Sam Hendry takes a look at Saturday’s best football bets
Everton are currently riding a Big Sam wave, unbeaten in five with a revitalised Wayne Rooney netting six in that space of time as they prepare to welcome Chelsea to Merseyside at lunchtime on Saturday.
The visitors are slightly static in terms of their league position having sat third for the last six Premier League rounds and looking likely to neither challenge the Manchester clubs ahead or be dragged into a battle for fourth position beneath them.
That said, they have had some shaky performances on the road with defeats to Crystal Palace, West ham and Roma in the Champions League and will be without top scorer Alvaro Morata for the trip to Goodison.
I expect Everton to revert to the same tactics that earned them a point at Anfield, but with the added confidence going forward that getting good results brings. At odds of 6/1 (Ladbrokes, Coral) I think it’s worth backing Everton to nick the three points here.
Huddersfield’s superb win away at Watford moved them onto 21 points and up to 11th place, one ahead of their opponents today Southampton.
That’s a fantastic return at this point of the season and they are giving themselves every opportunity of extending their stay in the top flight.
One of their problems this season, though, has been following up on their victories and turning them into a solid run of form.
After claiming maximum points from their opening two games, they went six without a win and their three victories since then have been immediately followed by 3-0, 4-0 and 3-1 defeats.
For Southampton, their position of 12th is perhaps masking their poor form and the fact that they are only four points ahead of 19th.
A win here is a must for Mauricio Pellegrino ahead of trips to Wembley and Old Trafford and I think they’ll get it with a winning margin of one, which can be backed at odds of 5/2 with Skybet.
Nobody would have predicted Burnley to be ahead of Tottenham at this point of the season, but despite scoring at a rate of less than one goal per game, that is exactly the case thanks to Sean Dyche’s miserly defence.
The loss of James Tarkowski, an ever-present this season, for three games due to suspension will be a blow to that back line as they come up against a Spurs side who have only shown flashes of their best form this year.
It’s strange to brand a striker who has scored 12 times in 18 games as struggling, but those numbers are slightly misleading when it comes to Harry Kane.
He has only scored in seven games, his efforts tending to come in bursts with doubles against Stoke, Huddersfield, Everton, Liverpool and West Ham.
In the 11 matches in which he hasn’t scored, Spurs haven’t found the back of the net more than twice, so if Kane isn’t firing then it’s likely Spurs won’t either.
All this points to another low scoring affair at Turf Moor, where no match has seen more than two goals scored, so I’ll be backing under 2.5 goals at odds of 4/5 (generally).
Have a great Christmas everyone on TRF !