English Premier League Game Week 30 Preview

English Premier League - Football

A massive weekend of football looms as we preview week 30 of the English Premier League with 10 exciting fixtures ahead. The top 4 looks mostly set now with outside challenges from Everton, Manchester United, and Tottenham looking unlikely at this stage albeit for one of the top 4 to go on a bit of a horror run. The bottom of the table is looking just as exciting for the neutral fans with only 8 points separating the 7 sides. Any side from bottom placed Fulham can ensure their survival if they string a few wins together as those around them are more than capable of stumbling in the final few games. Perhaps it could start with this weekend and with some cracking matchups between Manchester United and Liverpool and Tottenham hosting Arsenal, we’re definitely in for a big weekend of football.

Best Bets

Manchester United versus Liverpool – Both teams to score at $1.6

Aston Villa versus Chelsea – Chelsea to win at $1.58

Odds from Betfair as at 15/3/2014

Hull ($6.6) versus Manchester City ($1.58), Draw ($4.5)

Hull face a stern test against Manchester City in the first fixture of the weekend. It’s somewhat of a tough turnaround for Manchester City given they are coming off a tough loss against Barcelona in their 2nd leg round of 16 Champions League match. Add to this a poor result against Wigan last weekend in their FA Cup meeting and Man City certainly need to turn their form around. Also despite their 3 games in hand on table toppers Chelsea, the psychological edge their rivals have could eat their way into the Man City player’s thoughts if they aren’t focused with the requirement being wins and nothing less. Hull can also a pretty tough side at home and they’ll back themselves as always. The last meeting between these two wasn’t a blowout either with Man City winning 2-0 and I’d suspect there may be a similar score line here as well. A question mark over Aguero’s fitness won’t help Man City’s cause here either which I think will give a slight sniff to Hull. Manchester City’s class should prevail in the end but they’ll need to wary of this Hull side.

Predicted result: Manchester City 2-0

Best Bet: Manchester City to win at $1.58

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Everton ($1.37) versus Cardiff ($11), Draw ($5.2)

Cardiff had a morale boosting win over Fulham last week but they face a much tougher task here as they take on Everton away. Cardiff’s away record is the worst in the league having only picked up the 6 points from a possible 42 on the road. Add to this that Cardiff have only scored in 5 of their 14 away games, Everton have only let in 10 goals at home, and it’s looking much like mission impossible here for Cardiff. I wouldn’t rule out a bit of fight from Cardiff here but their ability to stop the likes of Lukaku, Mirallas, and Barkley doesn’t look too good. Expect a solid performance here from Everton looking to atone for their FA Cup loss to Arsenal.

Predicted result: Everton 3-0

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.84

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Fulham ($2.96) versus Newcastle ($2.64), Draw ($3.5)

Interesting matchup here with relegation strugglers hosting a dangerous Newcastle side with Remy up front. It’s a simple task for Fulham if they are to survive this season as they need to win and win quickly. With 9 games to go they currently sit in last place 4 points off safety but having gone without a win since 1st of January it’s looking like a tough ask. In that time since their last win they’ve played 9 games and managed only the 2 points. With games to follow against Manchester City and Everton, this game become even more crucial for a win as they could easily find themselves without a win in their next two games. Whilst Newcastle will be without their manager Alan Pardew after his 7 match ban, the positive is that they will be relatively fresh given they haven’t played in 2 weeks which could give them a fitness boost heading into the final games of the season. Newcastle have won their last 2 games and whilst they’ll be looking for a third here I think they should be wary of a struggling Fulham side at home.  I can’t see Fulham winning but I can see them pulling off a draw.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.67

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Southampton ($1.62) versus Norwich ($7.4), Draw ($4)

Southampton will be looking for back to back wins here as they take on Norwich at home this weekend. They’ll fancy their chances as well against a Norwich side that hasn’t won away in their last 6 games and isn’t looking likely to do so again anytime soon. Southampton have been one of the most impressive sides this season despite a bit of a flat patch through December but could definitely challenge for Europa League football in the coming seasons. Southampton are almost full strength for this weekend with their attacking trio of Lallana, Lambert, and Rodriguez ready to again cause some havoc for opposition defences. They’ll need to be in good touch though as their last 5 home games Southampton have only scored 5 times but this could be a good opportunity to get back on the scoring sheet. Too tough for Norwich to get the win here with Southampton a tough side to get the 3 points off here.

