As the festive period draws nearer, Premier League fans are given an early Christmas present in midweek as Gameweek 14 serves up the Merseyside derby and Manchester United entertaining old foes Arsenal.
To begin however, bottom two Newcastle and Norwich clash at St. James’ Park in what already looks like a relegation six-pointer. In Eddie Howe’s first home game in charge of the Magpies, the hosts run the risk of being cut adrift at the foot of the table and need to win here to draw level on points with their opponents. The bookies expect a home win but only at evens, with BetVictor, PariMatch and Betfair. The Canaries, though, are unbeaten in the last three after holding Wolves to a goalless draw last time out, with Dean Smith having made a difference across the pitch for the Norfolk side. Norwich are priced at 29/10 with Bet365, SpreadEx and SBK for the win and because of their recent form, that value looks good here.
GW14’s big game comes at Old Trafford as Ralf Rangnick begins his Manchester United tenure at home to Arsenal. Having taken a hugely creditable point at Chelsea on Sunday, Michael Carrick has handed over the reins with United in good health, but Rangnick will need to be on the case straight off the bat versus a Gunners side who have lost just once in 12 games. Nevertheless, the hosts are favourites to begin the German’s stint with a win, but like Newcastle are merely evens to Arsenal’s 11/4 odds. Perhaps a tight encounter is on the cards here with both sides keen to avoid defeat, and for less than 2.5 goals to be scored, 11/10 with BoyleSports and Bet365 looks to be a smart play.
At Goodison Park meanwhile, Everton host Liverpool. As the Reds make the short trip across Stanley Park, Jurgen Klopp’s men have scored twice in every game in all comps since mid-September, also hitting four in each of their last two league games. The Toffees sit worryingly in 14th spot, and conversely, are winless since late September having lost five of the last six.
On paper, this could be one of the most uncomfortable meetings for Everton in some time, and the price boost market has appealing offers. SkyBet are dangling a Mohamed Salah hat-trick at 20/1, together with a Salah-Diogo Jota double at 4s, whilst William Hill have a Jota brace at 7/1 from 11/2. Overall goals could be a better option and for Liverpool to bag four, Betfair and Paddy Power’s 4/1 could be rather apt.
Watford’s home clash with leaders Chelsea at Vicarage Road also looks intriguing. As Claudio Ranieri once more faces his old side, the Hornets, of course, were 4-1 winners over Man Utd in their last game on home soil. Defensively, Watford leave much to be desired, however in attack, Ranieri has overseen 11 goals in his five games in charge, with both Josh King and Emmanuel Dennis in form. The Blues should have no problem in picking up a win here and are widely as short as 1/3 for three points, but for both Teams to Score, 22/19 with SBK looks likely. For King to score anytime, William Hill’s boosted 29/10 is for certainly worth a ponder, as is the case with Dennis, who like his strike partner has netted in back-to-back games, only the Nigerian is priced at rather more amenable 21/4 with UniBet.
Finally, Steven Gerrard has overseen successive wins to begin his stewardship at Aston Villa, as Manchester City roll into Birmingham next to provide a litmus test in GW14. Villa Park could become a fortress again for the hosts under the former England skipper, and make no mistake, this is as tough a game for City as it is Villa. Rather surprisingly, the hosts are a full 17/2 with SkyBet and SpreadEx, whilst even the draw is 9/2. It could be the latter that is the smart play here.