Chelsea v West Ham
A shambolic defensive display on Wednesday night saw Chelsea go down 4-2 to London rivals Arsenal.
Thomas Tuchel fielded a weaker than usual side, with the likes of Malang Sarr and Romelu Lukaku starting, though while the result was certainly an unwelcome one for the Blues, they’re still yet to be drawn into the top four battle and a win here would relieve some worry.
West Ham’s lack of squad depth has slowly caught up with them as the season has progressed, and it’s looking like their best chance of qualifying for the Champions League next year will come via this year’s Europa League. With their semi-final first leg coming up next week, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see David Moyes rest a few players for this one.
Chelsea have now lost three successive home games for the first time since 1993, and the last time they lost four on the bounce was all the way back in 1978. However, West Ham have only won one of the last 16 meetings at Stamford Bridge dating back to 2002, and with one eye very much on European escapades, we’d be surprised if they turned up and inflicted another defeat on the Blues, who will be looking to respond well.
CHELSEA TO WIN
Liverpool v Everton
While the Merseyside Derby has lacked a certain edge in recent years, with both sides in a massive fight this time, be expecting fireworks. Liverpool went top of the table with a 4-0 dismantling of Man United, only for City to reclaim top spot with a convincing 3-0 victory over Brighton just 24 hours later. Any slip up on Liverpool’s part could be damning at this point, and Everton will be licking their lips at the prospect of inflicting that slip up.
A late Richarlison goal nicked a point against Leicester in midweek for the Toffees, and that could be a huge point in their survival battle. They’re not out of the woods just yet, and have some tough fixtures coming up with the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal to follow this clash.
On the surface though, Liverpool have too much in their locker for their local rivals. They’ve won all 13 matches against current bottom-eight sides like Everton, conceding just three goals in the process. Nine of those 13 matches have seen over 2.5 goals land, and judging by how open Lampard teams have been defensively, there’s a strong argument for that outcome again. Their 1-1 draw with Leicester saw numerous golden opportunities squandered by both sides, and with a touch more accuracy here this should easily land.
LIVERPOOL AND OVER 2.5 GOALS
Brighton v Southampton
After taking North London by storm with back-to-back wins over Arsenal and Tottenham, Brighton were brought back down to earth by Man City after a second-half flurry saw them succumb to a 3-0 defeat.
That’s not exactly a confidence denter though as a loss to the champions is very much expected, and they’ll still take some confidence in holding them out until midway through the second half.
Like the Seagulls, Southampton were on a run of just one point from six games before playing a North London outfit, where they took a 1-0 home win over Arsenal in their last outing. While one result doesn’t necessarily mean a corner is turned, their rut has been ended at the very least.
This ultimately could go either way, though with only Watford losing fewer home games this season than Brighton, and only Burnley, Norwich and Everton losing fewer away games than the Saints, we wouldn’t be confident in backing either.
Unders looks the way to go here considering the hosts haven’t scored a single goal at the Amex since mid-January, while the Saints haven’t won by more than a single goal away from home all season, and we’d expect a stale affair.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Burnley v Wolves
A new era for Burnley started with a 1-1 draw against European chasing West Ham, with Ben Mee taking charge for that occasion. It’s hard to assess what kind of football this Clarets side are going to play in the post-Dyche era, though we can’t imagine there’ll be too much change in this short space of time. 11 of their last 14 outings now have seen under 2.5 goals land, and that doesn’t look likely to falter against this Wolves side.
Wolves have the lowest goals per game in the league this season, and while there’s been an increase in goals since the turn of the year, with only half of their 14 games in 2022 seeing unders land, five of their seven away outings have, and it would be surprise if this was a goal fest.
The Clarets have won just three home games all season and we can’t get behind them here considering they’ve also just won one of 15 outings against current top-eight sides. They have drawn six of those outings though, including a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture here, and with Wolves’ lack of consistency it’s hard to back the away win at the prices too, and we’ll stick with an unders bet for this one.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
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