Find the back of the net with tips for Week 20 of the EPL season as the Premier League clubs navigate their way through COVID’s choppy waters.

EPL Tips – Southampton V Tottenham Hotspur

02:00 (AEDT), Wed 29th Dec @ St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton

History: Played 199: Tottenham 85 V Southampton 64 (50 Draws)

Last meeting: April 21, 2021 (EPL): Tottenham 2 d Southampton 1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Final Thoughts: Southampton recorded their first win since early-November with a 3-2 upset victory at West Ham on Boxing Day. The Saints never trailed in the match, while James Ward-Prowse found the back of the net for the second game in a row and Jan Bednarek scored the 70th-minute winner. The result lifted the club nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Tottenham are well-placed for a top-four push, last losing in October. They have three games in hand after a series of postponements yet sit just six points adrift of fourth after securing a 2-all draw with Liverpool and disposing of Crystal Palace 3-0 in the past 10 days. Son Heung-min has scored in Spurs’ past four league games while Harry Kane has notched a goal in their past two.

Southampton boast two wins and a draw from their last four at home against Tottenham, but Spurs won 5-2 at St Mary’s Stadium last season and registered a 2-1 victory over the Saints in London.

Tottenham are on a real roll under Antonio Conte’s direction and should account for a plucky but inconsistent Southampton outfit.

Best Bet: Result – Tottenham @ $2.10

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Tottenham -1; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Harry Kane @ $8.25

EPL Tips – Watford V West Ham United

02:00 (AEDT), Wed 29th Dec @ Vicarage Road, Watford

History: Played 79: West Ham 45 V Watford 21 (13 Draws)

Last meeting: July 17, 2020 (EPL): West Ham 3 d Watford 1 at London Stadium

Final Thoughts: Watford are set to play their first game in 17 days after a string of COVID cancellations, while West Ham will back up just 48 hours after a 3-2 home loss to Southampton.

The Hornets have lost their last four since rolling Man United 4-1 last month. Emmanuel Dennis’ goalscoring strike-rate has been a positive feature for the relegation candidates, bagging a goal in four of Watford’s last five games. But Claudio Ranieri is still without the services of Kwadwo Baah, Peter Etebo, Ben Foster, Christian Kabasele, Nicolas Nkoulou and Ismaila Sarr.

West Ham have defensive trio Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma on the sidelines. It’s been a tough six weeks for the sixth-placed Irons, winning just one of their last seven EPL games and losing their most recent Europa League and EFL Cup fixtures.

West Ham have won their last three matches against Watford by a combined 10-3. Despite the short turnaround, Hammers are good value to get back on track at Vicarage Road.

Best Bet: Result and Total – West Ham and Over 2.5 @ $3.20

Same Game Multi: Result – Watford; Total – Over 3.5; Both Teams To Score; Anytime Goalscorer – Michail Antonio @ $12.29

EPL Tips – Crystal Palace V Norwich City

02:00 (AEDT), Wed 29th Dec @ Selhurst Park, London

History: Played 114: Crystal Palace 49 V Norwich 44 (21 Draws)

Last meeting: January 1, 2020 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Carrow Road

Final Thoughts: Crystal Palace and Norwich City are both smarting from heavy Boxing Day defeats.

After beating Everton (2-1) and drawing with Southampton (2-2) in their previous two, 12th-placed Palace were pounded 3-0 by Tottenham. Last-placed Norwich suffered their fourth straight loss to nil courtesy of a 5-0 result at the hands of Arsenal.

Norwich City have not won at Selhurst Park since 1996. Expect that drought to continue – the Canaries are not up to Premier League standard and should be easy pickings for an Eagles side that counts Tottenham and Man City among its victims this season.

Best Bet: Half-time/Full-time – Crystal Palace/Crystal Palace @ $2.50

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Crystal Palace -1; Crystal Palace To Win To Nil; Crystal Palace To Win Both Halves @ $5.30

EPL Tips – Leicester City V Liverpool

07:00 (AEDT), Wed 29th Dec @ King Power Stadium, Leicester

History: Played 117: Liverpool 52 V Leicester 40 (25 Draws)

Last meeting: December 22, 2021 (EFL Cup): Liverpool 3 d Leicester 3 (penalties) at Anfield

Final Thoughts: Liverpool’s Boxing Day clash with Leeds was postponed, while Leicester City returned from a 14-day hiatus with a 6-3 beatdown at the hands of Manchester City.

The Foxes had inched to a season-high eighth on the ladder with a 4-0 win over Newcastle in Week 16. But the COVID-depleted side trailed Man City 4-0 after 25 minutes before staging a spirited second-half fightback. Leicester have nine players unavailable, with Harvey Barnes not due to return to training until later this week.

Liverpool have lost just once this season, while their six-match winning streak came to an end via a 2-all draw at Tottenham in Week 18. Diogo Jota has scored six goals in the Reds’ last seven games.

Leicester boast just one win – a 3-1 result last season at King Power Stadium – and one draw from their last nine clashes with Liverpool. With so many players out, it’s difficult envisaging the Foxes avoiding defeat here.

