BBL: Scorchers v Thunder

Perth Scorchers v Sydney Thunder

Date: Sunday 1 January
Time: 6:15pm (local time)
Venue: WACA

History: Played 5, Scorchers 4, Thunder 1

Key stats:

  • The Thunder are 1-2 against the Scorchers in Perth
  • The Scorchers have a 65% winning record at home
  • The Thunder have only won once on the back of a loss

Final thoughts:

We’re not even two weeks into the tournament and the reigning champions already look as though they may struggle to claim a victory, let alone make the finals. They had every chance to close out their last match at home against the Heat, dropping a number of crucial catches which could have won the match. While the Heat look one of the better sides in the competition, the Scorchers are another level altogether.

The Perth side is 2-1 after their first three matches, and return home after two away matches on the east coast. Not only are they all class, they also have the best home record of any side in the competition. The only thing which might beat the Perth side is the number of games they have played this week, but in terms of talent, form and professionalism, it’s hard to see anything but a home victory.

Early Crow’s Top Tip: Perth Scorchers to win @ $1.64

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BBL: Stars v Renegades

Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades

Date: Sunday 1 January
Time: 6:10pm (local time)
Venue: MCG

History: Played 9, Stars 7, Renegades 2

Key stats:

  • The Renegades have only won once at the MCG from five matches
  • The Stars are 4-2 on the back of a win
  • The Stars have won 65% of matches at the MCG

Final thoughts:

There was a lot of authority about the Stars’ first-up win for the tournament over the Hurricanes away in Hobart. While the Hurricanes do look below the best of the best in the tournament, the style in which Rob Quiney and Glenn Maxwell went about the big run chance was a pleasure to watch, and there is only improvement to come.

The Renegades entered the tournament as favourites and looked to justify that with their opening win over the Thunder. But their loss on Thursday to the Scorchers would have been slightly disappointing with both the bat and ball. Dwayne Bravo’s injury didn’t help, but a class side would have closed out the final overs with the ball. The Stars look equal to, if not better than the Perth side, and should continue their dominance over their cross-town rivals.

Early Crow’s Top Tip: Melbourne Stars to win @ $1.74

NFL Preview – Round 17

Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals

5am (AEDT), Monday, January 2 @ Cincinnati

The Teams: Baltimore has Alex Lewis questionable for the game as he looks to overcome an ankle injury. Cincinnati have Jeremy Hill questionable with Vontaze Burfict and Tyler Kroft very doubtful for the clash.

History: There is only one win separating these teams in head to head history stats, Baltimore with the 21-20 advantage. When they met five rounds ago the Ravens came away with a 19-14 win in Baltimore.

Form: Baltimore will finish second in the AFC North ahead of Cincinnati, with both teams out of the playoff race. Cincinnati are 5-9-1 this season and come into this game on a two game losing streak, going down to the Texans 10-12 and Steelers 20-24. Baltimore are 8-7 this season, also losing to the Steelers last game 27-31. They have been in better form than the Bengals of late, winning three from their last five.

Stats: The Ravens win in their last encounter broke a five game losing streak against the Bengals. Cincinnati have been dead even at home this season in their seven games with a 3-3-1 record. Baltimore have been poor on the road winning only two from five and both those away wins were in the first few rounds against the Browns and Jaguars. Baltimore have shown they are great at both ends of the field with a +39 points difference compared to the Bengals who are at -7 and have failed to pass the 300 points scored barrier.

Final Thoughts: Pride is all that is left for both these teams. Baltimore improved massively from last year’s 5-11 record but were still disappointed to miss the playoffs. They want to finish with a winning record and despite their poor away form, should be too strong for a Cincinnati team that is depleted by injuries.

Crow’s Tip: Baltimore Ravens -1 @ $1.92

 

Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans

5am (AEDT), Monday, January 2 @ Tennessee

The Teams: Johnathan Joseph and Brian Cushing are questionable for Houston with Jason McCourty questionable for Tennessee.  

History: Tennessee holds a one game 15-14 winning advantage over Houston in 29 games. The Texans took the win earlier this year in Houston with a 27-20 result.

Form: Houston clinched the AFC South division with a 9-6 record, one game ahead of the Titans (8-7). Tennessee went down to lowly Jacksonville 17-38 last game which blew their playoff hopes and broke a three game winning streak. Houston beat Cincinnati 12-10 last game, their third consecutive win which secured a wildcard spot.

