English Premier League Game Week 36 Preview

English Premier League - Football

There’s just 3 games left as we approach the final day for the 2013/14 Premier League season. It’s fair to say it’s been a surprising season with respect to Liverpool and perhaps the likes of Everton taking big strides towards Champion’s League football. Though with 3 games left there is sure to be a few more surprise results with the teams at the bottom fighting hard for survival whilst those at the top scrap for final points to earn European football for next season. Without doubt all eyes will be on the Liverpool and Chelsea game this weekend with a win for Liverpool almost certainly wrapping up the title whilst a loss keeps the door slightly ajar for Chelsea and Manchester City. With that sort of pressure the game is certain to be a cracking contest much like the one between Liverpool and Manchester City a few weeks back.

Best looking bets

Arsenal versus Newcastle – Over 2.5 goals at $1.58

Manchester United versus Norwich – Over 2.5 goals at $1.6

Odds from Betfair as at 26/4/2014

Southampton ($2.98) versus Everton ($2.54), Draw ($3.6)

Sitting fifth, Everton need to keep winning if they want to keep their Champion’s league dream alive as they head down to take on Southampton this weekend. Southampton have struggled for results in recent weeks with 2 losses and a draw in their last 3 whilst also not scoring from open play in those games. It seems as though they’re content with their season thus far and are looking to just play out the season. That should surely play in the hands of Everton as they look close the 1 point deficit on Arsenal for fourth spot. Southampton look like they’re really missing Rodriguez up front and I think with Everton having more to play for they should get the win they need here.

Predicted result: Everton 2-0

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2.2

Best Bet Confidence: 70%

Fulham ($2.38) versus Hull ($3.35), Draw ($3.45)

Fulham have a good chance of survival sitting just 2 points off relegation and some of the other teams having a tougher run home than themselves. It was a tough loss last week against Tottenham but they’ll no doubt feel a little more comfortable playing at home this weekend when Hull come to play. Hull are looking fairly safe with a game in hand but they do have a tricky run home with Villa, Manchester United and Everton to follow. They also have some injury worries with no.1 McGregor a doubt whilst Shane Long could also miss. Fulham on the other hand will slot Lewis Holtby back into the line-up which will be a big boost to their attacking options. This will be a tight game but in the end we should see a home win for Fulham here. Rodallega has been in good form scoring 2 from his last 3 and unlucky to not score against Tottenham last week. The survival bid should continue here for Fulham.

Predicted result: Fulham 2-1

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.83

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Stoke ($3.3) versus Tottenham ($2.42), Draw ($3.5)

With 4th place well out of reach being 7 points behind with 3 games left in the season, Tottenham are playing for pride and to take some sort of momentum into next season. They travel to Stoke in what should be a really tight contest. Stoke has an excellent home record with only 2 losses this season with their last home loss being a 5-3 loss to Liverpool back in January. Tottenham do have a very good away record however Stoke is always one of those tough places to travel and I think they’ll find it tough to get the 3 points this weekend. They have been scoring plenty of goals though with 11 in their past 3 with young striker Harry Kane scoring in each of his last 3 games. I can’t see Stoke giving too much away here and with Tottenham susceptible to leaking a goal we should see a stalemate.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.76

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Swansea ($1.73) versus Aston Villa ($6), Draw ($3.9)

Swansea take on Villa this week after a solid away win last weekend at the struggling Newcastle. Swansea needed that win to push them out of a dangerous position on the table and could do with another win to ensure survival for next season. Or Villa it was another poor week with a draw at home to Southampton which gives them just the one point over their past 5 games. Sitting on 35 points, 1 less than Swansea, they could do with a win with Cardiff and Fulham looking to finish the season off strongly. Their form hasn’t helped them though with Swansea looking in much better shape after that win at Newcastle with Bony picking up a brace. Villa haven’t been helped by the injury to Benteke which hasn’t given them much consistency up front all season which is probably why they haven’t improved on last season. They do at least have a game in hand but need points sooner rather than later as they face Manchester City and Tottenham in their last 2.

Predicted result: Swansea 2-0

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.84

Best Bet Confidence: 80%

West Brom ($1.95) versus West Ham ($4.4), Draw ($3.75)

West Brom is another side that needs points as they sit perilously close to the drop just 3 points ahead of Cardiff and Fulham. West Ham are in a much more comfortable position on 37 points but they could do with a win before the end of the season having lose their last 3 games. West Brom had a loss to Manchester City last week but previously had a couple of good results with a win over Norwich and a draw with Tottenham. West Ham don’t particularly travel well which could play into the hands of West Brom with home advantage. West Brom will be banking on a win here with some tough fixtures to finish off the season against Arsenal, Sunderland, and Stoke whilst a win here will also take the pressure off in their final 3 games.

