Crystal Palace v West Ham: Palace and BTTS – 10/3
We know, we know. “Palace to win and both teams to score? You’ve gone positively mad, Paddy!” But hear us out, there’s a good reason to get this into your weekend treble.
First off, the Wilfred Zaha conundrum is irrelevant – he may play, he may not. While many Hammers fans were somewhat annoyed at the fact an additional one-game ban was handed out but not made effective immediately (imagine disputing a man’s right to appeal?), the Ivorian forward’s absence through suspension last week made no difference as Roy Hodgson’s men cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham.
Back in Selhurst Park again on Saturday, we reckon Palace will do the business and continue their goalscoring form in 2019, with or without Zaha – they’ve found the net in every game they’ve played since the turn of the year.
As for both teams to score, it’s a London derby and the last meeting between these sides ended 3-2 (Zaha didn’t score in that one, for the record).
West Ham are also on the back of a decent result against Liverpool and are peering nervously over their shoulder at the relegation battle just below them.
With that in mind, and despite a mixed bag of recent results for Manuel Pellegrini’s men – we’re not sure how you can beat Arsenal and draw with Liverpool, but get dumped out of the FA Cup by bottom of League 1 AFC Wimbledon – we reckon they’ll find the target in this one to at least go down fighting and make out 10/3 look like an excellent shout here.
Watford v Everton: Watford to win – 5/4
The magic of midtable clashes aside, this battle of 8th versus 9th comes with the additional Portuguese spice of Everton boss Marco Silva travelling to Vicarage Road to take on his former club.
It wasn’t quite Nando’s Extra Hot spice, though, until Troy Deeney politely asked the Hornets fans to lay off Silva during the game – at first glance, you’d think: “always nice to see footballers promoting good sportsmanship.”
But then you realise Deeney’s only said that because he added: “Leave him alone, let us kick the sh*t out of them.” Extra Hot spiciness level achieved.
And, in fairness, if Watford can find a way to exploit the apparent set-piece hoodoo which has plagued Silva’s teams, Everton could very well have the Toffees kicked out of them.
Since the Portuguese gaffer took charge of his first Prem game in January 2017, his teams have conceded 35 goals from set-pieces. And if Keysey is to be believed, only two teams in Premier League history have had a worse record conceding from set-pieces at this stage of the season – and they were both managed by Silva.
Everton’s defensive travails combined with the fact Deeney is apparently baying for the blood of his former boss and we reckon Watford to record a home win at 5/4 is cheeky.
Southampton v Cardiff: BTTS – 17/20
There’s nothing like a relegation battle to make things interesting and Southampton-Cardiff fits the bill.
Sitting in 18th place and two points adrift of safety, Neil Warnock’s side head into this game with three teams sitting directly above them on 24 points – and the Saints are one of those teams.
While the last meeting between these two sides was a relatively dour 1-0 home win for Cardiff – with the teams separated by a comical Callum Paterson goal which led to a celebration dodgier than the defending leading up to it – we’re expecting both sides to be more gung ho this time ‘round given what’s at stake.
We’re not sure what Ralph Hasenhüttl has put in the cooler at the St. Mary’s Stadium but since drawing 0-0 with Chelsea in their first game of the New Year, Southampton have found the target every time they’ve taken to the field and have scored at least twice in four of their last six games.
Sure, two of those games were futile 2-2 draws against Derby County in the FA Cup which ended in their elimination after a penalty shoot-out, but that’s fine – they didn’t want to win the FA Cup anyway.
It must be said, though, that Southampton have also conceded in every one of those six games and only managed to win two of them.
Cardiff, meanwhile, have gone from failing to score in their first four matches of 2019 to hitting three in their last two games.
Last weekend’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth was also only their second cleansheet in the Bluebirds’ last six outings, so with this kind of form, and the fact both sides are battling to stay in the Premier League, we reckon Both Teams to Score – Yes at 17/20 is a nice way to round off the treble here.
*All prices correct at time of posting