Wolves v Norwich
A thoroughly unsuccessful January Transfer Window was suprising for Norwich as they look to maintain their Premier League status, but with two wins from as many games, there may still be a glimmer of hope for the Canaries. Wolves went into the Winter break with nine points from their last three games including a historic win at Old Trafford, and will be hoping their good form continues into the cup to maybe pick up some silverware at the end of the season.
Wolves have proved a difficult team to break down under Bruno Lage, less than a quarter (24%) of their league games have had over 2.5 goals markets come off. In home games this season, the Wanderers score and concede an average of 0.8 goals per game which means there are only 1.6 match goals per home game.
The midlands have also lost one of their most dominant attacking forces in Adama Traore who jetted back to his boyhood club in Barcelona, which will only hinder their output. The last time these two met was in the league at Carrow Road where the game finished 0-0, and we wouldn’t be surprised if we had an equally uninspiring clash here.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Everton v Brentford
The recent sacking of Rafa Benitez came as no surprise considering Everton are currently 17 points worse off from where they were at this point last season. They are currently in 16th place and are only four points away from the relegation zone.
Frank Lampard knows that he needs to start off on the right foot if they are to drag themselves away from a relegation scrap, and this is the perfect game for Lampard to do so. While the Toffees have lost four out of their last five Premier League games, Brentford have lost their last four in a row.
With Frank Lampard's new appointment, a new style of football will be played which will hopefully utilise Dominic Calvert-Lewin better than his predecessor, though the England striker will be absent again here and Solomon Rondon may step in to fill the void.
The feeling is strong in the Everton camp at the moment, and with Donny van de Beek and Dele Ali also joining on deadline day, there is a sense of a fresh start on Merseyside, and on home soil we’d expect the crowd to pull their new manager to victory.
EVERTON TO WIN
City v Fulham
Fulham have had an extraordinary season in the Championship this year, they have scored 29 goals more than Blackburn Rovers who have the second most with (45). Southampton put an end to the Citizens 12 match winning streak with a 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s Stadium, though the break would have come at the perfect time for City to refresh
When Manchester City have played against teams in the bottom six of the Premier League the results have been thoroughly convincing, the Citizens have scored 24 goals and only conceded one which was in a 3-1 away win at Watford.
The fact they average four goals per game against teams of similar stature and that are probably better than Fulham. Despite Fulham scoring a lot of goals, the only time they have played a PL team this season was a 0-0 draw with Leeds who they finally got the better of on penalties to take them to the next round of the Carabao cup.
MAN CITY TO WIN TO NIL
Kidderminster v West Ham
There are 112 League positions that separate Kidderminster Harriers and West Ham, they are the lowest ranked team still left in the competition, currently residing 3rd in the National League North which means they will have to turn up like they have never done before but it wouldn’t be the first time that they have caused an upset this season, with their 2-1 win over Reading grabbing the headlines in the last round, though the Championship club’s form is nothing to marvel at.
West Ham went into the winter break with two losses in a row after winning the three consecutive games before those ties. This is a strange one to call because of the gulf in class between the two teams, we think that West Ham to win and over 2.5 goals at just under 2 is great value.
WEST HAM TO WIN AND OVER 2.5 GOALS
Chelsea v Plymouth Argyle
In Chelsea’s last eight Premier League games their record has been W2-D5-L1 which is certainly not up to their usual standards but back-to-back wins over London rivals, Tottenham, in the Carabao Cup will have certainly raised their spirits. Plymouth are currently 7th in League One and they will be upset that they aren’t higher up in the table considering they went on a 16 game unbeaten run (W10-D6) after losing the first game of the season.
Plymouth have scored more goals on the road this year than they have at home (H-19, A-29) and when Chelsea played non-league side Chesterfield the game finished 5-1, and with the Blues not firing on all cylinders at home recently, and with one eye on the Club World Cup, we wouldn’t be surprised if there were lapses in concentration here for Plymouth to capitalise on. Six out of the last seven Chelsea home league games have had BTTS markets come off.
CHELSEA TO WIN AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Spurs v Brighton
Three of Tottenham's last five games have all been against Chelsea, they didn’t manage a goal and over the course of three games lost by an aggregate score of 5-0. The latest game was Antonio Conte’s first loss in the Premier League as manager of Tottenham, his away record at Spurs may be a cause for concern because in the five away games they have played they beat Watford and Leicester (both by a 1 goal margin) but drew to Southampton and Everton and lost to Chelsea.
After the teams’ two-week break from football, the big story from these two teams is that Heung Min-Son has returned to full training and will probably make an appearance in this game due to most players not playing too much over the past couple of weeks.
We think that Spurs will play a strong team because they will want to progress as far as they can in this tournament and considering they are just below evens to win this game we think this is good value.
SPURS TO WIN