The 3rd last week of the Premier League season is here and we’ve almost determined the top 4 and the bottom 3. West Brom will be relying heavily on results to survive but their fate could also be determined this weekend if Swansea manage an upset over Chelsea or the Baggies lose away at Newcastle. It’s a similar predicament for Stoke and Southampton who play Liverpool and Bournemouth respectively. Wins for either side keep them in the hunt and particularly if Swansea fail at home to Chelsea where the gap will be reduced to 1 point. With results looking pretty tight this weekend it could be shaping up for some enthralling final day action in week 38.
**Odds from Sportsbet.com.au as of 27th April
Liverpool vs Stoke
The Reds will be sky high on confidence after their mid-week thrashing of Roma in the Champions League Semi Final. The 2nd best offensive side in the league found their way to a 5-0 lead before the match ended at 5-2. That’s an ominous sign for a side like Stoke who will have as much to play for here as Roma did during the week. Perhaps a slight increase in Stoke’s chances may rest with the resting of some Liverpool players but don’t expect any less motivation or determination from those replacements as they seek to stake their own claim for the 2nd leg of the Semi Final. In the end though, regardless of how hard Stoke fight for survival here, Liverpool should win this relatively comfortably.
Predicted Result: Liverpool 3-1
Best Bet: Liverpool -1 handicap at $1.83
Best Value Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $2.29
Burnley vs Brighton
There’s a bit to play for here still as a win for Brighton would go a long way to ensuring survival mathematically whilst for Burnley a win would put the pressure on Arsenal in 6th to maintain their position. Burney have only lost once in their last 5 home games with the loss coming last time out to Chelsea 2-1 where they had their chances of securing a point. That makes it a difficult task for Brighton given Burnley don’t give much away on their home ground and that’s without going into how poor a record Brighton have away from home (just 10 points taken from 16 matches on the road).
Predicted Result: Burnley 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.52
Best Value Bet: Burnley to win at $2.1
Crystal Palace vs Leicester
This match looks pretty even on paper but Palace have far more to play for here and Leicester look like they’ve been taking the foot off the pedal in recent weeks. The visitors have lost 2 of their last 3 and will be up against a determined Palace side looking to increase their chances of maintaining their Premier League status with a win this week. Palace will need to turn around their home form to do so though as they’ve lost their last 3 at home but when you consider those were losses against Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool then it’s more than reasonable to assume they’ll bounce back this week. Those 3 losses too were by no more than 1 goal which points to some competitive displays.
Predicted Result: Crystal Palace 2-1
Best Bet: BTTS – Yes at $1.62
Best Value Bet: Palace to win & Over 2.5 goals at $3
Huddersfield vs Everton
Everton head into this one losing just once in their last 6 but will need to buck the trend of their poor away record this season if they’re to win here. From 17 matches they’ve only claimed 2 wins and 6 draws and for a side with the talent they have, that’s a poor result. Huddersfield should still be wary though simply because of the type of players Everton have and how damaging they can be. The pace and attacking threat that Walcott and Bolasie provide will give them the chances they need to stay in this match but Huddersfield as a collective cannot be underestimated. Neither side produce a lot of chances with Everton averaging under 9 shots on goal per game away from home and Huddersfield under 11 per game at home. Opportunities will be there but both sides will need to take them if they’re to take the 3 points.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.5
Best Value Bet: Draw at $3
Newcastle vs West Brom
Newcastle have won their last 4 straight at home and have conceded just once in those 4 matches. Benitez has made his side a pretty solid defensive outfit which paves the way for a great foundation in seasons to come and it also makes this a very difficult task for West Brom. The Baggies are still a mathematical chance of surviving and have fought hard to take 5 points in their last 3 matches but it all seems a little too late. Newcastle won’t be beaten easily here and they themselves will be keen on retaining their top 10 spot. Perhaps the nothing to lose approach from West Brom gives them a chance of something but a draw will seal their fate and that looks about as much as they can do for this one.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Half-time Draw at $2
Best Value Bet: Draw and BTTS at $4.5
Southampton vs Bournemouth
The Saints have had some really tough fixtures in recent weeks that has cemented them in the position they are now, 18th and 4 points off survival. They do have the added bonus of a game in hand compared to some others but those immediately above them in Swansea, Huddersfield and West Ham also have a game in hand. Bournemouth though look like they have far less to play for and away from home haven’t been convincing with just the 1 win in their last 13.
Predicted Result: Southampton 1-0
Best Bet: Southampton to win at $1.67
Best Value Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2.09
Swansea vs Chelsea
The Blues will be sniffing a chance at a top 4 finish after a couple of poor results from Tottenham in 4th. This is a difficult match for them though as Swansea won’t be easy to beat at home in their situation. It’ll likely be a similar type of match to their narrow 2-1 victory over Burnley last time out where they have the majority of the possession and shots on goal but lack some of that clinical edge that would have otherwise seen them run away with the win by a bigger margin. Morata in particular was lacking that clinical edge you need as a striker and it’ll be interesting to see if he gets a gig here after being dropped for the FA Cup Semi Final against Southampton. Chelsea too will also be without the suspended Marcos Alonso who is very important to their drive down the wings. This may be a match that ends closer than you might think.
Predicted Result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.96
Best Value Bet: Swansea to win either half at $3.54
West Ham vs Manchester City
The Hammers could be in for a hammering here with Manchester City looking particularly ominous going by their 5-0 win over Swansea last time out. The confirmation of their title win will have released some of the shackles for them to just go out and have fun and it looks as though that’s exactly what they are doing. West Ham have had some poor results at home this season and at times have looked less than convincing which has led them to 5 draws. Defensively they will struggle to keep the likes of Sane and Jesus at bay especially given the pace they possess.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 4-0
Best Bet: Manchester City to win & Over 2.5 goals at $1.72
Best Value Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $2.34
Manchester United vs Arsenal
Regardless of what the result was going to be for Arsenal in the Europa League Semi Final 1st leg against Atletico Madrid during the week, this was always going to be a tough game for them. It just so happens that Arsenal will likely be pretty deflated after their Atletico match too. Having seen Atletico go down to 10 men pretty early, they still managed to let things slip to end in a 1-1 draw and the aftermath of the effects of that match both physically and mentally will be felt in this one. United in contrast have been in good form and will be feeling good about themselves after winning their last 2 – a 2-1 come from behind win over Tottenham in the FA Cup Semi Final and then a 2-0 win over Bournemouth. This could be another tough day for Arsenal.
Predicted Result: Manchester United 2-0
Best Bet: Manchester United to lead at Half-Time at $1.83
Best Value Bet: Manchester United to win to Nil at $2.4
Tottenham vs Watford
Spurs have had a some pretty tough to swallow results recently but having now been knocked out of the FA Cup they’ll now just have one thing to focus on and that’s ensuring a top 4 finish. They’ll be wary that Chelsea are finishing strong but they know a win here will at least maintain their current 5 point lead heading into their final 3 games. At the end of the day, Tottenham don’t often lose at home these days and have only lost twice at home this season to Chelsea and then Manchester City. Defensively they’ve only conceded 12 times as well so if Watford are to snatch something here it’s going to need to be on the back of a top performance considering they’re last win away from home was back in November.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 3-0
Best Bet: Tottenham to win to Nil at $1.8
Best Value Bet: Harry Kane to score 2 or more goals at $3.1