We are back on Super Saturday for another round of Premier League football, frisking the fixtures for good opportunities to make profit.
England Premier League
Leicester City v Crystal Palace – Over 2.5 goals @ 1.75 (888Sport) – 3 points
Leicester City have been truly entertaining with 34 goals coming in their 9 games so far this campaign; and they have yet once again failed to keep a clean sheet after they came back from a 0-2 deficit against Southampton and came back to draw by a score of 2-2 against Southampton last time around.
They have been led by TOP GOAL SCORER JAMIE VARDY who has netted 9 goals so far and is showing no signs of stopping especially when he able to secure some good service from his colleagues like Albrighton, Okazaki and Mahrez in particular. Mahrez was dropped out of the last game to improve defensively. He then came off the bench to provide an assist to Vardy and I expect them to come back to start the game from the beginning.
Leicester City have been on song on the offensive end scoring 2 goals per game on average through a lot of freedom, counter attacking football and set up originally with 3 at the back to give more attacking strength. Because they continued to attack, their defence was extremely loose and that has seen them concede in every single game, despite him moving to 4 at the back for the last 2 games. The set up shows that they will score goals, but there will always be that room to concede in most games, especially against good attacking teams.
Crystal Palace are set up extremely well since Pardew has come into the fold and they are now sitting in 6th spot, just one behind Leicester City. Palace has been in decent form winning 5 games, but losing 4 games on the other hand and not drawn any games. Palace have lost a lot of games by a few goals, but when they play teams who like to take the attack on, they also hit back accordingly. Teams like West Ham, Norwich, Arsenal, Chelsea are examples of such teams who set up to go attacking and Palace takes back the attack to them. All those 4 games has seen them score goals as well as concede as well with all of them going for at least 3 goals.
Palace will be looking to the likes of Zaha, Bolasie, Puncheon and Cabaye to lead the team in the absence of Wickham and Gayle. Cabaye in particular has been the one instrumental in their success whether making runs from deep, creating passing opportunities or even scoring goals like has in the past 2 games. Defensively they have shown weakness against teams who play an up-tempo pace with speed and that will be something that Leicester will bring as a threat to them in this encounter.
Both teams have been in scoring form netting with Palace netting in 9 out of the last 11 games while Leicester have hit in all 11 games played so far. Both teams will be looking for goals to try and get the one up on each other and I am going with over goals as 9 out of 11 games involving Leicester City have landed with overs.
When you look at the form guide in the England Premier League, among the top 5 teams you will find Stoke City right up there. When you look at the Stoke City squad, you should feel they should definitely be a top 10 team anyway. However, they are sitting just below in 11th and are coming into this game against Watford with 4 straight wins behind them.
Stoke City team is set up extremely well to go on the attack with the likes of Joselu, Bojan, Shaqiri and Arnautovic who have delivered strong performances. Despite them delivering a 1 goal victory in their run of 4 games, they have shown promise and can only get better with continuous gameplay with each other. What actually has surprised teams is the defence that Stoke City has shown leaking just 1 goal in the run of 4 victories, despite missing their captain Shawcross leading the back line. They must also thank Glen Whelan who has provided ample cover for the back 4 and started every single game this season. And just for cover the bench boasts a bunch of talented individuals in Afellay, van Ginkel, Ireland & Crouch as measure for goals if they ever fall back.
Watford have been struggling over the last few games, failing to win their last 3 games. Their biggest problem is coming up against teams with good defences and Ighalo and Deeney have not been able to produce any goals to show for. Ighalo has soared 5 out of the 6 goals that Watford has scored, and there has been no additional firepower for them to convert chances to win or even draw matches. The back line of Nyom, Prodl, Cathart, Ake have conceded in 6 out of the 9 games they have played this season and in 6 out of the last 7 games. Watford have been poor in general this season despite Flores trying to put on a fluid, counter-attacking show.
I think this will be an extremely close game between the 2 sides, and I can just see Stoke probably edging a victory here. But just in case, I have taken the asian handicap for a small insurance incase there is a draw.
Inter Milan and Mancini have been in horrible form coming into this game, failing to win their last 3 encounters in the Serie A and there is pressure to get back to the early season form they showed, which saw them build a perfect winning record with 5 wins out of 5.
Mancini will be happy that despite not being able to win, his team at least ground out 2 draws in a row, and the last one against Juventus would have especially made him happy to go back to his clean sheet ways, which is what saw him build that early season form. The back line of Santon, Miranda, Murillo and Jesus have kept clean sheets in 4 out of the 8 games played this season, with only one fixture against Fiorentina which has seen them leak more than 1 goal. The midfield engine of Inter is where the action is happening with a strong presence of some talented young players like Guarin, Perisic, Brozovic, Kondogbia, Ranocchia and some experienced heads in D’Ambrosio, Medel, Melo. They are able to break up play in most cases and Medel in particular gives good cover to the back 4, to help them not concede goals. Up front they have the talented Jovetic, Icardi & Palacio who can stand up to most attacks around the world. Icardi in particular has been a disappointment this season. After leading the Serie A with goals last season, this year he has only managed 2 goals from 7 outings, which is the main reason why Inter have been struggling. I expect the club captain to stand up and be counted for and lead his team to a potential victory tonight.
Palermo have been in wretched form recently especially after their first 3 games saw them collect 7 points; they have now turned a leaf and lost 4 out of the last 5 games with victory against bottom placed Bologna been the only victory in their last few games. While they have been continuously piling on the goals, they have also been consistently conceding as well. Their games have been entertaining with almost 3 goals per game being scored in them, but just showcases some of the poor defences that you have around the Serie A. Tonight will be little more difficult against a team that has conceded only 6 goals in the 8 games played so far. Palermo have been struggling to find a single goal scorer to exert their authority over offences, and they look like coming up short against a team that beat them 3-0 and drew 1-1 last year.
Inter need to turn around their form, and I expect them to keep this one tight and cagey and nick the odd goal to win this encounter.
Nice travel away to bottom placed Gazelec Ajaccio in what should be one of the more straight forward victories that will come up this campaign.
Nice have been in great form sitting in 6th spot, but with 1 games less than most of the teams and have been on a 4 match winning streak. Nice have been in terrific scoring form winning 4-1, 4-1, 6-1 and 3-1 in their last 4 games. Nice are the highest scorers in Ligue 1 this season netting 24 goals in 9 games. Newcastle outcast Ben Arfa has been the one leading them to success, netting 7 goals this season to be the 2nd highest scorer in the league. He has been ably supported by Germain, Benrahma, Plea who have contributed to their success.
Ajaccio are sitting at the bottom of the pile with just 3 points which they gained from draws. They are struggling to defend against any teams and have concede 15 goals in the 10 games played so far. Other than the first weekend in Ligue 1; they have conceded in every single game otherwise, which showcases the struggles that they will continue to have this season. On the offensive end, they only managed to find the back of the net 4 times. This team looks set for relegation as I have not seen anything in their play that will convince me that they have a chance of getting a victory.
Nice should easily wrap this up, but I am backing them on the Asian Line as insurance.