English Premier League Game Week 19 Preview

English Premier League - Football



Welcome to the halfway point of the 2013/14 English Premier League season. It’s certainly been a turbulent season to date which was no more evident than on Boxing Day with some stunning results and fascinating situations. The first game between Hull and Manchester United was a cracker with Hull going ahead by 2 goals within the first quarter of an hour only for Manchester Unite to finally show some of their natural fight back that had so far been missing this season. That game was more than enough to satisfy my football needs for one night but things just kept happening. Everton going down to 10 men early and losing to Sunderland was unthinkable before kickoff. Although Stoke may have always found it tough to beat Newcastle away, it was quite astonishing to see them down to 9 men having taken the lead early on which led to an inevitable 5-1 thrashing. That result could have certainly been different if not for the red cards, but that’s football. Now that we’ve taken a breath, let’s have a look at what the weekend has to offer us.


Best bets this week: 

Chelsea versus Liverpool both teams to score at $1.7


Manchester City half/full time at $1.47


Good Value this week: 

Arsenal to win at $2.02 versus Newcastle


West Ham ($2.4) Versus West Brom ($3.3), Draw ($3.45) 

This should be an interesting matchup to start the weekend fixtures between West Ham and West Brom. Both sides had varying levels of success on Boxing Day and will be looking to carry as many positives as they can into this one. West Ham did well to take the lead at home over Arsenal but were outclassed in the end whilst West Brom were impressive against a Tottenham side still seemingly dealing with the departure of AVB. Looking at this game, I think West Ham will welcome some opposition more to their level have lost to Man Utd and Arsenal in their last two games. I think it’s also important to note that during their striker crisis it’s a good sign that Carlton Cole has scored in his last two games which will give him great confidence as well as the team as they now have another avenue to goal. West Brom will be up for this one though after a positive outcome at Tottenham and overall I feel these two are pretty evenly matched . West Brom have also struggled away from a winning point of view with 1 win, 5 draws, and 3 losses and with West Ham scratchy at home the draw looks likely.


Predicted Result: Draw 1-1


Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.77


Best Bet Confidence: 80%


Aston Villa ($2.9) Versus Swansea ($2.72), Draw ($3.35) 

Tough game for both sides here with Villa in desperate need of a win after succumbing to Crystal Palace in injury time on Boxing Day. They’ve now lost 4 in a row as the pressure mounts on Lambert to get them back into winning ways. For Swansea things seem to be getting worse after their loss to Chelsea, with Michu looking to be out for 6 weeks when they need goals desperately up front. They have now lost their last two, albeit against stiff opposition in Everton and Chelsea, but had also drawn their previous two against Hull and Norwich. This feels like to me one of those games where something has to give and one of these sides will break through one way or another. For me I’d have to go with Villa here at home with a win with their backs against the wall. Swansea’s injury woes continue to mount.


Predicted Result: Villa 2-1


Best Bet: Double chance Villa at $1.51


Best Bet Confidence: 80%


Hull ($2.08) Versus Fulham ($4.2), Draw ($3.45) 

It was a case of unlucky for Hull on Boxing Day as they went down 3-2 losing to Manchester United having gone ahead with 2 early goals in the first 13 or 14 minutes. And despite the fact they conceded 3 goals to let Man United win, they deserved a point at least as they played extremely well which was hardly surprising given thieir strong home form. Before the Man United game they had only conceded 3 goals at home to have the best defensive home record in the league. It’s really quite astounding for a newly promoted side to have boasted such a record. Their opponents in Fulham this weekend though had a good win over Norwich away which would have given the team a bit of a morale boost though I suspect they too, like Manchester United, will find it tough to topple Hull at home. I think Fulham though will have enough to capture a point after their morale boosting win with Hull to bounce back from some defensive errors as well as no Rooney crackers to at least grab a home draw here.


Predicted Result: Draw 1-1


Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.74


Best Bet Confidence: 75%


Manchester City ($1.14) Versus Crystal Palace ($29), Draw ($10) 

This is very much a David versus Goliath fixture here with the minnows in Palace venturing to Manchester City where no team has beaten them this season on their home turf in the top flight. Whilst they did get the result they wanted over Liverpool on Boxing Day, they were certainly tested from start to finish and were perhaps lucky to grab the win in the end with a draw perhaps a fairer result. Palace will know they have nothing to lose in this one and I think they’ll give it a real crack and may trouble City at times early on. Their win over Villa pushed them out of the relegation zone which will be some short term relief at least and will give them the belief they need at this stage of the season that they can survive if they work hard. I guess it really goes to show what a good job Pulis has done so far. In the end though it’s hard to go past Manchester City here given their incredible home record to date though it’s be nice to see Palace give it a crack.


Predicted Result: Manchester City 3-0


Best Bet: Manchester City half/full time at $1.47


Best Bet Confidence: 95%


Norwich ($6.8) Versus Manchester United ($1.57), Draw ($4.4)

Norwich have a big task ahead of them this weekend with a somewhat rejuvenated Manchester United to face them at home. It was a poor result for Norwich on Boxing Day going down to Fulham 2-1 which leaves them 3 points above the drop heading into the halfway mark. They certainly have enough quality to ensure their survival, it’s now just about getting a few more wins to guarantee that. Manchester United snatched the win from Hull having been stunned early and whilst they were well matched by Hull, I think the biggest thing they’ll take away from that game is that they know they can still come back from a couple of goals down to win a game. That’ll be a pretty important morale boost heading into the New Year as they push up the table. I think it’ll give them enough to get the win here at Norwich too though I expect a pretty spirited Norwich side here to confront Man United after that defeat to Fulham. Good to see Fletcher running around again for United as well.


