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Wednesday Premier League Preview: Nottingham Forest can pile pressure on Southampton

There are four more Premier League matches taking place on Wednesday night, with all four set to be significant in the battle at the wrong end of the table and in the push for Europe.

All of the bottom four are in action and two clubs that sit in the relegation zone meet at St Mary’s, as Southampton and Nottingham Forest go head-to-head.

Meanwhile, Tottenham look to get their top-four bid back on track as they face London rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Forest have the edge over low-in-confidence Saints

What: Southampton v Nottingham Forest
Where: St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
When: 19.30 Wednesday, 4th January
Odds: Southampton 1/1, Draw 5/2, Nottingham Forest 14/5

Southampton go into Wednesday’s crunch clash with Nottingham Forest off the back of five straight Premier League defeats and having slumped to the foot of the table.

Nathan Jones’ men are two points behind their next opponents, with Forest only in the bottom three on goal difference after their battling draw with Chelsea on Sunday.

You have to go back to 30th August for the last time Saints won in the league at home and they are yet to keep a clean sheet at St Mary’s in eight Premier League games this term.

For a team that has been entrenched in the relegation zone for the majority of the season, Forest seem to be making some progress and are now 5/4 Not To Be Relegated.

Steve Cooper has seen his squad collect five points from their last four league games, with a win over Crystal Palace and draws with Brentford and Chelsea.

Despite those three results arriving at the City Ground, Forest look to be growing in confidence and are coming into a crucial run of fixtures - with the likes of Bournemouth, Leicester, Leeds and Fulham coming up in the next six weeks.

Elland Road factor could be crucial for Leeds

What: Leeds United v West Ham
Where: Elland Road, Leeds
When: 19.45 Wednesday, 4th January
Odds: Leeds 31/20, Draw 5/2, West Ham 13/8

It’s 14th versus 17th on Wednesday night at Elland Road, when Leeds United play host to a West Ham side that have suffered an alarming slide down the table.

David Moyes’ men have lost five straight matches in the league and have won just once in eight away games so far this term.

The Hammers will know that a win at Elland Road will see them move above their opponents, but Leeds will be out to build on Saturday’s spirited 0-0 draw at Newcastle.

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That was the Yorkshire club’s first clean sheet on the road this season and, although they have lost three of their eight home games in the league, it’s worth noting that two of those three defeats have come against the top two teams - Arsenal and Manchester City.

Leeds won the last meeting between the teams - a 3-2 victory at the London Stadium last January - although the Hammers have won this fixture 2-1 in their last two visits to Elland Road.

Both Teams To Score has come in on seven of the last nine meetings between the two sides and can backed at 8/13 in midweek.

Villa out to pile on the woes for Wolves

What: Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Where: Villa Park, Birmingham
When: 20.00 Wednesday, 4th January
Odds: Aston Villa 19/20, Draw 13/5, Wolves 3/1

Three wins in their last four league games has seen Aston Villa pull clear of the relegation zone, with eight points now separating them from Wednesday’s opponents Wolves.

Unai Emery looks to be creating a solid foundation from which to build from, highlighted by a 2-0 win at Tottenham last weekend, and Villa are now 28/1 to Finish In The Top Six this term.

There looks to be a tougher job facing his fellow Spaniard, Julen Lopetegui, with Wolves sat second from bottom in the table and with just one win in their last seven Premier League games.

The one shining light for Wolves ahead of Wednesday’s West Midlands derby is that their away form has brought better results than their recent home displays. Wanderers have collected four points from their last two Premier League games on the road - including a win at Everton last month.

Wolves did the double over Villa last season, with a 3-2 win in this fixture in Birmingham after Villa had been 2-0 up with just 10 minutes remaining. Goals are starting to flow for Villa, with eight in their last four league matches, as Emery continues to partner Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey up front.

Palace can cause Spurs more problems

What: Crystal Palace v Tottenham
Where: Selhurst Park, London
When: 20.00 Wednesday, 4th January
How to Watch: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League
Odds: Crystal Palace 23/10, Draw 12/5, Tottenham 6/5

A win for Crystal Palace on Wednesday will move them to within five points of Tottenham, who have won just one of their last four Premier League games.

Following back-to-back defeats either side of the World Cup break, the Eagles collected a much-needed victory at Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve and have played a game less than Spurs.

Patrick Vieira described the performance against the Cherries as “really positive” but was also keen to point out that he would like to add a couple of new players to his squad during the January transfer window.

The major concern for Antonio Conte will be how his Spurs team are continually starting slowly, highlighted by the fact that Tottenham have now fallen behind in each of their last seven league games.

Both sides won 3-0 in their home meetings last season but it’s worth noting that both visiting teams had a player sent off - Wilfried Zaha at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Japhet Tanganga at Selhurst Park.

Zaha scored the opener in this fixture last term and the Ivory Coast international is available at 13/5 to Score At Anytime on Wednesday.

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