Just three games remain before the Premier League goes into an unaccustomed winter break for the World Cup and as teams show signs of fatigue with players fearing burn-out for Qatar, Gameweek 14 throws up some interesting match-ups.
Starting out on Saturday lunchtime at the King Power, Leicester City host Manchester City in a game of very different permutations at both ends of the table. Sitting just two points above the drop zone, the Foxes have suddenly come to life, picking up seven points from a possible 12. City bounced back from defeat at Anfield to beat Brighton last time out, but there are signs the City goal machine is slowing down somewhat with back-to-back blanks away from home in the Champions League. Indeed, with a major asterisk over the fitness of Erling Haaland here, could the visitors come undone? There is no question Leicester have improved in recent weeks and that is prompting us to have an 8/1 Draw No Bet punt on the hosts with PariMatch. We do though have a sneaky feeling that if Haaland does not play, Leicester could yet pull off a shock at 10/1 with Betfred. As ever, bet with caution.
Another side that might be eyeing an upset in GW14 are Bournemouth as they welcome an out-of-sorts Tottenham to Dorset. Back-to-back losses for the Cherries might signal an easy and needed return to winning ways for Spurs, but in truth, the Lilywhites look a little toothless without Dejan Kulusevski. With the Swede again absent, Bournemouth could do some damage. As we look to cover ourselves somewhat, for the home side to score twice, 3/1 odds can be snagged with SpreadEx and PaddyPower.
At the AMEX Stadium, Graham Potter makes a return to Brighton with Chelsea. Having booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League in midweek, attentions now switches to the league. Unbeaten under the Englishman since taking over in September, Chelsea have tightened up at the back as perhaps expected; in contrast, the Seagulls are yet to win a game under Roberto De Zerbi and held to a goalless draw with Nottingham Forest last time out was a blow. Having become accustomed to victories-to-nil of late, Chelsea will be looking for a three points yes, but a clean sheet also. A Blues win is widely 6/4, whilst a fifth win-to-nil under Potter fetches 10/3 with UniBet.
At St. James’ Park, all eyes will be on new Aston Villa boss Unai Emery as he makes his return to the Premier League against high-flying Newcastle. The Villans were in sparkling form for Aaron Danks in GW13 against Brentford and the Villa caretaker will take charge here for one last time before Emery joins the dugout for home visit of Manchester United next Sunday. We are eyeing two anytime scorers here in particular, both of whom were central to their side’s wins last weekend. For Villa, Leon Bailey netted a goals and an assist, whilst Miguel Almiron continued his scintillating form to score the winner against Spurs and both wingers, the two will get chances here. Almiron’s boosted price of 9/2 is most inviting, with Bailey a slightly longer 11/2 – both with William Hill.
Fulham’s home clash with Everton finally, looks equally intriguing. As the Whites sit seventh in the standings, the visiting Toffees – like Leicester – have begun to turn their fortunes around under Frank Lampard. Winning three of the last six league games, Everton’s away record may harm them here having lost the last two on the road. With Fulham victors home and away in the last two, playmaker Andreas Pereira has really come to the fore of late and the former Manchester United midfielder bagged a brace of assists at Leeds last Sunday. Now with five for the season and looking to supply the fit-again Aleksandar Mitrovic once more, for Pereira to register 1+ assist a price of 2/1 with SkyBet awaits. Or for 2+ assists, the same bookie have a monster boosted 20/1 punt from 12s.