Stats: The Texans have won the past five games against the Titans and eight of the last 10. Tennessee have gone 4-3 at home this season but that was after being 0-3 at Nissan Stadium. Houston haven’t been good on the road winning only two from five, their most recent away win was 22-17 against the Colts three rounds ago.

Final Thoughts: Unlike many other already secured playoff teams Houston have stated they won’t be resting players this round. They want to keep their current form going and are aiming for 10 wins this season. The Texans have the worst points difference (-42) of the playoff teams and this will give the Titans (-4) hope of ending the season with a home win and their first winning season since 2011.

Crow’s Tip: Tennessee Titans -3.5 @ $2.02

 

New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins

5am (AEDT), Monday, January 2 @ Miami

The Teams: Miami has Jay Ajayi, Spencer Paysinger and Mario Williams questionable for the game while Tom Brady, Dont'a Hightower, Matthew Slater and Martellus Bennett are in the same boat for New England.

History: This will be the 100th regular season meeting between the two sides with Miami holding a 52-47 advantage. The Patriots won 31-24 when they met in the second game of the season.

Form: The Patriots clinched the AFC East with a 13-2 record, three games ahead of the 10-5 Dolphins who are also in the playoffs with a wildcard spot. Miami are on a three game winning streak and have won nine of their past 10 games. They have scored 34 points in their past two games against the Bills and Jets. New England have won their last six games and have only allowed three points in each of their last two games, 41-3 vs the Jets and 16-3 vs Denver. 

Stats: It has been a tug-o-war contest between these teams in their past five games, New England ahead 3-2. Miami are 6-1 at home this season, their only loss was against Tennessee 30-17 in round five. New England are undefeated on the road this season with a 7-0 record and they are the only team in the league not to lose an away game.

Final Thoughts: There is a lot to play for in this game as both look to secure the top seed available to them. If the Patriots win they will grab number one seed and get home-field advantage while the Dolphins can grab the fifth seed if they win and Kansas City lose. New England are hard to stop from scoring and given Miami’s 345 points against it will be a hard to see the Patriots not scoring 30+. New England have been great away and should continue their unbeaten road record.

Crow’s Tip: Over 44.5 @ $1.87

 

Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Rams

8:25am (AEDT), Monday, January 2 @ Los Angeles

The Teams: Mike Thomas and Mo Alexander are questionable for the Rams. The Cardinals have four injury concerns as Marcus Cooper, Robert Nkemdiche, Sio Moore and John Brown are questionable.

History: Only one win separates these teams in 77 regular season games, Los Angeles ahead 38-37 with two tied games. Los Angeles took the win earlier in the season 17-13 in Arizona.

Form: The 6-8-1 Cardinals will finish ahead of the 4-11 Rams in the NFC West. Arizona come into this after beating the Seahawks 34-31 in Seattle. That win broke a two game losing streak, going 2-3 in their last five. The Rams have lost six consecutive games, winning only one of their last 10. They went down by one point in an entertaining battle against the 49ers 21-22 last game.

Stats: Los Angeles have won two of the past three against Arizona and they have gone 5-5 in their past 10 meetings. The Rams have a poor home record winning only one of their seven games played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which was a 9-3 win over Seattle in round two. Arizona aren’t too good on the road going 2-5, their away wins against Seattle and San Francisco.

Final Thoughts: From the outset it doesn’t look like an important clash, however both sides will have players fighting for spots on the roster next year with turnover of players expected for both squads. It may well turn into a free flowing game with defences opening up for points to be scored. That will suit the Cardinals who have a far superior offence.

Crow’s Tip: Arizona Cardinals -6.5 @ $1.92

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons

8:25am (AEDT), Monday, January 2 @ Atlanta

The Teams: Craig Robertson and Dannell Ellerbe are questionable for New Orleans as they look to overcome injury. There are no new injury concerns for Atlanta.

History: Atlanta holds a 49-45 wins advantage over New Orleans in 94 regular season games. Atlanta also took the victory in their round three clash winning 45-32.