Predicted result: Southampton 2-0

Best Bet: Southampton to win at $1.62

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Stoke ($2.3) versus West Ham ($3.75), Draw ($3.3)

Stoke host West Ham this week in what looks to be a pretty tough battle between two physical sides. Stoke have been in pretty solid form losing only once in their past 6 games whilst their last 3 home games they’ve only conceded twice. They also had a fantastic win 1-0 over Arsenal in their last home game though they will be without Charlie Adam and Walters due to suspension. It’s no doubt a bit of a blow but one that shouldn’t harm their chances too much of a good performance here. Their opponents in West Ham lost their last game against Everton but they had been on a 4 game winning streak before that and will still be a tough test here for Stoke. West Ham have certainly turned their season around with their most recent 4 wins totalling half of their wins for the year and putting them in a pretty safe position from relegation on 31 points. For this game though both sides may have to settle for a point. There is plenty of fight in both sides with Stoke usually difficult to beat at home whilst West Ham’s resurgence puts them in a good position to get something from this one.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.64

Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Sunderland ($2.16) versus Crystal Palace ($3.9), Draw ($3.45)

Despite 3 games in hand Sunderland are looking to be in a dangerous position with regards to relegation as they sit on 24 points in the relegation zone. Taking on Crystal Palace this weekend is a tough one as well given that Palace can be a pretty tricky side at times. Their problem of course though is that they’ve lost 10 of their 13 away games with only the 2 wins and 1 draw rounding out their away results. Both sides will be desperate for a win here with Sunderland coming off two losses and Palace looking to improve their away record. The positive for Palace is that they have no real injury concerns apart from Chamakh but with Glen Murray back it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Sunderland are also looking mostly at full strength which will put them in a good position at home here. Palace are certainly a chance here but I just feel Sunderland will bounce back at home here to get out of the relegation zone.

Predicted result: Sunderland 2-0

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.65

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Swansea ($1.97) versus West Brom ($4.6), Draw ($3.6)

West Brom are chasing their first win since the 1st of Jan as they travel to take on Swansea this weekend and I’m not liking their chances at this stage. Swansea may not have won in their past 3 games but their results are not bad when you consider they had a draw away to Stoke, a tight 3-4 loss to Liverpool away, and a draw at home with Palace. West Brom’s away form is fairly poor as well with 1 win, 6 draws and 6 losses from their 13 away thus far. The one thing against Swansea here though is the suspension of Chico when he was sent off against Crystal Palace but with Williams still there to steady the back it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Pepe Mel may have to wait another week to get his first win as West Brom manager here.

Predicted result: Swansea 2-1

Best Bet: Swansea to win at $1.97

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Aston Villa ($7.2) versus Chelsea ($1.58), Draw ($4.3)

The final game of the Saturday fixtures sees Aston Villa host Chelsea with Chelsea looking to continue their winning form at the top of the table to keep the pressure on Manchester City. Chelsea haven’t lost since 7th of December where they have gone on to win 11 and draw 3 of their last 14 games. They also had a solid 4-0 win over Tottenham last week that week that puts them in good stead here to get another 3 points. The last 4 meetings between these two have all gone Chelsea’s way with both sides scoring on 3 of those occasions with the other game ending in that famous 8-0 win. Chelsea should be wary of Benteke here though with his 2 goals against Norwich last time out boosting his confidence. Chelsea have only conceded 5 times in their last 14 games though so it makes that an interesting battle between Benteke and a tight Chelsea defence. At the end of the day though it’s hard to go past a Chelsea win here with Mourinho pulling the strings.

Predicted result: Chelsea 3-1

Best Bet: Chelsea to win at $1.58

Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Manchester United ($2.56) versus Liverpool ($2.98), Draw ($3.6)

The first of the Sunday rivalry fixtures sees Manchester United take on Liverpool in what should be a really good contest. It’s no secret that Manchester United have struggled this season whilst their rivals in Liverpool have played some stunning football to sit comfortably within the top 4 currently in 2nd place. United have improved of late winning their last 2 and undefeated in their last 4. Rooney and Van Persie have also been scoring lately and whilst perhaps not as heavily as Sturridge and Suarez it’ll still be a good boost for them heading into this one. There is no doubt Liverpool have been hugely impressive this season and whilst they have a huge chance to get a win here at Old Trafford I can’t help but feel their away record holds them back a little at times. Their away record of 6 wins, 4 draws, and 4 losses isn’t shocking by any means but it does leave the door open for a stumble as they have shown on the road at times this season. It may be against the trend but I can’t write off Manchester United here in a match that could restore some desire within the team to get a result. I’m expecting a tight game here with plenty of goals.

Predicted result: Draw 2-2

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.6

Best Bet Confidence: 90%

Tottenham ($3.15) versus Arsenal ($2.48), Draw ($3.45)

It’s been a rough season for Tottenham and they face their arch rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane this weekend to round off the weekend’s fixtures. Spurs have only scored once in their past 3 games whilst also getting thumped 4-0 in a loss to Chelsea last weekend. Add to this a loss to Benfica in their Europa league fixture during the week as well as a host of fresh injury concerns and it’s looking like a tough ask to beat Arsenal this weekend. Michael Dawson will miss whilst Dembele, Adebayor, and Walker could also be set to miss as they battle to get fit in time. All may not be lost though as Arsenal themselves haven’t had the best recent rrun of games winning only once in their past 4 whilst they’ll also be without a few important players for this one. Ozil is set to miss through a hamstring injury he picked up against Bayern Munich during the week although he hasn’t been in the best of form anyway. Theirs is no doubt both sides will be raring to for this one no matter what but even as a Tottenham supporter I don’t like my sides chances here even against an Arsenal side that themselves are a little patchy.

Predicted result: Arsenal 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

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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