Soccer Preview

EPL Match Preview: 23 – 25 January

Norwich City v Liverpool

Saturday January 23, 8.45pm, Carrow Road

Norwich City were thrashed 3-0 away at Bournemouth. In a lacklustre display, the Canaries were never allowed to have any control of the match and never recovered from Dan Gosling’s 10th minute header. The poor result meant Norwich are still the only Premier League side yet to keep a clean sheet away from home this season.

As for Liverpool, despite playing much of the match in their attacking half the Reds were defeated at home 1-0 by Manchester United. Jurgen Klopp’s men were the much livelier team in the first half but would rue missed opportunities from the likes of Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson. The result highlighted Liverpool’s lack of killer instinct at home.


While Liverpool are missing Philippe Coutinho, the one player who could unpick opposition defences, they still have the energetic game plan to trouble Norwich. While Norwich are defensively shaky and lacking consistency up front to trouble teams in the top half of the league.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Liverpool

Under 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Roberto Firmino

West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa

Saturday January 23, 11pm, The Hawthorns

West Brom will have to pick themselves up for the Birmingham derby as they put in a meek display away at Southampton. The Baggies’ three game unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt halt as they were were smashed 3-0 in a match where they did not manage a single shot on target.

West Brom’s Birmingham rivals Aston Villa held Leicester City to a 1-1 draw thanks to Rudy Gestede’s controversial 75th minute strike. Villa were lucky to only be a goal down at halftime after Mark Bunn saved Riyad Mahrez’s penalty. After the break, Remi Garde’s men grew in confidence and were rewarded when, amid suspicions of handball, Gestede crashed home a volley 15 minutes from time. The result means Villa are now six points adrift at the bottom of the league.


Expect a cagey, ugly encounter as Villa are fast running out of matches to save their Premier League status. Villa do not have the attackers to unpick one of the more defensive minded teams in the division. Take West Brom at $2.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – West Bromwich Albion

Under 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Salomon Rondon

Sunderland v AFC Bournemouth

Saturday January 23, 11pm, Stadium of Light

Sunderland went to White Hart Lane to sit back and defend in numbers and the game plan worked perfectly when they took the lead against the run of play when Adam Johnson’s defence-splitting pass found Patrick Van Aanholt who fired home. The Black Cats faded badly in the second half and as they dropped deeper to defend, it allowed Spurs to relentlessly attack them as they went down 4-1.

Bournemouth claimed a first league win in five as they convincingly saw off Norwich 3-0 in their biggest win of their season. Dan Gosling headed in the opener on 10 minutes following a fabulous cross by Marc Pugh. The Cherries went 2-0 up on 52 minutes through Charlie Daniels’ penalty and Benik Afobe scored his first goal for the club to seal the victory, slotting home thanks to Daniels’ assist.


Sunderland will look to play higher up the pitch as playing for a draw will not help them. Both clubs cannot keep a clean sheet, so have a look at over 2.5 goals while Sunderland are keenly priced at $3.20 for a home win.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Sunderland

Over 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Jermain Defoe

Watford v Newcastle United

Saturday January 23, 11pm, Vicarage Road

Watford are in freefall after losing their fourth straight league match to slip into the bottom half of the league. A 1-0 loss away at Swansea was typified by an uninspired performance from the Hornets, especially from attacking midfield and the forwards, as Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo did not get any quality service from midfield.

Steve McClaren’s struggling Newcastle United had a 2-1 triumph over West Ham. Newcastle went in front on six minutes when Ayoze Perez brilliantly finished off a sublime series of one-touch passing. Georginio Wijnaldum doubled the Magpies’ advantage with debutant Jonjo Shelvey playing a stunning long-range pass to Daryl Janmaat who crossed for Wijnaldum. West Ham pulled a goal back four minutes into second half but Newcastle held on for a priceless three points.


The lack of a quality player playing in behind the front two of Ighalo and Deeney is hurting Watford right now. The lack of solid chances created has seen them only get two goals in their current losing run. While for Newcastle, a player such as Shelvey helps them add some variety with their passing game. Watford are slumping while Newcastle are inconsistent. Look for both sides to cancel each other out.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Draw

Under 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Odion Ighalo

Manchester United v Southampton

Saturday January 23, 11pm, Old Trafford

Wayne Rooney continued his return to form, striking 12 minutes from time to earn Manchester United a 1-0 win against fierce rivals Liverpool. Rooney reacted quickest when Marouane Fellaini’s header rattled the crossbar to help United to a fourth consecutive victory over the Reds. After a season of criticism, Rooney has now scored five goals in his last four outings.

Southampton made it back-to-back league wins for the first time since November as they comprehensively defeated West Brom 3-0. On five minutes, James Ward-Prowse curled home a brilliant free kick and 10 minutes before halftime he made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Matt Targett was felled in the box. Dusan Tadic wrapped up the points after a receiving an exquisite pass from Steven Davis.


