Saturday Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Swans to continue recent revival

Mike fancies Swanse to keep up their good form under new boss Carlos Carvalhal
Mike fancies Swanse to keep up their good form under new boss Carlos Carvalhal
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There are some key games involving clubs in the thick of a relegation battle on Saturday afternoon, and our man Mike Norman has three recommended bets for you to consider...

"Two of Swansea's four straight home victories were over 'big six' clubs Liverpool and Arsenal, while in the FA Cup they've seen off runaway Championship leaders Wolves, and on Tuesday night they put eight past Notts County in the same competition.

Back Swansea to Win @ [2.56] v Burnley

Everton [2.36] v Crystal Palace [3.6]; The Draw [3.3]

(Significant Opta Stat: Crystal Palace haven't lost at Goodison Park in any of their last four visits.)

Everton were a complete shambles at the Emirates last week, and as much as you don't want to point the finger at one person I can't help but feel that Eliaquim Mangala's inclusion into a back-three was the Toffees' undoing.

Mangala is only 26-year-old but his career seems to be in decline. He's been used very much as a last resort for his parent club Manchester City this term and has looked devoid of confidence when he has appeared. He's not the quickest defender in the world, and his positional sense has often been called into question.

The truth is Sam Allardyce's men were awful last week, but Mangala was involved - in a negative sense - in at least three of Arsenal's goals and my gut feeling is that he'll need to be nursed back to full confidence. Whether Allardyce plays him in a back three again, or whether Mangala starts in defence at all this week remains to be seen, but I'm will take a chance on at least three goals being scored against Crystal Palce.

My confidence in the wager will just be enhanced if Mangala starts, as cruel as that may sound.

The Toffees haven't kept a clean sheet in seven outings now, conceding 15 goals in their last seven matches which is an average of over two per game. They're not in great form and Palace should be confident of getting on the scoresheet at Goodison Park.

The Eagles' recent for has been mixed, and with Wilfried Zaha likely to be absent through injury at the weekend they'll need to be at their best to get something from this game. I fancy the home side will have too much going forward for Roy Hodgson's men but I'm amazed that we can back Over 2.5 Goals at [2.36].

Four of Palace's last six away games have ended with at least three goals being scored, and the two that didn't finished 1-1, meaning those last six matches have averaged exactly three goals per game. And the last times these two sides met, just a few months ago at Selhurst Park, the game ended 2-2.

Recommended Bets
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ [2.36] in Everton v Crystal Palace

Stoke [2.3] v Brighton [3.75]; The Draw [3.3]

(Significant Opta Stat: Stoke are unbeaten in their last 16 home games against Brighton in all competitions.)

Eyebrows were raised when Paul Lambert was given the Stoke job but he started his new job in fine style with a victory over Huddersfield before a goalless draw with Watford. Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe admitted that Stoke were the better side in last week's 2-1 victory over the Potters too.

But we are now at the stage of the season, and Stoke are in a position, where performances really don't matter. It's no good being the 'better' team if at the final whistle you collect no points. I'm sure Lambert would rather see his men play poorly and pinch a win.

I'm not suggesting that is how this game will pan out but at [2.3] to back I have to be with the home team when Brighton visit the bet365 Stadium.

Chris Hughton's men recorded a much-needed home win last week to edge them slightly away from the relegation zone but Brighton's away form remains of huge concern.

The Seagulls took just one point from 18 available on the road prior to a 1-1 draw at Southampton last time, and they failed to score in each of those six away games. They've also failed to score in 10 away games this term in all competitions, which is a Premier League high.

But sealing the deal for the recommended home win is Brighton's dreadful record away at Stoke. The Potters have now gone 16 games in all competitions without losing to the Seagulls and I expect that sequence to move to 17 on Saturday, hopefully thanks to Stoke victory.

Recommended Bet
Back Stoke to Win @ [2.3] v Brighton

Swansea [2.56] v Burnley [3.4]; The Draw [3.2]

(Significant Opta Stat: Swansea have won each of their last three home league games against Burnley.)

Two months ago Burnley would have been the automatic selection for this fixture, and they probably would have been favourites to win too.

But such has been the change in fortunes in recent weeks and months I'm finding it almost impossible not to put up Swansea as the main bet of the day. I really do feel they should be trading more near the [2.0] mark than the 6/4 that's available.

The form is there for all to see, and in football it's quite often our biggest weapon, so I see no reason to go against it. Swansea have been a revelation under the hugely entertaining Carlos Carvalhal. They have lost just one - that being against an excellent Tottenham team - of their 10 games under his management, and they've won their last four games at the Liberty Stadium.

Two of those victories were over 'big six' clubs Liverpool and Arsenal, while in the FA Cup they've seen off runaway Championship leaders Wolves, and on Tuesday night they put eight past Notts County in the same competition. Confidence surely can't be any higher.

Contrast that form to Burnley, who after a magnificent start to the season have now gone 10 games without a win. There doesn't seem to be any panic among Sean Dyche's men, but as I always say in these situations, it's very easy to go on such a run but it's very difficult to break it. We are now at the point where Burnley have to be opposed until they return to winning ways.

And opposing them with in-form Swansea makes complete sense, especially given the Opta stat that tells us the Swans have won their last three home league games against the Clarets.

Recommended Bet
Back Swansea to Win @ [2.56] v Burnley (best bet)


You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73

Premier League 2017/18 Season P/L

Staked: 96 pts
Returned: 110.05 pts
P/L: +14.05 pts

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

- 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)

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