English Premier League Game Week 17

English Premier League - Football

Welcome to the week 17 preview of the English Premier League. We have plenty of games coming up as we approach to January transfer window starting with a round of games this weekend to be followed by some Boxing Day fixtures and then another round of games next weekend. And if this wasn’t enough football for you we have the New Year’s Day fixtures to follow a few days after that. It’s certainly going to be a busy schedule for me but more so for those teams needing to reignite their seasons and those sides looking to consolidate and cement their positions on the table. For one side in particular this is a make or break period. Let’s have a look at how the first of these game weeks could finish up.

Best Bets

Liverpool half/full time at $1.63 against Cardiff

Arsenal and Chelsea both teams to score at $1.65

Best Value

Everton to beat Swansea away at $2.50

Manchester City half/full time at $2.02 against Fulham

Betting odds from Betfair as at 20/12/13

Liverpool ($1.22) Vs Cardiff ($16.5), Draw ($7.8)

The rampant Liverpool take on Cardiff this weekend in what looks like nothing else but a Liverpool home win here. Cardiff are in a bit of strife with rumours surrounding the possible departure of their manager thanks to some impatient ownership in Vincent Tan. Perhaps what the owner doesn’t realise is that these sorts of issues off-field tend to have some critical effects on the players on it. Cardiff have don’t decently this season thus far to be 4 points above the drop for a newly promoted side and had a good win over West Brom last week. They are however facing a Liverpool side that demolished Tottenham last week 5-0 to give them 14 goals in their last 3. Confidence is at a high and I’d expect Liverpool to continue their winning ways at home this weekend.

Predicted result: Liverpool 3-0
Best bet: Liverpool half/full time at $1.63
Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Crystal Palace ($3.35) Vs Newcastle ($2.4), Draw ($3.4)

Big game here with both sides in need of a win albeit for differing reasons. Palace could do with it to climb out of the relegation zone whilst Newcastle will want the 3 points having given it up against Southampton last week at home having led 1-0 at half time. Newcastle are rightful favourites after their strong form over their past 7 games of which they have won 5. Palace though, as the odds suggest, are not way off and have had some strong results in their past 5 winning 3 having only won 1 more game prior to this. I think Palace will be a tough test for Newcastle especially seeing as it’s at home. Palace haven’t conceded in their past 3 home games and whilst they didn’t beat Chelsea away last week, they didn’t get blown away either. Newcastle will need to be wary of Chamakh as he’s scored 3 in 3 and strikers grow from confidence more than any other type of player. Overall this seems a pretty even contest to me with a draw looking a likely outcome. Newcastle’s away form has been up and down as well winning 4 and losing 4 so it’ll be interesting to see which Newcastle comes out to play this weekend.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.79
Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Fulham ($9.4) Vs Manchester City ($1.4), Draw ($5.4)

Massive test here for Fulham as they prepare to face Manchester City this weekend. One positive for them though will be the absence of Aguero. There will however be another big name striker replacing him in the form of Dzeko who scored a brace during the week in Man City’s cup tie against Leicester (Unless of course they just stick with 1 striker in Negredo to lead the line). Along with Aguero on the sidelines will also be Zabaleta who has been in some fantastic form himself and perhaps one of the best right fullbacks in the league. This will be tough either way for Fulham having only won 1 of their last 8 games and although there are some injuries at Manchester City I’d still have to say this is a safe Manchester City win. I don’t think Fulham will try and park the bus so to speak in that they’ll give it a crack at home, but I can’t see them getting the win over City with a draw even being a massive result for them.

Predicted result: Manchester City 3-0
Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.51 whilst better value is on Manchester City for half/full time at $2.02
Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Manchester United ($1.38) Vs West Ham ($10.5), Draw ($5.5)

A chance here for Manchester United to get their 4th home win of the season and string 2 wins together since 10th November when they beat Arsenal. Their opponents this week in West Ham had a great win over the wounded Tottenham at White Hart Lane during the week in the cup tie which will no doubt give them some belief heading into this one. This will be tougher though given that Manchester United are currently more settled than the Spurs side they faced during the week. They’ve also still got plenty of injury and suspension issues that could make the task difficult to back up this weekend. Nolan remains out suspended whilst Reid, Downing, Vaz Te, and Carroll are all out injured. Of the 9 away goals they’ve conceded, 8 have come in their past 3 which shows to me they are missing key defensive personnel in particular Winston Reid. Although Manchetser United will be without the injured RVP, Welbeck did a great job last week scoring 2 against Villa and with Rooney playing behind him he’ll no doubt be a threat again this week.

Predicted result: Manchester United 3-0
Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.79
Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Stoke ($2.32) Vs Aston Villa ($3.6), Draw ($3.3)

This should be an interesting match here with Stoke hosting a Villa side that has been far better away than at home. Stoke themselves have been far better at home than they have away though Stoke’s recent form has been stronger in comparison to Villa. A win over Chelsea and draws with Cardiff and Hull round off their last 3 games whilst Villa had a win over Southampton which was then followed up with losses to Fulham and Manchester United conceding 7 goals in the process. Stoke have also only lost once at home with 3 wins and 4 draws completing their 8 home games so far. If not for some key injuries at the back to Stoke I would have probably gone with a Stoke win here. With Huth already out, Shawcross is a big doubt with a groin strain against Manchester United during the week in their cup encounter. It certainly makes for an interesting encounter and perhaps the result could rest on the out of sorts Benteke. He certainly needs a big game and this could be a great time for him to get back into some personal form. Either way I’m expecting a draw here.