Form: The Falcons clinched the NFC South with a 10-5 record, two positions ahead of New Orleans who went 7-8.  Atlanta beat Carolina 33-16 last game which was their third consecutive win and fourth in five matches. New Orleans are on a two game winning streak after beating Arizona and Tampa Bay which was off the back of two consecutive losses to have a 3-2 record in their last five games.

Stats: Atlanta’s win earlier this season broke a two game New Orleans winning streak. The Falcons have been patchy at home this season winning four from seven while the Saints have a losing 3-4 away record. Both sides finished with a plus point difference, Atlanta’s was +128 and New Orleans’ was considerably less at +21.

Final Thoughts: This game will see two of the best Quarterback’s in the league go head to head; Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. Ryan has been mentioned in MVP discussions and has been crucial in Atlanta’s playoffs push. Atlanta can earn the second seed with a win here and give themselves a week off by going straight to the divisional round.

Crow’s Tip: Over 57 @ $1.96

 

New York Giants vs Washington Redskins

8:25am (AEDT), Monday, January 2 @ Washington

The Teams: The Giants have four injury concerns with Jerell Adams, Coty Sensabaugh, B.J. Goodson and Janoris Jenkins all questionable. Washington have been rocked by injuries and have question marks over Junior Galette, Martrell Spaight, Rob Kelley, Spencer Long, Chris Baker, Trent Murphy, Jordan Reed, Ryan Kerrigan and Will Compton for this game.

History: The Giants hold a strong upper hand in 167 regular season head to head meetings, winning 97 to 66 games with four tied. Washington won a close game early in the season, picking up a 29-27 victory in New York.

Form: Washington are third in the NFC East with a 8-6-1 record and can still qualify for the playoffs if they beat the Giants and the Packers vs Lions game doesn’t end in a tie. They come into this game beating the Bears 41-21 last time out which followed a 15-26 loss to the Panthers. They have only gone 2-3 in their past five which has jeopardised their postseason aspirations. New York finished 10-5 and finished second in the NFC East, clinching a wildcard spot by securing the fifth seed. They lost to the Eagles 19-24 in their last game which broke a two game winning run. 

Stats: The Redskins are on a two game winning streak, which is off the back of five consecutive losses against the Giants. Washington are 4-3 at home this season while New York have a losing 3-4 record on the road.

Final Thoughts: New York will not rest their top line players this game despite already securing a playoff spot. Washington have a lot to play for in front of their home crowd and should just get up in a close one.

Crow’s Tip: New York Giants +7.5 @ $1.85

 

Oakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos

8:25am (AEDT), Monday, January 2 @ Denver

The Teams: Denver has Brandon Marshall questionable for this game. Oakland has eight players fighting the clock as Stacy McGee, Amari Cooper, Andre Holmes, Perry Riley, Michael Crabtree, Kelechi Osemele, Malcolm Smith and Jalen Richard look to overcome injuries.

History: The Broncos hold a 61-49-2 advantage over the Raiders in 112 regular season games. The Raiders won 30-20 in their clash earlier this season.

Form: Denver were 7-3 after the bye but a form slump saw them end the season 8-7, blowing the chance to defend their title and breaking a five year playoff run that saw them reach two Super Bowls. They are on a three game losing streak with their only win in their past five games against Jacksonville 20-10. Oakland have already clinched a playoff spot but they can win the AFC West and go straight to the Divisional Round if they win here or Kansas City lose. They are 12-3 this season and on a two game winning streak after beating Indianapolis 33-25 and San Diego 19-16.

Stats: The Raiders have won the past two clashes, both home and away, which broke an eight game Broncos winning streak. Denver have gone 4-3 at home this season but have lost their past two games at Mile High Stadium. Oakland are 6-1 on the road this season, their only away loss came three rounds ago to the Chiefs 21-13.

Final Thoughts: The Raiders were rocked by Quarterback Derek Carr suffering a broken leg against the Colts last game. He has had surgery and will be out for the remainder of the season with Matt McGloin stepping into the QB role. How much this will upset the balance of the Raiders will be seen in this game.  Expect Oakland to rush Denver like they did in their last meeting when the Raiders rushed 43 times for over 200 yards. 

Crow’s Tip: Oakland Raiders to Win @ $2.08

 

Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions

12:30pm (AEDT), Monday, January 2 @ Detroit

The Teams: Travis Swanson, Riley Reiff, DeAndre Levy, Andre Roberts and Darius Slay are all in doubt to take the field for Detroit. Green Bay also has concerns with Joe Thomas, J.C. Tretter, Randall Cobb, Damarious Randall and Jayrone Elliott all trying to overcome injuries.

