The Scout: EPL Week 23

Everton v Tottenham

What Everton boss Sean Dyche would give for a win to revitalise his side’s push to avoid the drop. After a three-game losing streak that included a 2-1 defeat to Spurs, Everton have made a couple of small gains with goalless draws against Aston Villa and Everton.

Their midweek stalemate at Craven Cottage came from only 30% of possession, although Everton still managed 21 attempts, including a late header from Beto that missed the target.

The result left Everton third from bottom, although they are appealing against the deduction of 10 points for a breach of financial rules. 10 points is the difference between their current position and 12th place, which means they’re a lot better than the table suggests.

The most recent encounter between these sides was little more than a month ago when Richarlison and Son Heung-min got the job done for Spurs despite Andre Gomes’ late goal for the visitors. Son won’t be available for this one as he continues his commitments with South Korea at the AFC Asian Cup.

Everton have won only one of their past 22 Premier League games against Spurs, a 1-0 victory secured by Dominic Calvert-Lewin in September 2020 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. There have also been 10 league draws between the teams in that period.

After a dire spell of five games without a win, Spurs have now lost just one of their last seven games – a 4-2 defeat to Brighton. They have enjoyed wins over Newcastle (4-1), Nottingham Forest (2-0), Everton (2-1) and Bournemouth (3-1), as well as a 2-2 draw against Manchester United.

That form continued this week with a 3-2 win over Brentford with goals from Destiny Udogie, Brennan Johnson and Richarlison. The match also marked the return of James Maddison, who missed the previous 10 games through injury.

Suggested Bet: Spurs to win + Total goals over 2.5 (Same Game Multi) @ $3.30*

Newcastle v Luton

A big win away to Aston Villa on Tuesday has given Newcastle United a much-needed boost ahead of the visit of Luton Town to St James’ Park.

But before they get too carried away, there will be some frantic analysis of Luton’s most recent performance – a stunning 4-0 win over Brighton this week.

It’s games like these that probably keep Newcastle manager Eddie Howe awake at night. Newcastle are expected to win and should win. But the same was said of their clash at Kenilworth Road back in late December.

Ex-Everton and Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley provided the assist, and former Spurs, Crystal Palace and Newcastle attacker Andros Townsend headed home to earn a 1-0 win for the Hatters.

That victory owed much to Luton’s persistence and directness as they had just 35% of possession but managed 16 shots with five on target, three more than Newcastle had managed.

The Hatters were at it again on Tuesday, conceding 60% possession to Brighton but creating twice as many opportunities and enjoying eight shots on target to Brighton’s two.

Elijah Adebayo was a man on fire, scoring his first career hat-trick.

Newcastle’s Premier League form had been dreadful with just three wins and seven defeats in their previous 10 matches before inflicting a first home defeat of the season on Villa.

Defender Fabian Schar scored twice and an Alex Moreno own goal put Newcastle out of sight of a Villa side that had been up to second place just two games ago.

After the doom and gloom of their own early season form, Luton could yet make a great escape and hang on to their Premier League status beyond the current season.

With 10 points from the 15 points up for grabs in their past five games, Luton have climbed a point above the drop zone.

Suggested Bet: Newcastle to win + Total goals over 2.5 + Both teams to score – YES + Over 0.5 shots on target – Jacob Murphy (Same Game Multi) @ $4.50*

Arsenal v Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp hasn’t gone just yet but he’s on his way out and every Liverpool game for the remainder of the season carries a little more importance.

Liverpool are top of the league and still in contention to win four major trophies in Klopp’s final season. A win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium would shift the balance even more in the Reds’ favour. The current five-point gap to the third-placed Gunners would extend to eight. Second-placed Manchester City are five points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.

Unfortunately, sentiment doesn’t win football matches and Arsenal need to make up for some recent results that have weakened their Premier League title charge.

After leading the way heading towards Christmas, a 1-1 draw with Liverpool was followed by unexpected defeats to West Ham (2-0) and Fulham (2-1). Order was restored with a 5-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace, in which defender Gabriel and attacker Gabriel Martinelli each scored a double, before a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest this week.

Gabriel Jesus scored just his fourth goal of the season. He also provided an assist for Bukayo Saka to give Mikel Arteta’s side a handy lead that suddenly looked shaky when Taiwo Awoniyi scored late in the game. The Gunners hung on at the City Ground but they can’t afford to slip up against Liverpool.

Klopp’s men have lost only once in the Premier League this season (2-1 against Spurs in September) and are currently on a 14-game unbeaten streak that includes five draws.

Even the loss of Mohamed Salah to international duty with Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations has failed to take the wind out of the Reds’ sails with wins over Bournemouth (4-0 EPL), Arsenal (2-0 FA Cup), Norwich City (5-2 FA Cup) and Fulham (3-1 on aggregate EFL Cup).

This week, Chelsea were put to the sword as goals from Diogo Jota, Conor Bradley, Dominik Szoboszlai and Luis Diaz sealed a 4-1 win at Anfield.

Suggested Bet: Draw @ $3.65*

*Odds correct as at 9am, 1st February 2024.

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