With a lot of big sides playing on what promises to be a real Super Sunday, Mike Norman is left with a relatively low-key set of fixture on Saturday afternoon. Our man fancies a trio of away sides to boost the betting bank...
"They've scored more than double the amount of goals Southampton have this term, they've won six games to Saints' one, and they're eight places above them in the table."
Hammers set to land another blow on Terriers' survival hopes
Huddersfield finally got their firs win of the season on Monday night but it was far from a vintage performance from David Wagner's men and on current form they have to be opposed by backing West Ham to win.
In fact the Terriers didn't just record their first league win of the season, they won a Premier League match for the first time in 15 outings stretching back to the end of last season, and the home goal that they scored - ironically a Fulham own goal - was just the second Huddersfield goal scored at the John Smith's Stadium since early February.
To put it bluntly, Wagner's men survived last season thanks largely to getting results when they were riding the momentum from being promoted the previous campaign. Prior to their victory over the Cottagers on Monday night they had won just one of their previous 20 league outings.
It remains to be seen how much the win over Fulham - one of the most important victories under his management according to Wagner - kick-starts Huddersfield's season but I was far from impressed with them on the night. Despite home advantage they recorded just two shots on target against a very leaky Fulham side, enjoyed less possession than their opponents, and needed a Timothy Fosu-Mensah own goal to seal the points.
They'll need to do much better to take the points against West Ham and I'm not expecting it to happen. Following a slow start to the season the Hammers have won five games in all competitions - five more than Huddersfield had managed prior to Monday night - and remarkably those five victories came courtesy of scoring 21 goals.
So unlike the Terriers we know Manuel Pellegrini's men have few problems finding the back of the net, and with star man Marko Arnautovic in great form this season when starting, it's hard to envisage the Hammers not scoring a couple of times at least at the John Smith's and returning home with all three points.
Take on the Magpies again despite first win of the season
I'm on record as saying that I will continue to oppose Newcastle on home soil until they end their losing run. They did end their losing run last Saturday but I can't help myself opposing the Magpies again this week, even though this time the market isn't far wrong by making Bournemouth favourites for the victory.
In all honesty Rafa Benitez's men were awful for large periods against Watford seven days ago and it's sill a mystery to those that watched the game how the Hornets weren't a couple of goals up at the interval.
But they weren't, and Newcastle were far more competitive in the second half though it's probably a bit of a stretch to say they deserved their victory. Prior to last weekend the Magpies had a 100%-losing record at St James' Park, and they were winless all season. We shouldn't forget that.
It's easy to say that Watford should have won last week's game comfortably, and it's also relatively easy to say that Bournemouth won't be as wasteful as the Hornets were. Or at least we hope they won't be.
Callum Wilson - deservedly called up to the England squad this week - has been in excellent form this season and his Bournemouth teammates are playing with plenty of zest and confidence right now. A bit like Watford, Eddie Howe's men will also be wondering how they weren't a couple of goals to the good last Saturday when they hosted Manchester United.
The Cherries were excellent in that first half, just like they have been for most of the season so far, and if they can play to a similar level against struggling Newcastle then I can't see anything other than an away win.
Saints' poor home form set to continue
If we're continually opposing Newcastle on home soil because of their poor form in front of their own fans then we have to do the same with Southampton, who have a remarkably similar record to the Magpies.
The Saints are winless at St Mary's this term despite facing the likes of Burnley, Brighton, and Newcastle themselves, and looking back to the second half of last season it's now just one win from their last 16 home matches in the league for Mark Hughes' men.
That's a terrible record, but it's not the first time Southampton have suffered at St Mary's in recent seasons. It wasn't too long ago that they went through a period of struggling badly to find the back of the net on home soil - from April 2017 to September that year they played 10 games in league and cup in front of their own fans and remarkably failed to score a single goal in nine of those matches - so we have to conclude that Southampton just aren't a very good side.
As I always say, breaking a winless run can be very difficult to do and I'm more than happy to take the Saints on this weekend with Watford.
Ironically Newcastle got their first home win of the season last week when we made the Hornets our best bet of the day, but it was Javier Gracia's men who really should have taken all three points. They totally dominated the first period but had a complete off day in front of goal, and even though the second half was more even the Watford players were still left shaking their heads that they didn't win the game.
So it's easy to forgive them that performance and back them at [3.15] to return to winning ways this weekend. They've scored more than double the amount of goals Southampton have this term, they've won six games to Saints' one, and they're eight places above them in the table.
You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73
Mike's 2018/19 Season P/L:
Staked: 40 pts
Returned: 48.49 pts
P/L: +8.49 pts
- 2017/18 P/L = +20.09 pts from 128 pts staked (15.69% ROI)
- 2016/17 P/L = +42.63 pts from 160 pts staked (26.64% ROI)
- 2015/16 P/L = +14.99 pts from 234 pts staked (6.4% ROI)
- 2014/15 P/L = +35.30 pts from 215 pts staked (16.42% ROI)