History: Green Bay have won 97 games to Detroit’s 68 in 172 regular season meetings with seven games tied. The Packers won 34-27 at home in their clash earlier this season.

Form: Both these teams have a 9-6 record this season. Detroit are on a two game losing streak after going 21-42 to the Cowboys and 6-17 to the Giants. Those two losses broke a five game winning streak which put them into playoff calculations. Green Bay beat the Vikings 38-25 last game which extended their winning streak to five games. It was a much needed winning streak after sitting at 4-6 and on a four game losing streak. 

Stats: Green Bay has won the past two games against Detroit both home and away, which gives them a 7-3 advantage in their last 10 meetings. Detroit have a great 6-1 home record this season, their only loss at home was against the Titans 15-16 in the second game of the season. Green Bay haven’t been great on the road, winning three from seven but they have won their past two away games against Chicago and Philadelphia. 

Final Thoughts: This is one of the most important games of the round as the winner of this will clinch the NFC North. By the time this game kicks off the result of the New York Giants vs Washington Redskins will be decided, if the Redskins win the loser of this game won’t make playoffs. If the Redskins lose however both will be assured of a playoff spot. Despite the Packers poor away form they are one of the form teams in the league and hard to look past.

Crow’s Tip: Green Bay Packers -3 @ $1.84

NFL Tips – Round 17

The Ravens take on the Bengals in Cincinnati with Crow tipping Baltimore -1.

The Early Crow's NFL Top Tips – Round 17

MATCHES

TIPS

Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals

Baltimore Ravens -1 @ $1.92

Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets

Over 42.5 @ $1.92

Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Under 46 @ $1.92

Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings

Under 43 @ $1.90

Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers -5.5 @ $1.92

Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 @ $1.95

Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans -3.5 @ $2.02

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars +4.5 @ $1.95

New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins

Over 44.5 @ $1.87

Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Rams

Arizona Cardinals -6.5 @ $1.92

Kansas City Chiefs vs San Diego Chargers

Kansas City Chiefs -4 @ $1.89

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons

Over 57 @ $1.96

New York Giants vs Washington Redskins

New York Giants +7.5 @ $1.85

Oakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos

Oakland Raiders to Win @ $2.08

Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks -8.5 @ $1.89

Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers -3 @ $1.84

Sunday Racing Tip Sheet

The Early Crow believes that life will be wonderful again by Sunday. Five big meetings – plenty of opportunity to find a winner.

The Early Crows Racing Top Tips – 1/1/2017

 

GILGANDRA

Race 

Tip

GILGANDRA Race 1

NICTOCK

GILGANDRA Race 3

LONDON LADY

GILGANDRA Race 4

SAMIKOSHO

 

INVERELL

Race 

TIP

INVERELL Race 3

ONE TIN SOLDIER

INVERELL Race 5

MONTAGUE CLAN

INVERELL Race 8

IMAGE OF LOVE

 

FLEMINGTON

Race 

Tip

FLEMINGTON Race 2

GOLDSTREAM

FLEMINGTON Race 3

CROCODILE ROCK

FLEMINGTON Race 7

LORD VAN PERCY

 

MORNINGTON

Race 

Tip

MORNINGTON Race 1

TATTOO YOU

MORNINGTON Race 3

SOVEREIGN WEALTH

MORNINGTON Race 6

MR BANDIT COUNTRY

 

SUNSHINE COAST

Race 

Tip

SUNSHINE COAST Race 1

ATOUCHMORE

SUNSHINE COAST Race 3

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

SUNSHINE COAST Race 7

KAPHNI

Sunday NBA Tips

New York Knicks vs Houston Rockets

12pm AEDT, Sunday, January 1 @ Houston

Likely Line-Ups:

  • KNICKS
    Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah
  • ROCKETS
    James Harden, Corey Brewer, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, Nene Hilario

History: These teams share a close head to head record. In 138 games played New York holds a slight 70-68 over Houston.

