We've still got a few weeks to go until the Christmas rush of football fixtures, but with Arsenal and Manchester disappointed by results in the Champions League in midweek, while other teams bed in their summer signings, it's becoming clearer which teams will need to focus all their efforts on a successful domestic campaign in the Premier League. We take a look at some of the places where you can get value for your betting.
Sunderland vs. Stoke City
Stoke City has been undergoing a mini-revival recently. It looked, at the beginning of the season, as though Mark Hughes and his expensively-assembled team of technical, attacking players were struggling to gel, but move forward a few weeks, and the Potters look like an accomplished footballing side, capable of beating Chelsea at home, as was the case at the beginning of November.
The improvement is partly down to the new-found fitness of former Barcelona playmaker Bojan, as well as the adaptation to the league of Xherdan Shaqiri, though 11 goals in Stoke's favour is actually not that impressive. What is more so is the only 12 goals let in by a defence marshalled by the excellent Jack Butland.
Stoke travels to Sunderland on Saturday with the Wearsiders looking better under Sam Allardyce, but still having to employ defensive spoiling tactics in order to win games, as the team did last weekend for only the second time this season. All signs point to a Stoke win if the visitors can get the ball fast to the flanks. Stoke to win by two or more goals is 17/5 with 10Bet, with Unibet offering 3/1 for the side to be ahead in both halves.
Norwich City vs. Arsenal
There is a myth that Arsenal usually fails to win in the Premier League after a midweek European fixture. In fact, Arsene Wenger's team has played four Premier League games that followed a return flight, winning two, drawing one, and losing the other to Chelsea... but then, Arsenal always loses to Chelsea.
After the 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb that kept Arsenal staring at the possibility of Europa League football in the new year, Arsenal has Norwich City on Sunday. Alex Neil's newly-promoted side has conceded 24 goals this season, the equal-fourth-worst total. There seems to be a lack of quality evidenced in average ball possession of 48.2% compared to Arsenal's 58.3%.
If Norwich is to score against Arsenal's mean defence, it will likely be thanks to Nathan Redmond, the winger who has scored four goals and created one this season. However, with the hard-running Alexis Sanchez seemingly returning to his best, Arsenal seems to have the weapons to win. Unibet offers 19/4 for Redmond to score anytime, while BetVictor offers 17/10 for more than 3.5 goals to be scored in this game.