Louis van Gaal’s men looked to have reverted to their goal-shy ways against Liverpool, showing very little attacking vigour. It is crucial for United to play with width and move the ball quicker into their forwards. Since returning to the top flight in 2012, the Saints have only beaten United once but new signing Charlie Austin will give Southampton an exciting attacking option. United to narrowly win at home.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Manchester United

Under 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Wayne Rooney

Leicester City v Stoke City

Saturday January 23, 11pm, King Power Stadium

Leicester blew a chance to go back to the top of the league after drawing 1-1 at rock bottom Aston Villa. Shinji Okazaki gave the Foxes the lead on 28 minutes and Riyad Mahrez should have doubled it six minutes later but his casual spot-kick was deflected away by Villa keeper Mark Bunn. From there Villa edged themselves into the contest and pushed for the equaliser which came with 15 minutes remaining via Rudy Gestede’s volley, though there was a handball in the build up to the goal.

Stoke City played out a goalless draw at home to Arsenal, and despite edging the contest, the Potters did not create enough clear chances to win the match. Their best chance came when Joselu and Bojan Krkic forced Arsenal keeper Petr Cech pulled off a brilliant double save to keep the game scoreless on 55 minutes.


Despite Leicester’s run of six hours and 11 minutes without conceding a league goal was ended at Villa, the attack minded Foxes are now showing a lot of solidity at the back. Look for Leicester to narrowly win this encounter against a club who have been held to a clean sheet eight times.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Leicester City

Under 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Riyad Mahrez

Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur

Saturday January 23, 11pm, Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace were outplayed 4-0 by a rampant Manchester City. Whilst the defence was run ragged by the quality of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, the problems are also up front as no striker managed a shot on target. The poor result means Palace are winless in five and have failed to find the net during that run.

Two goals from Christian Eriksen ensured Tottenham Hotspur returned to winning ways as they overpowered Sunderland 4-1. The Black Cats took the lead on 40 minutes but Spurs hit back just two minutes later when Eriksen latched onto a loose ball in the box. Tottenham stepped through the gears in the second half, Mousa Dembele put Spurs 2-1 ahead, Eriksen got his second via a deflection and Harry Kane sealed the points from the penalty spot.


Palace’s alarming slump in form starts at the front as their attacking combinations are not clicking. Much of their strike force are industrious but are not showing the quality required to pressure their opposition and this week are up against the league’s best defensive team. Spurs are keenly priced at $2.15 for the away win.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Tottenham Hotspur

Over 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Harry Kane

West Ham United v Manchester City

Sunday January 24, 1.30am, Boleyn Ground

West Ham United suffered their first loss since November 22 as they went down 2-1 at Newcastle United. Slaven Bilic’s men were outplayed and trailed 2-0 at the break. Substitute Nikica Jelavic hit back for the Hammers in the 49th minute after intercepting a back-pass from Chancel Mbemba but even with that ray of hope they never got a decent foothold back into the match.

Manchester City thrashed a struggling Crystal Palace 4-0. Fabian Delph put City 1-0 up on 22 minutes with a 30-yard drive and Manuel Pellegrini’s men doubled their lead before half-time through Sergio Aguero’s deflected shot. Aguero scored his second of the game in the 68th minute, tucking home from Kevin De Bruyne’s cutback and then turned provider as he assisted David Silva who made it 4-0 with a simple finish.


In their previous clash, West Ham executed a perfect counterattacking game plan to win 2-1.

Since the start of the year Sergio Aguero has worked his way back into form and fitness which means City have a focal point up front who can work so emphatically with the likes of Silva and De Bruyne.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Manchester City

Over 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Sergio Aguero

Everton v Swansea City

Sunday January 24, 9.30pm, Goodison Park

Everton once again failed to hold a lead deep into stoppage time, conceding a controversial goal in the 98th minute to draw 3-3 against Chelsea. The Toffees led 2-0 in the second half thanks to John Terry’s own goal and a sublime Kevin Mirallas strike but their porous defence allowed Chelsea back into the contest to make it two-all. Everton looked to have found the winner in the final minute of normal time through Ramiro Funes Mori. However on 98 minutes, Terry was left unmarked in the box and he was able to head in an equaliser despite being offside.

New Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin watched his side play out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Watford. Defender Ashley Williams headed in the winner on 27 minutes and it was enough to give Swansea only a third win in 18 league attempts and lift them out of the bottom three at the expense of Newcastle.


A goal-shy Swansea will struggle against a possession based, attack minded team in Everton. Even though Swansea won during the week, it was not convincing.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Everton

Over 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Romelu Lukaku

Arsenal v Chelsea

Monday January 25, Midnight, Emirates Stadium

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League after a hard fought 0-0 draw at bogey club Stoke City. Stoke keeper Jack Butland made fine saves to deny Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud twice, while Petr Cech made a superb double stop on 55 minutes to keep the scores level. In a cagey contest, the Gunners would leave Stoke satisfied with a point having not won at the Britannia Stadium since February 2010.

John Terry’s 98th minute offside goal was allowed to stand as Chelsea twice fought back to snatch a draw at home to Everton. Trailing 2-0 in the second half, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas hauled the Blues back into the contest before falling behind in the 90th minute to Ramiro Funes Mori’s close range strike but Terry equalised deep into stoppage time to salvage a point and stretch Chelsea’s unbeaten run to six.


The game will be won in central midfield. Fabregas is a key man against his former club as he will need to combine effectively with the likes of Willian and Costa. But if Arsenal press higher to disrupt Chelsea’s ability to play through midfield then the Gunners will have the advantage. A close match is expected but look for Arsenal to edge it.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Arsenal

Under 2.5 Goals

Anytime Goalscorer – Olivier Giroud

Bet Now