Predicted result: West Brom 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.8

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Manchester United ($1.39) versus Norwich ($10), Draw ($5.5)

Norwich will probably have preferred Moyes still be in charge as they prepare to take on Manchester United this weekend. With Moyes now gone I think it’s fair to say we should see a pretty strong performance from United at home under Giggs. It was pretty clear the players didn’t want to play for Moyes and with Giggs at the helm we should see a strong finish to the season for Manchester United. It’s an incredibly tough run home for Norwich with Chelsea and Arsenal to follow but they at least showed plenty of fight in their narrow home loss to Liverpool last week which at least gives them some hope but at this rate they are looking all but relegated on paper at least. They’ll give it their all here and if it was a home game you’d probably give them a good chance but I dare say they’ll face a rowdy reception at Old Trafford with a win expected for United.

Predicted result: Manchester United 3-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.6

Best Bet Confidence: 90%

Sunderland ($1.95) versus Cardiff ($4.4), Draw ($3.8)

This is going to be a pretty interesting contest with both teams desperate to claw their way out of the relegation zone. A win for Sunderland will push them above Cardiff and with 3 games to follow they’ll have every chance of surviving. Cardiff have had two pretty good results with a 1-0 away win at Southampton and a close draw at home with Stoke last week to really put themselves back in contention. They face a tough test here and with Newcastle away and Chelsea to follow this is a game they really can’t afford to lose. Sunderland have really impressed in their last 2 with Wickham leading the charge. The young striker has 3 goals in 2 games and he could be the key to their survival if he continues that good form. Great opportunity for Sunderland to continue their run of form here and as long as they’re wary of a Cardiff side that’ll come out strong then they should be able to notch a home win here which will really heat up this relegation fight.

Predicted result: Sunderland 2-1

Best Bet: Sunderland to win at $1.95

Best Bet Confidence: 70%

Liverpool ($1.76) versus Chelsea ($5.2), Draw ($4.1)

The big one between Liverpool and Chelsea takes place on Sunday and we should be in for a cracking game. It’s unfortunate from a spectacle point of view that Chelsea will be without Terry, Cech, and Ramires whilst Hazard may only feature off the bench due to fitness. With Mourinho also hinting at fielding a B team ahead of their Champion’s league tie against Atletico next week it’ll be interesting to see the line-up he goes with. Liverpool could be a little nervous given they are soo close to holding the title and the idea of a B team being fielded could either throw them off or really play into their hands. Then again it could just be mind games from Mourinho so we really won’t know until the teams are announced. I think one thing we can be certain of is goals as Liverpool has shown all season. Chelsea will be weakened defensively with the loss of Terry and Cech. I’m not sure if this game will be as exciting as the Manchester City contest a few weeks back but we should still be in for a pretty good spectacle. Liverpool should recover from a nervy start to finish off Chelsea and put them in the box seat for the title.

Predicted result: Liverpool 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.66

Best Bet Confidence: 85%

Crystal Palace ($8.2) versus Manchester City ($1.45), Draw ($5.2)

Manchester City head to Crystal Palace this weekend in what will be a tough fixture in their bid to claw back the lead of Liverpool in the title race. With this game to follow the Liverpool and Chelsea contest it’ll be interesting to see how City approach this one. If Chelsea somehow beat Liverpool I can see City playing with much more intent as it gives them a real good chance to get back in touch with Liverpool as they’d be 3 points behind with a game in hand and with a better goal difference. I think that’d the key here for City because if Liverpool win then I think it makes it pretty hard for City to wrestle the title off them. Palace re also becoming a notoriously tough side to play against away under Pulis and will have their work cut out to get the win here regardless. Palace are on a 5 game winning streak so they’ll be oozing with confidence and really sets this game up to be pretty exciting.

Predicted result: Manchester City 1-0 but would be hardly surprised to see a draw if Liverpool beat Chelsea.

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2.28

Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Arsenal ($1.29) versus Newcastle ($13.5), Draw ($6.4)

Arsenal have wrestled 4th spot back off Everton and have a good chance of maintaining their position here against a struggling Newcastle. They’ve now lost their last 5 games conceding 14 goals in the process and are looking pretty unlikely to get another win for the rest of the season at this rate. Arsenal are coming off two good wins over West Ham and Hull which puts them in a good position here. The returns of Ramsey and Ozil from injury I think has really put them back on track as they were soo important earlier in the season. With Arsenal having much more to play for and Newcastle just wanting the season over as quick as possible we should see a pretty comfortable win here for Arsenal at home.

Predicted result: Arsenal 3-0

Best Bet:  Over 2.5 goals at $1.58

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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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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