Man Utd v Burnley – Old Trafford at 19:45
Thanks to Daley Blind’s last minute equaliser against the Hammers on Sunday, Utd have only lost 1 in their last 17 matches. After Sunday’s draw and Arsenal’s narrow win over Leicester last night, Utd are now out of the top 4 but can rectify that this evening with a win over Burnley.
[expand title=”Read More…” swaptitle=”Hide” trigpos=”below” rel=”star-highlander” ]
Is the pressure starting to get to LVG though? Watching his press conference yesterday, he came across as very defensive after Big Sam’s post match comments from Sunday. He has no need to defend himself, despite spending a league record on transfers last summer, Utd are with no doubt performing just as they should be this season. Top 4 is looking likely and they have a great tie in the next round of the FA Cup with many big teams out of the competition already.
Tonight, it’s Burnley though and LVG should get back to winning ways. Although playing better of late, The Clarets have only won one away match all season. In their last 4 on the road they have given up 2 goal leads in 3 of those games but have managed draws at the Etihad and St. James’ park, both well-earned points.
Burnley have an extremely tough run of fixtures starting at Old Trafford tonight and I don’t see them getting anything out of it. Due to this run of fixtures I don’t see Sean Dyche being able to maintain Burnley’s Premier League status.
Recommendation: Man Utd -1.5 @ 1.98 with Bet365
Southampton v West Ham – St. Mary’s at 19:45
Southampton’s late show against QPR on Saturday has moved them up to 3rd with no signs of the poor run of results before Christmas having affected them. With the injury problems they’ve faced over the last month or so, especially defensively, you would be forgiven for thinking they could slide down the table. Instead they have now won 6 of their last 8 and look strong.
Along with the Saints, West Ham were the first half of the seasons surprise package but have since been through a poor run of form, winning just 1 of their last 7. Their performance against Utd on Sunday though, shows that West Ham still have that spark and are capable of turning over the big teams as they did against the like of Liverpool and City. They were unlucky not to claim all 3 points on Sunday but have got to be spurred on by their performance.
After the comments between Allardyce and LVG, Big Sam has now described himself as ‘sophisticated’. He has certainly brought the Hammers a long way since this time last year when he faced a lot of criticism from the media and fans.
He faces another Dutchman tonight in Koeman, let’s hope this match is exciting as all the off-pitch happenings this week.
Recommendation: West Ham +0.75 @ 1.93 with Unibet
Stoke v Man City – Britannia Stadium at 19:45
The last time these 2 met was at the Etihad back in August where Stoke triumphed in a 1-0 shock win of the title holders. It’s been a couple of uncharacteristic defeats at home for City that see’s the 7 points off the pace from leaders Chelsea.
A last minute equaliser from James Milner spared the Citizens blushes at the weekend as their recent form, since Yaya went to the African Nations, hasn’t been great. It’s a talking point that’s been coming up for a while and you can’t deny they are a different team without him.
Pellegrini has said they do not rely on Toure and must win without him, something they seem to struggle to do though. Tonight is a great opportunity to get back to winning ways though as their away form is better than at the Etihad and face a Stoke side not as resolute as years gone by at the Britannia.
I was quite hard on Stoke in my last article which featured the Newcastle v Stoke match last weekend. It wasn’t a shock to see them draw that day as I correctly recommended Stoke +0.5 but I don’t think they will walk away even with a point from tonight’s match.
Recommendation: Man City -0.5 @ 1.75 with Matchbook
Prices correct at time of writing.