Wolves vs Leicester City – Saturday 12.30pm
With the top six well and truly locked off, this is an important match for two sides with aspirations of finishing ‘best of the rest’ in seventh.
Lunchtime kick-offs, however, can often be dull affairs and I’m not expecting much fireworks from this one.
The two teams have the sixth and fifth best defensive records in the league respectively – better than Arsenal and Manchester United – while goals haven’t exactly been flowing at the other end either.
Leicester’s surprise 2-1 win over Manchester City a few weeks ago is the only time since the 1st of December that they’ve scored more than once in a game.
This one could go either way so my safest bet here is the half time score to be 0-0 at odds of 11/8 generally
Manchester United vs Brighton – Saturday 3pm
Whatever the rest of the season and the future beyond that holds for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains to be seen, but right now his credentials to be given the manager’s job on a permanent basis are growing stronger.
A goalkeeping masterclass from David De Gea last week against Spurs ensured that United made it six wins from six as they continue to ride a wave of momentum following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
They should extend that run to seven here, but Brighton – against whom Liverpool were fortunate to take three points from last week – will not make the afternoon an easy one.
While they don’t pick up many points away from home, Brighton also don’t concede many goals – they haven’t lost by more than a two-goal margin all season and have conceded more than twice in a game only once.
Man United & under 2.5 goals at 11/4 with Ladbrokes/Coral is my tip here
Arsenal vs Chelsea – Saturday 5.30pm
It appears certain that Gonzalo Higuain will become a Chelsea player before the end of January with Alvaro Morata heading back to Spain, but until that time it’s likely that Eden Hazard will continue as a ‘false nine’ which is not a position that extracts the best from the Belgian.
After a blistering start to the season, the goals have dried up for Hazard in the last couple months and it’s no surprise that that has coincided with a slight dip in form.
It’s a relief, then, that they’re taking on an Arsenal team who have only kept one clean sheet in their last 15 league games and whose downturn in form has been much worse than Chelsea’s
Just two wins from their last six has seen them fall away from the top four and they could find themselves back in 6th by the time this one kicks off.
Like the last two seasons under Arsene Wenger, it’s been their results away from the Emirates that have been costing them.
Three defeats in their last four away fixtures is in stark contrast to their run of eight wins from their last ten at home with Manchester City (twice) the only team to win at the Emirates in the last year.
That record leaves them as slightly undeserving underdogs here and I fancy an Arsenal win and both teams to score at odds of 9/2 (bet365 and William Hill