Todays Saturday Premier League matches kicks off with a review on the clash at Goodison Park……
Everton v West Ham United (15.00KO)
The Toffees have failed to win any of their last five league away games, losing the last three without scoring a single goal, so it’s fair to say that Everton will be pleased to be back at Goodison Park this weekend.
Their recent form in general is definitely of some concern. Roberto Martinez‘ men have lost just once on home soil all season, winning 11 and drawing three of their 15 league and cup games in front of their own fans, but defensively they haven’t exactly been watertight in recent months – keeping just one clean sheet in their last 12 league games.
The Hammers are on a four-game winning streak, and even though none of those games were against top-eight clubs, Sam Allardyce‘s men still deserve huge credit, especially as the last three of those victories were achieved without the suspended Andy Carroll.
West Ham are proving difficult to beat currently and that’s largely thanks to their clean sheet tally which now stands at 13 in the league. I expect they’ll be difficult to beat on Saturday.
I envisage Everton playing well, having plenty of possession, and being on the front foot, but if an early goal doesn’t arrive then the more you’d fancy Allardyce’s men to take something from the game. The 0-0 score could be worth trading from the outset but play it safer by backing Under 2.5 Goals at a generous looking 2.1
Fulham v Chelsea (15.00KO)
Chelsea are beginning to look like title winners despite lacking of an in-form 20-goal-a-season striker.
Jose Mourinho’s men should win but I can see Fulham putting up some resistance as Felix Magath adopts a defensive mentality in his attempt to make his side difficult to beat.
Chelsea do have a great record against the Cottagers however having lost just one of the 25 Premier League meetings with their west London rivals.
A low-scoring game should ensue, with Mourinho’s men coming out on top, so I’ll take a chance on Chelsea winning without conceding.
The Geordies have failed to score in seven of their last nine Premier League games while for Hull it’s five of their last eight that they’ve failed to find the back of the net and the Magpies have won just two of their last 10 league and cup games, alarmingly scoring just one goal in the eight matches that they failed to win.
Hull are getting a difficult side to call, with the odd good away wins at Sunderland & Cardiff, but it’s still just those three wins in 14 league games for Steve Bruce‘s men and a bit like Newcastle they’ve scored just once in the last six games that they didn’t emerge victorious.
Arsenal were impressive against Sunderland last Saturday, they went for the jugular right from the off and were rewarded with some early goals.
Prior to that result the Gunners had gone nine consecutive home games in the Premier League with their matches ending with two or fewer goals being scored, and although they are on the road here I still fancy a low-scoring encouonter.
Mark Hughes will probably set his side up in a very defensive way knowing that taking a point – albeit at home – will be a point gained rather than two points dropped.
The likes of Manchester City, Everton, Southampton and Swansea have visited the Britannia Stadium this season and been held to a 0-0 or 1-1 draw and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how this game ends.
Arsene Wenger’s men have won none of their last three visits to Stoke and although Arsenal have more than enough ability to take all three points I believe they’ll be severely tested and might have to grind out a low-scoring win.
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