It’s another big weekend of action in the Premier League. Chelsea will be looking to extend their seven-point lead at the top of the table while the scrap at the bottom intensifies with one point separating the bottom four clubs. Who are the best football bets for the weekend? Here are our tips and analysis.
Liverpool v Swansea Tips and Analysis
January has been a busy month for Liverpool. A replayed cup tie with League Two side Plymouth Argyle was the last thing they would have wanted while challenging for both the League Cup and potentially the Premier League. Their next match is against rock-bottom Swansea City and will be seen by fans as a must win if they are to retain their Premier League title ambitions.
The big question for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is if Philippe Coutinho will be given his first Premier League start after injury. The Brazilian forward came through 65 minutes of the midweek cup tie unscathed and could offer Klopp another dimension to a front line which has struck nine times in their last five Premier League games.
New Swansea boss Paul Clement will be well aware of the huge task awaiting him. The former Derby County manager’s first game in charge of the Swans in the Premier League was the 4-0 demolition at the hands of Arsenal. Defence has been the problem for the South Wales side and Clement will need to arrest a trend that has seen them concede 17 goals in their last five Premier League games.
Arsenal v Burnley Tips and Analysis
The latest test of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger’s title ambitions come to the Emirates Stadium in the form of Burnley. While the 4-0 demolition of Swansea last weekend underlined that Arsenal will not let up in the chase, they will be well aware that this is another game they should comfortably win.
The Gunners have gone somewhat goal-crazy in general, with eleven in their last five Premier League matches. Wenger will be hopeful that continues – part of it possibly being conditional on Olivier Giroud shaking off a toe injury picked up in the Swansea game. The in-form French striker has scored in each of Arsenal’s last five games including a goal-of-the-season contender against Crystal Palace.
Burnley’s recent form isn’t too bad either, having won three of their last five Premier League outings taking them to 10th in the table. However, they are yet to win away from home this season and have only scored a miserable three goals in their nine games away from Turfmoor.
Chelsea v Hull Tips and Analysis
League leaders Chelsea will take on Hull City knowing exactly how much the chasing pack have caught up on them beforehand. The West London side have been the dominant force in the Premier League this season, with Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system credited for the sequence of wins that has propelled Chelsea to their lofty position.
The big question for the league leaders will be if Diego Costa will return to the focal point of the attack. The Spaniard had been left out of the side recently with rumours that Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian are lining up an £80million move for him. If Costa remains out of the picture then Eden Hazard is likely to continue in his stead with Willian and Pedro flanking him.
New Hull City manager Marco Silva has had an immediate positive effect on the team since taking charge, winning his first Premier League game 3-1 at home to Bournemouth. Hull haven’t won away from the KCOM stadium since August in the Premier League. If that is to change Silva will have to shore up a defence which has conceded 10 goals in their last five games.
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