Premier League: Liverpool vie with Villa, Saints and Swans scuffle
The Premier League provides another raft of fantastic Saturday fixtures, as Liverpool host Aston Villa at Anfield, while Southampton square-up to Swansea City and Bournemouth visit Stoke City.
In fact, the Birmingham-based club have not lost away to Liverpool since 2010, making the Villans excellent value at 16/5 to end on even terms. Tim Sherwood’s side are also available at 11/2 to win but, with both teams struggling, backing a draw could be the best bet, with Rudy Gestede 11/4 to grab a goal for the guests anytime.
The hosts will have to do without former Villa frontman Christian Benteke, as the big Belgian is sidelined with injury, though this could work in their favour, as in-form Danny Ings could instead start up top. At 9/2 to net the opener, Englishman Ings is a promising punt after hitting two in his past two, while another ex-Villan, James Milner, is five to 5/1 to fire home anytime.
Southampton were unlucky last time out in the league against Manchester United, however, and after drubbing Capital One Cup opponents MK Dons 6-0 look to have found their shooting boots.
Ronald Koeman and co are a tempting 15/4 to win with both teams to score, and the Dutchman has dangermen aplenty jostling for a start. All three of Shane Long, Sadio Mane and Jay Rodriguez bagged braces against the Dons, so are 7/4 shouts to score again anytime, with Italy international Graziano Pelle 4/1 to draw first blood.
Garry Monk’s men are without a win in three and have not taken three points on the road all season, though potent pair Andre Ayew (8/1 to hit an opener) and Bafetimbi Gomis (6/1 to strike last) are always worth a punt.
Stoke City v Bournemouth
The Cherries are a nifty 9/5 price to sink under-performing hosts Stoke, with young forward Callum Wilson (5/1 to net first, or 7/1 to notch two or more) making waves on the south coast.
Bournemouth visit the Britannia at an ideal moment, so are also enticing at 9/4 to at least split the spoils, as Mark Hughes’ men continue to toil.
Goals have been hard to come by for the Potters, though they have still conceded plenty, but former Manchester United man Mame Biram Diouf (7/4 in the anytime market) may be their best shout of getting on the scoresheet.
Betting tip: Villa’s excellent recent record at Anfield means the Midlands men are worth backing @ 16/5 to draw with Liverpool