Predicted Result: Manchester United 2-0


Best Bet: Manchester United at $1.57


Best Bet Confidence: 80%


Cardiff ($2.34) Versus Sunderland ($3.45), Draw ($3.4) 

Cardiff were well and truly beaten by Southampton on Boxing Day and will be looking to atone for that performance in front of their home fans again when they take on Sunderland this weekend. Sunderland claimed another big scalp by beating Everton thanks to a red card by Howard and a converted penalty at 25 minutes. Whilst this was certainly a surprise in respect to hearing that Howard had been sent off, I wasn’t overly surprised that Everton didn’t concede for the remainder of the game. It perhaps highlights a bit of a lack of firepower amongst the Sunderland squad which could lead them to strengthen that area in January. So from my point of view whilst the result is excellent for Sunderland, I can’t read too much into it for their chances heading to Cardiff this weekend. Cardiff came up against a tough Southampton side that has troubled many sides this year and although they lost 3-0, I think they’ll bounce back here for a positive result.


Predicted Result: Cardiff 1-0


Best Bet: Cardiff to win at $2.34


Best Bet Confidence: 70%


Everton ($1.85) Versus Southampton ($5), Draw ($3.7) 

It was a tough game for Everton on Boxing Day with a more than surprising result to see them go down to Sunderland but they’ll need to bounce back from that quickly as they prepare to face Southampton this weekend. Southampton had a fantastic win over Cardiff away on Boxing Day which was a great response after their 3-2 home loss to Tottenham. Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez were the standouts with Lallana picking up 2 assists and Rodriguez 2 goals and an assist to lead the way. For Everton it’ll be interesting to see how they respond from the Sunderland game against a Southampton side that is more than capable of beating them. Everton though is a very tough place to play at and although Howard will be missing in the goals they’ll still have a very strong  side on the pitch. I can see Southampton putting in another good performance here but I’m undecided as to whether they can get two wins in a row on the road especially against an Everton side looking to bounce back. I think a draw is a fair result here.


Predicted Result: Draw 1-1


Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.86


Best Bet Confidence: 75%


Newcastle ($4.1) Versus Arsenal ($2.02), Draw ($3.75) 

Newcastle sure did have a massive win on Boxing Day over Stoke but we shouldn’t look into that result too much given they were down 1-0 only for Stoke to lose two players quickly to red cards and the game to turn on its head. Arsenal will be no easy task either despite their hard work early to get over West Ham on Thursday. It was a good result for the Gunner’s to come from 1-0 down and run out 3-1 winners with Walcott firing in 2 and newly returned Podolski polishing off the scoreline. It’s a handy luxury for the Gunner’s to now have some striking power back in their team and fit with the load well and truly carried by Giroud and Ramsey thus far. Taking nothing away from Newcastle as generally they’ve been fantastic the past few months and this will be a real contest for Arsenal but I feel that Arsenal will have the edge with some key players back in the fold.


Predicted Result: Arsenal 2-1


Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.83


Best Bet Confidence: 80%


Chelsea ($2.22) Versus Liverpool ($3.65), Draw ($3.6) 

No doubt the biggest game of the round here with Liverpool travelling to Chelsea in a game where they’ll be looking to claim a scalp away having lost to Arsenal and Manchester City and drawn with Everton away. It’ll be tough though as Chelsea are also unbeaten at home this season (1 draw) so they’ll certainly need to bring their A game with Suarez on song if they’re to get the points in this one. Chelsea similarly to Manchester City have been stingy at home having only conceded the 7 goals and it could take some magic from Suarez and co to break through. Chelsea were however held to 1 goal in their win over Swansea on Boxing Day so they’ll need to be a little more potent against Liverpool if they want the win here. If Liverpool can play with the same intent as they did against City then I think they’ll be worthy of a point at least with Chelsea a little too strong at home to get completely toppled. I’m still not yet convinced of Liverpool’s away form against the top sides so I’ll have to stick with a tight draw here where I think a few goals will be scored.


Predicted Result: Draw 2-2


Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.7


Best Bet Confidence: 80%


Tottenham ($1.49) Versus Stoke ($8.4), Draw ($4.5) 

Big game for Spurs here in what is really a must win game if they want to keep in touch of the top4 to 5 sides. They’ll fancy their chances though against a Stoke side that will be depleted due to picking up 2 red cards against Newcastle on Boxing Day having been ahead 1-0 to go down 5-1. So with Whelan and Wilson out and their morale somewhat demoralised, they could find it tough to get any points away at White Hart Lane. Tottenham had plenty of shots on goal as has been the case throughout most of their games, but they couldn’t get that extra goal against West Brom to secure the 3 points. They have however been depleted in midfield with Paulinho suspended, and Sandro and Dembele injured. They’ll also be without Kyle Walker after he picked up his fifth yellow against West Brom and he will be a big blow as he’s been one of Tottenham’s more consistent performers. Despite the injuries ravaging Tottenham I’m still expecting them to get the 3 points here and bounce back from that draw with West Brom.


Predicted Result: Tottenham 2-0


Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.94


Best Bet Confidence: 70%






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