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Premier League Week 26 Betting tips

EPL By: Ayodeji Tunde | 25/02/2017

Action is back in the Premier League and as always FCNaija serves you a guide to how you can place your bet this weekend.

West Bromwich v AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth have been on a decline since their famous win over Liverpool earlier in the season.

The Cheeries have lost five of their last six across all competitions, and they have failed to get on the scoresheet in two of their last three.

They are now genuine relegation contenders, and they face a tricky trip this weekend to West Brom, who are comfortably nestled in mid-table, undefeated in their last four.

On their part, West Brom’s home record against bottom-half teams is excellent in recent times. They’ve won all five games they’ve played at The Hawthorns this season and they’ve picked up points in nine of the last 11 they’ve played there against bottom-half sides

Interestingly, Bet9ja has placed a mouth watering 2.60 odds for a straight win for West Brom which is actually a risk taking.

Another good option is to bet for over two goals at the Hawthorns and the odds in that regards is 1.95

Prediction: West Brom 3-1 AFC Bournemouth 

Watford West v Ham United

West Brom will move into the top half with victory and other results going their way.

After a rough patch between November and January, the Hornets have steadied the ship with draws against Middlesbrough and Bournemouth they produced one of the shocks of the season with a 2-1 win at Arsenal

Watford have won five, drawn three and lost four of their home games this season (F17, A18) and are looking to complete the double over the Hammers which has a good bargain of 2.60 from bet9ja.

Meanwhile, another cool choice will be to stake for the two teams to score.

Watford's only clean sheets at home in the Premier League have come against Hull and Middlesbrough (the top flight's two lowest scorers) and West Ham have scored 12 goals in their last five away games.

The Hammers haven't kept a clean sheet on their travels since October so going for the 1.80 odds given by bet9ja should be worthwhile

Prediction:  Watford 2-1 West Ham 

Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City

After being dumped out of the Europa League by Gent, Spurs know there is no time to start leaking their wounds.

Many will argue that Spurs remain a young team slowly building into a force to be reckoned with, but they will have to quickly learn to be sharper when playing away at their rivals while manager Pochettino needs to add more tactical flexibility to his managerial toolbox.

Stoke City are slowly climbing up the table after a rough start to the season and enter this match on the back of a solid win over Crystal Palace to move into the top half.

The Potters have really tightened up at the back in recent games, conceding just four goals in their last six games since the turn of the year which has brought about more positive results. The sudden prolific form of veteran striker Crouch has coincided with the tightening up in defence and has vastly benefited Stoke, while new signing Berahino will no doubt star in the long run once fully fit. Tottenham hammered Stoke away last time out and despite home advantage here, I expect a more organised Stoke to put up a fight this time and lose by a smaller margin.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Stoke City

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Leicester City v Liverpool

The champions will be starting a new chapter after the exit of their history-making coach, Claudio Ranieri.

Arguably the biggest game of the weekend in the league, the Foxes face a tough home encounter at the worst possible time with the team yet to win in 2017 and stumbling closer to the relegation zone.

The Foxes are in absolute shambolic form at the moment as not only have they yet to win this year, they have also failed to score in their last five league games while losing all five in rather tame fashion.

With a breath of fresh air, no one expects a dramatic turn around so a draw is a possible option in the Monday night clash.

That brave option of a straight draw has a tempting 3.60 odds from bet9ja

Chelsea v Swansea City

Chelsea will be looking to add to their tally of 14 wins of their 15 home matches under Antonio Conte in all competitions, including their last 11 when they play host to a rejuvenated Swansea side who have only won one of 11 previous Premier League games against the league leaders. The Swans have claimed 12 points in the last six games - equalling their haul from their opening 19 matches and are unbeaten in the last three meetings (W1, D2).

On who is available and who is not Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois should be involved after recovering from illness earlier in the week. David Luiz and Marcos Alonso, who were rested for the FA Cup win at Wolves, are set to return while Swansea's captain Leon Britton could feature for the first time under head coach Paul Clement after overcoming calf and back problems. January signings Luciano Narsingh and Jordan Ayew are pushing to make their first starts.

Swansea have improved since the arrival of Paul Clement and are harder to break down but I don't think they have the gunpowder to get against the leaders which makes Bet9ja's 1.25 odds as at press time suitable for your money.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Swansea

Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough

Crystal Palace could record a league double against Middlesbrough for the first time since the inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93 season should they win at Selhurst Park on Saturday. None of the last 15 league meetings between these sides at Selhurst Park have ended in a draw, with Crystal Palace winning 10 of those games.

Crystal Palace pair Scott Dann and Bakary Sako are expected to remain sidelined by hamstring injuries. Loic Remy and Mathieu Flamini are out with knocks but Jeffrey Schlupp is fit again after a hamstring problem. For Middlesbrough, defenders Calum Chambers and George Friend are major doubts because of a stress fracture and calf injury respectively. Another full-back, Antonio Barragan, is not expected to feature from a hamstring problem this weekend.

A careful assessment of Crystal Middlesbrough makes on feel they can get something out of this game but considering the fact that if Palace win, the Eagles would go level on points with Boro which is why Bet9ja's 2.10 winning odds for the home side seems the best way to place your bet.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Middlesbrough

Everton v Sunderland

Everton have lost two of their last three homes games against Sunderland in the league, although they did win 6-2 in this fixture last season and there have been 14 goals between these sides in their last three meetings, with the Toffees winning twice and Sunderland once. While the Toffees are unbeaten in eight league games (W5, D3) and have kept a clean sheet in five of those matches, Sunderland have won just one of their last eight league games (D2, L5).

The good news for Everton is the availability of striker Romelu Lukaku following a minor calf problem. James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas return after recovering from hamstring and groin injuries respectively. Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is fit again after a knee problem and could make his first appearance since Boxing Day in place of Vito Mannone. Jan Kirchhoff is back in training with the Black Cats but will not be involved, while Steven Pienaar is doubtful with a calf injury and Papy Djilobodji serves the last match of his suspension.

Everton have not lost in the league since the Merseyside derby before Christmas, a fixture I thought they were unlucky to lose. Sunderland will have their chances but I will stick with Ronald Koeman's side whose winning odds of 1.40 on Bet9ja would fetch you a green ticket.

Prediction: Everton 2-0 Sunderland

Hull City v Burnley

Burnley are unbeaten in their five Premier League games against Hull, winning four and drawing the other. However, the Tigers did win their last home league match with the Clarets - a 3-0 victory in the Championship in December 2015. Burnley's biggest ever winning margin in a Premier League away match was their 4-1 victory at Hull in April 2010.

Hull will be without midfielder Sam Clucas this weekend because he is serving a one-match suspension. Dieumerci Mbokani is doubtful due to illness, but Abel Hernandez could return after a hamstring injury. Burnley winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson is out after tweaking a medial knee ligament against Lincoln. Fellow midfielder Steven Defour is back in training after a hamstring injury but won't feature on Saturday, while Jeff Hendrick is still suspended.

I don't see Sean Dyche and his Clarets beating Hull. The Tigers are scrapping for anything they can get at the moment and have only lost one of their last 10 home matches in all competitions (W5, D4). Bet9ja favours the Tigers with a winning odds of 2.17 as against Burnley's 3.70 and I totally agree with them on this one.

Prediction: Hull 2-1 Burnley
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