EPL Matchday 17 Best Bets: Mohamed Salah Looking to Lead Liverpool to Victory

Mohamed Salah Liverpool FC English Premier League
Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah runs with the ball during the exhibition football match between EPL teams Manchester United and Liverpool FC. Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

The Premier League makes a return on Monday and we are targeting two of the biggest teams in this article. Liverpool travels to Aston Villa, while we have a London derby on our hands with West Ham traveling the 5 miles across London to the Emirates Stadium to face the current league leaders.

Aston Villa FC vs. Liverpool FC

Monday, December 26, 2022 – 12:30 PM EST at Villa Park

Prior to the 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup during the week, Liverpool had won four games in all competitions and seemed to be finally finding their feet after a turbulent first half to the season.

Liverpool’s main aim right now is to close the gap between themselves and 3rd place Newcastle. Although it’s currently as high as 8 points, Liverpool does have a game in hand to potentially close the gap. A win for Liverpool would see them win three games in a row in the EPL for the first time this season.

After sacking ex-Liverpool-legend Steven Gerrard not too long before the World Cup break, Aston Villa appointed ex-Villarreal, Valencia, and Arsenal manager Unai Emery. It very much seems Emery is keen to prove himself in the Premier League following his sacking from Arsenal after 18 months in charge.

Encouragingly for Aston Villa fans, Emery has produced two wins from two games in charge prior to the break, beating Brighton and Manchester United.

Interestingly, Aston Villa matches have seen the same half-time scoreline as full-time scoreline in 86% of their previous 15 games.

The Betting Pick

Goals and more goals could be the order of the day here, as recent history between these two teams has produced a lot of goals. In fact, 9 of the previous 12 meetings have seen 3+ match goals, and this season alone, Liverpool games are 9 and 5 to the over 2.5 match goals.

The Premier League betting odds agree as we are having to lay -150 on this over 2.5 line, and that’s as low as we are willing to go and wouldn’t advise taking any less.

If you want better odds, maybe it’s best to bet over 3.0 goals at +105, that way you get your stake back for three-match goals and a plus-money winner for 4+.

Soccer Pick: Over 2.5 Goals (-150) at Bet365

Arsenal FC vs. West Ham United FC

Monday, December 26, 2022 – 03:00 PM EST at Emirates Stadium

It’s been 14 years since Arsenal were last sitting top of the Christmas EPL table, but the Gunners fans shouldn’t read too heavily into that fact, as they have failed to win the Premier League on the previous five occasions in which they were top of the table on Christmas day.

Although Arsenal has yet to lose a home game this season and is averaging just over 3 goals per game, it must be noted they have also failed to keep a clean sheet in 5 of those 6 games.

Progress for the Gunners has been good this year, but coach Mikel Arteta has high standards and he has told his team to “raise the stakes” coming into the second half of the season.

It seems European football has hindered the Hammers’ progress this season. After finishing 2021/22 in 7th position, they currently find themselves down in 16th position, just one point above the relegation zone, and have lost 4 of their previous 5 EPL games.

West Ham could come back from the World Cup break fired up and back to the team they were last season, and we firmly believe they will still finish inside the top 10 come the end of the season.

Pick and Prediction

West Ham has been on the losing side at the Emirates Stadium in the previous seven meetings between these two teams, and their main player, Declan Rice, has been playing at the World Cup.

Arsenal has had a lot of World Cup players but they have much more quality and a deeper depth chart to delve into and with Mikel Arteta’s tactics and leadership, they are starting to reap the rewards.

The Gunners should at least win here and we don’t mind laying -115 to take them on the -1.0 line. If they win by 2 or more, we cash and if they win by just one, it’s a push.

Soccer Pick: Arsenal -1.0 (-115) at Bet365

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