Find the back of the net with tips for Week 13 of the 2021-22 EPL campaign, culminating in Chelsea clash with Manchester United, who are under a manager.
History: Played 187: Arsenal 82 V Newcastle 67 (38 Draws)
Last meeting: May 2, 2021 (EPL): Arsenal 2 d Newcastle 0 at St James’ Park
Final Thoughts: Arsenal’s revival ground to a halt last week at Anfield – they’ll be desperate to bounce back at home to Newcastle.
After going on an eight-match unbeaten run in which they conceded just four goals, the Gunners were pumped 4-0 by Liverpool. They remain in fifth but it was a timely wake-up call in their first match against a genuine big dog since August.
Newcastle have dropped to last on the ladder and are the only club yet to register a win. In four games since Steve Bruce’s axing, the Magpies have managed draws with Palace, Brighton and Brentford, as well as a 3-0 loss to Chelsea. Last week’s 3-all draw with Brentford represented their best attacking effort of the season.
Arsenal have won 17 of their last 18 against Newcastle, including comfortable wins at home (3-0) and away (2-0) last season. Despite last week’s rout, Mikel Arteta’s outfit should pick up where they left off, having won four and drawn one of their last five at the Emirates.
History: Played 114: Liverpool 58 V Southampton 31 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: May 8, 2021 (EPL): Liverpool 2 d Southampton 0 at Anfield
Final Thoughts: Liverpool responded to their first loss of the season – a 3-2 defeat at West Ham – in spectacular style, thrashing Arsenal 4-0 at home. Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mo Salah and Takumi Minamino scored at regular intervals as the Reds reaffirmed their status as the EPL’s most potent outfit (35 goals in 12 games).
Southampton’s purple patch, featuring three wins and a draw in a four-game stretch, ended in the worst way: a 2-1 loss to last-placed Norwich after opening the scoring in the fourth minute. Che Adams scored his second goal for the Saints in three games before they were overrun by the league’s minnows.
Liverpool have won seven of their last eight against Southampton, but the Saints grabbed a 1-0 upset at St Mary’s Stadium last season before going down 2-0 at Anfield. Southampton’s last EPL win at Anfield was back in 2013.
The only four teams to register a goal against Liverpool this season are currently stationed in the top half; that doesn’t bode well for 13th-placed Southampton.
History: Played 61: Wolverhampton 32 V Norwich 13 (16 Draws)
Last meeting: February 23, 2020 (EPL): Wolverhampton 3 d Norwich 0 at Molineux Stadium
Final Thoughts: Norwich City are suddenly off the bottom of the ladder and dreaming of Premier League survival after back-to-back wins in the past fortnight. The Canaries registered just two points from the first 10 weeks of the competition – from a pair of scoreless draws – and had scored just three goals. But they are now just three points shy of 17th courtesy of consecutive 2-1 defeats of Brentford and in-form Southampton. Teemu Pukki scored in both upsets and has bagged four of his side’s seven goals this season.
The team managed successive wins despite a head coach change in between, with Dean Smith assuming the reins from Daniel Farke.
Next in Norwich’s sights are Wolverhampton, who have remarkably surged to sixth with six wins and a draw from their last nine games. They followed up a 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace with a 1-0 victory at home to top-four side West Ham, with Raul Jiminez’s second goal in three games securing the three points.
Wolves are unbeaten in their last four against Norwich, winning three. The Canaries’ recent revival is to be admired, but Wolves’ good form goes back several weeks and their value is difficult to pass up here.
History: Played 47: Aston Villa 20 V Crystal Palace 13 (14 Draws)
Last meeting: May 16, 2021 (EPL): Crystal Palace 3 d Aston Villa 2 at Selhurst Park
Final Thoughts: Tenth-placed Crystal Palace will look to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games when they host Aston Villa. Palace followed up stunning 2-0 wins over Man City and in-form Wolverhampton with a 3-all draw at Burnley last week, with Christian Benteke notching a first-half brace.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa spent Week 12 busting out of a five-match losing streak, rolling Brighton 2-0 at Villa Park. A scoreless draw seemed inevitable until Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings struck in the last 10 minutes.
The clubs’ last six matches have been won by the home team. Last season Aston Villa romped to a 3-0 victory in Birmingham, but Crystal Palace turned the tables 3-2 in London.
With Villa only just coming out of a very rough patch, leaning towards Palace at home appears the best way to go here.
History: Played 47: Brighton 18 V Leeds 18 (11 Draws)
Last meeting: May 1, 2021 (EPL): Brighton 2 d Leeds 0 at Amex Stadium
Final Thoughts: Early-season bolters Brighton and Hove Albion are well and truly drifting back to the back, slipping to ninth courtesy of a seven-match winless streak after winning four of their first five. They were disappointing in a 2-0 loss at Aston Villa last week – just their third loss of the campaign.
Leeds’ United’s season has barely got out of first gear, sitting 17th with only wins over battlers Watford and Norwich so far. Following something of an upturn with draws against Wolves and Leicester either side of the win over Norwich in their previous three, the Whites went down 2-1 at Tottenham in Week 12.
Brighton have won eight of their last nine against Leeds, including both encounters last season – 1-0 at Elland Road and 2-0 at home.
