Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Toffees a good bet to leave Palace in sticky position

Roberto Martinez has a lot to smile about at Everton right now
Roberto Martinez has a lot to smile about at Everton right now

With five Premier League 3pm kick-offs this Saturday, Mike Norman has used a combination of recent form and Opta stats to come up with some wagers for you to consider...

"The Toffees have lost just the once in 10 games - away to Man City no less - and I don’t see a single reason why they shouldn’t be too good for Palace."

Back Everton to Win @ 1.618/13

Aston Villa 2.01/1 v Cardiff 4.3100/30; The Draw 3.613/5

I've spoke positively all season about Aston Villa, and my belief that they are an exciting young team with lots of potential is still there. But right now Paul Lambert's men are struggling. As Opta tell us, Villa have gone over six hours of Premier League football without scoring a single goal.

True, Christian Benteke has been out injured but he's back now and doesn't look as sharp as he did pre-injury. He missed a penalty against Everton and rarely featured against West Ham last Saturday.

Cardiff will be buoyed by last week's Welsh derby success, and on the road they've lost just two of their five games. But they've had a relatively easy fixture list away from home - the only top-half side they've faced was Chelsea, a game in which they were well beaten.

I marginally fancy Villa to take the points but in all honesty I'm not bursting with confidence. Instead I'm willing to take a chance on the trend of low-scoring games continuing. Five of Villa's last six league games have ended with two or fewer goals being scored, and the Bluebirds have scored just four goals on the road in their five away games.

Recommended Bet: Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.865/6

Crystal Palace 6.86/1 v Everton 1.618/13; The Draw 4.216/5

Crystal Palace have officially recorded the second worst start to a Premier League season (after 10 games) in history. Their haul of just three points from a possible 30 has been lowered only by Manchester City who secured just two points from their opening 10 games in the 1995/96 season.

The Eagles have now lost seven league games on the spin, have scored just two goals in over 630 minutes of football, and are still without a manager. It seems to me that very few 'decent' managers are willing to take over a club that are destined for relegation.

Everton on the other hand have enjoyed a fine start to their season under Roberto Martinez. The Toffees have lost just the once in 10 games - away to Man City no less - and I don't see a single reason why they shouldn't be too good for Palace. I'm not even going to look for alternative wagers as I believe the 1.618/13 about an away victory is an excellent price.

Recommended Bet: Back Everton to Win @ 1.618/13 (best bet)

Chelsea 1.3130/100 v West Brom 12.011/1; The Draw 6.25/1

After a disappointing loss to Newcastle last weekend Jose Mourinho will demand that his players get back on track in the league at the first time of asking. And remember, the Chelsea boss has never lost a home league game in charge of the Blues, so we can certainly rule out a West Brom victory.

Odds of 1.3130/100 look a bit tight for a home win, but when you consider the Opta stats that tells us Chelsea have won 12 of the 14 Premier League meetings between these two clubs then those odds look a little bit more generous. They look a lot more generous when you take into account that Chelsea have won all seven league games at Stamford Bridge between the two, and of course, the Blues have won five from five on home soil in the league this season.

Of those five home wins Mourinho's men have led at the interval in just two of them however, in fact they've led at half time in just three of their 10 league games this term.

I strongly fancy Chelsea to win, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if they did it emphatically, but because they can be slow starters at times a small punt is advised on the Draw/Chelsea option in the Half Time/Full Time market.

Recommended Bet: Back Draw HT/Chelsea FT @ 4.84/1

Liverpool 1.261/4 v Fulham 16.5; The Draw 6.611/2

I could literally copy and paste my preview from a fortnight ago when Liverpool hosted West Brom, because to be perfectly honest, I'm going to go down exactly the same route punting wise.

Two weeks ago I said Liverpool were very likely winners but their odds - similar to what they are here - were very short for a side that can have the occasional slip-up. The likelihood was that if Liverpool did run out comfortable winners then at a much better price than backing them to win, backing Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge to score was a better option.

Liverpool won 4-1 that day, Suarez scored a hat-trick and Sturridge got the other.

I see no reason to change the approach here because I can see Brendan Rodgers' men scoring a few and winning the game. And by backing a player to score, even if the home side don't win then you still have a chance of collecting.

So, Sturridge has scored eight league goals this season in eight different games. Basically, when Liverpool score Sturridge scores. As for Suarez it's six goals in five league games since his return from suspension. Both will be around the 1.84/5 mark to get on the scoresheet but my preference is for the latter; he is easily one of the best strikers in the world right now.

Recommended Bet: Back Luis Suarez To Score @ 1.84/5

Southampton 1.635/8 v Hull 7.413/2; The Draw 3.9

Not a game to get the juices flowing this one, not in terms of goals anyway. A case could be made - perhaps a ludicrous one admittedly - that suggests Under 2.5 Goals should be trading at around the 1.11/10 mark here. It's nowhere near as low as that of course, it's available to back at 1.75/7, which looks generous.

Southampton have seen every one of their 10 league games go under 2.5 goals this term, Hull have seen eight of their 10 games go the same way. So between the pair, their 20 league games this season have resulted in 18 of them going under 2.5 goals which is an incredible statistic, hence the 1.11/10 suggestion above.

I'm sure the trend will be broken sooner rather than later, especially in Southampton's case who have seen a few home games - most notably against Crystal Palace and Fulham - go very close to seeing at least three goals; in fact, Over 2.5 Goals traded at around the 1.21/5 mark in both games I believe.

But Hull have been very good defensively of late, keeping three clean sheets in their last five games and conceding a total of just three goals in that time. I fancy Under 2.5 Goals will be the outcome again, but let's push the boat out and go for Under 1.5 Goals.

Don't be surprised at all though if the games ends 4-4 or something ridiculous like that. The Premier League has a habit of making you look completely stupid at times.

Recommended Bet: Back Under 1.5 Goals @ 3.211/5

Season P/L (1pt each bet, 2pts best bet)

Wagered: 64 pts
Returned: 53.74 pts
P/L: -10.26 pts

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