THINGS are tightening up at the top of the table as we approach the 23rd match-day of the 2015-16 English Premier League season.
Arsenal and Leicester City remain level on points at the summit after picking up draws last weekend, but Manchester City have closed the gap to one after thrashing Crystal Palace 4-0.
Tottenham Hotspur remain in the mix following their big win over Sunderland, with Manchester United two points further back in fifth after their crucial 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield.
At the other end, Aston Villa’s mini-revival continues after they followed up their first win since round one with a vital draw against Leicester.
They are now six points behind the Black Cats, who themselves are three points adrift of 18th-placed Newcastle United.
Who will be the big movers and shakers this weekend?
Norwich City vs. Liverpool
12:45pm local time on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Carrow Road
Norwich – $4.20 (Bet365.com)
Liverpool – $1.95 (WilliamHill.com)
Draw – $3.50 (Sportsbet.com)
Liverpool’s loss to Man United leaves them in ninth place with no wins from their last three outings, while Norwich are firmly in the relegation frame after heavy back-to-back defeats against Stoke City and Bournemouth. The Reds have dropped only four points in their last 11 meetings with the Canaries (nine wins, two draws), although they have scored only one goal in their last four EPL away matches.
– Liverpool to win ($1.95 at William Hill)
– Correct score 2-0 ($9 at Crownbet)
– Adam Lallana to score first goal ($9.50 at Bet365)
Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur
3:00pm local time on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace – $3.55 (CrownBet.com)
Tottenham – $2.20 (WilliamHill.com)
Draw – $3.40 (Bet365.com)
While Spurs are holding firm to fourth spot after their 4-1 drubbing of Sunderland, Palace are rapidly playing themselves out of Champions League contention with consecutive defeats to Chelsea, Aston Villa and Man City. The Eagles have won only two of their last seven home matches, which is bad news as they prepare to tackle a Lilywhites outfit aiming at 10 straight away games without defeat.
– Spurs to win ($2.20 at William Hill)
– Draw half-time/Spurs full-time ($5.50 at Bet365)
– Dele Alli to score first goal ($10 at Bet365)
Manchester United vs. Southampton
3:00pm local time on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Old Trafford
Man United – $1.85 (WilliamHill.com)
Southampton – $4.70 (CrownBet.com)
Draw – $3.50 (Sportsbet.com)
Last week’s win on Merseyside was a big steadier for Man United, who are now seven points from top after four matches without a loss. Southampton are also in recovery mode, with back-to-back wins over Watford and West Brom capping a run of six defeats in eight outings. The Red Devils lost this fixture last season and have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight clashes with the Saints, who signed Charlie Austin from QPR this week.
– Draw ($3.50 at Sportsbet)
– Both teams to score ($2.10 at William Hill)
– Charlie Austin to score first goal ($7.60 at CrownBet)
Leicester City vs. Stoke City
3:00pm local time on Saturday, January 26, 2016 at King Power Stadium
Leicester – $2.05 (CrownBet.com)
Stoke – $4 (Sportsbet.com)
Draw – $3.40 (WilliamHill.com)
Having returned to winning ways at Tottenham the week before, Leicester missed a trick last time out as bottom-placed Aston Villa held them to a 1-1 draw. Meanwhile, Stoke continued their steady climb towards the top five with a goalless draw against Arsenal. The Foxes have lost only once at home this season, but their opponents have picked up points in nine of their last 12 Premier League away dates (four wins, five draws).
– Leicester to win ($2.05 at CrownBet)
– Correct score 2-1 ($9.50 at Bet365)
– Bojan Krkic to score first goal ($9 with William Hill)
West Ham United vs. Manchester City
5:30pm local time on Saturday, January 26, 2016 at the Boleyn Ground
West Ham – $5.25 (Bet365.com)
Man City – $1.72 (CrownBet.com)
Draw – $3.80 (Luxbet.com)
Man City were back to something resembling their best last week, with Sergio Aguero starring as they smashed four past Crystal Palace. West Ham, however, undid all their good form since Christmas by coughing up three points at Newcastle. Manuel Pellegrini’s men are a real chance to reclaim top spot this weekend, but they have managed only one win in their last seven away games. They also have bad memories of the Hammers, who won at Eastlands earlier this season.
– Draw ($3.80 at Luxbet)
– Both teams to score ($1.72 at Bet365)
– Dimitri Payet to score first goal ($11 at William Hill)
Arsenal vs. Chelsea
4:00pm local time on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal – $2.05 (WilliamHill.com)
Chelsea – $3.80 (Sportsbet.com)
Draw – $3.50 (Bet365.com)
After shipping three at Anfield, Arsenal scrapped to a 0-0 draw at Stoke last weekend to maintain their tenuous hold on first place. Chelsea are now unbeaten in six games and have all the momentum in this fixture, having notched five wins and three draws in their last eight EPL clashes with the Gunners. But the Blues will be without Diego Costa, who has bagged five goals in as many appearances since interim boss Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
– Arsenal to win ($2.05 at William Hill)
– Under 2.5 goals ($1.87 at Luxbet)
– Theo Walcott to score first goal ($7 at CrownBet)
More 2015-16 English Premier League odds
*Match dates listed according to British Standard Time (BST)
Saturday, January 23
Sunderland $3 – Draw $3.25 – Bournemouth $2.35
Watford $2.05 – Draw $3.40 – Newcastle $3.60
West Brom $2.05 – Draw $3.10 – Aston Villa $4
Sunday, January 24
Everton $1.66 – Draw $3.60 – Swansea $5.50
(Odds provided by William Hill)
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