THE fixtures come thick and fast now as the Premier League enters a frantic winter period.
With European fixtures out the way, this is make or break time in the season and we’ve got betting selections from another packed schedule of top-flight action this weekend.
There’s tips for out-of-form Bournemouth’s trip to Chelsea, the intriguing clash at Old Trafford and Sunday’s showdown between Arsenal and Man City.
Chelsea vs Bournemouth, Saturday 3pm
IF Frank Lampard could Cherry pick an opponent for today, Bournemouth would be right up there.
Eddie Howe’s side have seemingly perfected the art of staying in this division without the need to flirt with the bottom three – usually because of their performances through the winter months.
Well nerves on the South Coast might start to get a little frayed, with Bournemouth coming into this game on the back of five straight defeats and one win in ten.
Chelsea survived a late Lille rally to book their place in the Champions League knockout stages in midweek, but that 3-1 defeat to Everton will still be raw.
The young Blues – who might soon look very different following news about their transfer ban – were unable to match the Toffees’ intensity and drive at Goodison, despite dominating possession.
Back at the Bridge, you’d expect them to add to Bournemouth’s woes.
London has been a particularly barren place of Howe’s men this term, with losses against Arsenal, Tottenham and Crystal Palace.
They don’t tend to concede many on the road, but the drab defeat against ten-man Palace will worry the Bournemouth boss.
Chelsea have won three of their last five home Premier League games, with all of those victories coming to nil.
We like them to do it again on Saturday afternoon, as this Cherries side are really lacking fizz.
1/4 on a Blues victory is far too short, but backing them to win and keep a clean sheet gives us legs at 23/20.
With Bournemouth now very much in a relegation scrap – sitting just a point above the drop zone – don’t expect them to come sauntering in with that wide open style they used so effectively in January 2018.
As a result of that, they beat Chelsea 3-0 here.
We’d recommend you go the other way with your bet this time – the odds on a 3-0 victory are far too large at 7/1.
Value is the word of the day in this column and Tammy Abraham‘s recent form means he’s a meagre 1/2 to net anytime in this one.
Unless you’ve a fortune to play with, you’re not getting much bang for your buck there – instead back Christian Pulisic to stamp his authority with a goal at a far more generous 6/5.
SunSport’s best bets
Chelsea to win to nil: 23/20
Blues to sweep Bournemouth aside 3-0: 7/1
Christian Pulisic to score at anytime: 6/5
Man Utd vs Everton, Sunday 2pm
TWO weeks ago fans of both clubs would be looking at this fixture with dread and panic.
Funny what a fortnight can do in football.
Everton will make the short trip down the M62 gushing with confidence after a hugely impressive win over Chelsea last time out.
Whatever Duncan Ferguson threatened them with in the dressing room definitely worked, as his side put in the most tackles they have in any game for a DECADE.
As for United, they’re on a high from the Manchester derby victory and that win over Spurs – they could legitimately win three Premier League games on the spin for the first time since January.
One thing that isn’t yet sorted is United’s defence, which continues to leak at an alarming rate.
Both teams have netted in all of their last six matches – but finally Ole’s side have found a way to win despite the defensive issues.
With Everton on a high and Big Dunc staring them down from the touchline, back them to bag for a fifth away game on the spin at 7/10.
We’ve had a lot of success betting in Man Utd games this season.
But that’s mainly because they’ve been so predictably poor.
Despite their recent resurgence, we still have a horrid feeling that backing a United win would be a bad idea.
At a measly 3/4, you’re getting far too much stress for a fairly small return – unless you go big. Which we definitely don’t recommend.
Instead, throw the result out the window and get creative on Sunday afternoon.
All of United’s last five games have featured three or more goals, whilst on the road Everton’s last four have featured the same.
So for the same price as a United win – 3/4 – you can go for over 2.5 goals and take away the worry. That comes in.
Marcus Rashford‘s upturn in form has been a big factor in United’s push into the European spots.
He’s got 11 from 11 and can be backed at 10/11 to make it 12 from 12.
Chelsea’s Abraham is on a similar run but you can only get 1/2 on him netting this weekend. Rashford’s overpriced. You know what to do.
SunSport’s best bets
Both teams to score at Old Trafford: 7/10
Over 2.5 goals: 3/4
BTTS and over 2.5 combined: 11/10
Marcus Rashford to make it 12 from 12: 10/11
Arsenal vs Man City, Sunday 4.30pm
IT’S turning into a bit of procession at the top of the Premier League.
Just two weeks ago all the talk was Man City catching Liverpool – but now it seems only the Foxes can pounce if Klopp’s men blow it again.
City are left in an unfamiliar situation following their meek surrender in the Manchester derby.
Guardiola’s side have lost two of their last five and are a whopping 14 points off top-spot. In December.
All they can do from here is find that winning formula, try not to drop more silly points and hope Liverpool mess up.
This isn’t a fantastic time for them to be playing Arsenal, who shocked themselves out of a nine-game winless run against West Ham on Monday night.
It looked like the same old story until Gabriel Martinelli opened the second-half floodgates at the London Stadium.
Nicolas Pepe finally looked like a footballer, whilst even Granit Xhaka was being ‘ole’d’ by the travelling fans at the end. A fortnight really is a long time in this game.
Do we back Arsenal to beat City at a baying Emirates with Ljungberg in the hot-seat? No. Even at a whopping 11/2.
Both of these sides have huge issues at the back.
The Gunners have a goal difference of ZERO going into this one – 24 scored, 24 conceded.
Whilst City have let in 19 goals this term already, which is more than Crystal Palace, Sheff Utd and Leicester.
In their title-winning campaign last season, Guardiola‘s side conceded just 23 in 38 games. I’ll say it again – it’s only December.
Basically, get your hard-earned on the goals market.
City have scored three or more in four of the last five meetings, winning all of those matches.
They’re an evens shot to do it again – that’s hard to turn down against this shambolic Gunners rearguard who are decimated with injuries on the flanks.
If you want to play it safe, a goal to be scored by either team in both halves is 2/5.
That’s something which has happened in Arsenal’s last six home games.
And as it’s Sunday afternoon, why not treat yourself to a daft one? Arsenal to score two or more in the second half – as they did against West Ham – is 9/2.
If they’re behind at half time, which is very much a possibility, it’s not as a rash as you might think.
SunSport’s best bets
City to score three or more at the Emirates again: Evens
Goal to be scored in each half: 2/5
Arsenal to score at least two after the break: 9/2
*Odds correct at time of publication