English Premier League Game Week 22 Preview

English Premier League - Football

Welcome to the week 22 preview of the English Premier League where we have a number of exciting clashes this weekend to keep us entertained. The biggest clash of the weekend will no doubt be between Chelsea and Manchester United and with United somewhat struggling and Chelsea starting to fly of late we surely won’t have a boring 0-0 draw like we did earlier in the season (fingers crossed). In terms of title favourites at this stage of the season, for me I’d have to say it’s between Chelsea and Manchester City. Whilst Arsenal may currently be on top of the table with a 1 point advantage on City and a 2 point advantage over Chelsea I’m a little uncertain in regards to their depth and quality of depth in comparison. Especially if they don’t sign a striker come the close of the January transfer window. If they do, then my thoughts may alter a little but until then it’s a battle between the big spenders.

Best Bets this week:

Arsenal versus Fulham over 2.5 goals at $1.52

West Brom versus Everton – Both teams to score at $1.70

Good looking value this week:

Manchester City versus Cardiff over 3.5 goals at $1.97

Hull versus Norwich – Both teams to score at $2

Odds from Betfair as at 18/1/14

Sunderland ($3.15) versus Southampton ($2.58), Draw ($3.35)

We kick off the weekend with Sunderland taking on Southampton. Sunderland have had a great win over Fulham last week 4-1 which will no doubt give them a boost heading into a home game here. Southampton meanwhile got back on the winner’s list last week with a 1-0 win over West Brom, however there’s some off field dramas brewing and plenty of whispers going around of star players to be sold as a result. Whether that has an effect on the pitch this weekend remains to be seen but I can’t see the professionalism dropping from the Southampton players too much. Southampton though are not in the best of form with last week’s win only their second in their last 10 games and I think Sunderland will be tough for them this week. Sunderland are also on a 3 game winning streak in all competitions so there is certainly some momentum building there. With the pressure on Southampton I’m going for a Sunderland win here.

Predicted result: Sunderland 2-1

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.86

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Arsenal ($1.24) versus Fulham ($16.5), Draw ($7.4)

Table toppers Arsenal take on Fulham in a London derby that looks very one sided to say the least. Perhaps the one advantage Fulham has here is that they have no major injury concerns whereas Arsenal have been managing numerous injuries each week throughout the season thus far. The Gunners had a solid win over Aston Villa last week which gave them their 4th win in a row and another win here will guarantee their place at the top of the table for another week at least. Fulham meanwhile struggled at home to Sunderland last week to give them their 14th loss of the season. On paper this Fulham side is attractive and it may serve them well in their push for survival in the latter stages of the season but I can’t see them beating Arsenal at home this weekend.

Predicted result: Arsenal 3-0

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.52

Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Crystal Palace ($2.34) versus Stoke ($3.6), Draw ($3.3)

Palace take on Stoke this weekend in what looks one of the more intriguing battles of the weekend to take place as well as for the fact that it will be Pulis against his old side that he essentially built. Palace have been solid at home lately with 2 wins and 2 draws from their last 5 home games whilst also only conceding 4 goals. Stoke only have the 1 point from their last 4 games but there has been some good signs for them over the course of the season under Hughes. If Palace play the way they did in the first half against Spurs last week they’ll take this one out but I think Stoke will see this as a game to take a point at least. Both sides seem pretty evenly matched across the pitch as well and with that I have to go with a draw here.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.65

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Manchester City ($1.14) versus Cardiff ($27), Draw ($11)

The Juggernauts in Manchester City take on Cardiff this weekend in what looks another of those David and Goliath battles. Cardiff are coming off a 2-0 loss to West Ham at home and face mission impossible here with City winning 10 from 10 home games averaging 3.8 goals For and only conceding 6 times – Incredible. Cardiff’s only glimmer of hope here would be to come out and take the game on but I for one cannot see them doing that nor troubling Manchester City if they did. The other problems Cardiff face here is that Aguero is back and Man City will want redemption for that 3-2 loss they suffered at Cardiff earlier in the season. It’s payback time here.

Predicted result: Manchester City 4-0

Best Bet: Man City half/full time at $1.51 whilst there’s a little more value in the Over 3.5 goals at $1.97 given City’s home form with Aguero back.

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Norwich ($2.46) versus Hull ($3.35), Draw ($3.35)

Norwich take on Hull this weekend in a tough fixture for both sides. Norwich are in need of a win after going without over their last 6 whilst Hull will be looking to improve their away record as well as get back to winning ways after 2 tough matches against Liverpool and Chelsea. I think the key to this one could be in Hull’s impressive transfer activity having signed some proven attacking quality in Jelavic from Everton and Shane Long from West Brom. It’s a clear sign of intent that they are here to stay in the Premier League for the long haul and with the striking department the one area where they needed some quality, they now have some. Whether Jelavic will start this weekend remains to be seen but I he could play a significant part off the bench if selected. Norwich’s home record has been mixed as well and their last 5 has seen 2 wins, 2 losses, and a draw. Hull certainly don’t have the best away record with only the one win but I’m backing them for a second away win here.

