Newcastle will probably only need one or two here, and even money for them to win is very generous."

Back Newcastle @ 2.01/1 to beat Aston Villa

Burnley 2.747/4 v Swansea 2.942/1; The Draw 3.412/5

If there is one team at the bottom of the table who you'd love to see stay up then it has to be Burnley.

Ok, they came away from Stamford Bridge with a point in controversial fashion last weekend but you can't deny their fighting spirt and the fact that they can score goals - which is more than you can say about some teams at the bottom of the table.

Unfortunately though, battling to the death and regularly scoring goals won't save you from the drop if you don't find the back of the net more times than you concede, and Sean Dyche's men really need a win to give them a boost.

Despite scoring in nine of their last 11 league outings the Clarets have won just once in that time, though draws against the likes of Man City, Spurs, and Chelsea in that sequence show that they can mix it with the best teams in the country.

Swansea will be on a high after beating Manchester United last weekend and Garry Monk's men have been in excellent goalscoring form themselves on the road, netting at least once in eight of their last nine league and cup outings.

I can't call this one from a Match Odds perspective - the heart says Burnley, the head says I don't know - so instead I'll back both sides to continue their decent scoring form by each finding the net.

Recommended Bet
Back Both Teams to Score @ 1.865/6

Man Utd 1.384/11 v Sunderland 10.519/2; The Draw 5.49/2

We successfully opposed Manchester United at Swansea last week, but Louis van Gaal's men were away to a team that play some neat football and know how to score goals. It's completely different this week.

My opinion of United is still the same in that they aren't performing well and their boss doesn't seem to know his best starting XI or formation. It's as if he just sends a team of superstars out believing they'll beat anyone, regardless of shape or tactics. Wasn't the word 'arrogance' mentioned this week in relation to LVG?

But the big difference this week is that United's opponents are Sunderland, a very poor side in my opinion who struggle for goals at the best of times.

I sound like a broken record - and even more so when we come to Aston Villa next - but no team in the Premier League has recorded fewer wins than the Black Cats and they are the second lowest scorers in the division.

Sunderland's only away victory in the league apart from a derby success was at an out-of-form Crystal Place four months ago. Even with Jermain Defoe now in their ranks Gus Poyet's men have failed to score a single goal in five of their last seven outings and I think the safest wager here is to go for something similar.

United haven't been brilliant, we know that, but it's hard to knock some of their results while performing so poorly. They've conceded just five goals in their last nine games at Old Trafford and I can see them beating the Black Cats without conceding. It won't be pretty though.

Recommended Bet
Back Man Utd Win to Nil @ 2.111/10

Newcastle 2.01/1 v Aston Villa 4.57/2; The Draw 3.55/2

To be able to back Newcastle at evens at home to, in my opinion, the worst team in the Premier League, looks a bit of a gift to me.

As every game passes Aston Villa must be thanking their lucky stars that they got 10 points on the board from their first four games because since then they've taken just 12 points from 22 outings and scored a miserly nine goals in that time - by some distance the worst record in the Premier League since the beginning of September.

Time Sherwood's men have now lost six league games on the spin and they haven't enjoyed the luxury of a Premier League victory for almost three months. Their best centre-back by a country mile, Ron Vlaar, is suspended for the trip to St James' Park. Villa are impossible to recommend.

Admittedly Newcastle haven't been in the greatest form of late, but neither had most of the teams that defeated Villa, and at least we know John Carver's men can score goals on home soil.

The Magpies have scored in each of their last four home games, put two past Chelsea at the end of 2014, and three past Everton and Burnley in successive games in early 2015. The way Villa are performing in front of goal Newcastle will probably only need one or two here, and even money for them to win is very generous.

Recommended Bet
Back Newcastle to Win @ 2.01/1
(best bet)

Stoke 2.01/1 v Hull 4.57/2; The Draw 3.55/2

This game has a similar make-up to the one above in that I believe any price close to evens about a home wins looks very generous.

True, Hull aren't as bad as Villa at the moment but on the flip side of that we could argue that Stoke are a notch or two better than Newcastle, and on all known form a win for Mark Hughes' men is by far the most likely outcome.

The Potters have won seven of their last 12 league and cup games and their only defeats at the Britannia Stadium since mid November were to Chelsea and Manchester City. They've scored at least once in all bar one of those last dozen outings and that's the key here, as it is most weeks when poor sides are in opposition.

The Tigers went four games on the spin without finding the back of the net prior to scoring at Man City, and even though they've since recorded narrow back-to-back victories you can pick holes in the form given those wins came at home against hapless Villa, and the worst away team in the division, QPR.

Like the Newcastle game, if the home side can find the back of the net once or twice then they ought to record a win.

Recommended Bet
Back Stoke to Win @ []

West Brom 3.55/2 v Southampton 2.427/5; The Draw 3.39/4

It's just one win in five now for faltering Southampton and just a single goal scored in their last four Premier League games. Ronald Koeman's men have played some decent sides in that spell so perhaps they can be excused a dip in form, but as has been the theme this week, it's their goalscoring - or lack of - that has me worried.

Graziano Pelle has found the back of the net just once in 2015, that coming against Crystal Palace in the cup, so you have to go back to December 20th and 10 games to find the last time he netted in the Premier League.

And apart from Sadio Mane - four league goals since Boxing Day - it seems no-one else is in scoring form for the Saints either. That has to be a worry now that Koeman's men visit West Brom, managed of course by 'defensive genius' Tony Pulis.

The Baggies have kept six clean sheets in nine games under their new boss, conceding in only one - albeit three times - of their five matches at the Hawthorns.

Albion are edging towards safety so perhaps this might be a more open affair than people are expecting, but I can't see anyone going goal crazy here and expect defences to be on top. Backing Under 1.5 Goals is the way to play.

Recommended Bet
Back Under 1.5 Goals @ 2.8415/8

You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73

Staked: 146 pts
Returned: 152.32 pts
P/L: + 6.32 pts

*based on 1pt each bet, 2pts best bet

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