Form: Houston are 25-9 this season which has them sitting third in the Western Conference, 3.5 games behind leaders Golden State. The Rockets have been hot in the last 10 going 8-2 and they are currently on a three game winning streak beating the Clippers, Mavericks and Suns. New York are seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 16-16 record, 8.5 games behind leaders Cleveland. They are in a bit of a form slump, losing three consecutive games to the Pelicans, Hawks and Celtics, and they have gone 4-6 in their last 10.

Stats: When these sides met earlier in the year it was Houston who came away with a 118-99 win in New York. James Harden had 30 points, 15 assists and 6 rebounds as the Rockets dominated from the outset. Houston are 12-3 at home this season and they beat the Clippers 140-116 in their last game at the Toyota Center. Most of New York’s woes have come because of their away form, winning only five from 11 on the road and they are on a five game losing streak away from Madison Square Garden.

Final Thoughts: The Knicks have been struggling to contain high paced offensive teams this season and that could spell a lot of trouble against the Rockets, who boast the second best offence in the league. The Rockets have won 21 of their past 23 games against the Knicks and given the current form of both sides, as well as the poor away form of the Knicks, Houston should extend their recent good run against New York.

Crow’s Tip: Houston -9.5 @ $1.92

TOP 3 TIPS

Match

Crow’s Tip

New York Knicks vs Houston Rockets

Houston -9.5 @ $1.92

Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls

Milwaukee Bucks to Win @ $2.12

Phoenix Suns vs Utah Jazz

Phoenix Suns +10.5 @ $1.94

 

 

EPL Preview – Week 19

Hull City vs Everton

7am (AEDT), Saturday, December 31 @ KCOM Stadium, Hull

Hull:
David Marshall (gk), Harry Maguire, Andrew Robertson, Michael Dawson, Curtis Davies, Ahmed Elmohamady, Jake Livermore, Samuel Clucas, Robert Snodgrass, Tom Huddlestone, Dieumerci Mbokani

Everton:
Joel Robles (gk), Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams, Ramiro Funes Mori, Gareth Barry, Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley, Idrissa Gueye, Romelu Lukaku

History: These teams have met only nine times, Everton winning five games with two draws being played out.

Form: Hull City are bottom of the table with a 3W-3D-12L record. They are coming off a 0-3 home loss to Manchester City, their third consecutive loss and the third consecutive game they haven’t scored. They haven’t won in their past seven games, managing only two draws. Everton are currently seventh with a 7W-5D-6L record. They come into this after a 2-0 away win against Leicester and it was much needed to keep in touch with the top six, going 2W-1D-2L in their last five. 

Stats: Hull City won the last game 2-0 against Everton in early January 2015, breaking a four match winless run against The Toffees. The Tigers have played their best at home this season with a 2W-2D-5L record and they have scored nine of their 14 goals at KCOM Stadium. Everton have a losing 3W-1D-5L record away from home, their recent win in Leicester broke a four game losing streak on the road.

Final Thoughts: It has been a tough season for Hull but they will take confidence in their win against Southampton and draw with West Brom at home in their last eight games, teams around Everton’s standard this season. Everton still hold hopes of a Europa position but with fifth place 10 points away they must continue to win, and they should pick up the three points here.

Crow’s Tip: Everton -1 @ $3.50

 

Burnley vs Sunderland

2:00am (AEDT), Sunday, January 1 @ Turf Moor, Burnley

Burnley:
Tom Heaton (gk), Stephen Ward, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Matthew Lowton, George Boyd, Jeff Hendrick, Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson, Steven Defour, Dean Marney, Andre Gray

Sunderland:
Vito Mannone (gk), Billy Jones, P. van Aanholt, Papy Djilobodji, Lamine Kone, Jason Denayer, Didier Ndong, Sebastian Larsson, Victor Anichebe, Fabio Borini, Jermain Defoe

History: The head to head stats are even between these teams after 73 games, both teams winning 27 times with 19 draws.

Form: Burnley’s 1-0 win against Middlesbrough last game was much needed, moving them to 14th on the ladder and six points away from the relegation zone. The win broke a two game losing streak and they are 6W-2D-10L this season. Sunderland have a 4W-2D-12L record and come into this game on the back of a 1-3 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford. They are 18th on the ladder which has them in the relegation zone.  

