Fulham hoping to humble FA Cup finalists Hull in PL survival scrap
The Premier League season is nearing a thrilling climax, but there is value to be had in betting on mid-table sides with Coral.
Struggling Fulham host Hull, Spurs are at fellow top 10 team Stoke, Swansea have a home game with Aston Villa and West Brom battle West Ham. Here’s the best bets on these four games that punters can make.
Fulham v Hull
The Tigers have won four of the last five Premier League encounters, and hit Fulham for six in the reverse fixture. Victories to nil are very common when these sides meet, so consider that market.
Felix Magath’s men are 3/1 shots to beat the visitors without reply, while Hull are 17/4. These odds are far better than just picking out a win at 13/10 and 9/4 respectively.
Both teams boast poor home and away records, but Fulham have been victorious in two of their last three outings at Craven Cottage. Steve Bruce’s Tigers, meanwhile, lost their last two on the road, and only have the FA Cup final left to play for.
Magath must consider handing Darren Bent a start here, because he has three in his last three against Hull, including a brace in Sunderland colours. He is 7/4 to score anytime – the same price as Hugo Rodallega, who has two in his last three but never netted when tackling the Tigers.
Punters can also afford to ignore Shane Long because he has yet to break his duck against Fulham. Croatian strike partner Nikica Jelavic, meanwhile, has two in his last three and never lost to the west London outfit, so consider odds of 2/1 in the anytime market.
Tigers skipper Robert Koren and midfielder Tom Huddlestone are worthy outside bets for goals. Slovenian Korean got two in the reverse fixture, while England World Cup squad outsider Huddlestone has two in his last two outings against Fulham. Odds of 7/2 and 7/1 respectively say they will score here.
Stoke v Tottenham
Mark Hughes’ Potters boast the best home record of any team outside the current top six. They have picked up three-quarters of their 44 points so far this term at the Britannia, and lost just twice there in all competitions since the end of September.
Spurs have no wins in six outings on the road. Stoke thus look attractive at 2/1 for a home victory over Tim Sherwood’s side. Tottenham are unbeaten in four against the Staffordshire outfit, however.
Wilson Palacios and Peter Crouch come up against their former club here. Target man Crouch is 7/4 to score anytime, or a more enticing 6/1 shot to net the opener.
Emmanuel Adebayor has two in his last four outings against the Potters, and can be backed in those markets at the same prices. Roberto Soldado, meanwhile, opened the scoring in the reverse fixture, is 15/8 to hit the target anytime.
Swansea v Aston Villa
If ever a Premier League game has draw written all over it, then it must be this encounter. These sides are separated by a single point and two places in the table, with three of their last five meetings ending all square. Back the Swans and Villa to each enjoy a share of spoils at 13/5.
Paul Lambert’s visitors have lost three in a row on the road, while Garry Monk has earned a single Liberty Stadium victory in all competitions since beating bitter south Wales rivals Cardiff.
Goals have dried up for Villa, with just one in their previous three matches. Christian Benteke’s injury, coupled by the lengthy absence of understudies Libor Kozak and Nicklas Helenius, means the onus falls to Grant Holt. The former Norwich target man is the horse for this particular course, though.
Holt has three in his last three appearances against Swansea. Take odds of 9/4 on him netting anytime. Wilfried Bony, meanwhile, bagged a winning brace for the hosts at Newcastle in his previous outing. He is a 7/1 shot to get two or more again here.
Wayne Routledge looks a worthy outside bet for a goal against Villa. He has two in his last three when facing the West Midlands outfit, so 4/1 in the anytime market is certainly tempting.
West Brom v West Ham
Another contest that could well be drawn. Five of the last six meetings have finished level, while the Baggies are the Premier League’s draw specialists with nine at home. Odds of 12/5 say West Brom and the Hammers will share the spoils yet again.
A 3-3, how the breathless reverse fixture ended in December and the scoreline Pepe Mel’s men have recorded in their last two at The Hawthorns, is 50/1 to occur again. West Ham have won at Sunderland, Villa and Cardiff in 2014, however, so odds of 3/1 on an away victory are tempting too.
Albion may be missing both Liam Ridgewell and Gareth McAuley from defence, and that is dangerous with Andy Carroll in such decent form on the road. The England target man has two in his last three away outings, and knows how to net against this opposition, so back him for a goal anytime at 15/8.
Big Sam’s faithful retainer and Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan was on target in the reverse fixture. He is 11/4 in the same market.
Saido Berahino also impressed and found the target back in December, so back the youngster to make a similar impact off the bench and score first, or last, at 6/1. Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans has two in his last two against the Hammers, so looks a snip at 5/1 for a goal anytime.