2017 English Premier League – New Year’s Day

English Premier League - Football

The second half of the season gets underway this week along with another year and the first EPL matches of 2017. This week’s fixtures will be highlighted by a London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea with Tottenham hoping to stop Chelsea’s run of 13 games undefeated. One more win will allow them to equal the record set by Arsenal for 14 straight Premier league wins. With the recent history between these two, particularly their meeting late last season, Tottenham will be eager to stop Chelsea from making any sort of history in this one. The added benefit of course will be Chelsea dropping points on their very healthy lead at the top of the table.  

**Odds from Sportsbet as at 2nd Jan

Match Day 20 Best Bet: West Brom to win at $1.8 and Arsenal to win at $1.8

Head to Head multi Bet: West Brom Win ($1.8), Arsenal Win ($1.8), Liverpool Win ($1.36), Stoke Win ($1.8) = $7.93

Middlesbrough vs Leicester   

Middlesbrough start their season with a home match against Leicester and it’s at home where they have captured the majority of their wins. Leicester in Comparison have been terrible on the road this season but they’ll be looking to start over in 2017. In 9 away games they have just the 2 points and face a tricky match here to improve on that record. The strength of the home side here is in defence where they sit equal 5th in goals conceded and that is something that should put them in a strong position against Leicester. Part of the issue for Leicester this season is that their counter attacking style just hasn’t worked for them. Middlesbrough won’t exactly be coming at them the whole match to allow Leicester to counter so this should be a pretty low scoring match. 

Predicted score: Middlesbrough 1-0
Best Bet: Middlesbrough Draw No Bet at $1.82 (80%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.51

Everton vs Southampton   

They’ve been inconsistent but Everton still look a much stronger proposition right now than their opponents Southampton this week. The Saints have lost their last two matches to Tottenham & West Brom with a road trip to Everton presenting a difficult test. The added suspension of their star defender Van Dijk just adds to their woes especially with Lukaku coming up in this one. Although Everton have been a little inconsistent, they have been able to keep scoring in their last 5 matches with 8 goals. The shuffle at the back for Southampton and after two straight losses may continue to unsettle them defensively given they’ve already conceded 6 in their last 2. 

Predicted score: Everton 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2.14 (75%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.83

Manchester City vs Burnley    

Having now slipped outside the top 4, the pressure is on Manchester City to get back to winning ways. They’ve lost 3 of their last 6 matches with those above them taking advantage. Things can turn around quickly though with just 4 points separating 2nd to 5th and a home match against Burnley has come at a good time. Burnley continue to be a strong proposition at home this season where they have claimed 22 of their 23 points but it just seems to not be working for them on the road. They can’t even seem to score away from either with just 2 goals scored and although City have been slipping, it looks an impossibility that Burnley will somehow kick a winning score let alone capturing a draw. 

Predicted score: Manchester City 3-0
Best Bet: Manchester City to win to Nil at $1.83 (80%)
Next Best: Manchester City to win both halves at $2.1

Sunderland vs Liverpool   

The chasing pack at the top of the table is led by Liverpool and after 4 straight wins they’ll be hoping that Chelsea have an upset result against Tottenham to inch closer to their lead at the top of the table. They face off against Sunderland here which makes for a much easier proposition in comparison and based on their current form they should be winning this with comfort. Sunderland have improved over the course of the season but have a long way to go if they are to cause an upset result here. There’s always the chance though that Liverpool can slip up with their defence at times not reliable, but up front they look more than able to kick a winning score here. The Black Cats have the equal 3rd worst defence in the league with 35 conceded and that’s something that Liverpool will take advantage of. 

Predicted score: Liverpool 3-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.58 (90%)
Next Best: Liverpool to lead at Half-time at $1.72

West Brom vs Hull   

The Baggies were a great bet in their last match away to Southampton and it looks no different here at home to Hull. They sit in 8th currently but depending on other results they have the potential to move up to 7th given they sit just 1 point behind 7th placed Everton. Hosting Hull, they look in a pretty comfortable position to make this two straight wins. Hull almost beat Everton in their last match but weren’t able to close out the game with Everton equalising late in the match. That will continue to dent their confidence ahead of this match. 

