Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Goals look destined on Sherwood's return to the Lane

Will the big screen at White Hart Lane be showing plenty of goal replays on Saturday?
Will the big screen at White Hart Lane be showing plenty of goal replays on Saturday?

It's not the most appetising set of fixtures a Saturday afternoon in the Premier League has ever witnessed with none of the top five in the table in action, but Mike Norman believes at least one game will contain plenty of goals as he takes a look at the five 3pm kick-offs...

"Tottenham's last six league games at White Hart Lane have resulted in scorelines of 5-3, 2-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, and 4-3 - that's an incredible total of 30 goals at an average of exactly five per game."

Southampton 1.548/15 v Hull 8.415/2; The Draw 4.216/5

The goals have dried up for Southampton, and because of that their results have become inconsistent and a top four finish is now becoming a distant dream.

Ronald Koeman's men have won just three of their last nine Premier League matches, drawing two and losing the other four. In that time the Saints have scored a miserly five goals at an average of just 0.56 per game, and in a sequence of matches against the likes of bottom-half teams QPR, West Brom, Crystal Palace, Burnley, and Everton, not one of those nine fixtures ended with more than two goals being scored.

In fact from Southampton's last nine league outings only one of them resulted in both teams getting on the scoresheet, and an average of just 1.22 goals per game were scored.

Hull are far from prolific scorers themselves, Steve Bruce's men have found the back of the net just nine times in their last dozen matches at an average of 0.75 per game. The Tigers have conceded three each against Chelsea and Swansea recently but I honestly don't believe Southampton are in good enough goalscoring form to do likewise. A low-scoring affair has to be the selection.

Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.748/11

Sunderland 2.962/1 v Crystal Palace 2.89/5; The Draw 3.259/4

There was perhaps no surprise in Sunderland's win over Newcastle last weekend, the Black Cats raise their game for the Tyne-Wear derby more than any other and they've now recorded five consecutive victories over their fierce rivals.

But that's the problem, Sunderland seem capable of beating only Newcastle on a regular basis and that's not good when you play them just twice a season. Dick Advocaat's men have won just three of their last 21 league matches, two against the Magpies and the other against struggling Burnley.

Another major concern for Sunderland fans is their team's lack of goals on home soil; they've managed to hit the back of the net an incredibly low three times from their last seven matches at the Stadium of Light.

So now that the Wearsiders face an in-form Crystal Palace side the selection simply has to be an away victory, and even more so when you take a closer look at the Eagles' form on the road.

Alan Pardew's men have won nine of their last 14 matches in all competitions but incredibly they've managed to emerge victorious six times from their last seven road trips. Against a poor Sunderland side, one that struggles on home soil, a Palace win is the logical way to play the match odds market.

Recommended Bet
Back Crystal Palace to Win @ 2.89/5

Tottenham 1.625/8 v Aston Villa 6.611/2; The Draw 4.3100/30

The return of Tim Sherwood to White Hart Lane is expected to bring about an exciting game and one that might not be as straightforward as the odds suggest.

A few Tottenham fans I know are certainly worried about the outcome and are suggesting that Spurs look way too short at 1.625/8 to win the match. But in recent months there has been absolutely nothing wrong with the Lilywhites' home form - they haven't lost a home league game since early November, and they've defeated the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Everton in that time.

So you'd certainly fancy Spurs to win this one, but like my worried colleagues I'm happy to look elsewhere for a bet. Our search didn't take too long, and we ended up at the Goals markets.

Tottenham's last six league games at White Hart Lane have resulted in scorelines of 5-3, 2-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, and 4-3 - that's an incredible total of 30 goals at an average of exactly five per game.

But also in our favour is that Villa are in desperate need of points and under an attack-minded manager like Sherwood they've started to score goals. Villa's last two away games under their new boss have both witnessed exactly four goals, and in midweek against QPR Sherwood's men played out a 3-3 draw. Over 3.5 Goals is available to back at 3.211/5 here and that looks a terrific investment.

Recommended Bet
Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 3.211/5
(best bet)

West Brom 2.3411/8 v Leicester 3.613/5; The Draw 3.412/5

I never underestimate the importance of togetherness and team spirit in football, especially when you're fighting for your lives at the bottom of the table. And last week I got a real sense of belief amongst the Leicester players after their crucial victory over West Ham.

The Foxes have given themselves a chance of survival after that victory, and with a more favourable run-in than those around them don't be surprised at all if Nigel Pearson's men pull off the great escape.

Leicester will need to keep the momentum going at West Brom on Saturday, and with the Baggies suffering a big defeat at the Hawthorns last weekend I'm backing Pearson's men to do exactly that.

The Baggies had been brilliant at the Hawthorns under Tony Pulis, keeping six clean sheets from their seven home games under the new boss, so that 1-4 loss to struggling QPR must have come as a huge shock. Many will fancy West Brom to bounce back, but sometimes when you can't explain such a shock defeat it can be really difficult to put it behind you. That might just be the case here.

And as well as Leicester being buoyed by last week's win they can also take heart from the fact that they scored three at Tottenham and two at Everton in recent away games. The Foxes are certainly showing some fight and I don't think an away win will be the biggest surprise in the world.

Recommended Bet
Back Leicester to Win @ 3.613/5

West Ham 2.3611/8 v Stoke 3.55/2; The Draw 3.412/5

This is about as close to a dead-rubber as you'll ever get in the Premier League. I know people will say there's no such thing because every position you climb means a bit more prize money - about £1.2m - but taking that aside, there's very little for both West Ham and Stoke to play for.

The Hammers and the Potters currently sit 9th and 10th in the table respectively, separated only by goal difference, and the highest one of them is likely to finish is eighth with the lowest position likely to be 10th or 11th - there isn't really much of an incentive for either side to go out and bust a gut.

The form of each side has been relatively poor recently also with West Ham winning just one of their last nine league games and Stoke losing five of their last eight, including their last three on the bounce.

It's almost an impossible match to call, and one that makes little appeal from a punting perspective. I honestly can't make a confident shout about either side winning so it seems the obvious selection to put up is the draw - without much confidence or enthusiasm as you've probably gathered.

Recommended Bet
Back The Draw @ 3.412/5

You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73

Premier League 2014/15 Season P/L

Staked: 171 pts
Returned: 193.14 pts
P/L: + 22.14 pts

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

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