Stats: The last time these sides met was two seasons ago, Sunderland winning at home 2-0. It added to their impressive record against Burnley in recent years, winning six from their past 10 clashes with two draws. Burnley have all their wins at home this season going 6W-1D-3L in ten games while Sunderland only have four points from nine away games. Both teams have a poor goal scoring record, Burnley have 17 to Sunderland’s 16, but 15 of Burnley’s goals have been at home.

Final Thoughts: Burnley will look to extend their gap between Sunderland and the relegation zone. Their home form has been their shining light this season and they should be too strong for Sunderland at Turf Moor. 

Crow’s Tip: Burnley to Win @ $2.38

 

Chelsea vs Stoke City

2:00am (AEDT), Sunday, January 1 @ Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea:
Thibaut Courtois (gk), Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso, Willian, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses, Nemanja Matic, N'Golo Kante, Diego Costa

Stoke City:
Lee Grant (gk), Erik Pieters, B. Martins Indi, Glen Johnson, Ryan Shawcross, Glenn Whelan, Xherdan Shaqiri, Charlie Adam, Giannelli Imbula, Joe Allen, Jonathan Walters

History: Chelsea holds the head to head advantage against Stoke City, winning 35 games to 22 with 16 draws.    

Form: Chelsea extended their winning run to 12 games with their recent 3-0 win over Bournemouth. They are seven points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table with a 15W-1D-2L record and they have the best goal difference in the league with +27. Stoke are currently 13th with a 5W-6D-7L record, losing their last game against Liverpool 1-4 away.

Stats: In their last 10 meetings Chelsea have beaten Sunderland six times and there have been two draws. At home this season Chelsea have eight wins and one loss, conceding only four goals in the nine games at Stamford Bridge.  Stoke have played nine away games and have a decent return with three wins and three draws. Their last away win was six rounds ago against Watford 1-0.

Final Thoughts: Chelsea are the benchmark team this year and it is easy to see why they are currently $1.65 favourites to win the league despite only having a six point lead. Even when things aren’t quite working form them they manage to do enough to get the win. They shouldn’t be too troubled by Stoke here and will extend their winning run.

Crow’s Tip: Chelsea -1 @ $1.73

 

Leicester City vs West Ham

2:00am (AEDT), Sunday, January 1 @ King Power Stadium, Leicester

Leicester:
Kasper Schmeichel (gk), Danny Simpson, Robert Huth, Wes Morgan, Christian Fuchs, Danny Drinkwater, Andy King, Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton, Shinji Okazaki, Islam Slimani

West Ham:
Darren Randolph (gk), Angelo Ogbonna, Winston Reid, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Michail Antonio, Dimitri Payet, Mark Noble, Pedro Obiang, Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll

History: These two sides have had entertaining battles in their 88 games. West Ham hold a slight advantage winning 33 to 28 with 20 draws and the combined goals scored is also close, West Ham hold a slight advantage there also 133-124.

Form: Leicester are far from the lofty heights of last season, currently in 16th with a 4W-5D-9L record. They are on a three game winless run, losing their last game 0-2 at home to Everton, and have gone 2W-3D-5L in their last 10 games. West Ham are also seen as underperforming this season, currently five points ahead of Leicester in 11th. They have turned their form around in recent games though and are currently on a three game winning run, smashing Swansea 4-1 away in their last game.

Stats: When these sides met in the league last season the match ended 2-2. Besides the draw, Leicester won the three previous games to West Ham’s one since being in the top class again, including a 2-1 extra time win by Leicester in the League Cup last season. Leicester have performed well at home this season with four wins and three draws from nine games. West Ham have only lost once away, a 2-3 loss to Tottenham, with two wins and two draws in their other road games. 

Final Thoughts: Leicester are boosted by returning defenders Robert Huth and Christina Fuchs who have served their one game suspensions. Despite both teams boasting great attacking power they have struggled to score, each with 23 goals in their 18 matches. These teams are quite even not only on the table and stats but across the pitch, and the draw looks the best pick here.

Crow’s Tip: Draw @ $3.40

 

Manchester United vs Middlesbrough

2:00am (AEDT), Sunday, January 1 @ Old Trafford, Manchester

Man Utd:
David de Gea (gk), Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ander Herrera, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Middlesbrough:
Victor Valdes (gk), Fabio, Calum Chambers, George Friend, Ben Gibson, Marten De Roon, Adam Clayton, Adam Forshaw, Gaston Ramirez, Alvaro Negredo, Cristhian Stuani 

History: This will be the 100th meeting between these sides, Manchester United winning 50 from 99 with 22 draws.  