Predicted score: West Brom 2-0
Best Bet: West Brom to win at $1.8 (90%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – No at $1.72

West Ham vs Manchester United   

This match looks to be shaping up nicely into a good contest. Man United have won their last 5 straight whilst West Ham have lost just once in their last 5. Man United have excelled lately thanks to the form up front in Ibrahimovic who’s also been well supported by Pogba and Mkhitaryan. West Ham do look a better proposition on their recent form though in comparison to the rest of the season. They’ve only conceded 4 times in their last 5 matches whilst their previous 14 games they conceded 29 goals. It will of course be a big test to keep Man United quiet here but they do have the tools to slow their momentum. 

Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.8 (85%)
Next Best: Half-time Draw at $2.2

Bournemouth vs Arsenal    

After losses to Everton and Manchester City, Arsenal have regained their momentum with wins over West Brom and Crystal Palace. They haven’t been that convincing on the score sheet with just 3 goals, but they do have all the tools to capture another 3 points here. Bournemouth sit in a very respectable 10th position at the moment thanks largely to a strong home record where they’ve lost only 3 times this season. They should provide a test for Arsenal here but given the regained momentum that Arsenal now have, it’s difficult seeing the Gunners losing. 

Predicted score: Arsenal 2-0
Best Bet: Arsenal to win at $1.8 (90%)
Next Best: Arsenal -1 Handicap at $3.1

Crystal Palace vs Swansea    

This looks like it will be a really hard fought match with both sides desperate for points given both are fighting off relegation. Palace sit just 2 points off the drop with Swansea holding up the league at the bottom of the table a further 4 points behind. Both are without a win in their last 4 matches and have new managers that are searching for their first win. For Swansea though, a win still looks a while away. Defensively Swansea have been all over the place with 18 goals conceded in their last 6 matches whilst Palace at least have been able to keep things a lot tighter with just 9 conceded in their last 6. It’s not to say they won’t have chances to kick a winning score in this one, but Palace do look the stronger side right now.

Predicted score: Crystal Palace 3-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.9 (85%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.8

Stoke vs Watford   

Both these sides are out of form and low on confidence. Watford were comfortably thumped by Tottenham in the first league match of 2017 last time out whilst Stoke have lost their last 2 matches by a combined 8-3. Those were of course tough fixtures for Stoke against Liverpool and Chelsea so it would be reasonable to expect a much better performance here against a Watford side that looks low on confidence. Watford may be 6 points off the relegation zone currently, but they look far from a side that’s set to be safe this season. Defensively they are starting to look like a liability and an away trip to Stoke where their opponents look hungry for a win, makes for a potentially difficult day once again. 

Predicted score: Stoke 2-0
Best Bet: Stoke to win at $1.8
Next Best: Stoke to lead at Half-Time at $2.4

Tottenham vs Chelsea    

A London derby with a lot to play for makes for a fantastic way to finish off Match Day 20. Chelsea will be gunning for 14 straight wins to equal Arsenal’s Premier League record whilst Tottenham will be going for 5 straight but perhaps more importantly they’ll be motivated to stop Chelsea equalling and potentially breaking that record. Positive signs for Tottenham is they haven’t lost to Chelsea in their last 3 matches at White Hart Lane and they’ll have fond memories of their 5-3 win over Chelsea in 2015 at home. This is a match that also pits the two best defences in the league against each other. That doesn’t necessarily point to limited goals in this one but it will make for a testing time for the forwards of both sides. Positive signs for Spurs is that they can take a lot from their 4-1 win over Watford. Kane & Alli scored braces and were also pulled from action early which will keep them fresh for this one. There is of course no denying Chelsea’s current run of wins but you have to wonder when that run will finish and it’s perhaps fitting that they face off against a rival to equal that record run. That may undo them here with such a difficult opponent and away from home and thoughts of capturing that record and thinking ahead may do them more harm than good. 

Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Half-time Draw at $2 (80%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.85

Author

mm

Goal

As an Australian growing up AFL was always my no.1 sport especially given I was lucky enough to grow up a few blocks from Carlton’s home ground, Princes Park, where I was lucky enough to attend many games. That’s where my passion for sport began but it was until the early 2000’s when I discovered a real passion for football with the Socceroos 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay accelerating my football journey. From there I began to follow the Premier League and haven’t looked back since. These days I’m a massive Tottenham fan where I’ve enjoyed many sleepless nights religiously watching them without missing a game despite many roller coaster feelings. There’s just something magical and glamorous when you watch the EPL and knowing the Profits owners Drew and Euan through studies, I’m now lucky enough to be able to share my thoughts on each game each week of the season.

Leave a Reply