It’s finally back! The Premier League returns after an international break which, in fairness, offered plenty of entertainment for English fans. However, with the main event now returning, we take a look at three of the matches featured in this Saturday’s £5,000 1X2 Pick 5 Pool.
Crystal Palace vs. Huddersfield
Poor old Huddersfield have had a season to forget. If results go against them, they could be relegated by 5pm on Saturday and realistically are playing for little more than pride now.
They visit Selhurst Park this weekend to take on a side who have the second worst home record in the Premier League this season. The only problem? Huddersfield have the second worst away record.
The 13 points that Palace have picked up in South London so far this season remains five more than Huddersfield have won on their travels and it will come as no surprise that the Eagles are regarded as comfortable favourites.
Huddersfield have lost eight of their last nine league games, a run in which they only managed to score four times. That won’t wash against a stingy Palace defence who have only leaked 36 goals in 30 matches so far.
There are some concerns over the availability of Palace’s key men Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka but, with Huddersfield in such a wretched run, it should still be a comfortable victory for Roy Hodgson’s side.
Leicester vs. Bournemouth
Is there a more entertaining side to watch than Bournemouth in the Premier League? The have scored the most goals of any side below the top six and conceded the most of any team above the bottom four.
You just never know which incarnation of Eddie Howe’s side are going to show up, the version who dispatched Chelsea 4-0 or the one who lost 2-0 to Cardiff the following week.
Leicester’s fortunes have improved since Brendan Rodgers took over, winning three of the subsequent four matches. Yet it has now been 11 games since they kept a clean sheet, including a fixture against Newport County in the FA Cup. It is worth noting as well that the scored in ten of those.
That both teams are prone to scoring and conceding should bode well for the neutral and I think, as a result, this match could be a cracker. They are only three points apart in the league so there isn’t a huge gulf in quality and I think it will end up in a stalemate with both sides having found the net at least once.
Brighton vs. Southampton
The Amex hosts to a south coast derby on Saturday as Southampton roll into town. The sides are only separated by three points and a single place in the league but have been on very different trajectories in recent times.
After a disastrous start to the season under Mark Hughes, Southampton have enjoyed a new lease of life under Ralph Hasenhüttl, winning six and drawing three of the 16 matches he has presided over.
Brighton, on the other hand, were absolutely flying until December when they entered a miserable run that saw them win just one of their next 12 games, sliding down the table and into trouble. They have staged a mini-revival since, winning their previous two matches against Hudderfield and Palace and Chris Hughton will hope that the international break hasn’t interrupted their momentum.
There isn’t a huge amount between the two but, given their contrasting recent fortunes, I fancy Southampton to leave the happier side at the end of this one, having nicked all three points.