Form: Manchester United are winding up to top gear, winning their last four games and going unbeaten in their last nine. They currently sit sixth on the table with a 9W-6D-3L record. They defeated Sunderland 3-1 last game which featured goal of the season contender from Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Middlesbrough are currently 15th on the ladder with a 4W-6D-8L record and are coming into this game losing 0-1 to Burnley. In their last 10 games they have three wins, three draws and four losses.

Stats: Manchester United haven’t lost to Middlesbrough in 11 games dating back to October 2005. In those 11 games there have been six wins and five draws. United have only lost once at home in nine games, a 1-2 loss in the Manchester Derby back in match-week four. In nine away games Middlesbrough have only won once, but they have managed five draws on the road, which is a good record for a team only four points from the relegation zone.

Final Thoughts: United may have only lost three games but they did fall into a bit of a rough patch where they were unable to scrape out victories. They look past that now and just in time with their top four aspirations still alive. They should start the year strongly here and be far too good for a Middlesbrough team who struggles to score.

 Crow’s Tip: Manchester United -1 @ $1.80

 

Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion

2:00am (AEDT), Sunday, January 1 @ St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Southampton:
Fraser Forster (gk), Jose Fonte, Ryan Bertrand, Cedric Soares, Virgil van Dijk, Sofiane Boufal, Oriol Romeu, Jordy Clasie, Dusan Tadic, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Jay Rodriguez

West Brom:
Ben Foster (gk), Jonny Evans, Craig Dawson, Gareth McAuley, Allan Nyom, Chris Brunt, Matthew Phillips, Claudio Yacob, Nacer Chadli, Darren Fletcher, Salomon Rondon

History: Southampton holds a one game win advantage over West Brom in 47 games 15-14, with 18 of their games ending in draws.

Form: Southampton have a 6W-6D-6L record and currently sit in eighth. They had an embarrassing 1-4 loss at home to Tottenham last game which broke a three game unbeaten run where they won two games.  West Brom have lost two consecutive games but pushed quality opposition, losing 0-1 to Arsenal and 0-2 to Man United. They are one point behind Southampton in ninth with a 6W-5D-7L record.

Stats: Last time they met Southampton gave West Bromwich a comprehensive beating, 3-0 last season. They have gone one win each with a draw in their past three games. Southampton have been good at home this season, winning four times with three draws in nine games. West Brom have played nine away games for two wins and three draws.

Final Thoughts: Inconsistency has plagued both teams this season but their defences have been the standout positives. This will be a hard fought contest but could turn dour due to the lack of scoring power on the pitch, especially with Charlie Austin still unavailable for Southampton. It is hard to see any team scoring here and the draw looks the best bet.

Crow’s Tip: Draw @ $3.60

 

Swansea City vs AFC Bournemouth

2:00am (AEDT), Sunday, January 1 @ Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea:
Lukasz Fabianski (gk), Federico Fernandez, Angel Rangel, Jordi Amat, Mike van der Hoorn, Alfie Mawson, Wayne Routledge, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Leon Britton, Modou Barrow, Fernando Llorente

Bournemouth:
Artur Boruc (gk), Nathan Ake, Adam Smith, Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Harry Arter, Dan Gosling, Junior Stanislas, Jack Wilshere, Callum Wilson

History: 19 times these side have met, Bournemouth winning eight times to seven.

Form: Swansea are stuck in the relegation zone on 12 points with only three wins and three draws.  They have the same points as bottom placed Hull but are ahead thanks to a five goal better goal difference. They were comprehensively beaten 1-4 by West Ham at home last game and have now lost three consecutive games, conceding 10 times in those losses. Bournemouth are in the mid-table logjam, currently 12th with a 6W-3D-9L record. They have lost their past two games, 0-3 to Chelsea and 1-3 to Southampton.

Stats: Bournemouth have won three of the past four encounters with the other game drawn. Swansea have had their best games at home this season, winning two and drawing two from nine games. Bournemouth’s away record has been poor winning only once on the road and drawing twice from nine games.

