SAINTS GO MARCHING IN
First up an apology is needed. An apology that comes from tipping Arsenal to win last weekend, an apology that is as heartfelt as they come, if only because nobody thought the Gunners could play worse than they have before.
With Mikel Arteta’s men now closer to the relegation zone than they are the top, it seems almost foolish to back them again in midweek and especially as they are play host to high-flying opposition on Wednesday.
Opposition that comes in the shape of Southampton and with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men starting the midweek fixture schedule lying fourth in the table, expectations just might have changed for the bigger.
That’s because the Saints are now entering the conversation regarding European football next season and although a genuine title tilt may just be out of reach, Europa League qualification is perhaps not.
Something that Arsenal can seemingly only dream off and on current form, if they do not win the latest edition of Europe’s secondary club competition, there will be nothing in the way of European football at the Emirates next season.
For now, Arsenal simply must worry about what is immeaditely in front of them and with Southampton buoyant after such a dominant display against Sheffield United on Sunday, they will look to create more misery for such an ailing giant.
Which is why Southampton can be considered such good value on Wednesday night and with the visitors priced at 3.25 to win, this might just be the hefty early Christmas bonus that you were hoping for.
Summary: Back Southampton to win at Arsenal
NON-STICK TOFFEE AT THE KING POWER
After getting the better of Brighton on Sunday night, Leicester not only earned three points for their relatively easy troubles but also profited from the previous top three all dropping points elsewhere.
With Tottenham and Liverpool being held to away draws and Chelsea slipping up away at Everton, it has meant that Brendan Rodgers men have taken full advantage and if results go their way on Wednesday, they could find themselves top of the table.
For that to be the case, Liverpool and Tottenham will have to play out a draw at Anfield, while Leicester will have to get the better of Everton, something that will perhaps be easier said than done.
Everton were more than a match for Chelsea and were certainly worthy of their three points last Saturday. However, if there is one thing that works against the Toffees, it is their inconsistency in terms of performance.
Something that Leicester hope is the case in midweek and with them also having home advantage in this encounter, it would be churlish to look past them. With that in mind, odds of 2.20 for Vardy and company to come out on top, looks like being a rather generous price.
Summary: Back Leicester to beat Everton
FULHAM BUILD ON THE WEEKEND
Fulham manager Scott Parker will be asking himself where such a performance has come from and with the Cottagers being more than a match for Liverpool on Sunday, the former Tottenham midfielder will be hoping that showing is now the template in future weeks.
A template that will need to be put into place for the visit of Brighton in midweek and with the Seagulls on the road for the second time in just four days, Graham Potter will hope his players have better fortunes than last Sunday.
Fortunes that saw the South Coast outfit on the beach by half time, as they lost 3-0 to Leicester and with both Fulham and Burnley both picking up positive results that same day, the relegation battle now looks a lot closer.
So much so, that Brighton could find themselves in the bottom three if results go against them and if Fulham can pick up what will only be described as a huge win, then it will only serve to place more strain on the shoulders of their opponents.
Brighton have played decent football in the first third of the season, but they have not converted that into points and with Fulham seemingly getting their house in order, odds of 3.00 for the Cottagers to win seems a particularly good shout.
Summary: Back Fulham to beat Brighton