Predicted result: Hull 2-1

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $2

Best Bet Confidence: 70%

West Ham ($3.1) versus Newcastle ($2.52), Draw ($3.45)

The Hammer’s host Newcastle this week in what looks an interesting clash. West Ham had a good win away over Cardiff considering it’s a tough place to travel and it was only their second away win of the season. Newcastle are coming off a controversial loss to Manchester City and will be fired up to get back on the winner’s list after 3 consecutive losses. With West Ham still dealing with numerous injuries and suspensions it makes for some up and down form with constant changes to the core of the side each week especially at the back. James Tomkins was sent off against Cardiff which will further hinder their defence and could open the door for this Newcastle side to get on the score sheet after 3 games of no goals. I think Remy will be relishing the chance here to get a couple as well as his pace should cause nightmares for this makeshift defence of West Ham. An away win here for me with Newcastle getting back to winning ways.

Predicted result: Newcastle 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.91

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Liverpool ($1.23) versus Aston Villa ($15.5), Draw ($7.6)

Liverpool host Aston Villa this week in what is another tough game for Villa having played a 2-0 loss to Arsenal last week. Villa could find it very tough again with Liverpool very strong at home having only lost the 1 game from 10. They’ve also been dominant on the scoring front at home with 27 goals and defensively sound only conceding 6 times. Villa have been in some decent away form over their last 5 though with 2 wins and with Benteke gaining some confidence with a goal against Arsenal they can certainly trouble Mignolet here to get on the scoresheet. A bigger concern for Villa though will be how they stop Suarez and the recently returned Sturridge who between them have scored 34 goals for the season. With 15 of Suarez’s 22 goals coming at Anfield I can’t go against Liverpool here as they look to have too much firepower.

Predicted result: Liverpool 3-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.46

Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Swansea ($3.2) versus Tottenham ($2.46), Draw ($3.45)

It’s another tricky fixture here for Tottenham at Swansea as they strive for a Champion’s League place come season’s end. Both sides are in contrasting positions at the moment with Tottenham enjoying a run of 4 wins from 5 whilst Swansea haven’t won a game from their last 7. The same can be said Swansea’s home record compared to Tottenham’s away record. Swansea have 2 home wins to go with their 4 draws and 4 losses whilst Tottenham have enjoyed plenty of away success with 7 wins, 1 draw, and only the 2 losses to Manchester City and Arsenal. Tottenham will need to be a little wary of Bony though as he’s shown he can be a handful for most sides this year and with Tottenham unable to keep a clean sheet away from home over their last 5 we should see this trend continue. In the end though Tottenham should be able to get over the line.

Predicted result: Tottenham 2-1

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.75

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Chelsea ($1.77) versus Manchester United ($5.5), Draw ($3.9)

The big clash of the weekend comes on Sunday with Chelsea hosting Manchester United. It’s certainly a must win for both sides so we shouldn’t see that dull 0-0 draw that we had earlier in the season. Chelsea will be pushing for a win here so they can continue their 3 way battle for the title with Arsenal and Manchester City whilst Manchester United will be looking for their 6th win in 7 starts to keep in touching distance with the top 4. I think they’ll find it tough though with this certainly their toughest test over their past 7 games. They’ll also need to contend with a Chelsea side unbeaten at home with 9 wins from their 10 games as well as shutting down Hazard who has 3 goals in 4 games. With the compounding injury issues that will see Rooney and RVP miss again, it’s difficult to see United getting too much out of this game. New signing for Chelsea Nemanja Matic could slot straight into midfield to partner Ramires. Look for Chelsea to continue their winning ways at home.

Predicted result: Chelsea 2-1

Best Bet: Chelsea to win at $1.77

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

West Brom ($3.5) versus Everton ($2.28), Draw ($3.5)

The final game of the week sees Everton taking on West Brom away. West Brom will be eager to get off to winning ways under new manager Pepe Mel with a win doing wonders for morale around the team. Everton as always will have different ideas though and will be looking for another away win having won 4 from their last 5. Everton are certainly the superior side here over most of the pitch and West Brom will certainly have their work cut out for them. I think West Brom have a good shot here to get something from this game though. Playing sides under new management can always be tricky and although it’s taken some time for West Brom to appoint a new manager I think it will give them a much needed boost with the players looking to impress on their new boss. As a result I think this could be a pretty open game as Everton are a very good side in attack with the likes of Lukaku leading the line with plenty of support behind him especially in Coleman and Baines who have 9 league goals between them as full backs. Looking for a high scoring draw here with a draw against Everton a great start for Pepe Mel in his first game.

Predicted result: Draw 2-2

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.70

Best Bet Confidence: 80%


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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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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