Final Thoughts: Swansea will look to bounce back at home after their poor result against West Ham which resulted in manager Bob Bradley being sacked. They come up against a decent Bournemouth side however the Cherries have struggled away this season. This could well turn into a shootout as both defences can be opened up easily.

Crow’s Tip: Draw @ $3.25

 

Liverpool vs Manchester City

5:00am (AEDT), Sunday, January 1 @ Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool:
Simon Mignolet (gk), Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan, Emre Can, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi

Man City:
Claudio Bravo (gk), Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Aleksandar Kolarov, Nicolas Otamendi, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Sergio Aguero

History: Liverpool holds a big 73-42 head to head wins advantage over Manchester City in 155 games.

Form: Liverpool are second in the league on 40 points, one point ahead of third placed Manchester City. Liverpool are 12W-4D-2L and come into this game after pumping Stoke 4-1. They are on a three game winning streak and unbeaten in their last four. City are 12W-3D-3L and also on a three game winning streak which was off the back of two losses to Chelsea and Leicester City.

Stats: Liverpool are unbeaten in their last four games against City, winning three of those games. Liverpool are undefeated at Anfield this season, winning six and drawing two in eight games. City are seven wins and two losses away from home this season.

Final Thoughts: This will be an entertaining game as both are in good form and looking to keep in touch with league leaders Chelsea. The Reds have scored the most goals in the league this season with 45, six more than City. It is hard to separate them and while they both need a win to remain in touch with Chelsea, they may have to settle for a point apiece.

Crow’s Tip: Draw @ $3.50

 

Watford vs Tottenham

12:30am (AEDT), Tuesday, January 2 @ Vicarage Road, Watford

Watford:
Heurelho Gomes (gk), Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul, Adlene Guedioura, Jose Holebas, Sebastian Prodl, Camilo Zuniga, Etienne Capoue, Nordin Amrabat, Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo

Tottenham:
Hugo Lloris, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama, Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane

History: Tottenham have beaten Watford 12 times in 20 games with three draws being played out.   

Form: Watford have generally been good this season and currently sit 10th with a 6W-4D-8L record. They drew 1-1 against Crystal Palace last game which broke a two game losing streak. They have hit a rough patch of form with only one win and one draw in their last six games. Tottenham are currently fifth and have only lost twice with 10 wins and six draws. They are currently on a three game winning streak, beating Southampton 4-1 last time out.

Stats: Tottenham haven’t lost to Watford in their past nine games and they are on a five game winning streak against them. Watford have four wins, two draws and three losses at home this season and they won their last home game 3-2 vs Everton. Tottenham’s two losses this season have been on the road, against Manchester United and Chelsea, along with three wins and four draws.

Final Thoughts: Watford have been better so far this season than a lot of pundits thought, but they have been patchy of late. They have been caught out when against quality opposition, and they will find Tottenham too good here.

Crow’s Tip: Tottenham to Win @ $1.67

 

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace

3:00am (AEDT), Tuesday, January 2 @ Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal:
Petr Cech (gk), Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Gabriel, Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin, Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud

Crystal Palace:
Wayne Hennessey (gk), Scott Dann, Martin Kelly, Damien Delaney, Joel Ward, Yohan Cabaye, Jason Puncheon, Mathieu Flamini, Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke

History: Crystal Palace have only beaten Arsenal twice in 32 games, Arsenal winning 21 times with nine draws.

Form: Arsenal are fourth with an 11W-4D-3L record, nine points away from league leaders Chelsea. They beat West Bromwich 1-0 last game which was after two consecutive losses against Manchester City and Arsenal. Crystal Palace are 17th and two points clear of the relegation zone with a 4W-4D-10L record. They come into this after a 1-1 draw with Watford after two one goal losses to Chelsea and Manchester United.

Stats: Arsenal have won eight of the last 10 against Crystal Palace with the other two games ending as draws. The Gunners have won six, drawn two and lost one at Emirates this season, that loss coming in the first game of the season. Crystal Palace have played nine away games this season, winning two and drawing three.

Final Thoughts: Arsenal are back to their winning ways and they have kept in touch with third placed Manchester City, now only two points behind. Crystal Palace on the other hand are struggling this season and won’t relish the trip to Emirates. The Gunners should continue their winning ways against Palace and be a class above.

Crow’s Tip: Over 3.5 @ $2.32