Sam Hendry with the weekend’s best football bets
Arsene Wenger is surely approaching the final throes of his time as Arsenal manager and things could get even more grim on Sunday when they face Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
For it to end like this for such a legendary manager is a shame and in the modern football climate it’s impossible to imagine another manager spending 22 years in charge of the same club.
But Arsenal in their current state are marooned in a Premier League purgatory – far better than the teams from seventh downward but seemingly incapable of challenging those above.
Outwith the top six, Brighton have the third best home record, while Arsenal have picked up just three wins from their 14 away fixtures this season.
Arsenal’s performances in the last week, while undoubtedly poor, have come against by far the best team in the country in Manchester City and they won’t be facing that kind of quality on Sunday, but Brighton’s resilience could see them nick a draw and I’ll be backing them to do so at 11/4.
As Wenger slips inexorably towards the exit, Watford could help put the death knell in another Premier League manager this weekend when they face Alan Pardew’s West Brom.
If the rumours are to be believed, Pardew was given two games to halt the Baggies’ slide towards relegation and with one of those having already passed with defeat Huddersfield, it’s now or never for him.
West Brom have won just once since disposing of Tony Pulis in November and have rarely shown the quality needed to save themselves.
Aside from the 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea, Watford haven’t been particularly impressive recently either, but last week’s victory over Everton put them back into the top 10.
Just six points ahead of Swansea in 18th, they aren’t quite clear of danger yet, though, and Carlos Gracia will view this as the ideal fixture to pick up a vital three points.
I expect West Brom to be competitive and keep things tight before home advantage pays off for Watford. A Half Time/Full Time of Draw/Watford looks to be the play at 9/2 (Betfred)
In Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, the battle to be best of the rest is on when Burnley host Everton.
Thanks to their strong start, Burnley amazingly remain seventh despite not winning a match since early December, while Everton’s form under Sam Allardyce has taken a dive with five defeats in their last eight.
No ground has seen less goals this season than Turf Moor, a 3-0 victory for Tottenham there in December the only time there has been more than two goals in a game this season.
With both teams struggling for form and a prolific striker, don’t expect the goals average to up here. Under 1.5 goals in the game is the bet – available currently at 7/4 with William Hill.