Best Bet: Handicap – Liverpool -1 @ $1.91

Same Game Multi: Total – Over 3.5; Handicap – Liverpool -1; Anytime Goalscorer – Mo Salah; Anytime Goalscorer – Diogo Jota @ $5.70

EPL Tips – Chelsea V Brighton and Hove Albion

06:30 (AEDT), Thu 30th Dec @ Stamford Bridge, London

History: Played 16: Chelsea 12 V Brighton 1 (3 Draws)

Last meeting: April 20, 2021 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge

Final Thoughts: One of only three clubs to have played all 19 of its scheduled fixtures, third-placed Chelsea followed up underwhelming draws against Everton and Wolves with a 3-1 victory at Aston Villa on Boxing Day. The Blues came from behind courtesy of two Jorginho penalties either side of a Lukaku second-half goal.

Brighton, meanwhile, broke a 11-match, three-month winless run with a 2-0 win over Brentford in Week 19. The Seagulls had scored just three goals in the past six games, but first-half strikes from Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay secured a valuable three points that lifted the early-season surprise-packets back into the top half.

Brighton’s sole win over Chelsea was in the teams’ inaugural meeting, during the 1933 FA Cup. But after going down 3-1 at home last season, the Seagulls held the heavyweights to a scoreless draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have been well short of their best – particularly at the defensive end – over the past month, but they average almost two and a half goals per game at Stamford Bridge and should get the job done here with both teams on a short turnaround.

Best Bet: Handicap – Chelsea -1 @ $2.25

Same Game Multi: Result – Chelsea; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Mason Mount; Chelsea Score in Both Halves @ $5.95

EPL Tips – Brentford V Manchester City

07:15 (AEDT), Thu 30th Dec @ Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford

History: Played 13: Man City 7 V Brentford 5 (1 Draw)

Last meeting: January 25, 1997 (FA Cup): Man City 1 d Brentford 0 at Griffin Park

Final Thoughts: Ladder-leading Manchester City will look to continue their destructive attacking form when they travel to Brentford. The defending champs have not had their schedule impacted by COVID and have made the most of it, demolishing Leeds (7-0), Newcastle (4-0) and Leicester (6-3) in the past fortnight to extend their winning streak to nine games.

Ten different players shared in the goals across the three routs, with Riyad Mahrez the only City player to score in all three games.

Playing their first game in 16 days, Brentford lost 2-0 at Brighton on Boxing Day. The Bees had found some decent form prior to their enforced break, winning two and drawing two of their previous five.

Brentford are yet to concede more than three goals in a game, but that defensive resolve is unlikely to rescue them from a comprehensive defeat to the defending champs.

Best Bet: Handicap – Man City -2 @ $2.30

Same Game Multi: Man City To Win To Nil; Handicap – Man City -2; Anytime Goalscorer – Raheem Sterling; Anytime Goalscorer – Riyad Mahrez @ $10.24

EPL Tips – Everton V Newcastle United

06:30 (AEDT), Fri 31st Dec @ Goodison Park, Liverpool

History: Played 178: Everton 74 V Newcastle 68 (36 Draws)

Last meeting: January 30, 2021 (EPL): Newcastle 2 d Everton 0 at Goodison Park

Final Thoughts: Everton return to the pitch after a two-week break – and they badly need a three-point haul here. The 14th-placed Toffees’ only win in their past 11 games was a 2-1 upset of Arsenal in Week 15, though they did hold Chelsea to a 1-all draw in their last game.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is tipped to return from a fourth-month injury break after scoring three goals in Everton’s first three games – but the brilliant striker has been the subject of intense transfer speculation.

Second-last Newcastle will be buoyed by their performance in a 1-all draw with Man United on Tuesday (AEDT), after conceding 11 goals and scoring just one in their previous three outings. Allan Saint-Maximin opened the scoring for the Magpies in the seventh minute and they led until the 71st.

After win just two of their previous 15 against the Toffees, the Magpies won both clashes last season – 2-1 at St James’ Park and 2-0 at Goodison Park. They’re a strong chance of nabbing at least another point in this one.

Best Bet: Handicap – Newcastle +1 @ $2.00

Same Game Multi: Result – Draw; Half-time Result – Draw; Total – Under 2.5 @ $6.08

EPL Tips – Manchester United V Burnley

07:15 (AEDT), Fri 31st Dec @ Old Trafford, Manchester

History: Played 132: Man United 64 V Burnley 45 (23 Draws)

Last meeting: April 18, 2021 (EPL): Man United 3 d Burnley 1 at Old Trafford

Final Thoughts: Manchester United returned to the pitch from a 16-day COVID-enforced break in underwhelming fashion on Tuesday, drawing 1-all with lowly Newcastle. Edinson Cavani produced a second-half equaliser after the Magpies struck early.

The result snapping a three-match winning streak, but United remain unbeaten since sacking manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

Burnley return from an 18-day break with the weather and COVID wreaking havoc with their schedule. The 18th-placed Clarets have lost just one of their last seven games, but they have also failed to score in their only three games since November 20.

Burnley have won just two of their last 31 against Man United. Last season United got up 1-0 at Turf Moor and 3-1 at home. The Clarets did manage a historic win at Old Trafford – their first since 1962 – during the 2019-20 season, however.

Man United have been held to one goal or less in six of their last seven games and likely to have to grind this one out against an unfancied opponent.

Best Bet: Result and Total – Man United and Under 2.5 @ $3.40

Same Game Multi: Total – Under 2.5; Man United To Win To Nil; Anytime Goalscorer – Marcus Rashford @ $6.49