The Week 21 set of Premier League matches is a return to normal service for clubs after the chaotic Christmas and New Year programme which threatened to derail some teams. In this article we take a look at the best odds and bets you can make for the during the January 14-15 slate of fixtures.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
Tottenham vs. West Bromwich Albion
Spurs will be quietly relieved that Victor Wanyama's Kenya side did not qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, though the opponent, West Brom, also gets to keep Allan Nyom during the next run of games, as the defender has opted not to represent Cameroon.
Spurs might have found some zip lately, with Harry Kane fully fit and four league wins in a row putting the team fifth, but West Brom, with two wins on the bounce, will be a tough proposition and may deny Spurs two of the three points.
Top Bet: 17/4 with BetVictor for a draw
Watford vs. Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough's form continues to be wretched, and whilst Watford has not won in five games, a situation that makes manager Walter Mazzarri's position precarious, Vicarage Road is a relatively comfortable environment for the Hornets.
Even in its present trough, Watford ought to have enough, through an increasingly-confident Odion Ighalo and improving back-up like Stefano Okaka, to make it past Middlesbrough.
Top Bet: 11/8 with Bet365 for a Watford win
West Ham United vs. Crystal Palace
It's difficult to know which West Ham - the team of last season, or the pale imitation of this one - will turn up, but both of these London sides have lost the last two games, with Sam Allardyce still trying to get Palace back on track following his December appointment.
West Ham struggles at home, but Palace's chance of taking advantage of the wide London Stadium pitch is reduced by the absence through international duty of key player Wilfried Zaha. As a result, this game is one neither side seems likely to risk, and so it will be decided by a small margin.
Sunderland vs. Stoke City
It's a measure of the poor quality of this year's Premier League that Sunderland can have only won four games - none since before Christmas - and still be a point from safety. Stoke, on the other hand, seems safely in mid-table thanks to a return to old-school essentials, with Peter Crouch on a scoring run.
Expect the Potters to come out of this with three points.
Top Bet: 8/5 with Paddy Power for a Stoke win
Swansea City vs. Arsenal
Though Swansea cut loose with a convincing win over Crystal Palace last time around, Arsenal is out of the temporary blip that brought two defeats in the last five games, and will pose a challenge to the Swans defence that it is ill-equipped to deal with.
Expect a sizeable margin of victory between these teams who are currently fourth and 19th in the league.
Burnley vs. Southampton
With one of the best runs of form at home in the league, Burnley is a team that uses a pressing, counter-attacking game to its advantage on the small Turf Moor pitch. Southampton likes to play short passes to feet, the opposite of the Clarets, and so the visiting team will find it hard to establish a rhythm on this trip.
Top Bet: 11/4 with Betway for a Burnley win
Hull City vs. Bournemouth
With Hull having dismissed manager Mike Phelan, it looks even more likely relegation will follow for the bottom club. A team showing how to come up from the Championship and remain in the Premier League is Bournemouth, sitting in ninth and looking good for a top-half finish on current form. It's highly likely Eddie Howe's side will go back south with all the points.
Leicester City vs. Chelsea
Why can Leicester get a result against high-flying Chelsea, which has won its last 13 matches in the league? It's a tall order, but Leicester is a better side at home than away, and still seems to be populated with big-game players who can turn up for matches they consider significant.
With many of the squad looking to put themselves in the shop window for potential January sales to clubs like Chelsea, Leicester may be able to put up enough of a rearguard action to take a draw, even though Riyad Mahrez (who in any case was in and out of the side) is in Gabon with Algeria.
Top Bet: 16/5 with Betway for a draw
SUNDAY, JANUARY 15
Everton vs. Manchester City
Everton and Manchester City drew at the Etihad Stadium in October, with Ronald Koeman's increasingly-combative team showing the resilience to grind out a result against technically-superior sides. Although Romelu Lukaku often goes missing against big clubs, and Yannick Bolasie is out with a serious injury, Everton has other options that can make life difficult for a nervous City defence.
Top Bet: 14/5 with BetVictor for a draw
Manchester United vs. Liverpool
Manchester United has put together a series of excellent results without being mentioned too much recently, and has a settled side going into the grudge match with Liverpool, which has lost Sadio Mane to the Africa Cup of Nations, and may still be without Philippe Coutinho. Divock Origi and possibly Daniel Sturridge will come in.
United would seem to have the slight edge even though neither team lost in December, and Jose Mourinho will relish creating a specific plan to counter Jürgen Klopp's talented young attackers.
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