Everton – Manchester City
. Everton lost their last four games and that’s the worst run they’ve had in a while. The defeats against Stoke, Newcastle and Hull didn’t help the team with their battle for a European spot and this game isn’t going to be easy looking at City’s recent form – 11 games in a row without a loss. The Toffees will be without key players in the likes of Tim Howard, Sylvain Distin, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman – all of them unavailable because of injuries. James McCarthy and Leighton Baines are also doubtful and it’s unlikely that they’ll start. For Manchester City Matija Nastasic is injured and Yaya Toure is with his national team for the AFCON. The Citizens are level on points with Chelsea and would like to win at Goodison Park where it’s usually tough for them and looking at Everton’s form it’s very likely to happen.
Tip: 2 @ 1.91
West Bromwich Albion – Hull City
Tony Pulis will make his debut in charge of WBA and the players will want to impress their new manager. He will have to deal with the absences of Youssouf Mulumbu and Jason Davidson who are with their national teams. Hull have more problems and even though players like Tom Huddlestone and Stephen Quinn will be back from suspension, they’ll have to do without Gaston Ramirez, Liam Rosenior and Andrew Roberston, who are all injured. We saw fewer than 2.5 goals in six of Hull’s previous seven games in the Premier League and both teams will try to outsmart each other so don’t expect a goal thriller.
Tip: Under 2.5 @ 1.53
Bastia – PSG
Often when Bastia lose a home game, it’s usually with two or more goals. This has been the case in six of their last seven defeats in the league during the last two seasons. Now they face a highly motivated PSG side who are currently sitting third in the league after drawing their last league game against Montpellier. Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi were punished by the club because of their late return to training after the Christmas break and won’t be available for selection for this game. Thiago Motta and Salvatore Sirigu will be assessed before the game to see if they are ready to start, meanwhile Serge Aurier is at the African Cup of Nations, which means van der Wiel will play as right back. Bastia may be without Hervin Ongenda who has a knee injury and probably won’t start against his parent club. PSG won the last five times these two teams met with more than two goals and if they want to keep up with the other title challengers they need to impress in this game.
Tip: 2 (-1.5) @ 2.20
Lille – Caen
While Lille have been impressive at home this season, their opponents Caen haven’t won in any of their last eight away games. Their recent form against Lille isn’t good at all – Caen lost seven of the last eight games against them in all competitions. The visitors are rock bottom and their manager Patrice Garande desperately needs a win. He made the interesting decision to forbid his players from communicating with the press this week. Lille’s striker Divock Origi is a doubt for this game, having not played the last one against Evian because of a groin strain and the chances of him coming back for this one are slim. Le LOSC’s great home form is a strong factor and even though they have for players playing in the ACON, their squad still looks solid enough to grab a win here.
Tip: 1 @ 1.80