A draw stands out in the head-to-head market between these out-of-sorts teams, while the under is also an enticing option with both clubs notching just 12 goals apiece so far.
History: Played 17: Brentford 8 V Everton 7 (2 Draws)
Last meeting: September 10, 2010 (EFL Cup): Brentford 1 d Everton 1 (penalties) at Griffin Park
Final Thoughts: The pressure valve cranks up with Everton winless in their last six matches and Brentford managing just one point in their past five games.
Brentford suffered just one defeat in the first seven weeks of the season before losing four straight. They stopped the streak via a 3-all draw away to last-placed Newcastle in Week 12, with Rico Henry getting on the scoresheet for the second straight game.
Rafael Benitez is under the pump at Goodison Park, with Everton staring down the barrel of their longest winless run (in terms of time) since 2005. They were unsurprisingly outclassed 3-0 by Man City last week, their fourth loss in five games.
Highlighting the Toffees’ slump in fortunes, they are $3.40 underdogs against the promoted Bees. I think the visitors will find something here – or at least a draw – after facing predominantly quality opposition over the past six weeks.
History: Played 115: Man City 59 V West Ham 38 (18 Draws)
Last meeting: October 27, 2021 (EFL Cup): West Ham 0 d Man City 0 (penalties) at London Stadium
Final Thoughts: West Ham United’s shock loss last week has taken a bit of the sting out of this top-four showdown. After four straight wins – culminating in a 3-2 upset of previously unbeaten Liverpool – the Irons were rolled 1-0 by Wolverhampton. It was just the second time they have been held to nil this season.
Second-placed Manchester City kept their roll going with a 3-0 drubbing of Everton on the back of their 2-0 derby win against Man United. Bernardo Silva scored in both victories.
West Ham eliminated Man City from the League Cup last month in a penalty shootout after the teams played out a scoreless draw. But the Irons are otherwise winless in their last 14 against City; last season they drew 1-all at London Stadium before the Citizens grabbed a 2-1 win at Etihad Stadium.
Man City are humming but West Ham are more than capable to at least making it into the hard-fought blockbuster their ladder positions suggest it should be.
History: Played 69: Leicester 30 V Watford 21 (18 Draws)
Last meeting: June 20, 2020 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road
Final Thoughts: Watford have emerged as something an unlikely giant-killer in the past month, smashing Everton 5-2 in Week 9 and ripping Man United apart 4-1 last weekend. But the Hornets are hard to trust week-to-week, going down 1-0 to Southampton and Arsenal in the two-game interim between those stunning wins.
Leicester City, though, are simply searching for three points from any avenue after a dismal recent run. The 12th-placed Foxes bookended a draw against struggling Leeds in Week 11 with meek losses to Arsenal (2-0) and Chelsea (3-0).
Watford have proved a tricky opponent for Leicester in recent years, winning three and drawing one of the teams’ last eight encounters. That record and the teams’ recent results are enough to get behind the $5 road dogs.
History: Played 120: Tottenham 51 V Burnley 41 (28 Draws)
Last meeting: October 27, 2021 (EFL Cup): Tottenham 1 d Burnley 0 at Turf Moor
Final Thoughts: High-profile Tottenham continue to muddle around in mediocrity, but at least they are unbeaten since Antonio Conte’s early-November arrival as manager. Seventh-placed Spurs played out a scoreless draw with struggling Everton and came from behind to beat lowly Leeds 2-1 in the last two.
Burnley remain in the bottom-three despite their current four-match unbeaten streak. After banking their first win of the season in Week 10 – 3-1 over Brentford – the Clarets have managed draws with Chelsea (1-1) and Crystal Palace (3-3). After troubling the scorers just five times in the first eight rounds, Burnley have notched nine in their last four outings.
Burnley have won just one of their last 15 against Tottenham. Spurs prevailed 1-0 at Burnley and 4-0 at home last season, while they also claimed a 1-0 League Cup victory at Turf Moor last month.
Another game where the underdog provides decent value – Burnley are $3.60 at home – but the over also looks handy, with seven of Tottenham’s last nine and three of Burnley’s last four producing 3+ goals.
History: Played 189: Man United 81 V Chelsea 55 (53 Draws)
Last meeting: February 28, 2021 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge
Final Thoughts: A new era begins at Manchester United with the most challenging of assignments – a road trip to take on dominant league leaders Chelsea.
A horrific 4-1 loss to lowly Watford – United’s five in seven games – finally brought the curtain down on Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s tenure as head coach. Michael Carrick takes over as interim gaffer of a team that has conceded a whopping 15 goals in their last five games (despite recording a clean sheet during that time).
Chelsea are absolutely flying, losing just once (1-0 to Man City in Week 6) and scoring 30 goals to just four conceded. After a shock 1-1 draw at home to Burnley, Chelsea were back to their ruthless best in a 3-0 rout of Leicester at King Power Stadium last week.
Both clashes between the heavyweights last season finished in a scoreless draw, extending Man United’s unbeaten streak against Chelsea in the Premier League to seven matches.
But plenty has changed since those dour struggles and Chelsea will delight in compounding their heavyweight rivals’ woes.