Premier League: Weekend Treble


Premier League: Weekend Treble

We have a half-serving of Premier League action this weekend due to the second stage of the staggered winter break. However, that still leaves five games to keep us entertained, kicking off with the London derby between Arsenal and Crystal Palace and concluding with the Monday evening matchup between Brighton and Wolves down on the south coast.

Here, we pick out our top three punting options from the five fixtures on offer, hoping to enhance the excitement with a winner or two.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace: Saturday 12:30pm – Arsenal to win and Both Teams to Score @ 5/2 with Coral

We begin in North London with a game many Arsenal fans have labelled a must-win fixture. The Gunners may still have 18 games remaining, but, sitting five points adrift of leaders Liverpool and three behind a Manchester City outfit who are ominously hitting top stride, any slip-up may prove fatal in their bid to go one better than last season. Palace, meanwhile, are ticking along in typical Palace style, loitering around mid-pack without looking likely to become involved in the battles at either end of the table. Any pressure leading into the game is firmly on the home side.

There was little to split the sides in the reverse fixture in which Arsenal took the lead before being forced to tough it for a 1-0 success when reduced to 10 men. Mikel Arteta’s men were comfortable 4-1 winners in the game here last season.

Neither side arrives in form, with Arsenal seeking to avoid a fourth defeat on the spin and Palace with just one win in eleven in all competitions. Despite a 2-0 loss to West Ham in their last home league fixture, Arsenal have been solid at home – winning seven of 10 and scoring two or more in eight of ten. Boasting greater quality and higher motivation, the hosts should have enough to claim the points. However, this may not be straightforward with Palace having scored in all bar one of their ten away fixtures. Take Arsenal to win and both teams to score.

Brentford vs Nottingham Forest: Saturday 5:30pm – Brentford -1 on the handicap @ 21/10 with Coral

It hasn’t been the greatest week for Nottingham Forest, with the threat of sanctions related to financial irregularities. Only four points clear of the relegation zone, the Tricky Trees could do without a points deduction. No such difficulties for Brentford, who continue to be one of the most efficiently run sides in the division. Efficiently run or not, they do sit a point behind Forest headed into the game and will see this as an ideal opportunity to leapfrog their visitors. It was honours even in a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture – Forest equalising after being reduced to ten men. The Bees bagged the points in a 2-1 win here last season.

Both sides are hard hit with injuries and absentees. Brentford looks set to be without Bryan Mbeumo, Yoane Wissa, Saman Ghoddos, Aaron Hickey and others, whilst Forest have no fewer than 11 players either in the treatment room or at the African Cup of Nations – looking particularly short at the top end of the pitch.

It is up front where the hosts may hold the significant edge, as this game marks the return of the prolific Ivan Toney. No doubt keen to make a point – particularly with several big clubs reportedly sniffing around – his presence instantly sharpens Brentford's cutting edge, which is often the only thing missing. In the news for all the wrong reasons and almost down to the bare bones, this looks like a tough assignment for Forest.

Sheffield United vs West Ham United: Sunday 2pm – Over 3.5 Goals @ 13/5 with Coral

To say things look bleak for Sheffield United is something of an understatement. Rock bottom with only 9 points on the board and 8 points adrift of safety, the Blades may need a miracle. If they are to have any hope of escape, the turnaround needs to start now. West Ham are sitting pretty in sixth and harbouring realistic European ambitions.

If there is any encouragement for Sheffield United, it is that seven of those nine points have been claimed here at Bramall Lane. Looking at the expected goals stats, Chris Wilder’s men are averaging 1.2 goals for and 2.3 against at home. West Ham’s away numbers stand at 1.5 for and 2.1 against. Combining these figures suggests an xG scoreline of Sheffield United 1.66 and West Ham 1.91. That steers us towards an over 3.5 goals punt in this one. Home draws are simply no good to the Blades, leading to a more open approach – as evidenced in the 2-3 thriller against Luton in their most recent home game.

A £10 Treble on the above three selections returns £390.60 with Coral.

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