Over half of the Premier League are off enjoying a well-deserved winter break, but eight sides have been back hard at work in training, with all eyes on the relegation battle this weekend.
With four of the bottom seven in action, could the state of play at the bottom of the table look very different come Monday morning?
Join us for our latest look over the Premier League betting as we cast our crystal ball over the first half of Gameweek 26…
Man City vs West Ham & the first half of EPL Gameweek 26
EVERTON VS CRYSTAL PALACE, 12:30
The lowdown: In his usual understated way, Carlo Ancelotti is starting to make his mark at Everton, with the turnaround 3-2 win the first time in 35 attempts that Everton have won a game after falling behind. The Toffees have now lost just one of their last seven games and are a bogey side for the Eagles, with Roy Hodgson’ side winless in their last 10 meetings home and away in this fixture. Palace are by no means out the relegation race after just one win in 10.
Verdict: Ancelotti’s good start to continue. 2-1
Best Bet: Everton to win from behind at 21/2.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION VS WATFORD, 17:30
The lowdown: Despite a gutsy fightback against West Ham, the pressure is building for the Seagulls, who, like rivals Crystal Palace, have picked up just one win in their last 10 Premier League outings. Graham Potter’s side will be hoping for a repeat of the opening day of the season, where they stunned Watford with a thumping 3-0 win at Vicarage Road. Brighton can seal a first league double against the Hornets since 1990/91, although the away side have lost on just one of their last seven trips to the South Coast.
Verdict: An entertaining draw – and one that does neither much good. 2-2
Best Bet: A draw and over 3.5 goals at 10/1.
SHEFFIELD UTD VS BOURNEMOUTH, 14:00
The lowdown: After a stellar season back in the top flight, Sheffield Utd are just four points from the magic 40-point safety mark. Even though safety looks in sight in early February, the steely Chris Wilder is unlikely to let standards slip. That said, home form has occasionally been indifferent for the Blades in an otherwise flawless campaign, with Newcastle and Watford both getting some joy on recent trips to South Yorkshire. With Bournemouth’s form steadily improving after a rocky Christmas, Eddie Howe would happily settle for a battling point here. A 1-1 draw on the opening weekend ended a dismal seven-game losing run for the Cherries against Utd.
Verdict: Bore draw at Bramall Lane. 0-0
Best Bet: Under 1.0 goals at 5/1.
MAN CITY VS WEST HAM, 16:30
The lowdown: The truncated Premier League weekend concludes at the Etihad with West Ham’s fixture list from hell beginning at the home of the reigning champions. Pep Guardiola’s side swept the East Londoners aside in a 5-0 rout at the London Stadium on the opening weekend of the season, a seventh win in a row against their opponents on Sunday. It’s been four years since the away side last took any points from the Etihad, when the Hammers recorded a memorable 2-1 win. David Moyes will simply be looking to tighten up a defence that has now leaked nine goals in three league games.
Verdict: Misery continues for Moyes. 4-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score in the second half and Man City to win the second half at 89/20.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
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