The last two weeks would have felt like a lifetime for fans of domestic soccer, as the race to reach the World Cup reached its dramatic conclusions around Europe. However, the focus is back on the Premier League this weekend, with every club in action over the forthcoming weekend. But, which picks should gamblers be making on matchday 12 in the English top-flight?
Success For New Managers On Home Bow
Two Premier League matches will be making their home debuts for their sides this weekend, as Antonio Conte and Steven Gerrard take charge of Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, respectively for the first time in a home game in the Premier League.
Aston Villa welcomes Brighton to Villa Park on Saturday, as they look to end a five-match losing run. Gerrard was quickly ushered in as the new boss following the dismissal of Dean Smith.
Villa has a very good record against Brighton, as they have lost just once in the last 12 meetings in all competitions. Fans will certainly be expecting a change in fortunes following the change in management, and vocal home support could get the Midlands club over the line on Saturday.
Conte will also be hoping for a first win in the Premier League since his return to the English top-flight this weekend, as Spurs come up against Leeds United. Spurs have won their last four home games against the Whites, and also have Harry Kane back in form following his consecutive hat-tricks for England in the last international break.
Conte will certainly be looking for extra bite in the attacking third, as Spurs have failed to register a single shot on target in their last two league games. However, we expect the Spurs to bounce back with a narrow win here.
Struggling Teams In Action On Saturday
Saturday could be a potentially huge day for some of the teams towards the bottom of the standings, with Newcastle United, Burnley, and Norwich all in action.
Newcastle will be looking to build on their draw against Brighton in their last fixture, but are still without a win in eleven league games this term. Eddie Howe will be in the dugout for the first time this weekend and should be boosted by the fact that Newcastle has won their last five matches against Brentford at St James’ Park. However, the fact that the Toon are yet to keep a clean sheet this season means that a bet on both teams to score could be the way forward.
Burnley also faces a huge fixture, as they look to move out of the relegation places for the first time this term. They come into their game on the back of three unbeaten and they are so often a side that picks up a win when they need it most. The Clarets have won the last three against Palace, but the first goal could be crucial, as the team that has scored the first goal in each of the last ten meetings has won this fixture.
A new era at Norwich also gets underway on Saturday, as Dean Smith takes charge of the Canaries for the first time. However, Norwich has lost four of their previous five against the Saints and will be looking for back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April 2016. Smith may be one of the managers that don’t get off to the dream start, as the Saints are in fine form having won three of their last four.
- Aston Villa to beat Brighton @ +145
- Tottenham to beat Leeds @ -143
- Both teams to score (Newcastle vs Brentford) @ -143
- Burnley to beat Crystal Palace @ +180
- Southampton to beat Norwich @ +105