Premier League Preview – Wednesday January 31st 2018: Back Spurs to Silence Mourinho in Wembley Showdown

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United Players During Game
Credit: Ardfern (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The second part of the midweek Premier League extravaganza serves up both quality and quantity in abundance: there are seven fixtures in total, with four of the top six teams in action.

Tottenham and Manchester United will go at it in the obvious standout of the night, while Chelsea will be looking to bolster their bid for second place with a routine home win over Bournemouth.

There are plenty of matters up for discussion at the bottom end of the table too, so let’s try and make sense of the action:

Chelsea vs Bournemouth (7:45pm)

Chelsea Motto
Credit: Bigstock / Yorgy67

Chelsea could be without four key players – Alvaro Morata, Thibaut Courtois, Willian and David Luiz – as they seek to put pressure on Manchester United in second.

Reports suggest the Blues may be bolstered by the signing of Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, although for now Antonio Conte will rely upon the services of Michy Batshuayi, who bagged two in the 3-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup already, Bournemouth enjoyed a nice weekend off and should be well prepared for the trip to London. They sit just three points clear of the relegation zone, so would like a point at least here.

But Chelsea have conceded just one goal in their last seven Premier League outings at Stamford Bridge, while just nine of Bournemouth’s 25 goals this term have come on the road. Chelsea to Win to Nil is the play then at 11/10.

Everton vs Leicester City (7:45pm)

This rather nondescript affair sees an Everton side that has scored just two goals in their last six league outings take on a Leicester outfit heading to Merseyside on the back of three clean sheets.

Indeed, these two teams have just two wins to their name in their last dozen games combined, so this won’t be one for the purists. Add Under 2.5 Goals to your midweek coupons at 4/6.

Newcastle United vs Burnley (7:45pm)

Newcastle Supporter
Bigstock / andrewreed

Newcastle come into this game on the back of two defeats, although it has to be said those were against Chelsea and Manchester City, and so they should enjoy a bit more freedom here.

Burnley could be without defensive lynchpin James Tarkowski and midfield general Steven Defour for this one, and a run of seven without a win (W0 D3 L4) is dampening early season expectations.

But Newcastle are far too short to back at 5/4, so instead take the +0.50 Asian handicap in Burnley’s favour.

Southampton vs Brighton (7:45pm)

This south coast derby, of sorts, sees relegation-threatened Southampton take on fellow strugglers Brighton.

The Saints are without a win in eleven in the league (W0 D6 L5), and the absence of Virgil van Dijk has clearly hit them hard: they have just one clean sheet to their name in that time.

Brighton have won just one of their last thirteen Premier League outings, failing to net in nine of those. But the Seagulls are solid defensively under Chris Hughton, so adding Both Teams to Score (No) to your coupon at 4/6 is the pick here.

Manchester City vs West Brom (8:00pm)

Etihad Stadium
Credit: Bigstock / coward_lion

Pep Guardiola will be shorn of the talents of Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane here, but his side should have just enough firepower to see off the belligerent Baggies.

Alan Pardew’s men could be bolstered by the loan capture of Daniel Sturridge, but it’s defensively where they need to improve having kept just one clean sheet in five.

Messrs Evans, Livermore, Gibbs, Robson-Kanu, McAuley, Chadli and Morrison could all miss out for West Brom, and that will make their task ultra-difficult. Add the 8/15 about Man City winning with a -1 handicap to your acca.

Stoke City vs Watford (8:00pm)

Paul Lambert oversaw a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield in his first assignment as Stoke boss, and with his side having been knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round he has enjoyed a full week to prepare his squad for this match.

Watford’s woes continue. Having lost seven of their last nine in the league, the Hornets were dumped out of the FA Cup by Southampton at the weekend. Their difficulties are almost wholly linked to their injury problems – boss Javi Gracia currently has 12 players unavailable – and until that crisis eases it’s hard to see how they can improve.

This bet would have been unthinkable a fortnight ago, but backing Stoke for the win at 5/4 is the smart investment here.

Tottenham vs Manchester United (8:00pm)

Mourinho Man Utd
Credit: Bigstock / vverve

Wednesday’s televised game sees a hugely significant clash at Wembley as Tottenham entertain Manchester United.

These two sides will surely be in the mix for a top four finish come May, but in what order remains to be seen.

Tottenham haven’t lost at home in the league since August; winning seven, drawing four and blasting 25 goals since. They could welcome back Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld here, too.

Manchester United are unbeaten in nine in the league, but their form against the big sides under Jose Mourinho never ceases to amaze: they have gone W4 D5 L6 against the ‘big six’ teams since the start of last season.

Tottenham are the favourites here and rightly so: have a ‘free bet’ courtesy of the Draw No Bet market at 8/11.