Predicted result: Draw 2-2
Best bet: Going for an over 2.5 goal option here at $2.42 with Stoke’s depleted backline.
Best Bet Confidence: 70%

Sunderland ($2.1) Vs Norwich ($4), Draw ($3.5)

With 2 points in their last 5 games it seems like the same old story for Sunderland this weekend as they prepare to host Norwich. Their opponents are in their best form of the season with 3 wins in their past 6 but their away form leaves a little to be desired in this one. 6 losses from 8 away games isn’t a great return and with Sunderland trying to bounce back under a new manager it’ll be a tough trip to the Stadium of Light. Sunderland will be buoyed by their win over Chelsea in the Capitol One Cup during the week and will be hoping it’s just the win they needed to kick-start their survival once more. Whilst I’m not strongly convinced on either side winning here, I’m leaning towards a Sunderland win given Norwich’s poor away form.

Predicted result: Sunderland 2-1
Best bet: Both teams to score at $1.83
Best Bet Confidence: 80%

West Brom ($1.99) Vs Hull ($4.6), Draw ($3.55)

West Brom have lost their past 4 as they head in this home game against Hull without Steve Clarke due to his sacking as manager. It could mean bad news for Hull with a spirited West Brom side to come out at home here determined to get a win and good result for their fans and caretaker manager. Hull have drawn their last 2 games but their away form is horrid with 6 losses from their 8 away games thus far. They’ll need to drastically turn that form around if they are to get a good result here though it’s interesting to see who they’ve actually played in their away games. So far they’ve lost away to Chelsea, Manchester City, Everton, Tottenham, Southampton, and Arsenal. Incredibly tough fixtures for a promoted side to get something out of. This weekend is perhaps a little easier given the troubles of West Brom with Steve Clarke’s sacking, but it’s the sacking itself that makes it even more difficult for Hull here. We just don’t know what West Brom side will come out to play because for all their recent poor form they’ve had strong results at times this season such as beating Man Utd, and drawing against Arsenal and Chelsea. Tough one to call but I’m going to go with a West Brom win here with Steve Clarke’s departure enough to fire up the team for a home win.

Predicted result: West Brom 1-0
Best bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.71
Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Southampton ($2.58) Vs Tottenham ($3.05), Draw ($3.4)

Big game here for both sides with Tottenham travelling to Southampton in search of a win under caretaker boss Tim Sherwood. Both sides are in some sketchy form with Southampton failing to win in their past 5 games whilst Tottenham’s capitulation against Liverpool losing 5-0 saw the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. Tottenham’s first game under Sherwood was a much more positive game style in the first half against West Ham during the week with Adebayor returning but it wasn’t enough as they lost for the second time at home to West Ham this season in their cup tie. Both sides have some injury concerns with Southampton still without Boruc in goal and Wanyama in midfield whilst there is doubts over Clyne as well. It’s not a whole lot better for Spurs with Sandro, Vertonghen, and Townsend out injured whilst Paulinho will be suspended. It should mean we see Chiriches return to partner Dawson at the back whilst Capoue and Dembele anchor the midfield. Whilst I can’t see Tottenham getting a win here, I can’t see Southampton gaining their early season form back either with a draw looking a likely outcome here for me.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best bet: Both teams to score at $1.8
Best Bet Confidence: 70%

Swansea ($3.15) Vs Everton ($2.5), Draw ($3.5)

Swansea have a tough opponent this week as they take on Everton at home. Swansea have had a solid run in their last 3 being undefeated however they are facing an Everton side that has only lost once this season and doesn’t look like losing again anytime soon. Everton are also coming off a tough run with a win over Manchester United, a draw to Arsenal, and then a somewhat easier match with a 4-1 win over Fulham. It puts them in a good position this weekend with a chance that Baines could also return although Oviedo has been in good form in his place – a good headache for Martinez to have if Baines is fit enough to regain his place. Swansea will be without winger Nathan Dyer after an ankle injury in their draw against Norwich last week which is a blow to their chances. Swansea might be undefeated in their past 5 at home, but I feel this Everton side is in a great position to notch up a win on the road and at great value of $2.50.

Predicted result: Everton 2-1
Best bet: Great value on Everton to win at $2.50.
Best Bet Confidence: 70%

Arsenal ($2.4) Vs Chelsea ($3.35), Draw ($3.45)

The final game of week 17 sees some big guns face off with Arsenal hosting Chelsea and in London derby that’s sure to provide plenty of entertainment. Arsenal suffered a big loss on the scoresheet at Manchester City last week going down 6-3 whilst Chelsea managed to get a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at home. Arsenal haven’t lost at home since their opening day encounter with Villa and will be in a good position to get a home win here based on their home form. Chelsea meanwhile have had mixed away form this season with their last two resulting in a loss to Stoke and a narrow 4-3 win over Sunderland. Chelsea’s chances will be increased this week with Arsenal to be without Jack Wilshere as he serves a 2 game ban – but then again his likely on field replacement in Cazorla is more than able and will provide plenty if his fitness is up to it. I think this is going to be a pretty tight finish between these two as neither will want to lose seeing as only 2 points separate them on the table. A both teams to score bet looks a good option here with a draw looking a likely outcome for me.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best bet: Both teams to score at $1.65
Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Please Note:
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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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.

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